One of the newest members of the exclusive Aman group, the The Aman at the Summer Palace is located in a series of pavilions, the original dwellings used by guests of the Summer Palace who were awaiting an audience with the Empress. Built in 1750, the Summer Palace is a garden estate dotted with palaces around a lake, formerly used to escape the heat of the Forbidden City.
The Aman's rooms and suites reflect traditional Chinese architecture with a regal ambience. The property has been sympathetically designed to acknowledge the history and cultural importance of its location and the bedrooms reflect this; whether you are staying in a Room or a Suite, the history and culture surrounding the hotel strongly influence the decor and atmosphere.
Many exquisite dining options are available at The Aman at The Summer Palace including French Kaiseki, Western and Chinese, all in stunning, unique settings. Interesting touches include the cigar room at the bar and the music pavilion where musicians perform in the afternoons and evenings on warm days. Following a day exploring Beijing’s sights unwind with a treatment in the indulgent spa with a massage, facial or holistic body treatment or a swim in the hotel's indoor lap pool.
The 43 Rooms and Suites at The Aman at The Summer Palace feature authentically designed Ming Dynasty style furniture, Jin clay tiles, wooden screens and bamboo blinds crafted from traditional materials. There are 10 Courtyard Guest rooms and eight Suites. The 17 Deluxe Suites vary - some have a combined bedroom and sitting room while in others they are separate - all feature king size beds, day beds, reading chairs and writing desks. The 7 Courtyard Suites are even more spacious. The voluminous Imperial Suite has 3 separate pavilions and includes a lounge area, dining area and private courtyard.
Children are welcome at The Aman at The Summer Palace but there are no specific facilities except for babysitting which can be arranged on request.
The Aman has three restaurants serving a wide range of cuisines in beautiful settings; Naoki serves French Kaiseki fare which combines French and Japanese techniques and is served at an open kitchen with guests seated at a Japanese counter. The Chinese Restaurant serves traditional Cantonese and Peking specialities and in the main building the Lobby and Courtyard restaurants serve a variety of cuisines in elegant settings, each room specialising in a different cuisine. There is a cigar room and music pavilion where musicians perform in the afternoons and evenings. The fabulous spa has nine treatment rooms and offers a huge range of holistic treatments as well as yoga, pilates, a beauty salon, 25 metre indoor lap pool, gym, squash courts and personal trainers. There is also a well stocked library and the hotel's theatre has 37 leather recliner seats for films and television broadcasts.
Just a few steps from the East gate of the Summer Palace, enjoying this beautiful historical site is wonderfully convenient from The Aman. The Forbidden City is 15km away and attractions such as The Temple of Heaven and The Great Wall are also easily reached. Beijing's hutongs, markets, restaurants and shops are all well worth a visit and for something different, visits to home studios of local artists and the Chinese Dance Academy can be arranged.
When to travel
Beijing enjoys four distinctive seasons owning to its humid continental climate, ranging from very warm during the summer: 28ºC to 38ºC, to chilly and dry during the winter: -10ºC to 10ºC. Autumn (September to early November) is the optimal season to visit Beijing as the weather is gorgeous and fewer tourists are in town. In winter, it’s glacial outside (dipping as low as -20°C) and the northern winds cut through the city. Arid spring is OK, apart from the awesome sand clouds that sweep in from Inner Mongolia and the static electricity that discharges everywhere. Spring also sees the snow like liuxù(willow catkins) wafting through the air and collecting in drifts. From May onwards the mercury can surge well over 30°C. Beijing simmers under a scorching sun in summer (reaching over 40°C), which also sees heavy rainstorms late in the season. Maybe surprisingly, this is also considered the peak season, when hotels typically raise their rates and the Great Wall nearly collapses under the weight of marching tourists. Air pollution can be intolerable in both summer and winter.
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Location and directions
On Gongmenqian Street, adjacent to the East gate of the Summer Palace, Aman at Summer Palace is an oasis of calm situated a mere 15km from Beijing’s Forbidden City.
How to get there
Beijing Capital International Airport (10 hours) is one of the main international airports for flights arriving into, and departing from, China. Aman at Summer Palace, Beijing is approximately 35 kilometres from the airport. Transfers are available between the resort and the airport on arrival and departure, and the journey takes around 45 minutes each way.