CHECK IT OUT AMAN­DAYAN, CHINA

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence -

Aman’s third re­sort in China has opened on a hill­side above Li­jiang’s UNESCO-pro­tected old town in north­west Yun­nan Prov­ince.

In keep­ing with the city’s fa­bled charm and the re­gion’s out­stand­ing nat­u­ral beauty, Aman­dayan’s 35 suites are housed in tra­di­tional court­yard build­ings af­ford­ing ter­race views of the town and dis­tant snow­capped moun­tains; the prop­erty is also home to the lovely Wencheng Palace, dat­ing from 1725.

Suite in­te­ri­ors are sim­ple and el­e­gant in typ­i­cal Aman style where ev­ery de­tail ref­er­ences the re­sort’s lo­ca­tion, in this in­stance em­brac­ing el­e­ments of tra­di­tional Naxi ar­chi­tec­ture. The tim­ber-lined rooms are fash­ioned from Yun­nan pine; be­spoke fur­ni­ture has been con­structed from elm felled in the Don Bei re­gion; and dec­o­ra­tions in­clude lo­cal em­broi­dery and wood­carv­ings.

Fea­tur­ing large living ar­eas and luxury bath­rooms, the suites are grouped around cen­tral court­yards mak­ing the per­fect set-up for fam­i­lies or friends trav­el­ling to­gether. Re­sort fa­cil­i­ties in­clude a li­brary over­look­ing the old town, a bou­tique stock­ing lo­cal hand­i­crafts, Li­jiang’s only pri­vate cinema (seat­ing 30), gym, heated swim­ming pool and a large day spa fea­tur­ing six treat­ment rooms, each with a pri­vate re­lax­ation area.

DON’T MISS: A Tui Na mas­sage, us­ing yoga-style stretches and acu­pres­sure tech­niques. It’s one of many lo­cally in­spired treat­ments on the spa menu.

DINING IN: Ex­ec­u­tive chef Steven Miao over­sees Man Yi Xuan , serv­ing dim sum at lunch, and Yun­nan and Can­tonese cuisines. Be sure to try his sig­na­ture Yun­nan hot pot. There is also an all-day dining lounge (Asian and West­ern fare us­ing lo­cal or­ganic meats, veg­eta­bles and wild picked mush­rooms) and a very charm­ing tea house serv­ing tra­di­tional Chi­nese snacks and teas, and of­fer­ing won­der­ful views over the town from the ter­race. DINING OUT: The lo­cal cui­sine is sim­ple and tasty: hot pot, rice noodles, roti-style bread. Try this rustic fare at Li Shui Hui (J-Life Street, Li­jiang) where the menu is bol­stered by zing­ing fresh pro­duce grown at the restau­rant’s nearby farm.

ASK THE CONCIERGE: Be sure to visit the Qing-dy­nasty Black Dragon Pool at the foot of Ele­phant Hill. The view from the white mar­ble bridge over the pool to­wards the re­gion’s high­est peak, Jade Dragon Snow Moun­tain, is con­sid­ered one of the finest in China.

CHECK­ING IN: In­tro­duc­tory room rates from 4350 yuan ($900) plus taxes. More: aman­re­sorts.com.

ALSO TRY: Aman at Sum­mer Palace, Bei­jing; Banyan Tree Ringha; Shangri-La Ho­tel, Lhasa.

CHRISTINE McCABE

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