Set on a hillside above the UNESCO-protected Old Town, the property draws its name from the Sanskrit-derived word for ‘peace' and ‘Dayan', the historic name for Lijiang when it was first established by the ruling Mu family in the 13th century.
The property is made up of traditional courtyard buildings and presents 35 spacious suites with terraces and views of Lijiang, the countryside surrounding the city and the snow-capped mountains on the horizon including the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, considered one of China's most scenic peaks. The courtyards each offer between five and eight suites, making them ideal for families and groups.
Tucked into the northwestern corner of Yunnan Province, Lijiang is often referred to as one of the most beautiful places in China. Amandayan provides the perfect base to explore the town, experience the many facets of the indigenous Nakhi culture and take in the region's spectacular natural attractions including Tiger Leaping Gorge.
As with all Amans, the design of Amandayan was inspired by its setting, embracing style elements from traditional Nakhi architecture and integrating harmoniously into the town. “Adhering to the Aman philosophy, this property takes a one-of-a-kind location, explores every facet of its history; then incorporates culture, comfort and a personal touch to create a retreat that truly complements its surroundings” said Olivier Jolivet, CEO, Aman.
Suites are decorated with materials and fabrics from the region, including Yunnan pine from Shangri-La, striking Nakhi embroidery and elaborate Dongba wood carvings of flowers, birds and other nature motifs. The term Dongba refers to the priests of the Nakhi people to whom harmony between man and nature is paramount. Stone floors gently reference the resort's proximity to the mountains. Amandayan's furniture is crafted from elm felled in the Don Bei region. Graceful and elegant with clean, simple lines, it is contemporary in style yet unmistakably Chinese.
A special part of the resort is the carefully preserved Wenchang Palace located on the property and set in a traditional courtyard dating back to 1725. The courtyard features hundred-year-old trees and ornate carvings and colourful paintings along the rooftops and buildings. The Palace was used as the examination hall for scholars taking the famous entrance examinations to enter the Chinese civil service.
Amandayan's dining options offer a wide choice for all palates. The Lounge, located next to the main reception, is open throughout the day and serves Western and Asian cuisines featuring local organic produce. Open for lunch and dinner, Man Yi Xuan is dedicated to Yunnan and Cantonese cuisines, using the freshest seasonal organic ingredients. An additional dim sum menu is on offer at lunch. There is seating for 88 including four private rooms. Offering indoor and outdoor settings, the Tea House serves traditional Chinese snacks and tea with mesmerising views over the Old Town. It is also open in the evenings for cocktails and aperitifs.
Amandayan's spa comprises six spacious treatment rooms, each with a separate relaxation area. The two double wet treatment rooms have heated stone tables, steam rooms, shower areas and round wooden bathtubs. They are used for scrubs, wraps and certain massages. The extensive spa menu draws on the wisdom of Traditional Chinese Medicine while offering the natural benefits of Aman Spa's own chemical-free range of skincare products. Locally inspired treatments include the Tui Na massage which helps improve movement and flexibility through yoga-style stretches and acupressure techniques.
In the middle of the spa courtyard complex lies a serene 20-metre outdoor swimming pool, which is heated year round. The resort also offers a Pilates/yoga studio and a large gym complete with the latest Technogym equipment.
Other facilities include the Library, in the atrium of the reception building, which is lined with books on local history, geography and Nakhi culture. There are also meeting room facilities adjacent to the library and a state of the art private cinema, the only one in Lijiang, which offers seating for 30.
Lijiang's harmonious fusion of cultures and religions means festivals throughout the year when the town comes alive with colour and celebration. The Bangbang Festival, for example, takes place over Lunar New Year, while the Torch Festival in June fills the city with light, singing and dancing. Amandayan can arrange cultural activities and excursions within Lijiang as well as more active pursuits further afield to experience the region's outstanding natural beauty and historic villages.
Amandayan complements the existing Aman properties in China: Aman at Summer Palace in Beijing and Amanfayun in Hangzhou. Each Aman has much in common, from their gracious hospitality to their proximity to UNESCO World Heritage Sites. They are also ver y different, each reflecting its unique surrounds in terms of culture, history and geography.
For further information and reservations please visit: http://www.amanresorts.com/amandayan/home.aspx
Lijiang Black Dragon Lake