Serenity in a Ming Dynasty retreat

The story of Amanyangyun begins in Jiangxi, the mountainous, cultural heartland of eastern China. The construction of a reservoir in the province threatened the area’s historical villages and cherished camphor trees, some of which had stood for more than a millennium.

Amanyangyun’s owner, Chinese philanthropist and billionaire Ma Dadong, was determined to preserve the history that was about to be destroyed in his native province. He decided to relocate the collection of ancient artefacts to the city of Shanghai in a bid to save the region’s vanishing past.

It took over a decade to relocate more than 30 villages comprised of 50 Ming and Qing dynasty houses and 10,000 camphor trees; the work so painstaking that each brick was numbered to ensure exact restoration. Over a decade later, the project has been realised in Amanyangyun – an Aman property just under an hour’s drive from central Shanghai and close to Zhujiajiao, an ancient water town.

The property matches the global standards of a typical Aman offering – with amenities including five dining venues, a golf course minutes from the property and an extensive spa – but keeps cultural authenticity at its heart.

The architecture, led by Kerry Hill, embodies the essence of Chinese traditional culture, carefully blending the old with the new. Thirteen of the antique dwellings are now four-bedroom antique villas with heated pools and jacuzzis, together with 24 contemporary one-bedroom Ming Courtyard Suites.

The suites are seamlessly interspersed throughout Amanyangyun’s expansive grounds, which guests can venture round at leisure; camphor-forested parkland that is starting to incorporate water terraces, lotus ponds and wildlife-rich wetlands. It is this recurring and careful tale of preservation – combined withglobal luxury standards and requisite attention to detail – that make Amanyangyun a destination worth examining.

 

From the concierge

The spa

A near-three thousand-square-metre Spa & Wellness Centre features two heated swimming pools – both indoor and outdoor – a Russian Banya Spa House, and a Moroccan Hammam Spa House.

Lazhu

Amanyangyun’s elegant Chinese restaurant serves a menu combining Jiangxi or ‘Gan’ signature dishes known for their creativity and use of spices, fish and tea oil, and local Shanghainese and Cantonese favourites. The main dining room overlooks a bamboo grove, while seven private dining rooms offer garden views.

Nan Shufang

The spiritual heart of Amanyangyun, Nan Shufang is a space to learn, contemplate and practise traditional crafts. Experience a traditional Chinese tea ceremony or try your hand at calligraphy, brush painting or the distinctive sounds of local instruments like the guqin and guzheng.

From US$800 / aman.com/amanyangyun

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