Aman Resorts is opening a hotel just outside Shanghai, its fourth in China, in 2017. And it’s even more special than we’ve come to expect from Aman.
This “renovation like no other” involves saving and transplanting endangered ancient trees and historic buildings from the flood planes of Jiangxi.
Some 50 Ming and Qing Dynasty houses have been preserved and are being reconstructed by master craftsman in their new home of Shanghai. And traditional Chinese architects have added new buildings to blend with the historic structures.
10,000 camphor trees have also made the 800 kilometre journey, overseen by expert botanists. They’ve been replanted in native soil and face the same direction as they had previously. Three years later they are said to be flourishing.
The project is so special, it has yet to be given a name.
Robuchon restaurant at Hotel Lisboa, Macau
[UPDATE: Chef Francky Semblat has been succeeded at Robuchon au Dome by Julien Tongourian.]
Something is stirring in Macau, the sleepy colonial backwater turned gaming mecca on the southern tip of the China mainland just a 40 minute ferry ride from Hong Kong. For amongst the glitz (and sometimes seediness) of the mammoth casinos and five star hotel complexes are some of the best restaurants and spas in the world.
West Lake, Hangzhou. Pic: Ken Seet
“Hello foreigner friends!” a cheery man greets us alongside one of the picturesque canals that feed into West Lake. “How do you like Hangzhou?” A few days later at a busier spot right alongside the lake, while we are dodging coach parties and marvelling at pagodas and weeping willows, another local stops us: “Hello, welcome to China! Where are you from?”