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.
The latest Aman hotel, the Amanemu hot spring resort, will open tomorrow in Shima, Japan.
Sous Vide Egg Innovation at The Sanchaya, Bintan
Breakfast, that most important meal of the day, is often a buffet at hotels in Asia. The American trend for self-service spreads with vast choices has been embraced here. But buffet fatigue is setting in and some hotels and resorts are offering more sedate, sit down options with, in some cases, surprisingly inventive menus. Here’s five of the best in the region.
Sixty Soho, New York
A-list designer Tara Bernerd is describing her typical clients, “highly successful bachelors”, and what they are looking for in an apartment style: “What I call the tycoon flavor is evolving,” she says. “It used to be all about marble and gold in Hong Kong; as black as marble or as gold as gold could be. That was a mix of symbolism and materials – it’s very hot here in Asia and you don’t want carpets for example. But not everything is marble now. Wood flooring might come in which over the years we haven’t seen much of.”
Cheval Blanc Randheli
[UPDATE: Jean-Michel Gathy is designing the new Four Seasons Bangkok, opening along the Chao Phraya river near the Peninsula]
A conversation with Jean-Michel Gathy, probably the world’s top architect of exclusive hotel resorts, is an entertaining reel of anecdotes, ideas and design history delivered at lightening pace. At the start of the interview, over the telephone from Gathy’s Kuala Lumpur office (he’s lived in Asia for 33 years), he asks: “Are you taking notes or recording? It determines what speed I talk at.”
Think of an iconic hotel – The Setai Miami perhaps, or maybe the Chedi Oman or the Aman at the Summer Palace – and chances are Gathy designed it. Last year his nine hotel openings included the Cheval Blanc Randheli in the Maldives, Point Yamu by Como Shambhala on Phuket and two Amans (a brand he has become synonymous with) including the Canal Grande Venice, venue of the much hyped George Clooney wedding. With over 40 years in the industry, the luxury hotel market is Gathy’s oyster, so how does he go about choosing?