Amanresorts has announced the January 2010 opening of Amanfayun, its 24th property worldwide and second resort in China. Amanfayun is a unique rural retreat on the outskirts of Hangzhou; together with the Aman at Summer Palace, Beijing, which opened in 2008, Singapore-based Amanresorts is now offering travelers its unique version of “Town and Country China.”
One of the seven ancient capitals of China, Hangzhou (pronounced “Hung Joe”) was founded 2,200 years ago during the Qin Dynasty. Marco Polo called it “the city of heaven” and it is still regarded as China’s most beautiful city, with its picturesque West Lake, pagodas, historic temples, botanical gardens and tea plantations.
Twenty minutes from the heart of Hangzhou, Amanfayun lies in a hidden valley amid fields, temples, bamboo groves and dense forests. The hotel is housed in what was once a complete village and comprises 47 stone courtyard houses once home to tea farmers. Amanfayun lies within a pilgrimage circuit of five Buddhist temples currently under review by UNESCO for World Heritage Site status.
Amanfayun offers 16 rooms, 21 suites and 5 villas. The ‘Village Villas’ are duplexes with private double spa treatment rooms, and the ‘Amanfayun Villa’ has two king-size bedrooms, a courtyard and a private spa treatment room. No two rooms are identical and while the integrity of the original homes has been preserved, all accommodations have radiant under-floor heating, air conditioning and iPod and Wi-Fi connections. All feature the highest quality open-grain elm furniture, Chinese lattice screens that separate living spaces, fine calligraphy artworks and lavish bathrooms. Most accommodations open onto private or semi-private courtyards with informal outdoor dining and lounge areas.
Running through the heart of the property is the Fayun Pathway. This is the village’s main thoroughfare, a stone pedestrian path that leads to rooms, suites, villas and the resort’s eateries, shops and public spaces. As at Amandari in Bali, the Fayun Pathway is a public thoroughfare and will serve as the atmospheric setting for vibrant festivals such as Spring Festival, Lantern Festival and the West Lake Pilgrimage Fair.
The Amanfayun Restaurant, tucked away behind a grove of evergreens above the Fayun Pathway, is the main bar and dining facility and serves Western ‘comfort food.’ Also on the Fayun Pathway is the Village Eatery, where Hangzhou specialties are served, both inside and al fresco. The Tea House provides a traditional tea service featuring Amanfayun’s Longjing (Dragon Well) Tea grown in the surrounding fields. Located in the center of the village is the most commanding of all the original structures, Fayun Place, incorporating two stately courtyard houses that serve as the resort’s “front desk,” lounge, tea room, Cigar Room and library.
The Aman Spa comprises five buildings and tranquil courtyards surrounded by bamboo groves, tea bushes and Magnolia trees. The Aman Spa features a library, lounge and consultation area, Reflexology Room for traditional foot massages, three treatment rooms, each with a circular wooden soaking tub, steam room and double-seated showers. The two-level Movement Studio, fresh juice bar and Tai Chi, yoga and meditation rooms wrap around a courtyard shaded by Magnolia trees. There is a fully-equipped gym, Aman Pilates Studio and hair and beauty salon.