Amandayan — Lijiang, China
With very little fanfare, Aman Resorts has opened Amandayan, its third Mainland Chinese retreat (after Hangzhou and Beijing) on a hillside overlooking Lijiang, the jewelled UNESCO town in the southern province of Yunnan. Furnished with local pine and stone, elm furniture, embroidered throws and elaborately carved timber screens, the 35-suite hotel is modelled after traditional buildings and courtyards. The spacious balconies, in particular, make the most of its dramatic setting of snow-capped mountains, mirror-flat lake, green fields and pine forests. Meanwhile, the Traditional Chinese Medicine-based spa menu incorporates local traditions such as tui-na massages; though intrepid guests might prefer long walks in the stunning countryside to relive Lijiang’s hey-day when it was an important stop along the Silk Road.