A Sanctuary Retreats Guide to Beijing
Sanctuary Retreats has teamed up with Aman Resorts to offer guests a free night’s stay in the sensational Aman at Summer Palace in Beijing.
This award winning hotel, situated just a few metres away from the East Gate at Beijing’s Summer Palace, is the perfect setting to relax and enjoy one of the most exciting cities in China. Combined with a stay aboard the Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer, prepare for an intoxicating mix of traditional China and city chic luxury.
Aman at Summer Palace:
With some of her pavilions dating back to the turn of the 20th Century, each has been decorated in a style that harks back to the Ming Dynasty. Smooth timbers, lavish partitions and natural tones come together in a delightful melody, transporting you back to an era when the famed Empress Dowager Cixi would have entertained guests in similar quarters.
The heyday of the Chinese Empire can be felt in every nook within the Aman at Summer Palace, however, it's not just China's past that will get your juices flowing during your stay. Get with the present as you stimulate mind, body and soul in her sprawling underground spa which includes a state-of-the-art gym, nine twin treatment suites - complete with bath tub, shower, steam room and massage area) and even two squash courts.
If you can manage to peel yourself away from the hotel's alluring selection of activities and amenities, Beijing has some awe-inspiring attraction to really get your heart pumping.
The Summer Palace:
This UNESCO World Heritage site was originally built during the Qing Dynasty. It was designed as a summer escape for the Emperor and his entourage, away from the heat of the Forbidden City.
Today the Summer Palace remains one of China's most note-worthy monuments, as well as a window into the eyes of an 18th Century Chinese artist. Two thirds of the "palace" is dedicated to the vast Kunming Lake - which is said to have been carved out by an army of 100,000 labourers - with the remaining expanse dedicated to the very best of Chinese architectural and landscape design.
Spend your time here wandering through the labyrinthine gardens, ornate bridges, magnificent palaces and a corridor which contains hundreds of charming Chinese paintings. Don't miss the dramatic marble carving of a large life-sized boat which is sure to cause a sense of wander and awe.
Your complimentary stay at the Aman at Summer Palace is inclusive of access to the Summer Palace, so there is really no excuse to go.
Temple of Heaven:
If you get a taste for the Imperial majesty of ancient China, then no holiday in Beijing is complete without a visit to this 15th Century religious complex. Steeped in ancient spiritual symbolism, these opulent structures are said to be a masterpiece of architecture and landscape cultivation. The surrounding park seems to be where this can be felt most strongly as any trace of nature, with her many irregularities, has been wiped out and replaced with lush lawns and symmetrical lanes; a stark contrast to the undulating hills and snaking streams of the Yangzte River.
For those of you who may want to be part of China's pilgrimage to the future (and beyond), Beijing has plenty to offer.
Spend your day navigating the cities maze of streets, shops and alleyways, or take a trip to the mighty Tiananmen Square. Alternatively, try to touch the sky in one of Beijing's imposing skyscrapers, some of the World's most impressive modern buildings.
The foodies amongst you will be delighted by modern twists on traditional Chinese dishes as well as oriental-infused recipes originating from much further afield. If you can't face leaving the Aman at Summer Palace then don't worry, the hotel has a tempting selection of restaurants and grills to feed your foodie bug.
To experience this amazing city, and stay free in one of her finest hotels, simply book a stay aboard the most luxurious ship on the Yangtze River, Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer during selected sailings. Cruises sail between Chongqing and Yichang and come in 3 or 4 night itineraries.
With this offer, your stay at Aman at Summer Palace includes breakfast, one-time daily refreshment of selected juices and soft drinks in the mini bar, free Wi-Fi, access to the Summer Palace, cultural activities at Cultural Pavilion including a Chinese tea ceremony, use of techno-gym facilities, indoor swimming pool, squash court, table tennis and Yoga & Pilates studio facilities, plus use of Aman's private cinema.
All sailings are inclusive of meals, drinks and excursions, with visits to the 'ghost town' of Fengdu, Shennong Stream and the Three Gorges Dam Project.
You can choose to include your free night at Aman at Summer Palace either before or after your trip. For more details contact our reservations team quoting 'Aman Yangzi Offer'.