Whether you’re exploring the concrete jungles of Shanghai and Beijing, or an actual jungle in southern China, it’s a welcome surprise to find a safe haven at the end of each day where you can relax in style. Across the vast land of China, from the lush forest of Yunnan to the red walls of a royal garden, we’ve found places for you to hide away—where we can leave your busy city life outside the chamber doors and spend some time resting and reflecting.
Aman at Summer Palace, Beijing
Featuring a wellness retreat, this is an oriental-Eden. Right next to the East gate of the Summer Palace lies a series of pavilions and courtyards of traditional Chinese lavishness. However, from the outside, it’s so hidden that you might miss it as someone’s humble home. This residence was originally provided for guests of the Empress Dowager Cixi, dated back into the Qing dynasty. The design aims to preserve the traditional Chinese architecture and atmosphere. Most importantly, you can have the Summer Palace all to yourself—a secret path from Aman that leads to the most amazing sunset scene after after the park has closed to the public. What a serene delight.
Commune by the Great Wall
If a garden-style hideaway is not your cup of tea, then maybe you would like to have a view of all the mountains and Great Wall at your feet. That sense of conquering might lead to a new perspective and positive energy to your 2015 adventure. There are 42 themed villas for you to choose—from minimalistic tranquility to forestry mystery. Each has its unique and breathtaking view of the Great Wall, Shuiguan section. One thing that you need to know is that this is not just a boutique hotel but a modern architecture highlight, developed by Zhang Xin.
Banyan Tree Lijiang
Among the mist from the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, you can find a group of Naxi-style villas. That’s your escape—Banyan Tree. Every single villa is positioned for you to admire the vast snow gullies and limestone mountain faces from distance. Every time of the day, you will experience a different ethereal scenery. Combining comfort with nature and ethnic cultures from the Naxi Kingdom, it won’t be long before you’ve forgotten your life outside of this sanctuary. Literally, just like the resort’s introduction says—come live in a fairytale.
Aman Fayun, Hangzhou
It definitely feels like you’ve time-traveled or been cast in an artistic kung-fu movie. Situated in a centuries-old village, this Aman resort has left out any fancy or imposing elements and embraced the essence of country living. Surrounded by many timeworn shrines, the luxury of comfort and peace is a welcome reward away from the hustle of the city.
Brilliant Resort & Spa, Chongqing
Dipping into the hot springs in the heart of the Middle Kingdom is an enriching experience. Besides the spa and hot spring relaxation, you can also join yoga and tai-chi, infused with the scent of incense burning from the neighboring 1,600-year-old temple. The Jinyun Mountain is right behind you and the Jialing River is flowing downhill to the gorge right in front of you. It’s a place for restoring your energy, as the Chinese saying suggests—getting strength from the mountains and the river.
Six Senses Qingcheng Mountain, Chengdu
If you are going to the Panda Country, you would want to visit this fascination by Six Sense. Rattan furniture and lights, contemporary Chinese designs and decorations, floor to ceiling windows and a bamboo-made patio, everything curated in the resort melds naturally with its serene surroundings. Whether you are living alone or joining with your family, this is where you can sit down with a cup of tea and spend quality time without any disturbance. A couple of days here, you will definitely feel as fresh as a daisy.
The St. Regis Resort, Lhasa
A perfect view on one of the most sacred places on the Tibetan plateau? A view like that can probably make you forget about everything that is troubling your mind. When you sit by the water and bask in the sunset strip on a 4,000-meter elevation, it’s not just romantic; it’s almost as if you have the world all to yourself.
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