Everyone strives for excellence. For The Maker this means delivering interesting and informative articles about a range of topics. For those in the resort industry, it means providing a luxury experience for their guests. For the hotel group Aman, excellence is perhaps best illustrated by its luxury resort Amanfayun, modelled on the traditional Chinese village that used to nestle in the valley where it is now located. Some of the buildings are over a century old and restored using traditional techniques whilst taking inspiration from the quieter aspects of Chinese culture. With tree lined avenues and the old stream where locals once met to exchange news making their way through it, Amanfayun offers a relaxing, cultural break from busy city life.
In the distance one can see spectacular views of thirteenth century Buddhas and Bodhisattvas etched into cliff faces. The mark of this ancient religion is felt all over the resort. Within the bamboo forests that surround the area, ornate temples stand which are walking distance from the villas. In fact it is not uncommon to see monks walking the cobblestone paths of the resort to travel from one to another. What would perhaps seem cliché anywhere else
comes off here with an air of unstudied authenticity; you will find no Chinese lanterns of silk fans hanging from the trees here. Instead the magnolias, Chinese ashes, tea bushes and common fig trees are left to look as natural as possible, in some parts giving the resort and almost wild look.
The Aman Group, founded in the eighties, opened their first resort in a coconut plantation in Phuket, Thailand. Amongst the first to realize the potentially wide appeal that boutique villas would later have, they focused on delivering a resort where patrons would be able to feel like they were living in their own private residence. Quiet, peaceful and tranquil, they now have resorts all over the world including Bora Bora in French Polynesia, Bali and the Caribbean’s Turks and Caicos Islands.Amanfayun in Hangzhou is their second resort in China; the first is near the summer palace in Beijing.
As one of China’s ancient cities, Hangzhou has withstood war, Mongol sieges and the inevitable passing of time whilst remaining true to its historical heritage and going to great efforts to preserve its cultural inheritance. Several times in its history it has been the most populated city on Earth and was called the “city of heaven” by the famed explorer Marco Polo. Chief among its attraction is the ethereal West Lake, the inspiration for a thousand poems, where today you can hire small boats in order to visit the various islands, bridges and pagodas that encompass it.
Although only a short twenty minutes’ drive from Hangzhou’s downtown and shopping districts, Amanfayun luxury resort is well equipped to handle the needs of its guests. Despite its charming emphasis on the traditional, which includes no TVs in the rooms and well as no electronic locks, it provides an extensive library where regular lectures on a variety of subjects are hosted. In addition the spa features a heated swimming pool, a state of the art gym, a reflexology centre, a bath house, a treatment centre and a finishing centre. The nearby conference hall is also available to fulfill all your business needs. Local eateries, including a place that caters specifically to vegetarians, and tea houses are close by, supplying a wide choice of Western and International food.
Stylish, luxurious and conscious of its heritage, Amanfayun upholds its company’s reputation of offering sanctuary to those seeking relaxation. Taking the time out of a busy life essential for excellence – whether it is done by visiting a SPA, taking a show or reading The Maker – and it is only through reflection and contemplation that we can work out our next steps.