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“Flawless” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Aman at Summer Palace Beijing

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Aman at Summer Palace Beijing
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   No.1 Gongmenqian Street, Yiheyuan, Haidian District | Summer Palace, Beijing 100091, China (Zhongguancun)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #45 of 5,414 Hotels in Beijing
London
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Flawless”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2012

Stayed over a weekend before starting meetings in Beijing on the Monday. Location is perfect for Summer Palace and Great Wall trips - both of which were organised to the last detail. The property is unique in the city - with a "secret door" that leads directly into the Summer Palace at any time. Given how chaotic and busy it can get when the tours arrive, this is a real plus - and the feeling of walking around Kunming Lake either before or after the hordes is really priceless. The incredible underground complex that contains the swimming pool, cinema, gym and spa and other amenities is discreetly hidden and the construction quality is exceptional. Food was first rate (Cantonese in particular), no request was too small or too large, and we felt immersed in Chinese culture with calligraphy lessons and a chance to ride the fabulous retro bikes that they had parked in the forecourt over to Beijing University. Austere yet incredibly chic decor - carried through to the dress-sense of the amazing manager and her staff. If price is any concern, probably best to stay elsewhere!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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168 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2012

I stayed at the Aman at Summer Palace for a week in July with my 14 year old son. I guess each traveller will have to weigh up cost versus the unique nature of the hotel. For me the uniqueness won. In a country not yet noted for fantastic customer service, the Aman staff are all well trained and happy to be of service. The architecture gives a feel of old China and the gardens are tranquil and beautiful. Another differentiator is the ability to enter the Summer Palace, located next door, at dawn and dusk (even have a picnic breakfast there). My son and I explored the backroads of this UNESCO world heritage site, long after the crowds had departed and it was magical. Knocking on the backdoor of the Aman after another circuit of the Summer Palace was a highlight. The restaurants were pricey yet served delicious Chinese fusion cooking. We also loved the cinema in the basement where we watched a private viewing of the Last Emperor, the day before we visited the Forbidden City

I guess you can really test a luxury hotel like the Aman when something goes wrong. It was not our original plan to stay here a week, we were in fact on our way to Mongolia. However my son suffered an epileptic seizure in the middle of dinner at the hotel. He had never experienced one of these before and I was very upset and unsure what to do. The hotel was exceptionally helpful during this crisis. They had first aiders on call immediately and quickly called an ambulence. The night manager accompanied us to the hospital and stayed for hours, translating documents and comments from nurses and doctors. The General Manager, Christine Hodder was also very helpful, getting documents couriered over from the hospital so that we could start a complex insurance claim. I was a little worried that after such a dramatic event we might feel awkward returning to the hotel but once again the staff were very kind and welcoming, putting my son at ease. He finally got to eat again the dinner that was disrupted by the medical emergency. I really can't praise the level of care and attention to detail enough.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2012 via mobile

I have stayed at many average luxury hotels in Beijing but this was exceptional. We stayed 3 nights with two other groups of friends to celebrate some special birthdays and they went out of their way to make this memorable. Expensive - yes but an experience like no other from the exceptional guides, amazing remote Great Wall experience with a lunch location in a rustic location we will never forget. The dinner at sunset on the Wenchang Tower topped it off with amazing food from the executive chef. We would highly recommend Aman Summer Palace if you are prepared to let them show you something special rather than the ordinary. Our guide Jerry Mao was intelligent and engaging - highly reccomended. Apple who arranged our celebration was discrete and ensured everything was perfect.

Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
86 helpful votes 86 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2012

Stayed at the Aman at Summer Palace hotel for 2 nights during a two week trip around China. We had stayed at one Aman property before (Amansara in Cambodia) and thought it was amazing not only due to the property itself but also the guided trips they offered to Angkor Wat and surrounding temples included in the price. The Aman at Summer Palace is very different in that respect as not only are no excursions included in the price of the rooms but the price of any excursions that they offer is extortionate (e.g $750 for a private trip to the Great Wall), so much so that even the staff apologised to me when I went to book the trip about how expensive it was.

Unfortunately this was one of the many other instances where we were effectively gouged on prices that led to me not giving this hotel a full 5 out of 5. Don't get me wrong, knowing the Aman chain I expect the room rate to be expensive and you are paying for the Aman experience something I am more than happy to do, however, everything that you would pay for at the hotel (with the exclusion of the spa treatments) was significantly expensive (eg. cheapest bottle of wine was c.$100, cheapest meal at the Japanese fusion restaurant was $125 excluding wine). This really put a dampner on what would otherwise have been a fantastic experience.

Ignoring this aspect and on the assumption you are well aware of the minimum costs you can expect to pay for your trip then the experience was fantastic. The hotel is right next to the Summer Palace with its own private entrance. The main buildings are new but the rooms are all in old buildings from the palace converted into rooms. The layout of the hotel is gorgeous and you really feel like you are royalty staying in the palace. The service from staff was attentive and we did not really experience any issues with the level of English speaking staff during our visit.

The rooms are great and as would be expected beautifully designed and well appointed. We stayed in the Deluxe villa which was the smallest of the villas. Our only criticism was that given the restrictions of using the old buildings the rooms are relatively small inside and space is reduced even further by the amount of furniture that is in the room. This meant that one of our suitcases had to be in the bathroom in order for us to be able to have it open. The bathroom was great with two separate sinks and a separate toilet and shower. The bed was comfy and not too soft which was just how we like it.

In terms of the food we ate at both the Japanese and Chinese restaurants as well as the breakfast provided by the hotel. Breakfasts (included in the room rate) were great (as with all Aman properties there is no buffet here!) and we experienced no problems with slow service. The Japanese restaurant was reasonable, however, it is quite restrictive that you can only select one of the fixed tasting menus. I like to try new foods but am reasonable fixed on things I don't like and this (self-imposed) restriction meant that there were various parts of the menu that I wasn't able to eat which was a bit galling given the price we were paying. The Chinese restaurant was good too, we had the Peking Duck which between 2 was huge. The duck was cooked well and the duck stir-fry you have after the duck pancakes was super but we found the pancakes a bit too greasy and fatty.

Overall, we had a very good experience at this hotel. The room size restrictions were necessary in order to get the authentic look of the property so we were able to overlook these. If only they could get to grips with the pricing of food and drink this would have been a much better review. It is interesting to note that we also stayed at the Amanfayun property while in China and did not encounter the same issues regarding costs.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Top Contributor
120 reviews 120 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
186 helpful votes 186 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2012

My teenage daughter and I went for afternoon tea before visiting the Summer Palace.

How to get there
It took us about an hour by taxi to get to the Aman from where we were staying at the Peninsula hotel in the center of the city. To return to the city, we easily found a taxi as we were leaving the grounds of the Summer Palace (around 3:00 on a summer weekday). We also noticed you can take a pedicab to the nearby subway station.

Reservations
We made reservations but there were only two groups having tea while we were there so a reservation may not be necessary.

Access to Summer Palace
There is a "secret" door between the hotel and the Summer Palace but it is only available to hotel guests. To reach the Summer Palace, you will have to walk for about 5 minutes...exit the hotel, turn right and then right again.

Hotel, tea, cost
The interior of the Aman is luxurious and quiet. The bar area where tea is served looks out at a garden and pond. There is a nice selection of teas and the assortment of sandwiches and sweets is amazing (for China) and tasty. See photos. The cost is 198 yuan per person (around $30 US).

Next time
On my next visit, I will walk through the Summer Palace before having tea since it would be really nice to relax at the quiet Aman after dealing with the heat and crowds of the Summer Palace.

Room Tip: The Aman is far from the city center making it a poor choice for sightseeing. The rooms are really e...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2012

We spent a long weekend in Beijing and stayed there. We had a fabulous suite with an original Chinese bed but with a modern comfort. The room had century old vaulted wooden ceiling that were probably 20 ft high. The hotel has its own private entrance to the summer palace that is accessible anytime upon request. It means that after hours when the crowd has left you can walk around the parks and palace on your own - fantastic!
They have three very good restaurants we tried them all - recommend their Peking Duck.
If there was one drawback is the fact that give the age of the structure (even though everything has been recently renovated) there is not quite the privacy you would hope if your suite is part of a two suite house. But the authenticity of the buildings and rooms make up for that.
Note that the hotel location is great for visiting the summer palace but is located North East of the third outer ring of Beijing which can be a long journey if you need to go to the financial district (South Eastern corner of the city).
Prices is what you would expect for such luxury.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2012

Aman offers a very special experience in Beijing. I was firstly attracted to it because it has the private access to Summer Palace, and soon enough I found the hotel itself is also a charming creature offering all the necessities to comfort your stay.

During our stay we went to cinema and swimming pool without seeing any other guests. The stay was very relaxing and comfortable. The room was clean, the staff were helpful, and most of the elements in this hotel fit the environment well. The hotel arrange some interesting activities for guests, such as Calligraphy.

We got into Summer Palace from very early in the morning when there were barely tourists, it looked indeed grand and elegant.

The food in this hotel is not at top notch, as well as the service in restaurants. The hotel is located a bit far from the city center, and the way to the hotel may not have very lovely view. The concierge always offer car booking service though, so don't worry if you don't have personal vehicle.

Overall it was a very nice stay. Looking forward to get back there someday.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Aman at Summer Palace Beijing

Address: No.1 Gongmenqian Street, Yiheyuan, Haidian District | Summer Palace, Beijing 100091, China
Location: China > Beijing Region > Beijing > Zhongguancun
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #45 of 5,414 Hotels in Beijing
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Aman at Summer Palace Beijing 5*
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