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“magical” 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)   |  
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Ranked #46 of 4,972 hotels in Beijing
USA
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“magical”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2013

so when my parents were coming to China, I wanted to find them a hotel that would let them embrace the beautiful aspects of old China without experiencing any of the pitfalls of traditional Chinese hotels. That left, after hours of research, the Aman hotel. It is a 5+ star hotel, by far the nicest hotel in Beijing, and I've been in several very nice hotels. The customer service is fantastic. After there was some confusion during the airport pickup, they felt so badly they upgraded my parents to a suite.

My parents are used to 5 star US resorts, and they LOVED this hotel. It has character, it connects to the summer palace, and everything is pristine. As a resident of Beijing, I also loved it, as it was basically the ideal dream version of China- it highlights the best of Chinese architecture.

It is the best hotel in Beijing, and the price reflects that. However, normally I don't splurge, but on this, for the experience, its absolutely worth it.

Room Tip: Get a courtyard!
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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151 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (15)
Date | Rating
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  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
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English first
Berlin, Germany
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2013

As most Aman properties, this one feels very special and is a destination almost in itself. It is larger than most Aman hotels around the world (there is even a large cinema for guests) - but it still feels serene and intimate. The suites are very large and beautiful and situated around different courtyards. You can chose from different restaurants (chinese, japanese etc.) and they are all very good. The location is both a disadvantage and a big advantage: you are far away from the center of Beijing (20 minutes by taxi, much longer during rush hour), BUT at the same time you have a very beautiful and relaxing place to wind down after exploring the buzzing city. AND you can explore the grounds of the Summer Palace almost alone in the morning - which was a truly magical experience!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Top Contributor
153 reviews 153 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2013

This property and service is absolutely top notch, and a peaceful escape from the city if needed while traveling to Beijing. If you've been to the one in HangZhou, it is slightly disappointing. The nature surrounding Aman Fayun in Hangzhou is breathtaking and can't be repeated. Aman at Summer Palace has beautiful, comfortable rooms, with exquisite designed bathrooms. We were 4 nights for a conference, 2 would have been ideal. The service is nearly too much, personally escorting one out of the restaurants, even to the restroom, or placing your napkin on your lap. The restaurants are delicious but sometimes we felt oversold at breakfast. The fixed course meal at the Japanese French fusion restaurant was delicious, but excessive amounts of food, and somehow our meal was over $600 for two, with drinks.

Access to the walk in the Summer Palace gardens was a great benefit, and Aman service has an efficient setup to add to your walk. The fitness center is great, only there are no classes as advertised in the weekly notice.

Room Tip: Room 1-32 was a generous suite in the front courtyard. I'm not certain if 1-33 was occupied whet...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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Gilford, New Hampshire
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2013

Let me begin with the good: As with all Aman resorts, the property itself is beautiful and flawlessly incorporated to its surroundings. It is a very peaceful space, especially when you can hear people singing or practicing an instrument on the other side of the wall. The property has its own door directly into the Summer Palace, which gives guests slightly longer access to the Summer Palace than the public, from sunup until sundown. As the Palace does become really packed with tourists, this is a very nice perk. We hired Jane, an Aman guide, to guide us through the Summer Palace starting at 7am, and it was already crowded. Jane was interesting and spoke excellent English - a lovely guide entirely. All staff members with whom I interacted were very nice and polite. Our suite was spacious, comfortable, and nicely styled. Also, they have a fantastic gym and pool. A good breakfast was included in the room rate.

Now for the downsides: Most of these comments may sound silly, and they are things that probably wouldn't bother me if this weren't an Aman resort, but I have come to expect absolutely flawless service at Amans. First, room cleaning occurred mid-afternoon every day, as it does at most hotels, regardless of my activities. As I said, this is usually fine, but at other Amans, I always loved that they always knew where we were and would take advantage of that. If we went to breakfast at 9, for example, housekeeping would be alerted, and by the time we got back to the room, our room would have been made up. Several times, I would come back from some activity expecting the room to have been done and it hadn't been. Not a big deal, but I expect more. Also, along the same lines, we never got turndown service because they never coordinated to do it while we were at dinner, and by the time we came back from dinner, we wanted to relax and put on do not disturb.

Speaking of dinner, we ate at the Chinese restaurants 2 nights. The menu is extensive, but hohum in my opinion. It's not my favorite cuisine though, so that is perhaps not a downside for everyone. The service is extraordinarily attentive, which is good, but it is almost too attentive. I actually wondered if it is a difference in service style between fine dining in the East and in the West. In New York, for example, if I ordered a nice bottle of wine to start my meal, I would want to relax and enjoy the wine a bit before the first course came out. Here, there seemed to be a great rush to get the drink order and get the food order and get everything out and everyone on their way. We ordered a bottle of wine and then food, and the first course actually came out before the wine. I almost didn't want the wine by the time it came out. Dishes were cleared while I was still chewing the last bite. Everything was extremely efficient, but I prefer a little more of a relaxed feeling with a nice dinner unless I have indicated that I need to rush. On a positive note, they were very accommodating to my partner's vegetarianism, as far as pointing out vegetarian items on the menu, as well as adjusting dishes that normally include meat.

Also on the dining side, I had lunch one day by the reflection pond. The setting was perfect, and my server was charming and friendly and provided great service. I ordered spinach salad and a burger. The spinach salad and all the sides that came with the burger were delicious. The burger itself though was so rare that I only ate the outside bits. I had ordered it medium. I hesitate to mention this because I know I could have always sent it back, and it is better to undercook a burger than overcook it I suppose, but it just would have been nice if they had gotten it right the first time. And I would have been fine even with medium rare, but this was so rare that I suspect it was actually uncooked in the middle. Like I said though, everything else about that meal was great, and burgers are difficult to gauge.

All in all, I was still pleased with my stay, especially with the unparalleled access to the Summer Palace. Now that I have taken advantage of that though, I think I will not splurge on this property on my next trip to Beijing. I still believe in the Aman brand and will not hesitate to continue exploring other Aman resorts though. I feel like small tweaks to ASP would bring it up to the level I expected.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • 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
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Hawaii
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2013

We visited Beijing during a very busy time, but within the walls of the Aman we got completely lost in the property's tranquility, luxury and grand sense of place. Yes it is expensive and yes it is not "real" China, but for just a couple of days we were transported back in time and able to take in a little bit of fantasy. The secret "back door" into the Summer Palace made us feel like we were staying at the Palace itself. The private movie theater where the three if us watched Raise the Red Lantern, sipped cool cocktails and munched on popcorn was a special treat. I never work out on vacation, but the gym here was amazing so I had to take in a Pilates class--followed by some relaxation and lounging by the indoor pool. Oh, and the restaurants were amazing!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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
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Singapore, Singapore
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2013

This is a sensational property and you will be hard pressed to find anything better in Beijing. The location adjacent to the Summer Palace will give you a sense of staying in your very own palace with a back door opening onto the palace complex itself. The rooms were huge (we had a Deluxe Courtyard Suite) and deliciously appointed with beautiful furniture & that unmistakable Aman look. The building and the layout can feel a bit austere but I think is is appropriate in Beijing, the Imperial (& modern) Capital. The food was excellent (we ate in the Japanese/French fusion restaurant and the Grill) and the service, on the whole, was first rate. You will occasionally come across staff who's English isn't very polished and their mannerisms can feel a little cold and sharp but I find this often very normal in China and more often than not, the service is wonderfully warm and attentive.

We had an excellent itinerary put together by the hotel and a wonderful guide (Mae) was supplied who really made our excursions very informative and fun. My only criticism is that the hotel is far from the centre of town and our tour to Forbidden City left quite late, to avoid the shocking Beijing traffic, which resulted in us arriving at the peak of the tourist activity in the FC which was terrible. If you don't mind squeezing in with the locals, ask the hotel to arrange for you & your guide to travel to the FC by Metro and be there for when the doors open at 8am.

The spa was outstanding and the traditional Chinese massage was unbelievably good. The indoor pool is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful I've come across and worth a dip, regardless of the weather. The gym and Pilates studio are also amazing and private!

  • Stayed April 2013, 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
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Sydney
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
54 hotel reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
87 helpful votes 87 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013 via mobile

This hotel supports a large staff and pays a big licence fee for its location. That means it is expensive in every way. That being said it is a little magical to go through the "secret door" straight into the Summer Palace.

The accommodation is lovely but other Aman's have better bathrooms. The staff is very good and set us up in the cinema for our own private screening of the Last Emporer feeding us popcorn. A wonderful if extremely expensive way to end 2 nights in Beijing.

Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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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
Phone Number:
Location: China > Beijing > Zhongguancun
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #46 of 4,972 hotels in Beijing
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Aman at Summer Palace Beijing 5*
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