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“Excellence defined”
Review of Aman Summer Palace

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Aman Summer Palace
Ranked #87 of 6,483 Hotels in Beijing
Certificate of Excellence
Honolulu
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Excellence defined”
Reviewed October 28, 2013

We arrived at 10P and were greet by a smiling staff and Tim W. the general manager. This began the realization that we would be enjoying a special place. Never before were we greeted by a hotel GM. He continued to check if all was well and offered any needed assistance to make our stay perfect. When we entered our room, we were breathless with the layout and decor. It was grand to not have a high rise experence. The gardens and courtyard layout of rooms were a much better experience. Every restaurant was excellent. Always happy with our dining and wait staff. We have become advocates of staying at Summer Palace and its sister property, Amanfayun. If you go to Beijing, Aman at Summer Palace, is the only choice.

Room Tip: We are not sure if there is any bad rooms. The court yard layout and extensive landscaping maintain...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Rocco S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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289 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (33)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Beijing, China
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed September 29, 2013

This compound is like no other. It recreates a large Chinese courtyard establishment, used for centuries throughout China on a much smaller and more modest scale. The way it arranges and makes use of space differ from anything known in Western countries. That alone makes Aman Beijing worth your visit. Add to that, the consistency of the traditional Chinese interior decoration, the beauty of many of the rooms, yards, gardens and squares, and three enjoyable restaurants and a tea room. The Japanese and Western restaurants face onto a beautiful pool -- during warm evenings, when the glass doors are open, this provides a unique spatial experience. As Chinese aesthetics are set to influence how we see beauty around the world, this place gives you a window as good as any to what this part of the future holds.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Morten B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed September 21, 2013

Our stay at the aman was really like no other. The location and the surroundings transport you to a different time and the staff ensure that your stay is like no other. We had the morning breakfast tour at the summer palace which is also highly recommendable. You can't go wrong with a stay at this property.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank bringm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockholm, Sweden
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed September 20, 2013

I hate people that complain about prices. If something is too expensive then don't go there, period.
But I have a complaint of a somewhat different nature: The guided tours are a huge rip-off.
I find it highly inappropriate that a 5-star Hotel is exploiting it's guest in that way. That kills my trust to the Hotel, in turn I cannot enjoy my stay there.
Keep a 15% margin, you earned it. But nearly RMB 5000 for a guided tour to the great wall, that's just fraud.
There is no excuse, I know from experience that guided tours are much less than that. The poor guide did a good job but probably received 100 RMB for the tour (seriously, you can book good guided tours including van and driver for less than 1000 RMB and the guide will be very happy about that).

Other than that, it's just sad that the staff doesn't speak english, as others have mentioned..
You always end up repeating yourself 5 times. E.g. I called the Spa to book an appointment by pressing "1" on the phone, after repeating myself for 3 times the assistant understood but then he just redirected my call to the Spa where I had to explain and repeat myself again, happens all the time.
Housekeeping staff doesn't even know english numbers, so they couldn't show me the way to my room.

Further, it's a pity how small the rooms and suites are. The Resort is huge, there is so much space.. but not in the rooms.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank grkpfl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 4 Contributor
18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed September 11, 2013

http://joellemagazine.com/early-morning-winter-walk/2345244

With a small basket of fruits, warm clothes, my camera and the beautiful map , we are heading 6 AM, to the back door of the Aman compound where The Summer Palace, situated at the doorsteps of my courtyard suite nb4 in the northwest suburb of Beijing covers an area of 290 hectares. I understand that the magnificent resort is offering me as a guest, the exclusive privilege to visits the Imperial garden at dawn and enjoy in his magnitude before it actually opens at 8Am for the public.

The West Hill and Jade Spring Hill silhouette against us are neatly visible among lush and tall ancient pines and cypresses , grand palaces and temples Longevity Hill. We are at the North of the Palace and the map is clear.

Halls Pavillons, corridors and towers spread throughout the garden are decorated with fine stone and bronze sculptures. We are now walking on the long Corridor and cross " The gate of dispelling clouds " , "The Pavillon of Mesmerizing Scenery ", " The Pavillon of Harmonizing with the Lake ", and the " Pavillon of Autumn Winter".

The magnificent Tower of Buddhist Incence stands high on the hillside facing south, looking down at the misty and rippling clear water in the Kumming Lake.

It's winter at the Summer Palace and the lake that covers about three quarters of the Imperial palace, is totally iced. They say Summer is the high season, but let me tell you the scenery is extremely romantic representing for some locals one of there celestial islands of East Sea China and a fairyland.

Originally built in 1750 by the emperor Qianlong to celebrate his mother's birthday, The Summer Palace was used at the time as a pleasure garden for emperors and empresses.

Appraised as the most perfectly preserved imperial garden with the richest man-made scenery and the most concentrated architecture in the world. It was inscribed on the World Heritage List by The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural organization in 1988 and has become a park of high culture value for tourists and a treasure of human civilization.

We are at the " Hall of Nourishing Pleasures" not far away from the "Hall of Benevolence and Longevity ". Walking in silence is a whimsical, magic and peaceful dream experience never felt before.

Finally in the small alley of the Aman property, like in Alice in Wonderland, a the small door opens after our bell ringing: and a small young man wearing dark glasses appears with a basket of warm towels and says in a perfect English with a touch of Chinese pronunciation " Your breakfast is waiting for you... How did you like your Imperial promenade?

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Joelle M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed September 8, 2013 via mobile

Room - room was a good size and was traditionally decorated. Each room is its own separate villa. Traditional Chinese architecture uses the courtyard structure, so there are villas on 3 sides of the square courtyard. They put red lanterns outside our villa to indicate that we were there to celebrate an occasion (our anniversary), which was cool. However, we had issues with our shower not draining that didn't resolved after our notifying the front desk, and our toilet ran all night the first night (this did get fixed). Apparently you can't drink the water out of the faucet at the hotel (or anywhere in Beijing), but the hotel provided all the bottled water you could want in the room for no additional charge.

Spa/pool - the pictures are very close to reality. The pool is really cool, so go for a dip to beat the Beijing heat. The spa was nice but didn't really have a proper waiting area. I really enjoyed my traditional Chinese tui ma massage. I tried to arrange a private Pilates session on the day of, but they couldn't get in contact with the Pilates instructor. The studio looked beautiful. My husband played squash and ping pong with the gym staffer and had a great time in so doing.

Gifts - they give you great gifts each day in your room. There was not really a need to buy cheesy souvenirs on our trip because the aman was thoughtful enough to provide really neat traditional gifts to us (and we got especially beautiful ones because it was our anniversary, I think!).

Food - breakfast was awesome (we ate western style breakfasts). The Cantonese restaurant was good, but, even though we think of ourselves as experimental with food, some of the food was really out there for us. The western restaurant was good for dinner.

Location - as everyone else mentioned, the property is adjacent to the summer palace and has a secret door to enter the property, which is great. It also allows you to get to more remote sections of the Great Wall with a shorter drive to avoid throngs of tourists. The downside to the location is that it's a 30+ minute drive from the hotel to downtown to see the sights. There is a subway nearby, though, which could be a shorter trip.

Overall - the package we got included a summer palace, hutong, and Forbidden City tour, and we also arranged a Great Wall tour through the hotel. Both were great and were great reasons to choose the Aman. We were greeted at the gate of our plane at the airport by our transporter, and, again when we were dropped off at the airport, we were escorted by two air china reps all due to staying at the Aman. We were assigned one tour guide and one driver and car throughout our time there; this worked very well. However, there were a few service flaws that I expected not to encounter at an international resort chain like the aman (language barrier issues, no one manning the front desk early in the morning, not personally resolving the shower issue, not offering to have someone carry our luggage for us to the front for our morning departure when they knew exactly what time we were leaving, etc.).

But, overall, I'd recommend the hotel highly. It was a lovely traditional yet modernized base for our first visit to Beijing.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Worktravelgal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pasadena, California
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed September 4, 2013

This was our first trip to mainland China and our visit stay at an Aman property. The location adjacent to the Summer Palace is magical. Plan to visit toward the end of the day and you will have the Palace to yourself! The hotel setting is peaceful, sophisticated and charming. Our "room" was actually a small building with every comfort designed to incorporate traditional Chinese architecture with modern comforts. You feel like you are in your own special world. Staff are attentive, food and service are excellent. Spend time walking around and taking in the details. Definitely ride a bike. Nothing like biking in Beijing. This one one of the highlights of our trip and will seek out Aman resorts in the future.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank OCJO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Aman Summer Palace

Property: Aman Summer Palace
Address: No.1 Gongmenqian Street, Yiheyuan, Haidian District | Summer Palace, Beijing 100091, China
Location: China > Beijing > Zhongguancun
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #87 of 6,483 Hotels in Beijing
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Aman Summer Palace 5*
Number of rooms: 51
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Just steps from the East Gate of the Summer Palace grounds lies Aman at Summer Palace - the ideal location from which to discover Beijing. Housed in a series of pavilions, the resort is only 15km from the Forbidden City. A serene retreat, the property provides easy access to such cultural landmarks as the Great Wall, The Temple of Heaven and the hutongs, as well as Beijing's restaurants, art galleries and other contemporary delights. ... more   less 
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