Shanghai didn’t need another luxury hotel—but it needed Amanyangyun. Opened in January in the quiet suburb of Minhang, the newest property from Aman Resorts has nothing in common with the city’s modern hotels. Rather, tucked away in a forest of centuries-old camphor trees, this tranquil retreat, with its utter lack of ostentation, is a reminder that there’s more to China’s famed financial capital than skyscrapers and urban sprawl.
Those camphor trees? They traveled over 400 miles from the southeast province of Jiangxi before being replanted on Aman’s 25-acre parcel. More than a vanity project, the monumental relocation was an act of preservation that saved the forest—along with 50 Ming-dynasty-era stone houses—from being submerged by a local reservoir. Re-created brick by brick, the village houses have been repurposed as 13 guest villas that feature deep soaking tubs and infinity-edge pools alongside original carved wood walls and antique desks.
As is the Aman way, Amanyangyun delves into the sleek and minimal, too. A collection of 24 suites offers more contemporary interiors, while three restaurants walk the line between old and new, with cuisines that range from traditional Jiangxi to farm-to-table Italian. Perhaps most needed in frenetic Shanghai, however, is the 30,500-square-foot spa, where traditional Chinese medicine and modern wellness work hand in hand.