by Debbie Pappyn

Close your eyes and imagine Empress Dowager Cixi roaming the century old dwellings of the Summer Palace in Beijing, Wuthering Hights style. If you don’t fancy Chinese concubines, then stay anyway at the magical Aman at Summer Palace, one of the most charismatic hotels in Beijing. This 51 rooms hotel occupies the former dwellings of the Summer Palace and offers a secrets door to access this famous World Heritage Site when “normal” (read: ten thousands of gymnastic, eating, singing and partying Chinese) visitors are not allowed to enter the park.Who wouldn’t want private entrance to one of the most renowned palaces in the world to retire afterwards in one of the over-sizes suites decorated with hand-painted clay tiles from the Yunnan province, Ming-style armoires, rickshaws and hand-carved, wooden walls? Go explore the surroundings with one of the old and stylish Phoenix bikes, have an apero with views on the courtyard while local musicians fill the air with hypnotising tunes and finish the evening with a feast on healthy and light cuisine at The Grill restaurant. After all, it ‘s all a matter of taste, isn’t it.




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