Embracing the Nakhi culture and the breathtaking mountain views, the Amandayan Resort lies on the hillside just above the UNESCO-protected Old Town of Lijiang. Architect and Aman design veteran, Edward Tuttle, sought inspiration from the traditional architectural styles of the local people.
Amandayan Resort Technical Information
- Architects: Edward Tuttle
- Location: Lijiang, China
- Material: Wood, Stone
- Topics: Unesco Heritage, Renovation, Resort, Spa
- Area: 1.6 hectares (4 acres)
- Project Year: 2015
- Photographs: © Courtesy of AMAN
Lijiang is known for its unique Nakhi architecture and is a treasure trove of history and culture.
Amandayan Resort Photographs
The property draws its name from the Sanskrit-derived word for ‘peace’ and Dayan, the historical name for Lijiang when the ruling Mu family first established it in the 13th century. Lijiang is known for its unique Nakhi architecture and is a treasure trove of history and culture. The Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is as famous for its intricate system of canals as for the traditional embroidery of its artisans.
Set atop Lion Hill above the winding lanes and canals, Amandayan is a serene retreat with panoramic views. The fabled city merges into a patchwork of fields that lap against snow-capped peaks on the horizon.
Featuring detailed Nakhi embroidery and carved wooden screens, Amandayan’s 35 suites open onto tranquil courtyards and offer consummate privacy in exquisite surroundings. Graceful and elegant with clean, simple lines, the suites are contemporary in style yet still unmistakably Chinese, decorated with materials and fabrics from the region. For the interiors, designer Jaya Ibrahim employed intricate wood carvings, embroidered Nakhi textiles, and furnishings crafted from local pine and elm. The spacious balconies, in particular, make the most of its dramatic setting of snow-capped mountains, mirror-flat lake, green fields, and pine forests.
Lijiang’s UNESCO World Heritage Site also incorporates Baisha and Shuhe, two historic villages. Shuhe is known for its cobblers, while Baisha was the former capital of the Nakhi and has changed very little over the centuries. Baoshan Stone Village is another picturesque site nearby, where houses and even furniture were traditionally made of stone.
For the interiors, designer Jaya Ibrahim employed intricate wood carvings, embroidered Nakhi textiles, and furnishings crafted from local pine and elm.
The Resort also offers a Tea House, where visitors can savor delicate dim sum and traditional Chinese tea.
There is also an in-house museum opposite the traditional Tea House, developed in collaboration with National Geographic. The museum houses information, photographs, and original artifacts relating to the famed Austrian-American Botanist Joseph Rock, who made Lijiang his home for several years before the 1949 Communist revolution.
An Aman Spa overlooks a heated outdoor swimming pool, informed by traditional Chinese medicine. Four treatment rooms are equipped with a steam shower and a peaceful relaxation area, and two additional wet treatment suites host scrubs, baths, and wraps. The spa is also home to a fully equipped gym and a Pilates studio.
The consistently graceful and clean design is typical of Aman: contemporary and luxurious yet unarguably a deeply considered product of its environment.
Amandayan Resort Image Gallery
About Edward Tuttle
After gaining much of his early design experience in Asia – where he spent seven years working on hotel projects across the region – Tuttle set up his firm, Design Realization, in 1977. Based in Paris, the studio undertakes the entire aesthetic of its projects, overseeing the architecture, interior architecture, and furniture design.
Its portfolio comprises residential and Resort projects, including several properties for Park Hyatt and many for Aman, where Tuttle developed a close friendship with founder Adrian Zecha. Along with Kerry Hill, John Heah, and Jean-Michel Gathy, he is credited with setting a new standard in resort design.
One of his most notable projects – Amanpuri in Phuket, Thailand – opened in 1988 and marked the beginning of a new chapter in hospitality design, paving the way for contemporary destination hotels. Tuttle was also renowned for reflecting the cultural flavor and feel of the places in which his projects were built and would strive to use local materials and techniques right to the architecture of each location.