Beijing attracts Aman Resorts

The South China Morning Post reports that the Summer Palace, a favorite relaxation spot of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912) emperors, is to be the location for a new six-star resort. Aman Resorts, famous for its exclusivity and impeccable service, is set to convert several traditional buildings in the grounds of the Summer Palace into one of its luxury hotels. The project is not without controversy, however. The Summer Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is also a beloved location for local Chinese. It had been destroyed by invading British and French troops in 1860. As a result, building a hotel there for wealthy foreign guests that will be off limits to local Chinese residents who can’t afford to pay the exorbitant rates could be seen as offensive to Chinese sensibilities. At least Aman Resorts is much more of an Asian brand, as its heritage is Asian and most of its resorts are located in Asia, unlike Starbucks, which famously had to leave the Forbidden City after Chinese protests. At any rate, it is sure to be a beautiful hotel, unique in its historical location.