Ampersand's Travels...

Top 5 City Sanctuaries: The brand new Aman Tokyo & other Asian favourites

We could not be more excited about the upcoming opening of The Aman Tokyo. As you may know, here at Ampersand we are serious Aman junkies – we love the effortless, understated glamour of an Aman Resort and how they are designed to reflect their surrounding culture. Aman Tokyo is the 27th property in their portfolio and, besides the Aman in Venice, it is their only city hotel.

We’re absolutely mad about cities at Ampersand – we find the chaos and frenetic energy of a large metropolis irresistibly compelling. However, it is also important to find some mellow moments amongst the madness. In delighted anticipation of The Aman Tokyo launch, we present you with our favourite urban sanctuaries...

1. Aman Tokyo
Aman Tokyo Japan 14
The Aman Tokyo is set to open on the 22 December 2014. Occupying the top six floors of the Otemachi Tower, located near Tokyo’s Imperial Palace Gardens, The Aman Tokyo boasts the largest guest rooms in the city. Interiors have been designed by Kerry Hill Architects and feature traditional Japanese elements such as rock gardens, paper lantern artworks and deep set Japanese soaking tubs. It is both a futuristic, gleaming skyscraper and a warm and harmonious sanctuary where lighting is soft and interiors are intrinsically Japanese. The hotel has 84 rooms and suites – all with unique layouts and magnificent city views – and, of course, an Aman Spa. With a holistic approach to wellbeing, The Aman Tokyo’s Aman Spa will have 8 treatment rooms, a yoga and Pilates studio, a 30 meter pool and traditional Japanese hot baths. We cannot wait to soak up Tokyo’s supersonic energy and return to soothe body and soul back at the Aman Spa! Click here to view the Aman Tokyo 

2. Sofitel Legend Metropole, Hanoi
Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi Vietnam 5

City-lovers invariably love Hanoi – it is a crazy but charming place, full of French cafes and millions of honking mopeds. It is also home to one of Ampersand’s favourite hotels: the Sofitel Legend Metropole. With its vintage Citroens and classy poolside cocktail bar, this grande dame hotel instantly transports you back to a refined and elegant era. Built in 1910, the Metropole is perfect for those wishing to experience a slice of history and sumptuous sophistication, whilst also being in the thick of the city’s crumbly French Quarter. The Metropole is where invading, liberating or civil armies created their HQs and raised their flags, where Charlie Chaplin spent his honeymoon, where Jane Fonda took cover in a bomb shelter, and where heads of state and embassy officials resided for many years. With 364 rooms and suites, the hotel underwent major renovation in 1992 and was returned to its former glory – and then some. > Click here to view the Sofitel Legend Metropole, Hanoi

3. The Lodhi, Delhi
The Lodhi Delhi North India 10
This property used to house the now closed Aman New Delhi and it has retained a delightfully low-key vibe. The hotel was taken over by the Lodhi in 2013 and is currently one of the most sophisticated hotels in the city. It is located in a buzzy but green area of Delhi, close to the Delhi Golf Course and the city's Lodhi Gardens, from which it takes its name. A cool crowd of Delhi socialites hang out here, drawn to its hushed ambience and sleek décor. Each of the 40 rooms are the size of a small apartment and come with a very generous sitting area, workstation, dressing room and spacious bathrooms, and they each have their own private plunge pool. The Lodhi has a luxurious spa, a state of the gym and fitness centre, a 50m swimming pool, tennis and squash courts, and two restaurants. We think the Lodhi is the perfect Delhi sanctuary for those looking for understated contemporary luxury. Click here to view The Lodhi, Delhi

4. The Oriental, Bangkok
The Oriental Bangkok Bangkok Thailand 4
Distinguished travellers have enjoyed decades of legendary service at the Oriental and the smart crowd will not stay anywhere else in Bangkok – for good reason. Another of Asia’s grande dames, the Oriental’s history dates back 130 years and the Authors' Wing has played host to some of literature’s most celebrated writers, such as Noel Coward, Somerset Maugham and James Michener. The hotel is loved for its style, service and home-from-home quality. Bang in the heart of Bangkok overlooking the Chao Phraya River, it is also perfectly located absorb the city’s exotic energy, where entertainment ranges from highbrow to lowbrow and everything in between. Its 393 rooms are stylish and well equipped, and the hotel has numerous excellent restaurants and bars, two swimming pools, a cookery school and a sumptuous spa. > Click here to view The Oriental, Bangkok

5. The Peninsula, Shanghai
CHINA - Peninsula shanghai, Deluxe River Room
Amongst the towering skyscrapers (and construction cranes) of Shanghai, China's constant clash of history and hyper-modernity are visible everywhere you look.  While many Chinese cities are – how shall we put this? – lacking in the looks department, the metropolis of Shanghai has a certain grace and beauty that draws us back. The Peninsula Shanghai epitomises the 1930s glamour of this city and it is one of our favourite hotels in Asia, if not the world. It is very well located for guests to walk along the Bund, visit world class museums, dine like an emperor or eat street food at every corner. The hotel has knockout views of Pudong and the river, exquisite interiors and possibly the best appointed and comfortable suites we have experienced. The outside rooftop bar will leave you speechless and having a bath overlooking one of the world’s most iconic skylines takes some beating! > Click here to view The Peninsula, Shanghai

For more information about any of these hotels or to book your tailor-made city break, please call us on +44 (0) 20 7819 9970 or email info@ampersandtravel.com