These 10 luxurious hotels have intriguing past lives that make them what they are today.
Aman at Summer Palace, Beijing, China
At the turn of the 20th century, guests at the Summer Palace awaited an audience with Empress Dowager Cixi inside an exquisite complex of pavilions. In 2008, Aman at Summer Palace picked up the tradition, inviting travelers to once again visit the UNESCO World Heritage site, as originally intended. By working with preservationists and artisans, Aman Resorts restored the original buildings and courtyards and seamlessly expanded the property to include 51 rooms and suites, a 15,000-square-foot spa and a 37-seat screening room. The seven-acre property’s tranquil atmosphere belies its accessibility to Beijing, which is just a 45-minute drive away. The resort also provides day excursions to the nearby Forbidden City, Great Wall of China and Temple of Heaven. Rooms, from $750; amanresorts.com.