The opulence of the East
You'll start your luxury trip to China with an overnight flight to the capital city of Beijing, where you'll be met by a chauffeur-driven car and whisked off to your hotel - your pick from the elegant Peninsula or Waldorf Astoria. Take time to relax, rest and perhaps have a dip in the pool. In the evening you'll dine at the city's finest Peking duck restaurant - trust us when we say you'll never have tasted anything like this back home.
Day 3, you'll take in Beijing's highlights beginning with the Temple of Heaven, a tranquil space in the middle of the city meticulously designed to represent the harmony between man and nature - and a great spot for people-watching. Next, you'll visit the large expanse of Tiananmen Square before exploring the mysteries of the Forbidden City. Round off the day's cultural highlights with a night's entertainment gasping at the incredible spectacle of the Beijing Acrobatics Show.
On day 4, you'll see one of the wonders of the world up close; your trip to the Great Wall of China will take you to the less-frequented Jinshanling section. Drink in the mesmerizing views and enjoy a bite of lunch served to you on the wall itself. Next, you'll be taken to the beautiful Aman at the Summer Palace outside Beijing, the epitome of Qing dynasty-inspired elegance, and a quiet paradise outside the city.
PLACES TO STAY
Swimming Pool at the Waldorf Astoria, Beijing
A centrally located, luxurious hotel with exquisite modern amenities.
Day 5 begins with a morning tour around the peaceful gardens of the Summer Palace. Once the playground of Chinese royalty, your visit to this UNESCO World Heritage Site has been specially arranged so you can enjoy exclusive early access. The still waters of the lake overlooked by beautiful temples and palaces really are a wonderful sight.
Then you'll travel to the bustling city of Xi'an by train, enjoying the exotic scenery flashing past through the window for a few hours on your way there. Stay in the beautifully restored Sofitel Legend People's Grand Hotel within the ancient city walls.
Spend the next day with a morning visit to another of China's legendary sights – the imposing Terracotta Army – before returning to the city center to have a look round Xi'an's historic Muslim Quarter, with its narrow walkways and close-knit community.
PLACES TO STAY
Sofitel Legend People's Grand Hotel Xi'an at night
Sofitel Legend Peoples Grand Hotel
Located in one of the most iconic buildings in Xi’an, the Sofitel and its splendor is a must-see.
It's time to head to the mountains on Day 7. Catch a two-hour flight to Chengdu, before traveling into the majestic forested peaks of the Qingcheng Mountains with a stay at the ultra-pampering Six Senses Resort. Unwind with a relaxing massage and enjoy the sensational views.
Spend the following morning exploring the mountains, well known for being the birthplace of Daoism and a place of serene beauty. The caves and palaces you'll see along the way are simply breathtaking.
PLACES TO STAY
Exterior View of Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountains, China
Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountains
A thoroughly luxurious eco-retreat at the gateway to the Qing Cheng Mountains.
Yangtze River Cruises
If there's one animal that sums up China it's the Giant Panda, and you'll get a prized opportunity to see these magnificent animals at close quarters at the Giant Panda Research Base in Chengdu on Day 9. You'll then speed through the countryside with a two-hour railway journey, business class, to the "mountain city" of Chongqing. Explore the highlights and have a bite to eat before boarding your effortlessly elegant river cruise boat, the Sanctuary Explorer, where you'll be lulled to sleep by the sounds of softly lapping water from the comfort of your room.
The next two days will be spent on the water, waking up to majestic views, watching the scenery drift past from your gently floating observation deck and dipping into onboard luxuries such as a spa, theatre, and library. On Day 11, your tour will take you through the beautiful Lesser Three Gorges, Longmen, Bawu, and Dicui, with their emerald waters, steep sides, and lush vegetation.
Cruise + City
On your last day on the water you'll pay a visit to the monumental Three Gorges Dam Project. The largest hydroelectric dam in the world, it's a feat of modern engineering which aims to reduce flooding and generate clean energy for China.
Then you'll head to Yichang airport to board a two-hour flight to the bright lights of Shanghai. On landing, head into the city at incredible speed on the cutting-edge floating magnetic Maglev train before hopping into a luxury car that will take you to the exquisite Peninsula Hotel. This is where you'll stay for the remainder of your holiday - with its retro interiors and waterfront views, it's pure glamour. Sleep soundly, ready for the next morning where you'll tour the very best of Shanghai with a visit to the Bund - the diverse architectural styles on this historic waterfront giving a real sense of the city's past. Get there early and it's a great place to watch people doing their morning exercises too. Wander the peaceful Yu Garden and nosey around the shops, mansions and cafes in the area of the city called the French Concession. You'll soon see why it's known as the "Paris of the East". Round off the day with a trip to the sheer marvel that is the Shanghai Tower, the world's second-tallest building and a spectacular sight with its twisted snake-like exterior glinting in the evening light.
On Day 14, it's time to swap the modern for the traditional with a trip to the picture-postcard charm of Zhujiajiao, an ancient water town famous for its canals and traditional gardens. Then it's a drive back to Shanghai where you'll enjoy an elegant cocktail on the rooftop of the Peninsula before the option of dinner at one of Shanghai's fine restaurants. You fly back home the next day, full of the sights, sounds, and smells of this incredible, unique country.