In reforested woodlands 20 miles southwest of Shanghai, a stunning new hotel is taking shape, one ancient brick at a time. When it opens in early January, Amanyangyun, the 31st hotel in the Aman portfolio and the company’s most ambitious project to date, will join a crowded scene of red-hot Chinese debuts. Only a few miles away, Capella has recently restored an entire corridor of 1930s shikumen townhouses to create a standard-setting hotel for the burgeoning financial hub; in Hong Kong, the soon-to-pop Murray is resurrecting a locally beloved building with a no-expenses-spared design by Sir Norman Foster; in Beijing, Peninsula has just undertaken a top-to-bottom renovation of its dramatic, all-suite stalwart. So what makes Amanyangyun so impressive? An unlikely backstory, a decade-long conservation project, and a commitment to historical preservation that gives any landmarked property a run for its money.