Imperial Tours: Luxury Tours in China - Blog Slide Image

Elite Wonders


reported by Scott Goetz

Elite Traveler MagazineThere are far more than seven potential wonders of the world for elite travelers. Ancient as well 

as modern sites, natural as well as man-made creations—they all hold appeal. But how do you 

decide which seven are must-visits? Our list of top wonders not only takes into account the spot’s 

beauty and rarity, but also the level of opulence and exclusivity. Here is elite traveler’s black 

book to the wonders of the world.


The Great Wall of China and the Forbidden Palace
Sections of The Great Wall of China were built, maintained and rebuilt throughout areas of 
Northern China since the 5th century B.C. But it was the 16th and 17th centuries that saw the 
wall at its prime when its 4,000 miles of serpentine glory crowned the Ming dynasty, offering 
protection and a speedy causeway to move armies and long distance communication posts 
where messages were relayed by fire and smoke. The Forbidden City, in what is now Beijing, 
was the Imperial Palace for nearly 500 years until 1912. It is called  “forbidden” because those 
inside rarely left and those who entered weren’t allowed to come or go without the emperor’s 
permission. But even within such seclusion, the over 6,000 people who lived within its reported 
9,999 rooms (a lucky number) were all involved in legendary courtly intrigues.

Top Guide
Imperial Tours was hired by Katie Couric, Baroness Katherine de Rothschild and Sara Lee for 
their visits to China. They excel at white-glove services like private dinners on the wall, helicopter 
tours, expert art historian guides and more.
Contact: Margot Kong, (888) 888-1970
Top Accommodations
The Aman at Summer Palace in Beijing pays homage to the traditional architecture of the Summer Palace itself, with courtyard architectural style. Suites surround an internal courtyard that features an intricate latticework of pathways, separating formal gardens and trees. The Imperial Suite ($3,800 a night) comprises three separate dwellings: the private dwelling, the living/study dwelling and the formal dwelling.
Contact: General Manager Mark Swinton, 86-10-5987-9999,
After Sightseeing
Imperial Tours can offer a private kung fu performance on the Great Wall by the famous Shaolin Monks, secure behind-the-scenes access at the Beijing Opera or organize a white-linen banquet atop a seldom-visited section of the Great Wall. They can also arrange a helicopter tour over the famous fortification or enjoy an art tour of Beijing’s best galleries led by a local contemporary art expert.
Contact: Margot Kong, (888) 888-1970
Getting There
Cathay Pacific has new first class cabins with 81-inch-long seats and a private suite configuration to ensure your LAX-Beijing direct flight is an easy journey.
Contact: Cathay Pacific VIP Services,(800) 233-2742;


© Elite Traveler Sep 2009