If you’re looking to stay in Sanya, China you might initially find yourself a bit overwhelmed with all the myriad of options and areas to stay in. Sanya is a relatively large region in the very south of Hainan province in China. It’s relatively close to Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia and therefore shares their moderate, warm climate. The average temperature, year round in Sanya is 25 degrees. It’s also surrounded by some really fantastic beaches, however, if you’re the type of person that can’t laze on the beach all day, it also offers loads of other cultural activities.
To help you guide you in your decision, and narrow down your preferred area and hotel, we’ve rounded up all the hotels we stayed at during our time in Sanya. This might give you a better idea of what each area and hotel has to offer.
White sand beaches, warm, tropical water, palm trees and high rise, sprawling hotels are what greet you. Wherever you choose to stay, you’ll never be too far from a beach. One amazing thing about Sanya is affordability. This might not last forever, but at the moment you’ll likely be able to stay in a high level hotel that you couldn’t necessarily afford in other parts of the world.
We had the privilege of staying in five hotels in very different areas of Sanya.
This hotel is right in the centre of Sanya. It sits on the main, sprawling beach of Sanya Bay. It’s busy and bustling and best for people that want to be in the centre of it all, within walking distance of restaurants, shopping and nightlife. That being said, if you have an ocean facing room (which is worth it for the AMAZING views), it gets very, very loud at night. The boardwalk area along Sanya Bay is always busy but at night it really comes alive, which also means the music is can be intrusive and blaring. Earlier in the evening it can be fun to go check out all the people dancing (everyone seems to dance) and exercising, but later in the evening it can get excessive (especially if you’re a light sleeper), and it starts up again quite early in the morning. The other thing to be aware of is road noise. If you’ve been to China, you’ve seen the way they drive, weaving in and out of traffic with horns constantly beeping, often for no apparent reason- if you aren’t able to tune it out, it might drive you crazy.
The Ritz-Carlton situated about 20 minutes from the centre of Sanya. This area is much more upscale with high-end resorts, championship golf courses, and private beaches. The hotel itself is absolutely beautiful, and the staff superb. There isn’t much of local culture in Yalong Bay- so if you prefer to immerse yourself and live like a local, this is not the place for you. As affordable as the hotels can be, the food and drinks here are very, very expensive. Thankfully there is a shopping area within a short walk or taxi ride that has shops, grocery stores and restaurants.
This hotel is a little closer to all the action, but far enough away for a little seclusion if that is what you’re seeking. While we were there there was construction happening next door which took away from the ambience at the pool. There are however, two pools to choose from (we only went to one so can’t speak for the infinity pool- but it may be a quieter option). If you prefer the beach to a pool, we wouldn’t recommend this place as there isn’t much of a beach. However, the views from the room over Dadonghai Bay are amazing and it’s also a short taxi ride to the beach and restaurants.
The Renaissance is a bit farther off the beaten path in Haitang Bay. There are quite a few hotels and shopping in the vicinity, but this is the type of hotel that you could come and stay at and never want to leave. It has multiple restaurants with great food, lots of pools, and a gorgeous beach. We actually wished we had more time available to us to explore the grounds and the beach. There is quite a bit around the area, but it’s very far from Sanya Bay, so if you plan to spend a lot of time exploring the city, this hotel is likely too far.
Lastly, we returned to the Yalong Bay area to The Sanya Marriott Resort and Spa. This hotel is a bit older than the others we visited, and therefore feels a bit outdated. That being said, they make up for it in price and service. It’s a very affordable option in this area, especially being directly on the beach. It also has some of the most beautiful grounds and gardens that we saw in all of Sanya. Its two tier pool with a couple of waterfalls was one of our favourite pools, it was incredible. We actually didn’t find the upper tier until the second day and it quickly became our go to spot. If you’re the type of traveller that doesn't spend too much time in their room, and wants to be outside most of the time, all while saving a little money while at it, this is the spot for you. It’s also situated right along Yalong Bay (just a couple of doors down from The Ritz-Carlton) and therefore shares the same fabulous beach.
All of these hotels have absolutely amazing views from ocean facing rooms. They also have similar high quality room finishes. Most hotel rooms have king size beds (or two twins), with amazing bathrooms. Either single or double sinks, a separate water closet, and big bathtubs with separate showers, you can expect only the best from these hotel rooms. Room rates seem to depend on location and star rating but prices are much more affordable than a North American and European counterpart which is one of the many things that makes this area of China so appealing.
That being said, we don’t believe Sanya is for everyone. It has some of the most amazing hotels we’ve ever encountered at fantastic prices, but Sanya has a long way to come before it truly becomes a world class destination. But more on that in our next blog post, “what we wish we knew before going to China”- coming soon!
*All photos are our own, follow us on Instagram!
**Our hotel stays in Sanya were sponsored by the hotels, Visit Sanya, and the Sanya Tourism Development Commission, however all opinions are our own.