While Sanya may not be your first choice of beach destination, there is at least one great reason to go: the new Park Hyatt Sanya Sunny Bay Resort. I went to check it out in person and was at first a little put off by the drive—it took about 45 minutes from the airport to the hotel—but once you enter into the private inlet near Yalong Bay, the view goes from dusty countryside/construction to gorgeous cliffs and turquoise ocean. The hotel itself doesn’t disappoint: the design here is sophisticated Shanghai chic, with powerful red decor, lots of circular sculptures to enhance the “chi” and open-air walkways throughout. It’s meant to feel like a Chinese mansion, one that’d we’d be thrilled to move into.
One of the coolest parts about the place is the pool, which is a jaw-dropping 115-meters long—just for perspective, that’s more than twice the size of an Olympic pool. No complaints about the food, bars or rooms but the beach was disappointing. They might call Sanya the “Hawaii of China,” but Hawaii it is not. Plus, due to some construction (an Andaz will soon join the Park Hyatt in the bay), it’s a bit of an eyesore at the moment. Once that wraps up though, the Park Hyatt will be a no-brainer for an easy Asia beach trip.
From HK$2,374. 5 Sunny Bay Rd., Yalong Bay National Resort District, Sanya, China, (+86) 898-8820-1234, sanya.park.hyatt.com.