The overall experience was wonderful! This is a newly built, total luxury hotel. There are many infinity pools, hot tubs, and an indoor heated pool. The beach is a short walk on well-maintained paths. The water is visible from all the room balconies. The hotel has beach lounge chairs and a bar on the beach as well. There are also private villas for rental.
The lobby makes an amazing first impression. The decoration is "Bali modern" with impressive teak wood and modern art touches. The music adds to the ambiance, a sort of dream-like music box melody is played. The walls are all open-air throughout the public areas of the hotel. Water falls from the second story balconies where a handful of tables sit on top of the balconies amidst water.
The rooms are clean and decorated beautifully. The balconies give a nice view of the pools below and the beach. One potential negative: The bathroom is separated from the main room by a see-through screen, not a solid wall. There is no real privacy from the bathroom to the room. The shower is clear glass. If you travel with a friend or share a room with other family members, the staff will throw a sheet over the screen for some privacy though it does take away from the feel of the room and only provides some visual privacy.
Not all of the public bathrooms within the hotel have hand soap.
There are a number of restaurant choices within the hotel. The breakfast is buffet and there are a lot of options though it does not all stay heated so an early start may be better for this. The Sunset Caribbean Barbecue is a must ! The food at the Barbecue is excellent and there is live entertainment (which can be heard throughout the hotel.) The staff will also bring drinks to you poolside.
Very little of the staff speak English though the manager did and the check-in staff spoke limited English. This generally was not a problem. There are Russian translators.
The beach is very nice though perhaps not as clear and blue as some tropical locations. It is great for collecting shells of small to medium size. There are boating opportunities, jet skis, and motorized bike rides offered by private parties on the beach. It is not distracting.
We flew into Haikou and hired a driver at the airport to drive to the hotel in Sanya. We negotiated with him to keep him as our driver for an excursion and a return trip to the airport. We paid separately for each drive as we had negotiated prior to hiring him. The final day the driver attempted to change the price. The hotel rates to the airport for cabs are quite costly compared to a hired driver. The hotel manager did intervene for us. It may be better to fly directly into Sanya if possible to avoid this scenario.
We were there during the time of Spring Festival so there were amazing fireworks shows on the beach that could be viewed there or from the room balcony. The noise echos off the hotel and can go on until past midnight but we found it entertaining.
We would definitely go again. The beauty and relaxation of the hotel and location left a far-more lasting impression than any minor inconveniences. It was magical! The entire experience was the best hotel experience we have ever had!
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- Also Known As:
- Howard Johnson Resort Sanya Bay Hotel Sanya
- Howard Johnson Sanya