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“Overpriced...Poor Service”

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Sheraton Sanya Resort
Ranked #23 of 1,333 Hotels in Sanya
Certificate of Excellence
New York City, New York
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Overpriced...Poor Service”
Reviewed 1 January 2008

We stayed at the Sheraton Sanya Resort for three days over New Year's Eve.

The disappointments started from the moment our taxi arrived, when we were met by an unfriendly young man who seemed more interested in chatting on his cellphone than helping with our luggage. The lackluster service attitude on display continued to the check-in desk, where the clerk initially couldn't locate our reservation. Once she found it, she coldly informed us that our room rate would be RMB 2700 for the first night, then RMB 3600 for the following two nights -- and then she rather severely reminded us that, even at this ridiculous price, our rate did not include breakfast.

I have been traveling to China for the past 20 years, including living in the country for several of those years. The service attitudes on our arrival reminded me how poorly trained the staff used to be in all China hotels -- but that was 20 years ago. Nowadays you have a right to expect much better.

Our experience didn't improve beyond that first impression, and unfortunately was confirmed again and again over the next three days. We generally felt ripped off at every opportunity, and service throughout the hotel was poor, unprofessional, and generally clueless.

We had a "deluxe" room, with a balcony and seaview. It was nothing special. There are lots of small issues with the room that any seasoned traveler would notice. For example, there are light switches located on either side of the bed, but they are too far to reach when you are in the bed, thus completely defeating the purpose of locating light switches alongside the bed.

We had hoped to relax at the beach, have a quiet New Year's Eve, and we really never intended to leave the resort. To that end, the hotel offered a New Year's Eve dinner, at RMB 1200 per person. In keeping with the "rip off theme" we found so prevalent at this hotel, no champagne or wine was included in that price, but you could order your choice of bottles of Dom Perignon or Kristall, at heart-stopping prices. No other more practical choices were apparently on offer. The entire approach seemed to be geared toward the maximum possible extraction of your yuan. We decided to seek other alternatives.

In the end, since we had a friend staying at the nearby Hilton Sanya, we opted to try their offerings. We found everything at the Hilton better by comparison -- the service, the value, the range of choices, the friendliness of the staff, and the overall experience. We had a great New Year's Eve dinner at the Hilton, complete with free flow champagne and wine, plus live entertainment, including music, dancing, and magicians. It was a very pleasant and enjoyable evening that culminated with two live bands performing on the beach and a terrific fireworks show.

We may come back to Sanya. The beach is beautiful, although the town itself should be avoided at all costs -- a typically dirty, busy, noisy, Chinese city. However, if we are back in Sanya, we will certainly never again stay at the Sheraton. This hotel has ripped us off for the very last time. In addition to the Hilton, I would guess that you can find many better choices for your travel dollar, and you can leave the Sheraton's poor service and all the rest to others to "enjoy".

  • Liked — The view from our balcony
  • Disliked — Everything else
  • Stayed December 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
4 Thank wglennevans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 October 2007

The resort is true 5 Star, with excellent rooms, the gardens & pool are second to none I have ever stayed in, even better than the 4 seasons, Sharm el sheikh which was excellent.

We went with Airtours - please be aware that the half board option means a choice of 3 restaurants with only a choice of 1 meal per restaurant which was the same every night for 14 nights. My tip, complain and explain that this is not good enough and another menu appears with a choice of most things especially in the Spice cafe.

The evenings would also have driven us crazy with exactly the same dreadfull band on every night, but we found a bar round the corner - our hotel and turn left, 2 minutes walk my Marriott entrance called the FUTAN karaoke bar. Great place, Tommy the bar man is great and will mix the best cocktails (mention John & Rachel); the guys there became real friends.

Overall the place could be a gem, the hotel staff are excellent IF, you are courteous and polite to them, and I believe previous reviews about bad service came from people whom maybe were not so polite - in China you will get nowhere being like this, it’s a cultural thing.

The trip to Hong Kong was also great, but I advise you leave the coach tour at Victoria Heights and explore Hong Kong by taxi, its very cheap and you get to see the real HK, not a smelly harbor, flea market and beach…. Go see the lights, Koloon shopping and walk down the river, stopping for a drink and sunset. Also - buy electrical goods in Sanya not HK as they will rip you off there, Sanya is safe, honest and if you barter 40% off origional selling price, better value.

Please beware that Sept-Dec is typhoon season, you may get one we did - lasted 4 days and was a bit hairy...

Definitely go here though, you will have a great time...

  • Liked — Rooms & Pool, gardens & facilities
  • Disliked — The arrogant general manager
  • Stayed October 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Check-in / front desk
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    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
2 Thank JohnandBecca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Braintree, Essex
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 September 2007

The Chinese are renown for copying things but in this case they are truly unique and a cut above the rest. I truly loved this place and totally forgot I was in China. I will always remember Sanya and want to come back one day.

Stayed January 2006
Thank MichaelDJJohnson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bolton, Lancs
Level 5 Contributor
25 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 August 2007

After a gruelling, yet fabulous 9 days exploring China we ended up at the Sheraton for 5 days to chill. Most of the others on our tour were staying at the Mariott or Hilton, some of them said that this was due to the poor reiews the staff at the Sheraton had received on this site, so my teenage daughter were on our own there.

The hotel was wonderful. The rooms huge and well appointed (we were upgraded on our arrival as the drinks vouchers in our package had been forgotten - it was 11.30 at night - and were deducted from the final bill anyway), the pools fabulous, the beach lovely and the staff.........

Every member of staff we met, whether by the pool, in the room or just walking through the huge and beautiful grounds, said "Good morning" with a friendly smile. The waiters remembered who we were, sometimes even greeted us by name and were very attentive. The food did take some time in coming, but that was because it was cooked to order. Anyway, who cares, we weren't in a hurry to get anywhere! The staff at the Madarin Spa were lovely and the treatments amazing. The bell boys tried hard with their English and if they didn't understand got someone who did. The reception staff were helpful and the staff in the Samba bar/nightclub really friendly.

We saw some guests being very rude to some of the waiters so if they got bad service, I'm not really surprised - they probably deserved it. Our experience was quite the opposite. I'd have no hesitation in going back at all. It really is like Hawaii - gorgeous!

  • Liked — the pools, grounds and spa
  • Stayed August 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
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4 Thank Marvelmann
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
179 reviews
78 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 211 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 July 2007

We stayed at the Marriott next door (right next door ... some rooms at the Sheraton overlook the Marriott's gardens) but went to the Sheraton for drinks and dinner.

Hotel looked fine - very nice gardens - and had cocktails in the lobby. Why that Ferrari is there is a mystery ... but the drinks were fine.

We ate in the Spice Garden - food was DELICIOUS but the room lacked atmosphere.

Didn't see the bedrooms, but if they were as good as the public areas you won't be disappointed

Stayed July 2007
Thank Christo8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Virginia, USA
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 June 2007

We are not the type of travelers who typically enjoy the big resorts, but we really enjoyed our stay at the Sheraton Sanya. We met up with a small group of friends and spent 4 days here.

The rooms are very nice and big - very comfortable beds with light down comforters, sleek furniture, very updated, very clean. Plantation shutters separate the bedroom from the bathroom, and they open so you can sit in the tub and see the view through the sliding glass doors to the balcony.

The beaches are wonderful - clear water, sandy sea floor, no trash. There are comfortable lounge chairs at the beach and to get service, simply put out the "service" flag and someone is there to take your drink and food order. We only had a couple of women try to sell us pearls, so we were never accosted.

There are numerous swimming pools and we kept discovering a new one each day.

The Mandara Spa on site is really beautiful and is decorated in the old Asian style with lots of "antique" timbers and earth-colored stone work. Our massages, facials and pedicures were all great. (Prices were comparable to Western prices, maybe a little less.)

There is also a medical clinic and a China Southern Airlines office on site. The staff does speak pretty good English, depending on the person. Most of our group speaks Mandarin, so we didn't have any trouble.

The restaurants are good - not exactly fine dining, but still good. I especially enjoyed the Pan-Asian restaurant with the choices of Indian, Thai, Japanese and Chinese cuisine. Food was very spicy, but I liked that. The Chinese restaurant is also good. The cafe food was only okay. And none of the places are cheap. I never got sick, which is always key.

We stayed here in late June and it was VERY hot and humid - 95F every day and 99% humidity. Even sitting in the open-air pavilion, there were no ceiling fans and no breezes - it was SO hot. The upside is that the resort was not overly crowded - we actually could sit by one of the pools and have it all to ourselves, which is significant in Asia. The pool water and the beach water were more like bath water, so it brought little relief from the heat. And the sun is VERY strong - I wore waterproof 30 sunblock and still got sunburned. Service can be slow, alcoholic drinks are mediocre, but overall the place is great.

We signed up through the dive shop on site to snorkel. There were several people also with us who went scuba diving. The whole experience was really disorganized, with more people on the boat than there probably should have been. We rode out to a pontoon where we put on our snorkeling gear and snorkeled around a cove. The "divemasters" were smoking cigarettes around the scuba tanks. They allowed the "scuba divers" to walk around on the coral and touch it. The snorkeling was pretty good, but not great. And it was pretty sad to see how the coral had been badly damaged already - eco-tourism has not yet arrived here. Our tour was supposed to be an hour, but because of the disorganization and the "divemasters" interest in 3 squealing teenage girls, we were out there about 2 1/2 hours, at least half that time sitting on the pontoon, because they told us to get ready to leave and then just goofed around. I would NOT advocate the scuba diving here - just not safe.

One note - we did eat at the Vietnamese restaurant at the Marriott one night, which is just next door. The food was excellent and we talked to some well-seasoned Asia travelers who say it has the best Sunday brunch in the area. The strangest thing was how much cooler it was at the Marriott. I think the design of Sheraton somehow keeps the breezes from coming in, because the minute we walked off the beach and got back to the Sheraton, it was at least 10 degrees warmer than the Marriott and there were NO breezes. Sounds strange, but it's true.

Didn't go into Sanya City - did walk way down the beach to the Holiday Inn to a "market" which is just across the street from the Holiday Inn. They were selling animals made of shells, cheap beads, some purses, flowered shirts and some kids clothes - not much to choose from, but I did get a couple of things. They will bargain with you.

Hainan Island is not well known to Americans (for some traveler, that might be a good thing?) - there are lots of Chinese and Russian tourists that come here.

Sheraton Sanya is a really wonderful beach vacation place for couples, solo travelers and families. We never left the resort, as we have been traveling a lot and just wanted to relax by the beach.

  • Liked — Comfortable beds, spacious rooms, good in room air-conditioning
  • Disliked — Hot! Pool water was as warm as bath water
  • Stayed June 2007, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
1 Thank BrightStar43
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
Reviewed 21 May 2007

The Sheraton is an impressive hotel but to me it felt in some ways more like a business hotel than a resort. It's huge - I think it has seven swimming pools - and heaven for kids. There seems to be gushing water everywhere - couldn't sleep! It's not very subtle. The staff are sweet - more laid back than on the mainland - but service not as good as an equivalent resort in, say, Thailand or Singapore. The beach area is lovely and the rooms are decent but it lacks character. I preferred the Crowne Plaza, with its beautiful bathrooms, slightly quieter vibe (not so many kids) and lovely people working there. By the way, if you are in Yalong Bay it's hard to get cheap local food. Take a taxi to Sanya City for good seafood at about a tenth of the price at the Sheraton.

  • Stayed May 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank tongyuen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sheraton Sanya Resort

Property: Sheraton Sanya Resort
Address: Yalong Bay National Resort District, Sanya 572000, China
Phone Number:
Region: China > Hainan > Sanya
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Business Hotel in Sanya
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Sanya
#10 Romantic Hotel in Sanya
#21 On the Beach Hotel in Sanya
#21 Spa Hotel in Sanya
#22 Luxury Hotel in Sanya
#46 Best Value Hotel in Sanya
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Sheraton Sanya Resort 4.5*
Number of rooms: 511
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
“The Official Resort of Miss World” for three consecutive years, the beachfront Sheraton Sanya Resort in the Yalong Bay National Resort District overlooks white beaches and inviting tropical gardens. Known as the “Hawaii of China”, Hainan Island is a paradise for creating memories. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sheraton Sanya Hotel Sanya
Sanya Sheraton

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