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“Enough said - one word sums it up - BOB - Best of the Best”

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Mandarin Oriental, Sanya
Ranked #8 of 1,365 Hotels in Sanya
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 30 July 2009

The Mandarin Oriental Sanya is situated away from the more popular resorts in Yaloong Bay. This is one of the most exquisite, luxurious and private resorts for those who want to avoid mass/crowd and would like exclusivity as well as serenity. At first, my other half and I were worried about missing all the water sports activities offered in Yaloong. However, when we arrived and was greeted by all the staff, all our worries went away. In fact, if you had stayed at The Mandarin, it would look most resorts in Yaloong look mass, crowded as well as banal. Hence, if you are looking for privacy, I strongly suggest you stay in one of their private villas. All their villas are situated at the end of the resort and away from all the rooms. You had the privacy and exclusity and you are being served by an exclusive professional team who only caters to your villa. Needless to say, the villas were all spacious, generous as well as private. The sound of the Waves every night were akin to some of the best tunes of an orchestra. If one were to sit down on the balcony or the pool and sit there and listen carefully, one would find nothing but serenity. It relaxes anyone who had flown in from a cosmopolitan like Tokyo. The view of the bedroom overlooks not only the nicest part off South China Sea, but also the night scenaries of DaDongHoi. Designs of the room on the second floor was picture perfect. You can wake up to the smell of the fresh unpolluted and uncrowded clear water off the coral bay. If one had been to Yaloong, one would certainly notice the massive number of children and family off the beach. However, if you would like a private, nice and quiet get away, there is no other choice than MO Sanya.

The foods at MO Sanya were also some of the best among many other resorts we had stayed at including but not limited to those at Yaloong. It stands up to the taste test of some of the top notch resorts in the World.

I would definitely not only recommend this resort to anyone wanting privacy... in fact, this newly opened resort has definitely set an example of what Hainan can become within the next 10 years... beyond that of Bali and Bangkok. In fact, MO Sanya has outdone most of its sister chains as well as top notch resorts like those in Maldives and Bali.

Enough said, MO Sanya = BOB

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank resortking1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 20 July 2009

Services: We (a party of seven persons aged ranging from fourteen to seventy five) spent four days and three nights at Mandarin Oriental Sanya (the so-called Chinese Hawaii) from July 3 through July 6 in a two-bedroom duplex pool villa and a terrace room (upgraded to an ocean view room on a complimentary basis). The moment when we were picked up at Sanya Phoenix International Airport and transferred with complimentary coaster (bottled water and cold towel provided) based on the villa benefits by the staff at Mandarin Oriental Sanya, we knew that our holiday was going to be pampered in style, luxury and seclusion with top-notch services. As the driver pulled the coaster to the front lobby of the resort, we were welcomed by an army of staff members with lei and garland (fresh orchids) greetings upon arrival. We were immediately transferred to both the villa and room for an early check-in around 1 pm via the buggy services. Butler and housekeeping (nightly turndown) services were also available throughout the stay. The process in checking out was efficient and seamless at the Cliff Lounge. We were offered a glass of Veuve Clicquot during the check-out before we were transferred back to the airport. We all felt very pleased and treasured every moment with an utmost relaxation and luxury lifestyle as we departed Sanya.

Villa/Room: Both the villa and room have a direct and sweeping ocean front view of South China Sea. The villa has a master room with adjacent luxury bathroom and a twin bedroom with stylish entertainment space. The lush green gardens include a private outdoor lap pool with two seated Jacuzzi and a private dining area.

Location: The resort is thirty-minute drive from the airport and the villa enjoys a beachfront location facing downtown Sanya. Our villa is steps away from the Cliff Lounge, an exclusive access to the villa guests.

Amenities: Welcome amenities included a bottle of house wine, fresh fruits, welcome drinks and tea and complimentary in-room mini bar (beers and non-alcoholic refreshments).

Dining: The resort has a variety of dining options. We dined at Pavilion for daily breakfast buffets in an indoor seating and sumptuous themed dinner buffet in an al-fresco seating. We had lunch at Mee & Mian by the Pool Tranquillo area and dinner at Yi Yang in a private dining room - Men Yu with custom-made special menu. The culinary experience at the resort was exceptional in quality, service and ambiance. We also recommended the use of the executive lounge - Cliff Lounge which serves sumptuous resort breakfast with champagne, afternoon snacks/tea and evening cocktails with hors d’oeuvre and selection of premium wines/spirits & champagne throughout the day.

Spa: We had the opportunity to visit its 32,000 sqm the Spa at Mandarin Oriental where it is nestled serenely in the hillside with private landscaped gardens and were indulged by qualified Balinese therapists who led us to the beautifully appointed Spa Village for spa treatments. Beginning with the welcome foot rituals, the two-hour signature Time Ritual™ provided us with a peaceful passage to a remarkably unforgettable experience.

Facilities: We visited the state-of-the-art fitness center with separate locker rooms for men and women, sauna and steam room. The hotel offers complimentary wellness classes including Tai Chi, qi gong and Shaolin kungfu classes in the Yoga studio in the Recreation Center. We attended the Tai Chi class which was taught by the Shaolin Kungfu master, Master Hui. We also used the mahjong rooms and game rooms in the Recreation Center extensively. The hotel has three pools. We particularly enjoyed the action and splash around the main Pool Activo, which features three fun waterslides and a sunken bar. We also did some shell picking at the resort’s 1.2 km private coral resort in one morning.

What liked best: The staff members at Mandarin Oriental are well trained and skilled. Our pre-arrival arrangements were thoroughly executed by Jessie Cen, Reservation Supervisor. We were deeply impressed by the hospitality extended by Julie Berger, the Cliff Manager and her staff, Julia from Germany, and Jamal, etc., (the so-called 3Js) in the Cliff Lounge. Our culinary experience was graciously enhanced by the team headed by Stijn Kuppens, Director of Food & Beverages and his staff, Terry Song, Manager at Yi Yang Restaurant. Our spa journey was well coordinated by Lillian Cheam, Spa Operations Manager.

What liked least: The 12-hectare exclusive beachfront was a bit disappointment, with a relatively small area zoned for swimming. In-resort water sports activities were basically non-existent during our stay. The views of our villa pool were somehow interrupted by the surrounded palm trees and plants.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled with family
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2  Thank ptong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 May 2009

This is probably the best place to stay while vacationing in Sanya. I haven't tried the Ritz Carlton yet, but the Mandarin sets a new standard for the hospitality industry in the south of Hainan.

Being new, the hotel still has some problems - mostly with staff - but they are probably working on it.

the pros:

the kids facilities are fantastic. the entry pool with sand makes it perfect for very young toddlers. Our 2-year old loved it. Hilton has one in Yalong Bay, but the kids MO pool is 5 times bigger, very shallow, and full of beach toys. Also, the MO MO kids club has toys, books, dvds and the young crowds - unfortunately it closes at 6pm (they should maybe extend it during dinner time, so that parents have a quiet meal...)

The pools are great. The kids pool is separated from other pools, and singles or couples will find the tranquility they are looking for. One of the pool areas has 3 slides making it fun for the whole family.

The Food is good, but the proximity to the city makes it very easy to change restaurants every evening - unlike in Yalong Bay. Finally, the rooms are well designed, and spacious.

the cons: the beach is really average. It is short, narrow, covered with rocks and one needs shoes to enter the water. It dissapears during high tide; and Water is much less clear than in Yalong Bay. Also, the service in the pavillion restaurant is painfully slow, even when the restaurant is empty. average wait is 45minutes, making it difficult for parents with hungry kids.

according to the locals, Mandarin has the merit of having developped an area of Dadonghai which was previously a dump; nobody was going there, and the hotel has worked on this project for the last several years, reshaping the landscape. Being said that, it is located at the end of a lane behind a navy facility. During navy excercises, soldiers cut the road and taxis cannot go thru. We had to take a short stroll to reach the city and ... :-)

Overall, I still give the hotel a full mark, and will come back again.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled with family
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Thank stef-paris-shanghai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 May 2009

We visited the resort in Easter 2009. It is a beautiful facility but it was clear that operationally it was not fully there. I was disappointed that several restaurants, shops, and entertainment facilities were not opened yet. The local staff are still getting up to speed and while very well intentioned, still need alot of practice. It was apparent that the management staff had their hands full...they were constantly running around trying to make sure everything was served, cooked, delivered, etc... it looked to me like MO had underestimated the amount of trainer staff they would have to import. I found the beach to be a disappointment and thought that the website for the resort was not honest in the photo depiction which shows couples strolling along the beach.... this is not that kind of beach.

Overall, I given what I paid (full price) I felt like I had a lackluster experience. A five star resort needs to be held to a high standard for this and ultimately I felt that I was paying for the privilege of being practice for the staff. Moreover, the fact that several of the restaurants were not open really angered me as this was not advertised ANYWHERE. I was sick of the Pavillion and their food within one day, but there were not many other choices.

MO Sanya has beautiful facilities, but I would advise anyone to avoid it for at least a year until they get up to speed.

Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
Thank dilzio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 May 2009

We stayed at the MO in Sanya for 1 week end of April. We had an Ocean View Suite which is simply stunning and great for a family with 2 kids, you still have lots of space.

The positive sides :
- the resort is fantastic, it has many pools (I can't even remember how many !) and the vegetation is beautiful.
- our room was exceptional, very confortable, excellent seaview, quiet and very well appointed.
- the Spa is really nice and we had a few treatments there, they all were excellent.
- the Kids Club is spacious, airy and very clean (well it's brand new). It's still not completly finished but even though, it was really good and the ladies working there were friendly with the kids.
- it's very kids-friendly but if you want to relax and have some peace, you can easily do so as the resort is very big (but we never felt we had to walk too much).

The "negative" sides :
- the service is not so good. It really depends on who you deal with. The main problem is the language. Also at many occasions we noticed that Chinese guests were receiving attention first... that was quite annoying at the end.
- not all restaurants are open yet (the seafood restaurant is still closed), same for some of the facilities (tennis courts not operational).
- the food was excellent in the chinese restaurant but other than that, it was really disappointing and soooo expensive, that is really not a good deal.
(so we had dinner at The Banyan Tree a few nights, at the Thai restaurant that is really excellent. It's a 10 mn ride with a taxi).
- the beach is very rocky.

Another piece of advice : don't take the hotel transportation from the hotel, it's 7 times more expensive than a metered taxi (and there are plenty of them).

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled with family
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1  Thank Hong_Kong_Star
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 May 2009

A friend and I stayed at the MO during the Hong Kong Labour Day long weekend. Like the previous post mentioned, this is a great resort if you want to get away from the masses of people and hotels that can be found in the Yalong Bay area. This property is secluded, and beautiful - we never left the property except for one dinner at the Banyan Tree (just to check out the competition - and we came back very happy that we chose the MO over BY).

The taxi ride from the airport is approximately 30min, and costs 60RMB. This hotel is located near the city centre, so if you want to do some exploring in the city, its really easy to do so (whereas the hotels in Yalong Bay, this means a 30-40min taxi ride).

We had lunch at the Chinese restaurant (food was OK; don't order dim sum); dinner bbq buffet at Pavilion which was quite nice, and also tried out the Wave restaurant, which offers thin crust pizzas, past, burgers, etc. The pizza was great.

The resort is very family friendly. There are 3 outdoor pools (one has 3 waterslides!). Most guests were from Hong Kong, Korea and Europe.

Poolside staff still need some training/practice though. But its evident that they do try (just as other reviewers have noted). For example, when we ordered some fries, and I requested mayonaise, I got milk delievered instead! They got it figured out in the end though.

I have stayed at the Crowne Plaza, Marriott, Hilton and Ritz Carlton on previous trips to Sanya, and would choose to stay at the MO over these other properties again.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank dkstar5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 April 2009

We visited the MO over the Easter weekend. The MO is away from Yalong bay where one hotel after another lines the beach. It is in a secluded bay and away from the masses which is what we liked about it. However, the beach is a lot smaller than the long strip of sandy beach at Yalong Bay. We spent most of our time by the pool and it did not matter to us so much.

Our experience at MO was not dissimilar to Hong Kong Kara and Ms Hermes. Our check-in experience left us frustrated and restless. On top of that the spa receptionist did not properly take our bookings leaving us without bookings for the 2 out of the 3 days we were there. All the above said, we think these are teething problems any new resort is facing and it is worth giving the MO a chance. The management certainly took our complaints and disappointments about the spa very seriously and made up for it by assisting us with making an alternative booking at the nearby Banyan Tree spa, arranged for transportation there and back. That meant that we would miss our dinner but on our request, the resort arranged for our food order to be made and served it to us when we returned to the MO around 10.30pm after the kitchen had shut. Although we were upset with the mix up at the spa, but seeing the MO's efforts in trying to make up for it, it left a positive impression on us. It was also worth noting that the number of MO reception staff had also increased substantially on the check-out date and our check out was done in 5 mins.

The resort has 3 large pools, one catering for family with kids and another where children are not allowed. The standard of the restaurants and the F&B staff are very commendable. The chinese restaurant in particular has excellent food. Their F&B staff have clearly been very well trained as they were able to offer the little things which are often lacking in the service in Chinese hotels. For example, when we remarked to one of their indian wait staff that the indian dosai was on the oily side, he said that the item had probably been sitting on the buffet table for too long and he promptly went and got the indian chef to make us fresh ones. These are the little things which matter and go along way in making every guest feel special.

Lastly, we used the spa extensively during our 4 day stay and were very impressed with the ambience, infrastructure and therapists. They have 5 balinese therapists along side 5 Chinese therapists who spent the last 18 months in training at the MO Sanya with an MO spa trainer. We had the chance to test out the spa at the Banyan Tree but found that it was a few notches below the MO spa in terms of the ambience and technical standards of the therapists. The MO just needs to work on training the spa reception staff in taking reservations.

The resort is very pretty and the architects have done a great job with the landscaping. We will definitely go back but will probably wait a few more months to let them work through the teething problems.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank LuxuryNomads
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mandarin Oriental, Sanya

Address: No.12 Yuhai Road, Dadonghai Scenic Area, Sanya 572000, China
Phone Number:
Region: China > Hainan > Sanya > Hedong
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Sanya
#1 Romantic Hotel in Sanya
#7 Spa Hotel in Sanya
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Sanya
#8 Luxury Hotel in Sanya
#40 Best Value Hotel in Sanya
Price Range: £155 - £537 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Mandarin Oriental, Sanya 5*
Number of rooms: 281
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Enjoying the privacy of a secluded 1.2 Km nationally protected coral bay and nestled amongst lush tropical flora, Mandarin Oriental, Sanya is an exclusive retreat where nature is celebrated and tranquillity is assured. The luxury resort features a series of private low rise and villa accommodation with ocean and tropical garden views, innovative restaurants and bars, recreational facilities for both adults and children, a blissful Spa Village and distinctive indoor and outdoor conference and banqueting facilities. Located just 20 minutes from Sanya International Airport, the luxury resort provides convenient access to all of the area's major tourist attractions. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
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Mandarin Oriental Hotel Sanya

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