Now it is time for the big news! After 2 years of living together, I proposed to my loved girlfriend, Serena. She accepted, and I want to make her the happiest woman on Earth. I proposed in the Yalong Bay’s Ritz-Carlton Sand Bar&Restaurant, whose staff did an amazing job preparing a last minute surprise with a live band at our table, champagne, and wishes from the Ritz-Carlton staff and managers.
I have visited Hainan for the second time. In this post, I will shortly describe the main beaches around Sanya, the most prominent Chinese seaside resort.
1. Yalong Bay （亚龙湾）
Yalong Bay is pretty nice and clean beach. It is not as clean as the best beach in Philippines or Thailand, but it is very good “for China”. Yalong bay is probably the beach with the most 5* resorts in the world including Hilton, Sheraton, Mandarin Oriental, St. Regis, Metropark, Ritz-Carlton, MGM (on the picture below), Pullman and m more.
The difference from other resort towns in South East Asia is that there is not else than the 5* resorts. You can still have a great day having fresh coconuts in the Sheraton’s Beach Bar, enjoying some live band in Ritz-Carlton’s Sand Bar and finishing the night in the MGM’s KTV known from the Chinese romantic blockbuster If You Are The One (非诚勿扰) . The hotels in Yalong Bay are more expensive than on the other beaches in Sanya, but still offer good value for money.
There are few dining options in the area that offer high value. If you can splash the cash, 5* hotels can be your choice. After our late arrival to our hotel (11pm), there was only one dining option in the Sanya Village (三亚乡村). The food was good value, but not exceptional. They close at 1am.
We stayed at the Grand Metropark Hotel, which offers private pool villas (below) at great value next to Sanya Golf Course. The service was average, but the villas offer beautiful villas in a great environment. The hotel is not right on the beach, but you can go to beach and pools of any nearby resorts, providing you get at least a drink there. I highly recommend this option.
And suprisingly even in Sanya, we found a small beach just for us:
2. Sanya Bay (三亚湾）
Sanya Bay is dirty beach with dirty water. The main advantage is that it is close to the airport and the city center. It may good option if you come for business, but I strongly advise not to stay in this area if you come for holiday.
Sanya is uninteresting modern Chinese city, largely under construction and there is generally nothing to see or enjoy, besides the bar street and/or shopping.
3. Dadonghai (大东海）
This beach is closer to the city center than Yalong Bay, so water and the beach is not as clean, but it is much better than the beach on Sanya Bay. This beach is particularly popular with Russian tourists, and it provides good value for hotels nad many dining options. The Sanya Marriott Dadonghai Bay Hotel is good options in the area.
There are some good seafood restaurants on the beach in LuHuiTou (鹿回头) area. You can just take a taxi to the beach and you will find them. They offer one of the best values in otherwise overpriced Sanya.
4. Haitang Bay (海棠湾）
Haitang is the newly developed beach close to Sanya. It is further from the downtown Sanya and from the airport (1-1.5hour). The beach is beautiful, long and with white sand. However, you need to get ready, that there is either nothing outside your hotel or construction site as other hotels are just beeing built along this beach. You can snap the best deals here as the hotels try to lure in new customers. You can try the Raffles Haitang Bay Hotel, which comes at extremely high value for the top-end luxury hotel with private beach.
Sanya has many cheap flights from Hong-Kong, Shenzhen and Guangzhou. We could make it in 4 hours door-to-door from our Shenzhen Apartment to the Metropark Hotel, which makes it ideal weekend retreat. Together with hotels offering high value, it surely has its market among more mature travelers in China who looking more for a good rest than for an adventure.