Tropical refresher

Updated: 2016-07-09 07:35

By Wang Xin(China Daily)

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Sanya Marriott Hotel Dadonghai Bay is a relaxing oasis of calm, Wang Xin reports.

On a plane destined for Sanya, Hainan province, I was still amused recalling my friends' reaction to the news that I was flying to the tropical island in June - they looked shocked at my upcoming southward flight and sounded as if I planned to dive into boiling water.

The island, which is a popular tourist destination in winter, seems to have its quiet season during the heat of summer.

 Tropical refresher

Sanya Marriott Hotel Dadonghai Bay is nestled between the bay and the mountains of Luhuitou Park in Hainan province. Photos Provided to China Daily

Yet Dai Huan, director of marketing and communications at Sanya Marriott Hotel Dadonghai Bay, told me that her hotel retains its appeal especially with family tours, with the school summer holidays approaching.

Nestled between Dadonghai Bay and the lushly carpeted mountains of Luhuitou Park, which are called the Love Mountains by locals due to a local legend, the hotel boasts a private beach, dazzling architecture, a 700-square-meter Kid's Club and the longest infinity swimming pool in the city.

Its recently completed East Wing, an expansive building that encompasses 160 new guestrooms and suites, a spacious glass lobby replete with waterfalls and gardens, new restaurants, and wellness and meeting facilities, has added to the hotel's appeal.

Upon arrival, after about a 30-minute drive from the city's airport, I was greeted at the lobby with a refreshing drink of blackcurrant with an added mint leaf, which was a welcome cooler.

The 6,000-square-meter split-level glass lobby, where the temperature is kept at around 26 C to ensure that guests won't feel a sharp contrast with the sweltering heat outside, charms guests with an assemblage of waterfalls and small gardens.

There are also various zones including a bake house, a modern incarnation of a traditional Hong Kong bakery; a colorful yogurt shop that offers healthy frozen yogurts with a range of delectable toppings; and a bar that serves coffee and pastries during the day and alcoholic beverages and snacks in the evening.

This distinct division of activity zones offers a better experience for modern travelers, said Julian Wong, the hotel's general manager.

The principle is also reflected in the hotel's eco-friendly design and high-tech solutions, such as the online check-in, which allow guests to select from a range of services with their smartphones.

Designed by internationally acclaimed hospitality specialists HBA, the 160 new guestrooms and suites have bright and comfortable cool white interiors featuring natural wood.

Floor-to-ceiling windows and large private balconies afford sweeping views of the sparkling ocean, lush mountains, starry night skies and dramatic sunrises over Dadonghai Bay.

It was pleasant to lounge on the circular sofa on the balcony, enjoying the light sea breeze and the gentle, soothing sound of lapping waves, letting my mind drift.

And within a few minutes you can walk to the hotel's extensive private beach where anxieties pale besides the vast, pacifying ocean.

If you wake up early, you can watch the sun rise from the balcony or partake in the morning yoga lessons on the lawn.

The island provides an ideal escape from a hectic life.

Other relaxation options include Quan Spa, where professional masseurs and masseuses knead the tension from the body and mind, and a 24-hour health club with state-of-the-art exercise equipment and views across Dadonghai Bay.

For children, the Kid's Club, said to be the largest of its kind in resort hotels in the city, is a must-visit adventure of rings, swings, slides and a special children's rock climbing installation.

At the back of hotel there is also a slide and swing, but these are for indigenous wild macaques. The mountains are home to the macaques, which may appear near the hotel.

The hotel's mascot is a monkey called Tiantian, which is derived from part of its Chinese name shanhaitian, meaning mountains, sea and sky.

Down a street through the mountain, you can browse a bazaar near some fishing villages that is popular with the locals, where you can feast on fresh sea food, local specialties, smoothies and fruits.

Unlike many of its rivals, the hotel is just five minutes by car from downtown Sanya offering easy access to the city's amenities including shopping malls and restaurants. It is remarkable that while the hotel is so close to its worldly neighbors, it enjoys such a tranquil atmosphere just down the road.

My friends' concerns over my trip evaporated on my return after I shared my photos with them on WeChat, China's most popular social media platform. For me, the melting heat was refreshing, thanks to the relaxing ambience of the hotel embraced by nature.

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 Tropical refresher

Floor-to-ceiling windows and large private balconies aff ord spectacular views of Dadonghai Bay and nearby mountains.

 Tropical refresher

The hotel is also popular with newly-weds.

 Tropical refresher

The swimming pool in the hotel is reportedly the longest of its kind in Sanya.

(China Daily 07/09/2016 page10)