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“Best Resort on Yalong Bay”

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The Ritz-Carlton Sanya, Yalong Bay
Ranked #3 of 1,364 Hotels in Sanya
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 18 August 2011

Following a visit to Beijing (see review), my boyfriend, Dave, and I, Natasha, decided to visit the island of Hainan in the South China Sea for 7 nights in July.

We originally booked The Mangrove Tree Resort, but after a disastrous 2-night stay there (see review), we moved to The Ritz-Carlton, Sanya Resort. This move was well worth the extra cost!

Yalong Bay is a tourist area on the south side of the island of Hainan, 25 minutes from the town and international airport of Sanya.

This area is frequented mostly by Chinese and Russian tourists. Street and attraction signs are in Chinese and Russian. There is a good chance that we were the only tourists from the US during our vacation.

Communication is a big problem unless you speak fluent Chinese. Most people do not speak English.

We booked a Deluxe Ocean View room on the 5th Floor. This was a lovely, modern, spacious (about 650 square feet) room, featuring a nice balcony with an unobstructed view of the Yalong Bay and the pools. Furniture was simple and modern and the bathroom was large and consisted of high-end fixtures. The room also had a mini refrigerator where you could stock water and drinks purchased at the local supermarket.

The Ritz-Carlton resort is located on a wide stretch of the best part of the lovely Yalong Bay Beach, near the town of Sanya, on the south side of the Hainan Island. In July, weather was tropical, extremely hot and humid. Sea was very warm. Resort grounds were immaculately landscaped, vast and beautiful. There were several pools, including an amazing, endless lagoon type pool, located between the resort and the beach. This pool was like something from a postcard, with its sandy beach entrance, beautiful tiles and lighting, fountains loungers, etc… The resort offered pool-side, king-size cabanas that you could reserve at no additional cost. This was the most impressive pool we’ve seen in person.

Resort was located on the nicest stretch of the lovely Yalong Bay Beach. Sand was soft and sea water was warm. There were ample beach chairs available throughout the day. They also offered beach cabanas that were available on first come, first serve basis. Designated food and drink menu was available in the cabanas. Drinks were tasty but pricey.

Beach area and sea seemed pretty clean. However, after a torrential rain fall on our last full day, the entire area was overwhelmed with a terrible stench of sewers. This made us nervous about what we have been swimming in for the past week, and we never went back into the sea. This made us remember that we were in a country with less stringent environmental standards as compared to the USA.

Breakfast buffet was included in the room rate. Breakfast was very crowded, and unless you arrived early, there was a long line to get in. Food choices were numerous and included many traditional Asian and international options and a delicious freshly-squeezed juice bar.

Another remote dining option was located a convenient 5 minute, $5 taxi ride away at the Crown Plaza Center. Here you could find a variety of local and international restaurants and bars, a supermarket, pharmacy, clothing and souvenir shops. We took many trips to this center. The fresh seafood restaurant and the Thai restaurant were our favorite. The supermarket was a convenient and an inexpensive place to stock up on water, juices and liquor for the room.

Even though The Ritz-Carlton is an American resort, most employees did not speak English. Front office staff was pleasant but not very helpful. There was a constant sense of confusion. A lesson: keep yourself informed and don’t expect much service or information from the staff.

Also beware: do not expect the front office staff to inform you of any major storms or other serious events. Even though we confirmed our departure with the front desk on the day before we were to leave, they did not inform us of the top news, a typhoon approaching at the same time as our flight! We accidentally found this out from a pool cabana boy, and scrambled to change our flight. After many attempts to call the airline we found out that China Southern Airline does not provide English speaking agents. Fortunately the hotel travel desk showed Dave an email with details of the storms arrival time and allowed Dave to login to their internet to identify an alternative flight. Dave printed out the alternative flight and handed it to the hotel travel agent. Amazingly, the agent managed to login to the airline and change our flights for no charge. All subsequent flights were cancelled. Sadly, the Category 5 Typhoon did hit our beach, causing several deaths and major damage. We were lucky to get out of Yalong Bay in time. Spending extra 12 hours on mainland China waiting for our connection back to Los Angeles was well worth it. I don’t think I was ever so happy to arrive at LAX!

Visiting China was interesting. If you and a Western tourist and find yourself going to Yalong Bay, your best option is the Ritz-Carlton Sanya.

Room Tip: Deluxe Ocean View rooms have amazing, unobstrocted sea views
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  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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2  Thank SunFloater
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 12 August 2011

We stayed in this hotel right after New Year's and it was quite busy and packed with tourists, mostly from mainland China. The hotel itself is beautiful and well maintained, the same goes for spacious rooms that were absolutely amazing in design and attention to detail. However, few things might easily frustrate you, especially since the price per night is much higher in this hotel than anywhere else in Sanya:
breakfast room was always packed with a huge line waiting to get seated, it was just ridiculous to have to wait so long every morning for breakfast. However, once you finally get in and get seated, breakfast was delicious and had many yummy options to choose from.
check-in took literally, without an exaggeration, over one hour. It really appeared that none of them at the front desk knew how to use computers or computer software or simply what to do. They would constantly get interrupted by screaming guests who would march into the lobby to complain about something. If they check you in and the phone ring, they answer the phone right in the middle of checking you in and proceed talking on the phone for 15 minutes in chinese, then walk away somewhere and show up 5 minutes later to continue talking on the phone while you sit and wait for them to give you keys to the room. It was just crazy. I have never seen such an awful, disorganized check-in anywhere in the world, especially is supposedly 5 star hotel.
you room would be entered regardless if you put a sign on the door not to be disturbed. They simply ignore it and would enter it if they feel like it. I never figured out if the hotel employees simply don't care or have no training to understand how to treat their guests.

Aside from the above mentioned items, the hotel is very comfortable and stylish. All restaurants are delicious with friendly service. Beach is meticulously cleaned every morning and evening.

Room Tip: Rooms closer to the beach have less noise
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  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled with friends
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2  Thank kismika
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 July 2011

Spent the long weekend with my husband @ the Ritz, Sanya.

1. The garden villa - an absolute beauty with a VERY comfy bed!
2. The beach - clear water, blue skies, soft sand & great drinks!
3. The rides - golf cart rides are available for villa guests & it's totally awesome with the breeze!
4. The shells - a very pretty shell on the table everyday!

This is our first time @ Sanya and we felt really pampered & recharged. Staff @ Ritz, yes, with some restrictions in using English, tried very hard to understand our needs.

One of the butlers, totally sweating under the hot weather, actually travelled back and forth like 3 times to get us our desserts/drinks since some items went missing.

2 suggestions:
1. Perhaps the hotel can consider using Hip-hop/Spanish music @ the weekend BBQ beach party (we got 2 ladies singing Chinese songs from the 80s... errr.. that didn't feel too right for such an occasion).
2. Drivers can confirm which terminal guests are heading. Our driver drove us to the domestic flight terminal and we had to walk like 5 minutes back to the international one.

We can't wait to go back to Ritz again!!! LOVE IT!

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Shells018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 July 2011

- average+ 5 star hotel rooms , up to date electronics, bath, bed and decoration
- great pools / pool areas
- service inconsistent: needed to be pushed, willing + incapable and at times miserable english
- guests can be loud, chain smoking, inconsiderate, staff too intimidated / don't object  to handle bad behavior, mood breaker
- value for the money not given, need to balance priorities with options in SEA 
- slow check in/out

  • Stayed: August 2010
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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2  Thank listenwell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 July 2011

We spent two days at the Ritz Carlton Sanya and have nothing but positive things to say. The staff whisked English language magazines to our beach side cabana on their Segways (which they will let you have a go on if you ask nicely). The pools are beautiful, the ocean is gorgeous, the restaurants are good. Yalong Bay is also one of the nicer areas to stay. Great vacation!

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank UnTourFoodTours
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Ritz-Carlton Sanya, Yalong Bay

Address: Yalong Bay National Resort District, Sanya 572000, China (Formerly The Ritz-Carlton Sanya Yalong Bay)
Phone Number:
Region: China > Hainan > Sanya > Yalong Bay
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Business Hotel in Sanya
#3 Luxury Hotel in Sanya
#3 Spa Hotel in Sanya
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Sanya
#9 Romantic Hotel in Sanya
#44 Best Value Hotel in Sanya
Price Range: €145 - €829 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — The Ritz-Carlton Sanya, Yalong Bay 5*
Number of rooms: 450
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We offer 450 rooms with ocean, mangrove and lagoon view, including 66 rooms and suites in club level, 33 villas with private plunge pool. Eight dining outlets "will please discerning palates with signature favorites, seasonal offerings and even personalized dishes and beverages. We also feature a 30,000-sq.-ft. spa and fitness center with 24 treatment rooms; operated by world-renowned ESPA.... ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ritz Carlton Hotel Sanya
Ritz-Carlton Sanya
Ritz Sanya

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