The 10 Best Beach Hotels in Sanya

Photo: Courtesy of Ritz Carlton Sanya.
Photo: Courtesy of Ritz Carlton Sanya.
Photo of Matthew Keegan
31 August 2017

Sanya is often dubbed the “Hawaii of China” and as the country’s only tropical region, it’s known for its warm and sunny coast. Beautiful stretches of coastline are lined with an array of upscale hotels offering pristine private beaches, which are considered among the best in the country. Come here to escape the city and enjoy China‘s very own beach oasis.


Forget swimming pools, this is the world’s first hotel with its own private ocean. Having only just opened earlier this year, the Sanya EDITION hotel located in the stunning Haitang Bay is unlike anything you can see in Sanya or the rest of China. This brand new oceanfront hotel feels like its own village. Spanning 50 acres, it’s practically a mini kingdom of leisure. Every 32 hours, the 512-room resort pumps 10 million gallons of water from the surrounding South China Sea into its own five-acre private ocean so guests can kayak, paddle board, and even sail without ever having to leave the grounds. There’s also a fairground, three art galleries, and a miniature village. Here, gondolas transport guests to an extraordinary floating restaurant and families enjoy beachside cafes and cabanas. Sanya EDITION is a destination within itself.

Photo: Courtesy of Sanya EDITION

One&Only Sanya

Following its famous properties like One&Only Reethi Rah in the Maldives, this stunning resort, covering 40 acres, will be the first One&Only Resort in China. Located in Haitang Bay, this ultra-luxury resort is surrounded by coconut palms and ancient rosewood trees, with enviable views overlooking a half-kilometre of private beach. The resort features 192 luxury rooms and villas, boasting the most luxurious guest accommodation of any beachfront resort in Sanya. Scheduled to open by the end of 2017.

Atlantis Sanya

Set to open in October 2017, the US$1.6 billion Atlantis Sanya is a high-end resort themed on the “lost” island of Greek mythology. The 5-star resort offers a hotel, waterpark, endless stretches of beaches and incredible dining experiences wrapped into one landmark destination. The hotel contains 1,314 signature guest rooms with panoramic sea views and China’s largest natural saltwater aquarium, which can hold 47,000 tons of seawater and display over 60,000 sea creatures.

Atlantis Sanya. Photo: Courtesy of Kerzner International.

Sofitel Sanya Leeman Resort

Situated just a moment’s walk from Haitang Bay, a gorgeous 42.8 km beach, Sofitel Sanya Leeman Resort resort has successfully established itself as an idyllic haven at the southern tip of China’s only tropical island destination. Known for their signature French hospitality, they bring a touch of French Riviera glamour to Sanya, blended with authentic local Hainanese culture in what is a surprising triumph. Beautifully clean and spacious rooms, there’s 477 altogether, set amidst lush landscaped gardens, beachfront swimming pools as well as Haitang Bay’s only Thai restaurant.

Photo: Courtesy of Accor Hotels.

Ritz-Carlton Sanya

Located in Sanya’s Yalong Bay, the most exclusive beachside real estate in the city, Ritz-Carlton Sanya offers guests its own white sand private beach and 451 guest rooms, including 20 suites and 33 private villas with individual plunge pools. The hotel is also home to the region’s largest spa, as well as smiling staff and countless infinity pools, fountains and corridors inspired by Beijing’s Summer Palace. Enjoy first rate facilities including the hotel’s four outdoor pools, two tennis courts and Sanya’s most beautiful private beach. The hotel’s restaurants range from modern Cantonese cuisine, southern Italian dishes to fresh barbecued seafood. Snacks and drinks can be enjoyed within three bars and lounges.

Photo: Courtesy of Ritz Carlton Sanya.

Mandarin Oriental, Sanya

For a destination like Sanya, that can often get overcrowded, the MO Sanya is the perfect choice to escape the crowds. It is secluded and private, on its own cove in the bay. The resort is huge, meaning that even when it is at full capacity, it’s still quiet and peaceful, with multiple pools, ten restaurants and bars, and plenty of activities. In addition to 297 guest rooms and duplex villas, many with their own infinity pools, the resort also boasts its own private beach. For a special treat, dine at The Cliff: a private dining location for villa guests. Don’t miss a treatment at the 34,000 sq ft, state of the art spa.

Photo: Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental.

InterContinental Sanya Haitang Bay Resort

Intercontinental always offer a touch of class and this beach-front hotel nestled in a scenic part of Haitang Bay is no exception. All of its spacious rooms offer sea views and come with a private balcony. The standout highlight of this hotel is its large sea water aquarium and restaurant, AQUA. Glass walls border the hotel’s giant aquarium and an underwater tunnel dining area puts you right in the heart of the tank. It’s worth arriving for the 7pm feeding when the water becomes a frenzy of brightly-coloured tropical fish, eels, and stingrays. You can also pay to swim or dive within the aquarium itself.

The standout highlight of Intercontinental Sanya is its large sea water aquarium and its restaurant, AQUA. Photo: Courtesy of Intercontinental Group.

Park Hyatt Sanya Sunny Bay

Enormous and palatial are the best words to describe the Park Hyatt Sanya Sunny Bay, located in Yalong Bay, regarded as China’s best stretch of coastline. The hotel is spread over six buildings, with 207 spacious rooms including 25 Park Suites, 1 Chairman’s Suite and 17 Park Villas. There are no less than five swimming pools to choose from and over one kilometre of private white-sand beach.

Photo: Courtesy of Hyatt.

Sanya Marriott Yalong Bay

Being among the oldest Western-brand resorts in the city, Sanya Marriott had the pick of the location and chose well. Nestled on a pristine central stretch of Yalong Bay, it features 7km of white sand beach cupped by rainforest covered mountains. The resort’s 452 rooms offer commanding views of the famous Yalong Bay. The direct access beach is complimented by a 10 hectare tropical garden perfect for peaceful walks in the sea breeze. What’s more, at around 1,000RMB for a double, it’s also one of the more affordable resorts in the area.

Photo: Courtesy of Marriott.

Rosewood Sanya

After scooping multiple travel awards last year for China’s most anticipated hotel opening, Rosewood Sanya has just opened this month (August 2017) and doesn’t disappoint. The oceanfront retreat is impressively retro/futuristic-looking and offers 246 rooms and suites overlooking Haitang Bay. 45 of its guest rooms include balcony plunge pools. The hotel’s five restaurants and lounges feature a variety of local and international cuisines. Even the hotel’s reception is a talking point. Located on the 14th floor, the reception area at such a high level, is unlike any other luxury resort, with stunning views overlooking the South China Sea.

Photo: Courtesy of Rosewood Hotels.

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