Skip to content
April 8, 2017 / oneworld82

A gorgeous piece of Hainan: Yalong Bay

We stayed at the Conrad for four nights to take advantage of Citi Prestige’s 4th night free deal, which saved us around $400. Since we stayed in Hainan five nights, we decided to spend the last night in Yalong Bay to check this increasingly famous spot out.

I was struggling between the Mandarin Oriental and the Ritz-Carlton in terms of hotel choice, and in the end I opted for the Ritz (Club level room) to take advantage of the more central location.

The taxi ride from the Conrad took around 25 minutes. Approaching Yalong Bay you realize right away you have reached a more developed resort area. Even though some parts in the outskirt of the bay are still being built up, the coastal strip is well-established with lots of international resorts, shopping, and restaurants – no feeling of unfinished business here as you get in Haitang Bay.

We had of course high expectations for the Ritz-Carlton, and let me say that the hotel met our expectations in almost all respects – and exceeded them in some. The lobby is open, expansive, with a nice, big Christmas tree. The staff was very helpful and accommodating. When we got there our room was not ready yet, but we were offered escorted to the spa were we could change into our swimming suits before going to the beach.

dsc_0875 dsc_0874

014da5027b75f2c1db30bbff60a4e10e04077b3c66

Contrarily to the Conrad, here the beach was well attended and all the chairs were well-kept and fresh towels and water were readily available. While in Haitang Bay, the weather was usually sunny in the morning but then cloudy from 11am on (and windy by the beach). While in Yalong Bay, instead, the weather was perfectly sunny – 81F and no wind. Perhaps that made all the difference, but Yalong Bay (and related beach) were spectacular! The half moon-shaped bay is well protected by hills and islets, which make for a dramatic backdrop against the sparkling blue South China Sea. The water was relatively warm, the beach had fine white sand. I am not exaggerating when I say that this was rather incredible.

0108fbc01285e0b5e35629d0dc0950afe6f412f33c  017f6bec26deb08ad0ec64685efd4031c6b8b603e8_00001

018e161c9a942019df9be465729083638601a115dc_00001 011b9c36b74a495f9530974fed3ad2958053f4fb15 0153b22e011ebf50fb6e34f7cbf2be102c65ad1d4c_00001 012d2afac45117dbd6397f8b2bcb8e2afd255fd805

The infinity pool at the hotel was big and scenic (overlooking the beach). We didn’t spend time there though, as we preferred the beach.

01b41ad988de9e99d5c9d9c7d0d8b7a050ebeb91bb 0199fbbaedba831e96cfe980201b20ebc150fff974

Around noon we went to the Club lounge to have some lunch. The staff – mostly from Nepal – was very attentive and service was great overall. While the lounge was not big (and did not have many lounging areas, mostly dining tables), it had nice tables outside overlooking the resort and the beach – simply stunning. The lunch offerings were good, mostly Chinese hot dishes plus salad and cheese and the usual made-to-order noodles. A full bar was offered as well – very nice for a mid-day offering.

01e985e33f426e981df8227a1a39be141151a3f2da 01f5b8838d47f70e3c8c8d8632dac957d7f3bdd7ca

015a5ac5bd6541e5bbc931358dd35d8a3dcfd57910

View from lounge's balcony

View from lounge’s balcony

After lunch, our room was finally ready, and we went straight there. Our baggage was already there. The room was large, with the same stunning view we had from the lounge (just a floor lower). As expected from a Ritz-Carlton, everything was impeccably appointed – from the plush bed, to the walk-in closet, to the nice bathroom that featured a spectacular bathtub.

dsc_0756 dsc_0753 dsc_0755 dsc_0752 dsc_0751 dsc_0750

We spent a couple more hours by the beach, before hitting the gym, located within the spa. The gym had a dedicated attendant, and was really well-equipped with both cardio and strength machines. While I was working out, Thuy got a treatment at the spa – she said she really enjoyed it and got great service.

While Thuy was getting pampered, I went to the lounge, where happy hour was in full swing. To be fair, the food offerings were decent in number but not too imaginative. The selection of alcoholic beverages was the same as during lunch. I took a table waiting for Thuy, and not long after the same Nepalese waiter that served us dinner came by offering me a drink – I asked for a gin and tonic. He then brought my drink and stopped by to chat for a few minutes – he seemed genuinely happy to be in Sanya and seemed like he found a better life there.

Club lounge

Club lounge

01b4692034af1d1804ac5f4b2b1de075c689eab145 01cc742ece7e967227c4303719ca47622f244039c3

The lounge did not get full, and after Thuy showed up we had some finger food before heading to dinner. Thuy was not particularly hungry, so we decided to stay in (given that we needed to wake up early the morning after) and to try the in-house Chinese restaurant. Although we went there around only 8.30p, there were only two other tables taken, which seemed a bit odd. The menu was varied, but I decided to try Jiaji duck, a specialty of Hainan. Unfortunately, the dish did not taste as good as other food I tried before – a pity. What did taste good, though, was the Erguotou I had with it. This is a clear spirit (literally: twice distilled) made from Sorghum, very powerful (and cheap) at 110 proof. It actually tastes good, with a nice aftertaste (a burning one!).

01c479d0e86465d9260212444227aa6f5efc9e41f2 016af72ab88ce36fb097d982fa90e7626535f52585

We went to sleep rather early – Thuy was not feeling too well – and we got some good hours of restorative sleep in the very comfortable bed, before waking up around 5:45 to get ready to go to the beach to take some sunrise photos. Yalong Bay at this time of the day looked simply stunning.

dsc_0772 dsc_0774 dsc_0777 dsc_0779 dsc_0783 dsc_0784 dsc_0788 dsc_0789 dsc_0790 dsc_0794 dsc_0798 dsc_0829 dsc_0862

After enjoying the beach for a hour or so, we went to have breakfast at the main buffet restaurant. This was going to be the best breakfast of the trip, as the quantity, variety, presentation, and quality of food and beverages offered was fantastic.

01ccbff6ea68b093f6458d2ee0b0dbbf3928c69ce8 011b71a0a4e47979a0639568bc3780f16f434dba4e 01a5f48ef49308f893ab4a5f7111002b449b6e173b 01aa1c6040230c66f650ccd48b3d3115576406fb30 0159e30c92fbe37f252bb7b1fad06cd5277695844e

Everything offered seemed appetizing – from the freshly-made pastries to the meat to the noodles. We ate a lot, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Shortly after, we went back to our room, finished packing, called a bellman to help with suitcases, and checked out to head to the airport.

01a9cd68983e1230c5a486f4403c596614091ddd49

We thoroughly enjoyed our all-too-short stay at the Ritz-Carlton Sanya, a great hotel that I would definitely consider as my choice #1 if I were to visit Sanya again.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: