After a very busy Christmas, we were all looking forward to a relaxing, sunny beach holiday in Sanya, Hainan. This island is at the southern most point of China and is nicknamed the Hawaii of China! Late afternoon on Thursday December 27th, we flew from Shanghai to Sanya. We were greeted at arrivals by a very nice man from the hotel to take us to check in. It was a 45 minute drive through roads with large brightly lit hotels and buildings – it reminded us a little bit of Benidorm! We arrived at the Intercontinental hotel, checked in and then got on a golf cart to take us to our room.
The hotel is beautifully laid out and is a sprawling complex of 1 or 2 storey beach side rooms, restaurants and pools. There is a high rise building behind all of this but it is tucked into the side of the mountain and quite unobtrusive.
Our room is fantastic with the largest balcony I have seen. We have 2 double beds and a single. The room is spacious even though it has 3 beds and has all the right AV connections for us to connect our IPads to the tv for movie time for the kids!!
We wake up on Friday to glorious sunshine, blue skies and 25 degree heat. We ate breakfast in the club continental restaurant, after which we walked around the resort. We checked out all the different restaurants, fitness facilities and kids club. Both Isabelle and Oliver wanted to do some activities while we were there so we checked the times of their favourites. It was back to the room to change into swim suits and go to one of the pools for the day. We settled by the only heated pool which was also by the kids slide/kids pool. Oliver immediately made a friend and the 3 of them were off sliding, jumping, swimming. Owen and I relaxed by the pool for the whole day!!
That evening we decided to try the Sea Pavilion restaurant which is a group of buildings built over the coral reef. We had the best Chinese meal that we have ever eaten in this restaurant. Everything was beautifully cooked and presented. We even had a bottle of imported Chablis to drink with it!!
Saturday was another day by a different pool and today it was Isabelle’s turn to make a friend. We read books while the children played – they really are water babies and are totally happy to spend the whole day in the pool. 1 kids club activity to do – fishing off the jetty. They came back with a bucket filled with a large eel, 3 large fish and a large crab. They had also caught 5 shrimp but there was no evidence of these as they had obviously been eaten by everything else they caught….. We took a couple of photos and then walked down to the beach to put them all back into the ocean. We ate at Club Continental that evening.
Sunday – was a chilly day and we actually had to wear long sleeve t-shirts! Kids had a couple of activities at kids club – pancake making (Isabelle burnt her hand on the hot plate) and they also made an alarm clock. They were supposed to go fishing again but Isabelle’s hand hurt too much. Even though Isabelle’s hand burning was an accident (she touched the hot plate that they were making pancakes on), the staff could not have handled it better. They immediately applied ice and gave us a special burns cream (burns are obviously a matter of fact in the kitchen!) The next day there was no evidence of the burn and it was almost forgotten! That night we ate at Mediterraneano and the kids got to play on a bouncy castle that goes up every evening. Owen had delicious beef and I had lamb! It had not been a pool day as it was too chilly for all of us. It was a lazy movie day in our hotel room.
New Year’s Eve dawned a little warmer and we had to be early as Isabelle and Oliver were going off to hunt for seashells on the beach as a kids club activity. Straight after they made shell necklaces. We picked Oliver up after these activities, but Isabelle wanted to stay and play with a lovely little boy who would not let go of her hand at kids club! (We later found out that he is the General Manager’s little boy!!)
We went to the pool and had lunch sitting by the pool. Although it was a blue sky day, it is still a little cooler than when we first arrived. Our New Year’s Eve
Celebration dinner was a magnificent buffet at Mediterraneano that included baby lobster, crab, all sorts of meats, Chinese specialities and a chocolate fountain! It was all delicious and we stretched it out as long as possible, but the kids did not make it past 10 pm. Owen struggled through to 11.55 and then it was just me to make phone calls back home – slightly tiddly!!
New Year’s Day was a beautiful day. Kids were off to kids club for t-shirt art and hand/feet art in the morning. Owen and I sat and chatted with the General Manager all morning. Jeff had arranged bikes for us in the afternoon so we rode to the opposite side of the bay where there is a large marina and we stopped on the way back at a fab playground park for the kids to play. Dropped the bikes off and then headed to the pool……
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday was more of the same! Pool, pool, pool. We at least tried all the restaurants in the resort!! We did not leave the resort – other than on the bike ride. We were all perfectly content to laze by the pools. One afternoon the kids spent an hour or so creating art out of rocks.
Owen and I read books on our iPads and Isabelle and Oliver were in paradise, throwing themselves down the water slide or playing in the pool. It is amazing how long they will play in the pool for. They also made sand pictures and had a water gun fight in the pool as part of kids club activities. One final highlight of Kids Club was an hour spent in the restaurant making cookies and muffins with Chef Alex. They both absolutely loved that!
The general manager told us that the hotel was fully booked, but you would never have known it. The pools were mainly empty (except for the heated pool!) and there was always room in the restaurants. The resort is a paradise – a zen zone! It has a very calming, peaceful atmosphere and we were very well looked after.
It was just what we were looking for after a busy end to the year.