The newest luxury retreat on the island of Hainan, a destination dubbed the Hawaii of China, The Sanya Edition is the embodiment of a sophisticated boutique hotel set against the South China Sea, discovers Isabelle Lui.
Every year, Hainan receives tens of millions of visitors – over 53 million in 2015 alone – from around the world. With its tropical climate, natural beauty, and burgeoning tourism spots, the island’s outhernmost city, Sanya, has developed into a favourite holiday destination for both Chinese and Hainan’s growing number of foreign visitors.
Joining the ranks of luxury hotels and resorts along Haitang Bay, one of five major bays developed for tourism, The Sanya Edition marries natural beauty with contemporary art and five-star service. Arriving guests are welcomed by pavilions framing an elegant bamboo grove and a tranquil waterlily pond that perfectly captures the changing sky above. Beyond, the hotel boasts 512 guestrooms, 46 of which are suites, along with an additional 17 hotel villas, each of which includes a private pool and patio.
My first steps into my one-bedroom suite are led by slowly opening curtains unveiling the stunning, uninterrupted oceanscape, visible from any of the hotel’s rooms thanks to the semi-circular shape of the property. The light-filled room impresses with naked oak finishes, soaring ceilings, and a spacious balcony with daybed. There is also cutting-edge in-room technology, including automated curtains (hence the welcome) and USB outlets. Beyond the combined dining and living area is the master bedroom with its king-size bed, dressed in signature Frette linens, and surrounded by a circular sheer curtain. Behind sliding glass doors is an oversized circular bathtub that, complemented by a full set of Le Labo bathroom amenities, can satisfy visitors seeking in-room wellness indulgences.
Luxury-savvy travellers can choose to stay in the hotel’s villas, nestled in a mini forest to one side of the hotel and adjacent to the hotel’s pools. Each boasts wood and stone features, as well as a choice of “Double-Double” rooms, King rooms, and Loft rooms, with sizes ranging from 47.5sqm to 61sqm.
Aside from the boundless ocean views and the luxurious hotel rooms, the property’s “private ocean”, a 20,000sqm ocean-fed pool designed exclusively for water sports, including kayaking and paddling, is wreathed with verdant gardens laced with Hong Kong orchids and Spider Lilies. The adjacent infinity pool is dedicated to indulgent swimmers looking to take in beachfront views, as is the adults only pool, which is available for guests seeking more privacy and solitude.
Dining plays an important role at Edition. Xian Hai By The Sea, located beside the “private ocean”, offers freshly and locally sourced fishing-boat-to-table dishes, and comprises al fresco seating and an indoor private dining room. The Jade Egret, a yacht-inspired dining space, teases visitors’ palates with its wide variety of pre-dinner cocktails, appetiser, and small plates. The Rooftop Bar offers sweeping views of the ocean and the beach from the highest point of the hotel, while allowing guests to savour a selection of cocktails and wines, with eclectic music by high-profile DJs.
Couples travelling with kids can easily find some alone time thanks to the hotel’s Playland, designed for kids and adults alike, which offers a range of themed-spaces for families seeking a fun and exciting vacation. After a day of high-energy activities, rejuvenate at The Spa, which spans 2,000sqm on two levels, and features a series of luxury wellness programmes, including water therapies, offered across its 11 treatment rooms and suites.
No. 100 North Haitang Road, Sanya, Hainan, 572013 China; Tel: +86 898 8835 9999; www.editionhotels.com