Located within the charming grounds of The Ritz-Carlton, Sanya resort on Hainan Island in China, the Sand is a 128-seat intimate, yet sensational venue that is delightfully framed by a pleasant beachfront setting. This fine outdoor dining venue features fresh seafood and barbeque, complemented by an immense variety of signature sauces and side dishes. The bar at Sand offers an alternative venue to relax and enjoy Latin, Chinese or Filipino band performance in the evening. Exquisite cuisine that blends in fine Western and Eastern tastes. There is an unmistakeable sense of stage-management as one enters the Sand- a feeling that the architecture and decor have come to an agreement to induce a gently growing sense of anticipation from the moment one steps through the front door.
Though certainly magnificent in its richness and proportions, the design of the interior is anything but vulgar and overstated, with potentially gaudy features like its live cooking station that is counterpointed perfectly by a general aura of cool, simple elegance.
The menu is of a similarly high standard. As the executive chef Stefan Leitner explains, Sand uses only the finest ingredients to inspire our diners, such as Australian oyster and Japanese Abalone. Mr. Leitner, a native of Austria has numerous years of experience working all over the world, including at The Ritz-Carlton, Florida. His no-nonsense style of cooking is one that speaks for itself. In each dish, there is a strong sense of innovation that neatly blends in colour, aroma, flavour, and appearance. You only have to try fabulous dishes such as the ‘Pumpkin salad’ and the ‘Tenderloin Steak’ because it’s not just food that you’ll be presented with but it’s a true presentation of culinary art. You just cannot argue with good food.
To commence your gastronomic journey it would be a good idea to enjoy a colourful ‘Blue Yalong Bay’ cocktail. A lovely dash of Bacardi Superior is well accompanied by a generous amount of Cointreau. All is presented well with a few drops of fresh lemon juice to add to the flavour.
Desserts always present a pleasant surprise, and it must be said that the innovative dish of chocolate fondue with mango ice cream topped with coconut sauce was indeed an inspiration. With his culinary wand, Mr. Leitner managed to create a magical result in this dish that smoothly blends in the hot feeling of the chocolate fondue and the cold feeling of the mango ice cream. The result is a dish where you can practically lick the plate clean!
When it comes to providing ridiculously good food, the staff at the Sand take things very personally to make sure that your experience is beyond your expectations. Attention to detail and immaculate presentation for all the dishes comes as part of the standard provision. For a splendid 5-star resort such as The Ritz-Carlton, Sanya, the Sand provides a truly 5-star service with a 5-star dining experience.
The Ritz-Carlton, Sanya: Photo Copyright Navjot Singh
A heaven for the senses, The Ritz-Carlton, Sanya will indulge you and immerse you into a world of discrete luxury, natural details to the interior and exterior, and sheer elegance, combined with the breath of contemporary Western and Chinese elegance blended in with architecture. Most important of all, you will be blown away by the charm of this fabulous resort located in the ‘Hawaii of China’, Sanya. Situated in the heart of Sanya’s Yalong bay natural district and surrounded by lush greenery, clean white beaches and clean and safe turquoise waters, The Ritz-Carlton, Sanya is a sheer oasis of tranquillity located around a 40-minute drive from Sanya airport.
If there was a paradise on earth located somewhere around an hour’s flight from a hectic and swarmed city such as Hong Kong or Guangzhou, then you’ll be glad to have found it in The Ritz-Carlton, Sanya. It goes without saying that the other Ritz-Carlton properties around the world are, of course, very good. However, the key difference that makes The Ritz-Carlton, Sanya a forefront attraction is that it is not only the biggest but also architecturally stunning from the outside as well as the inside. Had the late Chairman Mao come to Yalong bay today, he probably would have mistaken The Ritz-Carlton, Sanya to be an imperial palace. The resort boasts the best customer service in the whole of Sanya, and quite rightly so because of its powerful brand, experience and image. After all, what would you expect from a true crème de la crème luxury hotel in Sanya?
The first thing visitors experience is the traditional welcome in true Sanya style with a garland of fresh flowers being presented along with a drink of rose water upon your disembarkation from your vehicle. This is where you can forget about your luggage or any other worries and just focus on enjoying your vacation. The check-in procedure is simple, smooth, and swift with the aim of getting you straight to your room as efficiently as possible. The Ritz-Carlton, Sanya has become such a popular hot spot that even during non-national day holidays it is relatively busy with the vast majority of the tourists coming in from northern China, Europe, the Americas, and Russia.
The vast majority of the 450 guestrooms, including 334 oversized guestrooms at over 60 square meters and 67 rooms and suites on The Ritz-Carlton Club level, offer splendid views across to the beach or the resort. With tempting in-room luxuries such as toiletries by Italian designer brand Acqua Di Parma, platter of fresh exotic fruits, coffee by Davidoff Cafe, and English tea by Ronnefeldt, you will definitely be spoiled for choice. One of the things to try in the room is a provided sample of Shalan rice wine, which is known as “Hainan mao-tai.” The wine, which tastes sweet, is pure and rich in natural nutrition because of the core ingredients that it contains. It’s locally made by the Li minority group of people with steamed sticky rice and rice yeast from the nearby Hainan Wuzhi mountain area. These ingredients make the rice wine exceedingly good for your digestion as well as an active force against disease while empowering your inner senses with a healthy outlook.
An increasing number of people are choosing Sanya to be the place where they want to get married. A stunning and well-equipped wedding chapel that caters for all faiths and backgrounds is located facing the beach side and overlooking some of the finest views of the hotel’s surroundings. It is perhaps the most romantic place on this part of China. For honeymooners you could not have chosen a better location. Irrespective of what the weather has in store for you, it still is a paradise away from the sheer industrial pollution and hustle and bustle of Chinese cities such as Guangzhou for example. By this, I mean that on this resort it would still be considered romantic even if it were raining (really). Should you wish to tuck yourself into the fine art of culinary delights, then why not try any one of the eight restaurants and bars that contain a fine choice of various international flavours such as Italian, Western fusion and Chinese cuisine. Since this is a resort, it would not be a bad idea to dine at the fine beach restaurant, Sand, that hosts live music almost every evening. There is no better way to while away an evening after a long day than to take a sip of, say, a Blue Yalong Bay cocktail.
For families this is the ultimate resort to stay at during their vacation. One-of-a-kind nature program, enriching and educational offerings are provided for kids and teens known as ‘Ritz-Kids’ complete with its own swimming pool and a beautiful vegetable garden, which is manned by fully qualified nannies. While for teenagers (and perhaps some adults too), there is a fully interactive recreational hall that contains all the latest PC games consoles, complete sets of mah-jong, chess and table football. It is enough to keep one busy for more than a day. In fact, if there were a wedding event happening, then this would be the ideal place for parents to send their children to keep them full of activity and entertained. Situated right next to this adventurous quarter of the resort is a fully managed in-house garden. This is a garden with a difference because it is meant to resemble a typical English country farm, complete with lush green grass, small man-made bridges and canals so that the animals can play around in it. It is a neat idea of one of the construction managers, Mr. Martin under who this garden bears its name (Uncle Martin’s garden). Though it is still in the process of growing, the farm has become an amazing safe haven for animals such as chickens, rabbits, tortoise, various kinds of fish, parrots, ducks, and many more creatures that are beautiful. Oh, and don’t forget to say hello to the resort’s lovely resident dog, Mr. Carlton, who comes and occasionally greets guests and is available for children to play with at the recreational area.
The fun part of being in a resort such as The Ritz-Carlton, Sanya is the endless amount of water-based opportunities available such as diving (both day-time and night-time), snorkelling, speed boating and many others. For the adventurous, you could always try your hand at parasailing and windsurfing. The resort has a partnership with a local company that provide excellent products and facilities that you can enjoy during your stay.
The crème of The Ritz-Carlton, Sanya are the 16 suites and 33 private villas that come complete with their own swimming pool, splendid views across to the beachside, fully serviced kitchens, Jacuzzis, and an on-call butler service. If you want to experience the ultimate in a luxury vacation, it would be strongly advised to stay at one of these villas and just drown yourself in the thought of being spoiled for a few moments in your life. It’s an area of the hotel that has the ‘wow!’ factor attached to it with immense power.
The concluding gong has to go to the fabulous state-of-the-art spa-treatment villa located on the west side of the resort. An amazing 2,788-square-meter spa-treatment area with 24 treatment rooms and suites is located in tranquil surroundings that also include luxuries such as a well-equipped GYM, tennis courts, and a chi studio. The highlight of the experience has to be the jade steam room, which projects an ambiance of sheer peace, relaxation, and calmness. If you want to feel totally nourished, rehydrated, and pamper your body and face so that you have a lovely silky and soothed skin, then opt for the ‘Gong Xi’ signature treatment by ESPA. This two-hour relaxation ritual will take you on a journey that will revitalise your inner-senses and bring you to a complete meditative state and feeling refreshed. It is so good that if time prevails it then you could end up staying here all day if you wish.
A member of the ‘Leading hotels of the world’, the Banyan Tree Sanya resort is tucked away on the beautiful shores of Luhuitou Bay in the city of Sanya, the southernmost tip of tropical Hainan island in China. Located on the edge of one of the most amorous, tranquil, spotless and scenic beaches in Hainan island, the Banyan Tree Sanya with its 49 villas is the ideal blend of eastern and western tastes of luxury. The location of the resort could not be more than perfect as it is only around a half-an-hour’s drive from Sanya’s Phoenix International Airport. Effectively if you want to treat yourself to a long and relaxing weekend’s luxury break away from one of the cities on mainland China, than the Banyan Tree Sanya would be the perfect place to come to. It is within the brand profile of the Banyan Tree to provide an experience for guests in locations that are set in stunning, un-crowded, and tranquil surroundings. The Banyan Tree brand provides guests with an experience that is equal to that of how one would define to be as paradise, irrespective if that’s near the beach or not.
The first thing that strikes you is the remarkable calm ambience of the resort. All that can be heard of is either the sound of the waves on the beach or the gentle breeze of the wind that whistles past the tree leaves. In line with the tradition of the brand’s name, you will find plenty of natural Banyan trees dotted around the resort, including in some of the villas. Lush tropical greenery with fresh coconuts dropping off trees onto the resort’s private white sandy beach surround the resort; and if you are passionate about fell walking, then why not give it a try to walk up to the nearby Luhuitou park from where you can get some of the most stunning views of the beach area and the resort.
The sun rises on the west of the resort and sets on the east of the resort; both of which provide spectacular views. You will easily be fooled for thinking that this really was Hawaii or the Maldives. However, it is a hard fact to swallow, but very much true that such an astonishing place with clear blue skies and hardly any pollution whatsoever lies only around an hour’s flight from some of the polluted, nosiest, and crowded cities in China, such as Guangzhou for example. The Banyan Tree Sanya has become such a popular resort that some of the resort’s loyal guests even stay for up to six months or even longer.
Despite the Banyan Tree Sanya resort only having 49 villas, nevertheless, because the size of each villa is quite large and that each villa is quite spaced out from each other, so therefore the most convenient way for concierge to usher guests around the resort is by using one of the electrically operated buggies. It adds a cute little technological touch to the otherwise traditional resort set in Sanya’s natural beauty.
The Banyan Tree Sanya caters well for families and those on a romantic getaway. However, in the past the resort has also been enjoyed by those on business trips, like for example when the Microsoft founder and CEO, Mr. Bill Gates stayed here for a small relaxing break from his business trip to China. The flexibilities and opportunities to really pamper yourself on your break are boundless. Should you wish to enjoy luxury five star meals in the privacy of your villa with your family or loved one, then all you need to do is order it. Equally well, you have the option of having dinner at Saffron, a fine eatery offering luxurious Thai cuisine against the backdrop of stunning views of the hotel and the surrounding scenery.
The key idea behind the existence of each of the villas at the Banyan tree Sanya is to project a romantic setting, where you can perhaps light a little candle next to the poolside and enjoy a scrumptious meal or enjoy a dip in your own pool and gaze at the night sky, or perhaps at each other. In fact, the Banyan Tree Sanya would be the perfect place to get married. Yes, I did say ‘get married’! Let’s face it- what venue could be more romantic? You have the sea and spectacular sunsets as a stunning backdrop, the fabulous weather, the exotic-factor of being on an island wedding. Just don’t forget to pop the question of course!
Fine mahogany furniture adorns the exceedingly spacious villas with their high ceiling, as well as an open-air bathtub in a lotus pond. You can feel and smell the natural furniture and materials in your earth-toned room but at the same time, there is an air of modern touches such as internet connection, cable TV, power shower, and plasma TV. This fine space blends seamlessly from the naturally ventilated living pavilion to the al-fresco timber veranda. If you want to enjoy the feeling of having your spirits lifted as you indulge yourself in your mouth-watering barbeque dinner amidst the sights and smells of rustling palm trees and a clear night sky, then yes, you can do this here at the Banyan Tree Sanya. It’s the concept of giving people the chance to enjoy a dream getaway somewhere special where you can just focus on enjoying life at a slow pace, enjoy a massage or have a five-course meal in a very slow and stress-free manner.
The Banyan Tree Sanya prides itself in the highlighting of the award-winning spa that features eight treatment-pavilions, which offer an extensive range of luxurious spa massages, beauty and body treatments. The pearl of the Banyan Tree Spa is the technologically advanced hydrothermal centre where you can indulge yourself in various hydrothermal treatments including a walk-in shower belt where you take small steps along a stoned path while being showered with various speeds of water. If that’s not enough to tickle your fancy then you can always use the resort’s various recreational facilities including a stunning swimming pool overlooking the beach area, the ultra-modern gymnasium and the tennis courts. Pedal bicycles are provided complimentary to all guests for the first 3 hours.