Seasonal retreat just the tonic

Children have fun with a thick blanket of soap foam on grassland at the Westin Sanya Haitang Bay Resort. [Photo/China Daily]

Sanya city offers welcome respite with tropical beaches and luxury hotels

For people who are escaping the wintry mainland for tropical areas like Sanya city, their vacation starts as they begin packing.

They know they are leaving normal life behind when they fetch T-shirts, sunglasses, slippers and swimming suits from the bottom of the closet.

And taking off the jacket at the airport is like a ritual symbolizing that they have shaven off their city skins as well as a year of work fatigue.

Sanya, the southernmost coastal destination on Hainan Island, is arguably ideal for vacations.

It hugs holiday-goers with sunshine, a turquoise sea, white beaches and lush plants over its six bay areas.

The small city of only 700,000 residents boasts great hospitality and services provided by more than 8,000 hotels and inns.

Among them, 140 are rated as five-star or luxury hotels, offering service of international standards and activities for both the young and old.

Children paint on tree leaves at a kids' club of Sanya Marriott Yalong Bay Resort and Spa. [Photo/China Daily]

Haitang Bay

It receives less tourists than other bays of Sanya and shows a natural beauty, featuring wild waves and a sandy beach that is rugged.

The bay is the perfect place for sports such as motorboating and beach quadbiking provided by the Westin Sanya Haitang Bay Resort.

Riding a motorboat thrusts people into the wildness of the sea, where they can enjoy the thrill of jumping down the waves.

Meanwhile, the quadbike can reach high speeds on the private beach and can be thrilling when the wheels crash through the sea water.

Beaches of Haitang Bay are mostly maintained by international hotels and are therefore protected from pollution. The water is clean enough for tourists to see seaweeds and coral.

Sanya Duty Free Store, the largest of its kind in Asia with 7,000 square meters of shopping space, is adjacent to the Westin hotel. Everyone who flies or sails when leaving Hainan province can buy 8,000 yuan ($1,165) worth of commodities there free of tax.

Shoppers can pamper themselves with local foods at the neighboring hotel. Westin offers local-style hot pot served with tender beef slides and a seafood soup that is cooked in water to retain the flavor of its fresh ingredients.

A staff member of the Westin Sanya Haitang Bay Resort teaches a child how to make a hut by weaving coconut tree branches. [Photo/China Daily]

Yalong Bay

It is the most famous bay of Sanya, which the Chinese government started to build as a national level tourism resort area with tropical features in 1992.

The bay is shaped like a crescent with about 7 kilometers of silver beach and silky sands.

Mountains covered by lush plants surround the bay on three sides and create a peaceful area that is ideal for swimming and relaxation.

The bay area has tropical forest parks, ocean parks, a marine museum and more. It is not far from Binglang Valley Cultural Tourism Zone, which showcases local ethnic Li and Miao people's life and history.

Sanya Marriott Yalong Bay Resort and Spa is one of the first international brands to operate in Sanya and has experience in understanding and catering to tourists' needs.

The hotel rooms are decorated in a Chinese style with cozy furniture to relax people.

The kids' club at the hotel provides day care and can teach children drawing on tree leaves while their parents are away sunbathing or swimming.

Responsible editor: 胥圣兰
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