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“You couldn't pay me to stay here again” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Howard Johnson Resort Sanya Bay

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Howard Johnson Resort Sanya Bay
4.5 of 5 Resort   |   No.188 Sanya Bay Road, Haipo Holiday Resort, Sanya 572000, China (Sanya Bay)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #37 of 1,090 hotels in Sanya
Shanghai, China
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“You couldn't pay me to stay here again”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Staff were literally shocking, none of them spoke English and Howard Johnson is a western chain so you'd think they'd at least have one or two people who had a basic understanding. The staff were just a bunch of kids really with no training, they were all rude and loud. The staff around the pool spent all day shouting at each other and swearing at each other and basically just messing around like it's their holiday, making it totally impossible to relax. I ordered some food round the pool and they didn't speak English so she just stared at me vacantly for 5 minutes as if she'd just had a stroke or something and then wondered off to find someone else and just never came back, once I finally got it ordered (by going up to reception) it took about an hour to arrive, when it did it was cold and pretty bad food anyway. The staff member asked for money for it without presenting me any bill and when I asked to see it I saw he had tried to overcharge me, when I had a go at him he treated it as a big joke. I mean It's bad enough trying not to get screwed over on a daily basis in china as it is but you'd like to think a five star hotel would employ half decent staff who don't damage their reputation by being sneaky thieves.

Trying to get a taxi was almost impossible, the hotel constantly pressure you to use their local drivers (unofficial taxis, basically just random people with cars who charge silly money to go anywhere) who make a set rate and charge you triple the normal rate wherever you go. If you want a taxi you just have to wait for one to drop someone off or call some number where the person on the other end doesn't speak English.

They request a stupidly large deposit, even more than the room cost, I left a deposit in cash behind the desk and when i had run up a bill greater than the deposit amount, instead of just letting me settle the balance on check out, they constantly hounded me insisting I leave more of a deposit if if I wanted to stay at their hotel, they treat it almost as if I'm going to run off at the end and not pay my bill, it's ridiculous.

The rooms were not as in the pictures at all, total different layout. There were cockroaches and ants everywhere in the rooms, I killed a roach and the next day when the cleaners came they just left it and swept it under one of the cabinets. Such a dirty hotel overall.

Location was terrible, right next to the airport so loud planes fly over every 5 minutes.

Breakfast was a disaster, the food was awful and was not enough for as many guests as they had, not to mention all the food wasn't properly covered so it had flies and bugs all over it.
The breakfast room was too small, it was a mission trying to get a seat as there weren't enough tables. the buffet queues were reminiscent of a frenzy of hungry hyenas fighting over some scraps, was like a hundred people crowding and pushing into a small buffet table trying desperately to grab something. no order at all (as is pretty standard for china) and just a total mess really.

I stayed here as my first choice was fully booked but I can honestly say I would never stay here again, they claim to be a five star but it's a three at best. After a few days I left for a different hotel (Renaissance) which is a much better hotel entirely, was the same money as the HJ but on another level entirely.
Don't waste your money on this absolute dive, probably the worst experience of a hotel I've had before and for once I genuinely have nothing good to say about a hotel whatsoever.

  • Stayed July 2014
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
11 reviews 11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2014

I really enjoyed the stay, amazing room, swimming pools and beaches. We stayed in a two bedroom suite and there was more than enough space for 4 persons. We had a balcony with stunning beach view!

Room, hotel:
Room was spacious, clean except the tissue papers smelled mouldy. I guess not many people book the two bedroom suite so these papers have been there for ages.
The hotel was so big that we spent 10 minutes walking to breakfast every morning. I didn't mind walking in the morning, but it gets frustrating if you spent the whole day walking outside and it takes so long to walk back to your room. So double check your bag before leaving your room because trust me, you don't want to double back.

Beach was a few minutes away from the hotel. You have to walk through a short tunnel to reach it. It was not as dirty as comments on the Internet suggested. Two fruit sellers were doing business on the beach but they were not annoying.

I love the lobby! There was no air conditioning in the lobby - because you will never need it. It was so breezy, you can just sit at the lobby leisurely for an hour. And the ceiling was tall...not quite like any other hotel lobbies that I have seen.

If there was one thing that I was not happy with, it was the limited food options there. We arrived at the hotel in the afternoon, starving, only to find out the hotel restaurants were close between lunch and dinner. So we ended up visiting an outdoor seafood restaurant. It was unreasonably pricy and the food was nasty. Do check out food options before you go!
But the Chinese restaurant in the hotel was very nice. Good food and service. We went there twice during our stay.
If you want to eat something local, check out the food stalls opposite the hotel in the evening. They sell wonderful food like fried veggies, barbecued fish and seafood at cheap prices!

Not many taxis available at the hotel. I found out from a taxi driver that the hotel actually stops taxis from coming into the hotel premise just so the guests would use the hotel cars. If you want to get a taxi, you can walk outside the hotel, there are taxis available. But if you are leaving for the airport and do not want to walk with luggage, you can ask concierge to call you a car. It was RMB 35 to the airport. I think that was reasonable considering the car was so much cleaner and newer than normal taxis.

I know this is unrelated to the hotel, but DO NOT go to the airport too early. There was no air conditionings or fans and they would only let you in about 1 hour before the flight. We ended up waiting and sweating...terrible.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Shanghai, China
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
105 helpful votes 105 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2014 via mobile

Very nice resort, nice pool, clean rooms, very spacious, however, I don't think this is a 5!!! star international standard. First point, we were not properly informed of the reasons why we had to pay a deposit which was far more than the total cost of the room. The staff at the reception, and everywhere else for that matter, spoke no word of English and made no attempt to find an English speaker to accommodate us. The only words in English they could say is "wait a moment"! (not even a please!). It seems you must just be lucky on whether or not your Visa card is accepted. Keep trying, eventually it will work. If you wish to have a drink by the pool that is on the menu, you must wait 20 minutes by the pool bar to have the drink brought to you. Sparkling water is a mission to find and after having everyone tell us there is no sparkling water in the hotel we eventually had to go to one of the restaurants in the hotel to get it ourselves (one bottle of 250ml for 28RMB plus 11% tax). It seems like the hotel caters only for Chinese customers and we did not expect this by a Howard Johnson hotel (every other HJ hotels we've been to before have all met the international hotel standards, this one has a long way to go). Finally, we were told we need not pre-book a taxi to go to the airport and that if we arrived 10 minutes earlier we would have no problem getting a taxi. Once we arrived we were then told we would have to wait for a long time for a taxi and the staff were trying to get us to use the hotel taxi for three times the price we would pay for a normal taxi. The staff refused to call a taxi for us and said we should just wait and that this would take a long time. After walking to the Main Street we seamlessly found a taxi and paid 14RMB for the ride, as opposed to 60RMB, which the hotel was trying to take off us. It seems it is easier for a foreigner to find a taxi by themselves than to rely on this 5! star hotel (chinese speaking only!) to arrange one for you. Our stay in the hotel was not during the peak season so the excuse of "it is very difficult to find a taxi" did not stand at all. "I can give you the number of the taxi, you can call yourself" is the only help we got. What kind of service is that?????! We don't want to know what it's like to stay in that hotel during the peak season- we think that the staff would be absolutely overloaded and not able to cope with the demands of a busy schedule. As we said, the room, the cleanliness, the pool area is 5 star standard but the service is comparable to a hostel's standard (maybe less!!!!!!). This "Howard Johnson resort" is a shame for the whole HJ group - we know there are HJ hotels which are of outstanding quality and excellent service but this one is definitely not one of these.

Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
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Almaty, Kazakhstan
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2014

The hotel is really good, nice staff (but very poor english, or no english at all, and sometimes forget to put fresh towel or water or other things in the room), location and area around is perfect, beach is so cool. Breakfast is yammy;) so I higly recommend to stay here)))

  • Stayed May 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Beijing, China
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2014

This hotel is perfect! We stayed here for four nights during the Chinese May day holiday so we were expecting it to be busy.... we were wrong.The staffs level of English was ok and check in was smooth,we were upgraded to a superior sea view room on arrival which turned out nice because after a bit of exploring we found that we had a much better view of the sea. The room was nice enough, we didn't really want to spend much time in the room anyway. We had breakfast for two every morning which was ok the only problem was dining with so many Chinese people who can get a little crazy when there is a buffet up for grabs. The other food options were reasonable but nothing special if you want western food then its a 25 minute taxi ride to Yuya road which is close to another beach . The best part about the hotel is the grounds and three swimming pools surrounded by palm trees.You can order beers or cocktails at the pool bar and have them delivered to your sunbeds. Also there is a private tunnel to the beach which takes about 10 minutes to walk to, once your there you can grab a beer or a frozen coconut at the hotels beach bar. This hotel is perfect for relaxing for a few days in the sun and we would defiantly go back again.

Room Tip: If you can get the upgrade to superior sea view room than go for it, from what we could see the stan...
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Dalian, China
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2014

Spent the Chinese May Holiday at the HoJoSy and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves... went with good friends for a totally relaxing time and got that in spades!!! Nice attractive lobby and reception, wonderful rooms (we had an amazing 'ocean view') and three incredible pool complexes!!! We chose the middle pool but also spent some time at the other two areas which were equally wonderful. Nice towels and good service, although we did enjoy bringing our own refreshments with us to poolside. Access to the beach was easy, a seven minute walk from the pool area... beach is long and lovely, water in May was clean and warm...
Breakfast buffet was adequate, but was a buffet... often things were not as hot as we would like, but great variety and catered to Chinese / Western appetites...
HoJoSy is an short taxi ride from the airport, but watch out for the taxi scam... they love to overcharge considerably for what should be no mare than a 10 - 15 RMB 10 minute ride...

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Hong Kong, China
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2014

We stayed at HOJO for 2 nights as part of a package, and for the most part it was a comfortable and clean experience. The hotel is right by the beach, which includes a dedicated tunnel path from the hotel grounds to the beach (so you can avoid leaving the property and venturing off onto the street and traffic)

There are a series of large pools and hot tubs that are in the centre of the hotel and is flanked by 2 towers (east and west buildings). The rooms were clean and large and we had a balcony view that faced the pool area.

Hotel staff was helpful, albeit their limited english skills but they did their best for us. What's actually surprising is the amount of Russian we saw everywhere (as well as chinese locals that spoke fluent russian)...where we quickly realized that Sanya is a popular spot for Russian tourists.

Taxi cabs to and from the hotel should only be 35RMB..so anything more, you will need to bargain the price down. (Coming out of the airpot, taxi drivers attempt to start at 70+RMB)

One criticism I had was that the hotel is a popular spot for conferences and functions, with the main pool area being rented out for these nightly galas that go on until about 11pm. Not the greatest situation (having to listen to the music and the pounding bass beats, when all you want to do is relax!)

Sanya is still being developed: there's still lots of construction when you leave the hotel. The sidewalks are not necessarily completed, traffic lights/crosswalks aren't implemented. Large construction sites surround the beach areas. Even the beaches still need a lot of improvement - garbage/recycling facilities, boardwalks etc. I think the area has the potential to be quite nice in the next few years, but there's still a lot of improvement needed.

(Note: there is another area called Yalong Bay that is approx an hour away from Sanya Bay that also boasts international hotels as well)

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Howard Johnson Resort Sanya Bay

Address: No.188 Sanya Bay Road, Haipo Holiday Resort, Sanya 572000, China
Location: China > Hainan > Sanya > Sanya Bay
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#21 Spa Hotel in Sanya
#22 Top resorts Hotel in Sanya
#32 Luxury Hotel in Sanya
#32 Best Value Hotel in Sanya
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Howard Johnson Resort Sanya Bay 4.5*
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Also Known As:
Howard Johnson Resort Sanya Bay Hotel Sanya
Howard Johnson Sanya
Howard Johnson Resort Sanya Bay Hainan

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