Incredible that this hotel passed internal Starwood tests to be listed under the St Regis banner. The management standard falls well below any other St Regis I've stayed at, and particularly the other St Regis hotels in Asia.
Whilst the infrastructure is comparable to other top tier hotels in Sanya the service and ingrained management problems are more suited to a 3 star local Chinese hotel than a top tier resort charging more than the neighbouring Ritz Carlton or Mandarin Oriental amongst others.
The problems were too numerous to list in entirety, albeit to provide a flavour we experienced the following:
. At both Friday dinner at Drifitwood restaurant (loud russian music for the beach private dining and separate local music from the main restaurant) and then again Sunday drinks in the lobby balcony bar (live piano player and loud radio music from the floor above), they had two separate and competing music medium's playing simultaneously, which drowned each other out and made it impossible to enjoy or even hear any of the music options on their own or indeed ignore the music as part of the background.
. Booking the ping pong table with the concierge to play ping pong, confirming the time and pick up the equipment from the gym staff only to turn up to the ping pong table and finding workers who have just shut down the ping pong table to polish the floor clearly five minutes earlier and telling us to come back the next day.
. My parents in law speaking with the front desk to book a hotel car transfer to the airport for the following day, but being advised that there is a free shuttle at their requested time so they should use that and thus booking and confirming same only for the free shuttle to never arrive nor anyone follow up (after 25 minutes of confusion the hotel did then provide a free car to the airport to my parents in law and another couple who had the same problem)
The quality red wines on the menu at Driftwood, whilst listed at decent prices, are clearly stored at room temperature rather than in a temperature controlled environment. Our first bottle was blown and whilst the staff happily switched it out, all the bottles were literally hot and all three bottles of red needed to be placed in ice buckets for 15 minutes before being suitable for drinking
When my requested medium rare steak was delivered as a very well done steak, by way of apology the restaurant served everyone strawberry ice cream as a free dessert as i had said not to worry about re-doing the steak. Whilst a nice gesture, they did not tell us they were doing this and did not give anyone an opportunity to order their own dessert. My wife and one of the other ladies there's favourite meal is dessert and they were each disappointed not to be able to order their planned meals.
Whilst not a service issue per se, one other point worth mentioning is that the main pool (above ground) has a transparent wall which faces the beach so all people on the beach can see the full bodies of the people swimming in the pool. Whilst initially a novel idea and unique, upon spending some time on the beach, this quickly becomes somewhat voyeuristic and not in a good way as people who don't realise their bodies are on display touch themselves and each other in personal ways clearly not intended to be on display through a wall they do not realise is not only transparent, but even has a magnifying effect due to its concave nature.
Whilst four of the six of speak Chinese (3 are native Chinese), the two guests who didn't speak Chinese had real trouble communicating with the staff.
Essentially the hotel is a lovely looking place with poor service and local management not close to international top tier standards usually maintained by St Regis. This is fine and common in China for a cheap hotel, but the St Regis charges at a minimum USD400 per night for a room comparable to other St Regis' round Asia. As such, they should be held to the same standards and they are far far below. I have stayed at many other hotels in Sanya including Sheraton and the Le Meridian also part of Starwood as well as JW and RC and the St Regis service and clear lack of proper training for staff is by far and away the worst I have seen for this level of hotel. Until this year I had been an SPG premier member for five years, but over the last 18 months have been using other chains more and more. This trip encourages me to continue with that trend.
- Also Known As:
- The St. Regis Sanya Yalong Bay Hotel
- The St. Regis Sanya Yalong Bay Hotel Sanya
- The St. Regis Sanya Yalong Bay Resort Hainan
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The St. Regis Sanya Yalong Bay Resort is ideally situated on a generous stretch of the most coveted location on Yalong Bay, with exclusive access to more than 800 meters of pristine coastline. A resort unlike any other on Hainan, the St. Regis Sanya Yalong Bay Resort offers wide appeal across a variety of audiences – from business executives to couples seeking romance to families seeking a fun and relaxing vacation. The resort is exquisitely designed with luxury in mind, offering 401 contemporary guest rooms including 28 beachside villas. The St. Regis Sanya Yalong Bay Resort offers a world of epicurean experiences, with three full-service restaurants, a wine bar, and a tea room. In addition, the St. Regis Sanya Yalong Bay will be the only resort in Sanya that offers the signature St. Regis butler service to all guests, as well as South China’s first Iridium Spa. ... more less
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