After a two nights stay at the Hotel New Osroc in Haikou, my parents and I took an early morning high speed train at 8.12am to Sanya (journey about 2 hrs 15 mins). The train made about 6 stops in between the two cities, a tab too many stops I thought. First class seats were clean, comfy and spacious. So, are the toilets (clean frequently). However, no free drinks nor biscuits were provided during the journey, much unlike the ones we had taken in Xiamen and Xian where they would give you a free rectangular box of drink and nibbles.
Next, our pre-booked car was waiting for us at the Sanya train station. We then headed to the Betel Nut Valley (a 45 min drive away) - a wonderful village of the Li and Miao minority race, recreated to the finest detail and seemed rather authentic. It was a very fun place to explore (allow at least 2-3 hours) with giant live shows to please. Though the entrance fee was high at RMB165 each, we thought it was rather good value for your money as all other facilities like buggy car rides, bungy jump etc are F.O.C. Inside the Valley, there were many stalls selling cheap and yummy local fare. So, avoid those restaurants outside the Valley - someone had said that those were very expensive!
Check in at the Hotel Le Parker (a Taiwanese group) was fine, though it could be a little faster. But our adjoining Sea view rooms, 1211 and 1212 were shockingly small ... quite unexpected! But being on the 21st floor, it does come with an outdoor terrace with two loungers, nice if you do use this rather big terrace. The room was brand new and the sunk in bathtub (too bad, with no TV to watch while soaking) and a huge rain shower were nice touches! Bed was a tab hard, but totally acceptable.
The minibar was free with 6 bottles of mineral water, Sprite and Coke (2 each). Tea and coffee bags were also free with a boiler. Views of the Phoenix island and the surrounding sea was nice but not overly so as higher rise buildings tend to block some of the seaview. Breakfasts, served from 6.30pm, was truly of a 5 stars standard - roasted chicked, roasted duck, dim sum, a few types of porridge, were all fresh and yummy!
At night, we visited the nearby Lu Hui Tou mountain peak park - nice views but basically a tourist trap as you pay RMB120 or 160? for a buggy car ride half way up the mountain. Then, you would have to walk the rest of the path yourself! Not worth doing, we thought. Sanya is a nice place if you are a beach person (we are not) or if you prefer a quieter town with lesser traffic than Haikou.
Within 5-7 minutes walk from the Hotel is the Jiefang Lu walking street - mostly jewellery shops, clothing stores and a super market. Walk through the hotel's ground floor cake shop, cross the small lane and enjoy fresh and cheap seafood at the first restaurant that you had reach (on your left). But be careful of the weight of the seafood that you are ordering and its price, check and double check!
Finally, we took a 15-20 minutes car ride to the Sanya station for our 12.30 noon high speed train (about 2 hours trip) to the Meilan Airport - fast, easy and convenient. At the airport, there were many nice restaurants, hence, no worries about the lack of good food. But alas, our Jetstar flight is forever late, departing only at 6.30pm instead of 5.45pm. Should have taken the latter train from Sanya (cannot remember if it was a 2.15 or 2.30pm train?) instead so we need not wait so long at the airport!
Enjoy this truly 5 star quality Hotel with a superb location, nice lobby, well maintained garden with water falls and a small swimming pool with superb views (albeit on the lobby level - a little strange)!
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- Also Known As:
- Le Parker International Hotel Sanya, Hainan