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“Amazing pool but very expensive”

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Mandarin Oriental, Sanya
Ranked #3 of 1,330 Hotels in Sanya
Certificate of Excellence
muir77
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Amazing pool but very expensive”
Reviewed September 21, 2009

This hotel is beautiful. Massive grounds, huge pool and buggy service from your room to wherever you want to go. We had every intention of getting out of the hotel to explore the area and city during the day/evenings but the hotel is just too nice and relaxing which makes you not want to leave. I have stayed in lots of Mandarins in Asia and love the personalised service and the little things that make you feel spoilt and this place is good but i doubt i would return because it is soooooooo expensive. We booked on the buy 2 nights get 3rd night free package and still felt it was expensive. I especially disliked the way that they add service on to every single bar/food bill and then ALSO add service on to each night of your room stay. Thats paying for service twice and especially hard to accept when the room price is expensive to start with.
There are load of top quality hotels in Sanya it would seem so if I did come back to sanya (which i probably will as it is only a 1hr flight from HK) then i would stay elsewhere rather than remain brand loyal.
It was a great break but i didnt think it was value for money so my recommendation that you stay here is if you have mega bucks or manage to get a special offer.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank muir77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
170 reviews
135 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 234 helpful votes
Reviewed August 30, 2009

Firstly, this was my first trip to Hainan or to Sanya, so all my comments are relative to other resorts within reasonable flying distance of Hong Kong. The resort is located near the waterfront of Sanya town, yet is in a very private and secluded cove. This means that the hotel is closer to the airport than a lot of other resorts.

The owners must have made the calculation that distance from airport would be more important than having a soft white sand beach, and that in time Sanya town would develop into a city that would offer MO visitors other attractions in its own right (as opposed to being populated with cheaper hotels and shopfronts with Russian signs). That's a fair assumption. In any case, once you are in the resort you really can't tell how close you are to urban Sanya.

The 3rd floor entrance area was very grand and attractive, and I found the staff to be very helpful in assisting me with unloading bags. The Schindler lift going down to the 2nd floor lobby was ultra-futuristic, but I admit a tad hot in the warm bag-laden August evening.

The check in took about ten or fifteen minutes, which was quite some time, although we were able to at least sit in the attractive lobby and got orchid leis, cold towels and welcome drinks. The staff were very friendly, but I think the problem was that they didn't figure out that we had 2 reservations, and it took awhile to pull up the second booking.

We booked one regular room and one more expensive room with a plunge pool, which we thought might be nice for our toddler. This turned out to be quite unnecessary - although the outdoor gazebo and plunge pool were very nice, and very private, the resort was really not crowded at all, and we found it quite uncrowded in all of the public pool areas of the resort, which are all very beautifully laid out. Our room was nice, and our toddler loved running around endlessly the O-shaped room, but it was actually about the same size as the more conventionally shaped conventional room, and just as attractive (at least from the inside). Loved the fruits provided.

The next morning I got to see the resort properly, and I thought that the pools are all beautiful, and many parts of the hotel are very nice. But the dark cinderblock look I thought was a little too postmodern, especially the standard hotel room blocks, which to my eye were somewhat unattractive. China after all is a modern, not a post-modern country, and so I wonder whether the minimalist, slightly brutalist design might appeal to the more nouveau riche asthetic. The dark stone tiles on the roofs of buildings were occasionally broken up by more organic orange colors, which to the untrained eye might even look like rust. There were nuts and bolts issues of wood veneer flaking off, which management will need to correct in terms of weatherproofing.

But that's enough of the negatives - I thought the staff at the hotel were some of the most obliging I have seen anywhere in the world, and the public areas of the resort were gorgeous. The views of the beach were truly beautiful, and sunsets were amazing.

The restaurants were generally high quality - I very much liked the Fresh seafood restaurant (we had the hot samplers, char grilled seafood cooked to perfection). The Mee and Mian informal noodle restaurant was also excellent, we loved all the noodle dishes we had there. The Sunset Bar was very pleasant, and the Wave restaurant had some good carb foods for long swims in the afternoon. I really also liked the Yi Yang Chinese restaurant, the food was amazing and the service was really the best I've ever had in China (honestly).

The breakfast buffet was very good, I actually liked everything except, surprisingly, some of the Chinese items, which I think the chefs could find room for improvement. The you tiao in the morning was made from pretty thick dough that got hard and soggy from sitting out too long. Also, the burgers in the Pavilion restaurant (as opposed to the Wave restaurant) were somewhat experimental, with a sort of teriyaki sauce and cilantro, and didn't really hit the spot. The BBQ buffet in the evening at the Pavilion restaurant though was very, very good.

So in summary, I would go back, and while I am only giving the hotel 4 stars out of 5 I would be willing to consider improving the rating as it works out its growing pains in its first year of operation. I was very impressed with the service and the quality of the operation, and that really makes a huge difference when you are on vacation.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank Public_Dave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yangon, Myanmar
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 22, 2009

Despite a rather lacklustre road leading to this hotel (managment told me this is in the process of being replaced, but may take a little time) once inside the transformation was awesome. Imagine a hotel where the food tastes like there is love and passion behind it, imagine a hotel where the service really is sincere, imagine a hotel where the Food and Beverage offerings are so diverse and comprehensive the need to risk dining off property is negated....well, I'm happy to say Mandarin Oriental Sanya is one such place, despite being open less than a year. Particularly impressive is the live fish selection cooked to order in an al fresco beach setting at a place called, well not so imaginatively, but true to name "Fresh", unrivalled in atmosphere and freshness. A few days later at the Chinese restaurant "Yi Yang" we were lucky enough to have the Chef would come and see us - after discussing with him our allergies and special requirements, we left it up to him to choose the menu - stunning!! So fresh and delicately cooked with distinctive flavours, unlike any other Chinese meal we experienced during our travels through China. One place though you need to seek out is "Mee and Mian", a fresh noodle bar where they make the Chinese style noodles before your eyes in the traditional manner. The presentation and condiments of the noodles were innovative and exceptional - really impressive and a bargain too - it is a little hidden away, so you need to ask for directions to find it in the extensive gardens of this resort. Finally we had a breakfast at the all day dining restaurant "Pavilion" which was a highlight - all possible breakfast items any person could want, too much to try in one visit, we came again the next day to try the items we missed. A few issues occurred with getting the bill from the waiters,which seems to happen everywhere when travelling - maybe someone needs to come up with a flashing light on tables to get attention when we want to pay!! Lots of live stations, plenty of fresh tropical fruit and hight quality fresh house made pastries made all the difference to the breakfasts we had there. If I was to find any fault in this amazying property, it would be signage - it is a little hard to find your way around at night to all the different places on property, perhaps they've improved this since our visit, after all it was relatively new when we went. Words fail to describe the Spa - totally stunning, easily the best spa I have ever seen, compared to India, Dubai, Thailand, it simply leaves them for dead, both in treatments and configuration - OTT - over the top and worth it!!

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank EurAsianJR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed August 10, 2009

My trip to Sanya was something of an experiment as I was looking for somewhere just to relax after busier visits to Beijing and Hong Kong. I could not have bettered my choice of the MO at Sanya.

It a new resort and there are still one or two areas to be completed - notably the shopping arcade. There was also some work stil being done to one or two of the beach areas.

There is so much to enjoy here. First there is the enthusiasm and friendliness of all the staff who all smile and greet you in a very natural way. There is a genuine concern to make sure that you are nejoying your holiday.

When there were a couple of minor glitches these were immediately rectified so there was never any cause for lingering concerns.

The resort is spectacular if you enjoy water and swimming. As other have noted it a shame that the beach cannot be more used for swimming (although I did see one or two taking theor chances in the sea). However, I have never seen a complex with such a wide variety of water and swimming pools each imaginitively designed and created. This included a shallow swimming pool with sand to replicate the sea. A huge activiity with water slides and a spectacuylar infinity pool for those wanting a more leisurely swim. There is also a pool for those that simply want to exercise but I had no need to use that as the infinity pool was big snough and spacious enough for me to do this.

There are many other amenities. The spa is top class with excellent therapists. I did not use the gym which looked to be very well equipped and there were other games rooms and children's activities.

The restaurants were very good - again with very enthusiastic staff. I only ventured into the bars a couple of times but again very comfortaable and luxurious.

The town of Sanya is still more geared to the Chinese and Russian tourists which was one reason for stating mainly in the hotel and not venturing out too much. Although there are other local places of interest to visit. The quality of the English of most of the staff is very good and I understand there is an english tutor there to improve the over all quality of the English spoken. Generally there was no language problems.

I chose an ocean view room which has a plunge pool and and a small garden area which overlooked the sea. All though this was in a complex of four suites I was never disturbed by my neighbours. There is a wide range of accommodations from hillside suites to villas. Each area seems to have its own pool facilities of various shapes and sizes.

Clearly this is a new hotel and it is still in a developmental phase but it was very relaxing and refreshing place to be. Top marks!

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank PKFlanders
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
125 reviews
85 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 299 helpful votes
Reviewed August 10, 2009

On arrival the first contradiction hits you. On the one hand, dour black(ish) and grey painted building exteriors with grey slate tiles already discolouring, somewhat reminiscent of a prison, countered by genuinely warm and friendly staff. Clearly here is a resort not relying on its' looks.
We had booked 2 adjacent sky villas which were ready despite our early arrival. Check-in at The Cliff lounge was quick and efficient.
Overall, the villas were up to expectations though housekeeping was lamentable for the whole of our stay. Missed turn downs, waste bins not emptied, mini-bars not re-stocked. Definitely room for improvement, not MO standard at all.
Dinner the first night was at Fresh seafood restaurant. Without doubt, the worst seafood meal I think I can recall in my 30+ years in Asia. Five dishes, each as inedible as the last. We picked at the dishes at best then called it a day and sent the lot back. And yes, they still charged in full. Again, not my MO experience.
We subsequently ate at a number of the other outlets and found them to be quite acceptable.
Most of the time we stayed around the villas during the day, the private pools are large and also an excellent sun terrace and sala.There were far too many children running round the main pool areas for our personal liking, but if you have the kids, great place to be.
We later learned that the hotel itself is not actually owned by MO and I think this goes a long way to explain why it falls far short of accepted MO standards. Would we return? Highly unlikely. Sanya itself is no St Tropez, in fact it was difficult to find any redeeming features. There are simply too many other, nicer, places to visit.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Richard D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pasadena, California
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed August 7, 2009

We were absolutely amazed. Spent four unforgettable days lounging in pools, napping in hammocks, etc. Amazingly quiet and relaxing. Seemed to be nearly as many staff as guests. Must have helped to be there mid-week during the hottest part of the year. The heat didn't matter a bit though, since we pretty much spent the whole 4 days in swimsuits. Completely isolated from the city, everywhere you look there is a relaxing view. Decoration and design are fantastic. Our room was the cheapest they have, and it was stunning. The bed was humongous as well as the bathroom! I've stayed in hotel rooms that were smaller than this bathroom. The walkway between the bathroom and bedroom had stone gardens behind glass walls with electronically controlled vanity shades. There are three "community" pools here. Each are gigantic, have at least one infinite edge, and have many private corners, sunken stone couches or "bubble beds". There are quite a few more pools though, but they are only for the use of the rooms to which they are attached. Though we couldn't use them, we could enjoy looking at many of them. This place of course costs much more than a Chinese hotel, but not nearly as much as it could get away with. We felt we got tremendous value for the money spent. Even the taxi driver who took us here loved it. As we entered the gate to get onto the resort property, his eyes got all big and he gave us his card offering to be our tour guide for a day on the island. We had no need though. As soon as you step out of the car, next to giant decorative pools overflowing with awesomeness, you are whisked down an elevator into the heart of the resort, then golf-carted around the grounds to your room. We hated to leave. My girlfriend was going on and on about wanting to quit her fancy career in exchange for a job on this resort's staff :) One other comment. The internet here seems to be extremely good. It isn't free of cost, but it was in every other sense.

This was our first time at a giant tropical resort, so our opinion might be skewed. Maybe most are as amazing in terms of beauty, comfort, and value as this. I doubt it though.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank WellTraveledDude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, NY
1 review
Reviewed August 7, 2009

We were privileged to be the first couple to host a wedding at The Mandarin Oriental Sanya. From the moment our guests arrived, the Mandarin staff treated everyone with the utmost attention and warmest hospitality. Even though the resort had opened only six months earlier (in January 2009), the facilities looked impeccable and the staff exhibited exceptional service (we learned later that the Mandarin training program for its employees is very rigorous, requiring months of training and observation before interacting with guests). Our guests are still sharing stories about their wonderful
stay and excellent experiences with the staff.

The dining, spa, and evening entertainment were all first-class. There are many restaurants on the property, which are all truly delicious. The breakfast buffet is an experience in itself - an absolutely sumptuous feast!

We had the good fortune of seeing many types of rooms at the Mandarin, since
our guests stayed in various rooms and villas at the resort. All of the rooms were extremely comfortable and beautifully designed. We also had the luxury of staying at the honeymoon villa which was truly spectacular - 2 floors of exquisite luxury, with a private infinity pool in our garden lookout, and a perfect view of the Coral Bay.

The pools on the property are a real joy - they seem to extend through all parts of the resort. It was neat finding all the hidden waterway passages leading to new pools. The water slides are also a lot of fun (for both kids and adults)!

Our wedding ceremony itself took place on the beautiful Pavilion Lawn, as the sun was setting against the romantic backdrop of the mountains and South China Sea. Our reception was held in the open air dinner area, next to the enormous flame torches which blazed against the evening sky. We could not have asked for a more perfect wedding for ourselves, our family, and guests, and owe our entire experience to the amazing staff and team of The Mandarin Oriental Sanya. We definitely look forward to returning soon for an anniversary trip!

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank javahava
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mandarin Oriental, Sanya

Property: Mandarin Oriental, Sanya
Address: No.12 Yuhai Road, Dadonghai Scenic Area, Sanya 572000, China
Phone Number:
Location: China > Hainan > Sanya > Hedong
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Sanya
#1 Family Hotel in Sanya
#1 Business Hotel in Sanya
#3 Spa Hotel in Sanya
#3 Luxury Hotel in Sanya
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Sanya
#54 Best Value Hotel in Sanya
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Mandarin Oriental, Sanya 5*
Number of rooms: 296
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Enjoying the privacy of a secluded 1.2 Km nationally protected coral bay and nestled amongst lush tropical flora, Mandarin Oriental, Sanya is an exclusive retreat where nature is celebrated and tranquillity is assured. The luxury resort features a series of private low rise and villa accommodation with ocean and tropical garden views, innovative restaurants and bars, recreational facilities for both adults and children, a blissful Spa Village and distinctive indoor and outdoor conference and banqueting facilities. Located just 20 minutes from Sanya International Airport, the luxury resort provides convenient access to all of the area's major tourist attractions. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mandarin Oriental, Sanya Hotel Sanya
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Sanya
Mandarin Oriental, Sanya Hainan

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