I came to Yalong Bay in 1994 for the first time and there was no hotel on the beach. The first 5 star hotel, Gloaria Resorts Sanya opened on the beach in 1995(if I remember correctly) and then next year, Horizon Resort Sanya opened at next door in 1996. At that time, there was no international brand hotel in entire Hainan Providance, Sheraton Sanya is the first international brand opened on the beach and the hotel has become one of the most succussful hotels in China right now.
Marriott, Hilton and another Chinese Brand Hotels Mangrove Resort joined the group and got a piece of cake. Intercontinental Group and Accor Hotels Group also wants to share the cake, but too bad, there is no more beach left, so Crowne Plaza Sanya and Pullman by Accor Hotels has to open on the opposite of those hotels.
Who got the last piece of cake on the beach? I thought it was Hilton, but today, on my 13th visit to these Area since 1994, I found Ritz-Carlton opened on beach side and I will check it out few days later.
Chinese Brand on beach side: Gloria, Horizon, Mangrove tree resort, no points Program except Gloria(own program)
Chinese Brand on Non Beach side: Villa5, a very nice Southeast Asia Villa style hotel with fairly priced rooms , each one has own swimming pool, but the downside is no beach. If you are tired of beach, you can try this hotel.
Traditional Upscale Brand on beach Side: sheraton,marriott and Hilton. The price at these three hotels almost identical, so brand preference is playing the role now. Sheraton is a very nice one, the hotel is well run by an Italian General Manager and rated as one of the top hotel in China for many years. Service is excellent 3 years ago, and I feel it's getting even better now. Marriott next door is not my preference at all, as some of you may know, I don't like marriott chain because its consistance on room design, this marriott is the same. If you have chance to compare travellers' photo(not those room photo taken by professionals) on Marriott Sanya and Marriott Aruba, you will know what I am talking about. Hilton is a newer hotel compared to other two, but I have not stay there yet, will stay there later and report back. From what I heard, this hotel is the No. 1 on beach side before Ritz-Carlton Open.
Traditional Upscale Brand on non beach side: Crowne Plaza and Pullman by Accor Hotels. Crowne Plaza opened three years ago and I have stayed there once for one night. Much cheaper than Beach side hotel, nice room with Plasma TV, but there is no beach, it's better to use as a business meeting hotel. Pullman by Accor Hotels just opened this year, the design is Southeast Asia style, and offers both hotel rooms and villa with private pool at moderate price.
Luxury Brand on beach side: Ritz-Carlton. the hotel just opened this year and also choose Southeast Asia style. Hotel has a luxury shopping area in the lobby. I will stay this hotel early next week and report back.
The consutruction of entire hotel zone is finished and I don't think there will be any new hotel open within this zone in the future. Haitang Bay will be the next develop area in Sanya, 14 hotels will be opened in next few years including Westin, Hilton and other international/dometic names. Also, one of them, Mangrove Resort, will be same standard as Burj Al Arab in Dubai.