Hilton Sanya Resort & Spa

Address: Yalong Bay National Resort District, Sanya, Hainan, 572000, China | 4 star hotel
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This 4 star hotel, located in the Yalong Bay area of Sanya, is near Yalong Bay and Tianya Haijiao.
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          Historical Traveler Reviews Hilton Sanya Resort & Spa

          Lovely experience to remember


          I chosed Hilton Sanya because of the renowned top hotel brand. Upon arrival, I and my girlfriend were impressed by the Hilton smiles like the rest of the world, and we were accompanied by the smiles during the rest of our stay.

          I have to agree the excellence of the sandy beach, the elegant restaurants and bars, the pools and the spa... especially the landscape idea of terrace, so perfectly matched with pools and garden. We spend 3 hours in a Spa villa, just so wonderful. Our private valet guided us to experience what she tailored for us after ask us a few questions. I got the Yin Yang Aromatic massage and my wife got two, the massage and something Mud Renew. we were both lost when we were told the end of our time. we reluctantly left the villa and we spent another 2 hours diping in the three pools of different temperature and talking and reading in the relax room.

          Actually the service here can not be perfect, say to match Hilton standard. Sometime we were neglected by the waiters. No wonder to get to know the resort just opened 4 months ago. So generally, for this big new resort, the service is good enough. I wish after several months, I can enjoy the best service when I come back.

          by the way, I like the kids happily playing here, there are happy everywhere, we too, played 5 minutes in the Kids Paradise. Haha, my future children will play like this...

          Lovely Pool


          I brought my family to the Hilton last week, have to say that the facilities are really great, rooms are spacious and my son loved the pool so much that had to force him leave for meals. Tried to swim in the night as well, cool. Did not encounter problems of the service, may be due to the same language. Chinese restaurant is very good, nice food and price are fair, you could choose to have a meal for 2 adults and 1 kid at around 200 RMB.

          Great looking but dismal service


          I stayed at the Hilton in Sanya with a group of friends for 2 nights. On looks alone, the resort was very impressive. The rooms were spacious as well as creatively decorated and designed and therefore very memorable. The poolside area was also stunning and finding ourselves merely metres from a beautiful white beach was a great plus. I would also say that the food throughout our stay was quite tasty (although not as good as in luxury hotels in major Chinese cities).

          Unfortunately, I have to endorse what many reviewers have already said on this forum and that is that what could have been a faultless couple of days at what appears to be a first class resort was marred by extremely poor service. The service was not rude because everyone who attended to us was unfailingly courteous and pleasant. However, staff were clearly very inexperienced and had no idea what 5 star service is about. Therefore, it is also the fault of management as they have not drilled their people well at all.

          Examples of the appalling service include:

          * being given a keycard to the wrong guest room upon check in (not once but twice), thereby exposing me and another guest whom I did not know to an embarrassing encounter;

          * being unable to have a pedicure at the spa because there was no-one available to attend to me all that day;

          * being reminded (politely of course) when I asked to check out 45 minutes later than the scheduled check out time that I would be charged a half day rate for late check out.

          Guests who do not speak Chinese must also be prepared for difficulties in communicating with staff.

          I really would like to give this resort a higher rating and a more positive review, because, as I said, the staff do try but have not been trained adequately. The Hilton name will continue to be compromised until something is done about it.

          Relaxing getaway


          We enjoyed a long weekend break here for our wedding anniversary. Although we had some initial troubles trying to arrange an accommodation + spa package via email (direct with the hotel) we were subsequently given very personalised service and greatly enjoyed our stay.

          Famililar with the Chinese tendency to compare their attractions with other famous destinations we arrived with very few expectations of 'China's Hawaii', but were pleasantly surprised. As a short getaway within China for those who live and work here, it makes for an easy option without customs and immigration queues.

          At the hotel we were welcomed personally by Sally Ooi, the spa manager, and enjoyed two great massages at the spa. We were left a little cold by the facial treatment we had there - it felt too 'clinical' for the setting and went for a bit too long (our backs were sore from lying still for one hour).

          My husband also asked the hotel to put some flowers in our room as an anniversary surprise, and the staff took the task to hand to provide an unforgettable arrangement for us complete with some creative touches of their own!

          The hotel design is very tasteful, and conducive to relaxation. Being at the far end of Yalong bay beach with no other hotels (yet) beyond it, it certainly seems to most quiet of the resorts, and enables you to enjoy that sense of being away from it all if you look in the direction of the unbuilt stretch of beach. The pool design works well to ensure that you can find a spot to sunbathe and take a dip without feeling like you are in one big pool with 300 other guests.

          Food was a bit disappointing - limited variety and not fantastic quality - but this is fairly typical of hotels that are still in the soft-opening period. We also ate at the specialty restaurant 'Ize' and felt this was really not worth the money and the atmosphere in the restaurant was completely at odds with the warmth of the whole resort.

          We did enjoy our stay, felt suitably rejuvenated and spent the last day of our getaway planning how soon we could come back......

          Sanya - Hit or Miss!


          I had a hard time deciding between the Sheraton and the Hilton, and finally chose the Hilton because of a special package (breakfast/spa/golf included in rate). As everyone else said, the rooms are nice and have an airy resort feel to them. The spa was a "miss" for me, on many levels. The Spa Retreat is separated from main guestroom buildings, so it's a short 2 minute walk. But in sweltering sweaty humid 100 degree weather, this walk seems a lot longer. The treatment rooms are pavilion style (which I loved at the Datai in Langkawai) but this was also a problem, it was SOO bright that by the time I turned over onto my back half way through my massage I was temporarily blinded, this happened again at the end of the massage after the therapist took the face towel off my eyes. The massage itself was a 2 on a scale of 1-10. I wondered if the therapist had any training at all, and wasn't too happy about her coughing, clearing her throat, blowing her nose, etc. throughout the massage. If you've a therapist and you have a cold, you shouldn't be touching people and breathing on them as you hover over their head! Regarding the F&B, lunch was a little slow but nothing to complain about. We also went to the Sheraton for lunch (great food) but also encountered the same slow service. But this can be said for most of China. As plates are cleared, there's no, "Anything else? How about dessert? Alright, should I get the check for you?" It's more like someone clears the plates and then you're there for another 10 minutes with no one in sight. Finally I got up and found someone and asked for the check. That was at the Sheraton, but this sort of thing happens to us all the time in China, so I've gotten a bit used to it. My biggest beef was with the Chinese restaurant back at the Hilton. After our Sheraton lunch, we came back to the Hilton and took a peek at the Chinese restaurant. The decor was beautiful and reminded me of Ye Shanghai. So we decided to have dessert, sago milk for me and fruit for my dad. After 20 minutes, I asked the server, "Is our food coming soon?" And she said, yes, I'll tell them to prepare it now. If her English was correct - was the order going in NOW? After 20 minutes???? Or, did she mean she was checking on it? After another 10 minutes, my sago milk came out. Within minutes, I was almost done and the fruit was nowhere in sight. I flagged down another waitress and said, we've been waiting a long time for the fruit! In my mind I was thinking maybe it'll come out in an ornate half pineapple or an intricately carved watermelon, but 10 minutes later, the fruit arrived. It was four cherry tomatoes, a slice of dragon fruit, a slice of orange, and a slice of watermelon. I asked the waitress why it took so long and she said the chef is very busy, he had to cut the fruit.... It didn't make sense but she starting slinking away so that was the end of that. We were ready to leave and couldn't get anyone's attention for the check. We finally got up and went to the reception area and asked for our check but I again mentioned how annoying it was to wait 40 minutes for 4-5 slices of fruit. Our waitress asked us to wait to check if we could cancel it and we started talking to the receptionist and explained what happened. He apologized and said we shouldn't have to wait so long and we don't have to pay for it. It was a nice gesture and we appreciated it. All and all, the properties themselves are 5 star, it's the staff that will ultimately make the difference in service. Most of the employees we encountered did have below average English skills, but they do seem motivated and sincere in trying to help. We have another two days left, so we'll see about the rest of the stay.......

          Hilton - Beautiful but Stay away from Spa and Salon


          Just came back after 4 days. They upgraded us to a gorgeous suite the size of the average family's mansion. Front and center ocean view, beautiful decor. 2 balconies to ourselves. BUT:

          1. food service very very uneven, no timing, entree before appetizer, staff loafing around instead of paying attention, food delivery with thumb INSIDE your food etc.

          2. Spa, still barbaric in terms of services. They have a protocol so even if you say you are under a time constraint they still make you sit there in the waiting area as you MUST drink their awful tepid tea so they can check the box off that you got this horrid luke warm whatever thing is.

          3. Ask for any kind of massage and you get this very hard knuckle imbedded into your soft tissue - scream and they think you are enjoying it.

          4. Salon, oh forget about going. Went for a wash and blow dry, the guy started washing your hair while you are seated, small towell drape, water dripping down your back as he squirts water into your hair, and uses one hand to swish your hair. Horrible experience. He blew dry my hair and after 2 minutes gave up and just said "no good". Your left with wet hair and a mess.

          You check out at the spa entrance and they said you get wash hair but no pricing if you don't get blow dry. UGH.

          5. We tried the Sheraton Hotel and Marriott for food, all about the same. Best meal was in one of their high end local seafood. Exceptional quality food and crap service but it was entertaining to see the local and other tourists scarf down unreasonable quantities of food.

          Sanya has a long way to go to become the next Hawaii (their benchmark) but all the same, beach was great. Stay away from the Li/Miao village unless you like theme parks, the other tours again are not "cultural". Lack of English or any language translation and direction. Spend US $33 and visit the Kwun Yin statue and feel relieved it wasn't more.

          All in all ok but ways to go.

          Relaxed Easter Holidays


          We spent 4 days there and should say that we are very much enjoying. Decoration is predominantly teak wood column, stucco walls and stone floor. Nice pitched high ceiling are found at important locations. Regret to say that the whole hotel lacks one very impressive view that would stick into your memory. Yet, the pool is vast and partitioned into many different areas. The bigger leisure pool extends itself with lengthy canals across the whole width of the landscape area. The central rectangular pool is large and spacious enough for lap swimming for a lot of guest. Artifical sandy beaches add variety to the experience. The room at 1/F is huge. Open circular bathtub is a really eyecatching feature. All sanitary wares are nice "K**ler" brand. The Chinese Restaurant offer pricy regional food. The settings is OK for the price, though. The Big Kitchen offers regular hotel menu and some south east asia crusine which we found too spicy for our cantonese taste. Breakfast time can be crowdy. Being a conference hotel, you could find eager businesspeople lurking around, sitting at your table, making it no nicer than a factory canteen. One last complaint, pillows are smelly, the second time we encounter such problem in a few months period for the same hotel group.

          Great Design, Excellent Pool, Absurb Service


          The room was very spacious with contemporary decor. The circular bath tub, rainforest shower head and open plan washroom design was magnificent. The pool area was the best among the other nearby hotels ( Marriott, Sheraton, Gloria.

          However, the Chinese restaurant charges US$21 for 1 pot of tea was ridiculous. Other dishes only cost US$7-10! The hot food served in buffet are not hot. Everything is lukewarm or cold.

          We have also encountered two absurb incidents:

          1. On day 2. Woke by a phone call during our sleep at 11:45pm saying that we have made complaints to the front desk that we have lost our wallet and some kind of mahjong noise!! Absolutely nonsense!!

          2. On day 3. Woke again by a housekeeping staff banning on our door at 5:50am saying that we have called the front desk to check out and requested someone to collect a table!!!!! Ridiculous!!!!!?????

          We have made complaints to the assistant manager the next day, he apologised immediately and sent to us a bottle of red wine, a box of chocolate and a fruit platter. However, he did not explain anything further about these incidents.

          Needs at least 6-12 months before the Hilton delivers top marks across the board


          Yalong Bay is an Oasis. Beautiful beach, lovely scenery and now the addition of another top class hotel. The investment that the Hilton have made is significant, and the end result is a wonderful structure with a myriad of facilities that will keep the holidaymaker or conference attendee very busy. They have laid down the new benchmark in terms of luxury in Sanya, and I await the Ritz Carlton's attempt of bettering the Hilton's new offering.

          The pools are lovely, with something for everyone, and are spread out across the resort like a vast lagoon. Sand based pools, jacuzzi pools, water slides and lap pools are all on offer, and the only downside is that there is no hot jacuzzi on offer. In addition the pools are a little too cold for the average swimmer. It takes a bit of time to get used to the temperature and if the wind blows it feels like chilly experience.

          The signature restaurant Ize is fantastic and something out of New York and London, the menu is ambitious but it delivers across the key criteria.

          So why only 2 out of 5? Well the service is a disaster. It's a new hotel and they have clearly done a horrendous job of training the staff. English is poor in comparison to its competition (Sheraton and Marriott hotels), and the staff lack attentiveness in all the important areas. 45 minutes to wait for a drink by the pool is horrific, and the staff are simply lost as they cannot explain why such a simple order can take so long. The service issue is horrendous across the board, room service, hotel bars, swimming pools, front desk, restaurants (apart from Ize). I am amazed that the Hilton have not shipped in more expat staff to sharpen up the local staff competence. This hotel must improve this area dramatically if it wants to charge a 30% premium to the Sheraton and Marriott which are located next door.

          Some problems, some easy to fix and others more fundamental:

          1. Pool menu is extremely limited and misses the mark

          2. No children's menu at the pool or coffee shop restaurant

          3. Service appalling across the board. Staff need further training desperately.

          4. Rooms still need some refining. Some toilets not working and unfortunately smelling not as they should

          5. Pools too cold

          6. Not enough umbrellas by the pool

          7. No DVD player in lounge area of room (suites)

          8. No TV channel menus in rooms

          9. Level of English spoken by staff needs a major upgrade if it wants to attract Asian expat business

          10. There is apparently a fantastic spa, but there are no details of it in the rooms, and one needs a navigator to help you find it and examine its benefits.

          So the potential is there to be a world beater as resort destination but there is much to do to make it worth the money. The General Manager and his management team needs to pull their collective fingers out and start fixing the problems that blight such a visually beautiful resort.

          Beautiful spot! Brand new!


          We recently held our company sales meeting at the brand new Sanya Hilton. The hotel just opened up on Christmas Day 2005 and has not yet had their official "grand opening", which will happen in March 2006. For now its not even possible to book a room online at Hilton (-) and they seem to be filing the hotel with conference groups, which is probably a good thing to do as they ramp up the facility and staff (you can always book directly by phone).

          We found the hotel to be well run and the facilities on par with any other high quality resort you might find in other parts of the world. The food was excellent, the pool and beach area is beautiful, and the rooms were clean and of course in great condition (since its brand new). The staff was very very friendly and helpful, and although many did not speak English, there was always enough that did so it was never an issue.

          Possibly the only downsides were the front desk was often crowded and had long waiting times and the gym in the spa was not yet quite fully stocked with equipment. And don't go scuba diving unless you are really really bored (poor facilities and nothing to see).

          Sanya will truly be one of the next international tourist beach resort areas. For now its really only well known for Chinese and Russian tourists and some of the usual international things people expect havent quite hit yet (eg. direct flights from major cities outside of China - today its only possible from HK and Seoul; and another surprise - no ATM or exchange bank at the airport!). But the Chinese are investing in this area in a huge way, and all the international hotels are either there are have plans to be there, so now is an interesting time to experience this place before its on everyone's radar screen!

          TripAdvisor Reviews Hilton Sanya Resort & Spa

          4.50 of 5 stars Outstanding

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