Honestly, Park Hyatt Sanya Sunny Bay Resort, which opened January 2015 on Hainan Island, is awe-inspiring and staggering. First, architecture. Think of a child given Meccano bits of dark grey walls, all-wall windows, metal struts, and construct a 196-room luxury hotel that is actually seven separate buildings, attached merely by upper-level glass-and-metal enclosed walkways that are, in some cases, 250 yards long. Yes, the result means that in case of a typhoon no-one, guest or staff member, has to go outside. It also means that the newly-arrived GM, Andy Chang, is still having the temporary challenge that the gal had, trying to find where you are going.
But this is Hyatt, which means you have an excellent map that not only shows layout but also what artworks you pass enroute. I especially loved the big balls and other shapes from that Korean artist, Jaehyo Lee, who uniquely turns odd cuts of wood, still with the bark on, into art – I first came across Lee’s work on the Beethovenstrasse terrace outside Parkhuus restaurant at Park Hyatt Zurich. Here, the art has obviously been chosen by Caleb Wang, the obviously outward-thinking son of Wang Shu-sheng, chairman of HTW Group Sanya Bay Development, who has spent ‘a lot’ on this hotel, adjacent villages and, to come, a neighbouring Andaz Sanya Sunny Bay Resort, and an Andaz Village, with restaurants, retail and more. See some of the art in the video here:
After three years away from the idyllic island of Hainan, I quickly realised that Sanya, China’s Hawaii, is as popular as ever with Chinese, especially those escaping cold winters up north. Young couples, small meetings, weddings and honeymoons, and family groups, all are found here. I was one of the few foreigners during my stay, and I wished I had had more time to savour the amazing art, and the books in the lobby (see a video below). I am sorry not to have enjoyed the heated indoor pool – the only one in Sanya, which here complements the 450-foot outdoor pool I could see from my room. The indoor pool has, at the far end, seven cabanas, all with private onsen baths.
But I did have time to eat, really well – of course, this is a luxury Hyatt hotel, and this is a brand that, thanks to Andreas Stalder and his team, really ‘gets’ food. Dinner, with Reynaud china and Robert Welch cutlery, was highlighted by mouthwatering wagyu, actually from Hainan Island – is it true this hotel has an exclusive with the farmer? If so, this is one other jolly good reason to stay here. Do like me, and toast that farmer in a glass of Stoneleigh Vineyards Pinot Noir 2014. But then follow me, and overnight in one of the hotel’s seaview suites, say #7509, convenient for the elevator that is one way to get down to the interconnecting restaurants. That is where I headed, early morning after a good workout in the temporary Technogym, which will be replaced by a permanent gym, in the spa that opens next month, July 2017. When I got to breakfast, by the way, I was obviously expecting Hyatt’s usual splendid buffet, which I found, but my eye was caught by the display of different eggs, as above. More hotels should, like this one and The Pigs throughout Southern England, offer a variety of egg types. See this breakfast video, below: