I just came back from Sanya. The refreshing air, warm sunshine, charming sea water and soft beach have offered me a quite pleasant holiday. Below are some of my personal but practical suggestions for the will-be visitors to Sanya.
Where to stay in Sanya:
Yalong Bay Beach: about 30 minutes driving from Sanya Airport, 20 minutes driving to downtown Sanya with more than 10 hotels including world class resorts & local hotels, the most popular beach for relaxing in Sanya, clean sandy beach, crystal water away from big crowd in town, but no local life, only for tourists. If you work in China, and look for a quite relaxing beach holiday, Yalong Bay is the best choice.
Dadonghai Beach: about 20 minutes driving from Sanya Airport, 2KM to downtown Sanya with more than 30 hotels, resorts, apartments, guesthouses, the first beach developed in Sanya for tourism since the year Protected content . Dadonghai Beach is good both for beach relaxing & city life. Local restaurants, bars, shops, supermarkets are just steps away from most hotels. It is easy to visit downtown Sanya by local bus at only CNY1/person.
Sanya Bay: averagely around 10 minutes driving from Sanya Airport, 10 minutes to downtown Sanya. Sanya Bay is very wide and long, about 22kM, but the beach is a little bit muddy near downtown Sanya, but the west part is still very wild and clean, so if you wish to stay on a clean beach, please don't book hotels near Downtown Sanya. Sanya Bay is not so popular as Yalong Bay, the Resorts in Sanya Bay offer cheaper rates. One thing to be mentioned: Unlike most of the resorts in Yalong Bay, You have to come across a road to the beach. But don't worry about the road, it is not a very busy one, so far no complaints by guests who stayed there with small kids.
Sanya Bay is warmer than Yalong Bay in winter (Dec.-Feb.) when it is very windy in Yalong Bay & Haitang Bay with cold air from northern China.
Haitang Bay: is the biggest and the most important project of Sanya tourism development with more than 20 world class under construction including Hilton, Sheraton, Marriott, Raffles, Hainan Ocean Park, China's Liberation Army General Hospital Hainan Branch, China's Biggest Duty Free Shops & Sanya Olympic Park. There are still empty lands, so much projects are coming soon. Haitang Bay is a super new & empty beach, with 18.7 kilometers of gorgeous beach, about 40 minutes driving from Sanya Airport and 30 minutes driving to Downtown Sanya. The long beach is almost empty with only 5 resorts under operation.
Sanya Luhuitou Peninsula: only 25 minutes to Sanya Airport, 5 minutes to downtown Sanya. But Luhuitou Peninsula is not a popular destination for beach holiday in Sanya as the beach where you could swim is very limited, only short ones near Banyan Tree Resort, State Guest House and Intercontinental Sanya, other areas are full of rocks, good for snorkeling trip.