Hainan Island, China’s answer to the French Riviera, is ratcheting up its stable of international hotel brands with the arrival this year of The Ritz-Carlton in Yalong Bay and Mandarin Oriental in Coral Bay.
Known lodging chains such as the Sheraton, Marriott, Hilton, Kempinski, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn have early on established presence, eager to capitalise on the growing propensity of Mainland Chinese to enjoy luxury holidays. Rooms on the island – known for its generally balmy weather with typhoons visiting certain times of the year – during peak seasons of Chinese New Year and the National Day break in October have been known to shoot to pricey levels.
Fortunately for five-star resort junkies, Ritz-Carlton and the MO aren’t located side by side, slightly easing the pain of deciding where to stay. The 450-room Ritz-Carlton will come up in Yalong Bay, already dotted with competition, while the 297-room MO is along Coral Bay nearer Sanya City. Both will have the requisite wow factors: designer-led guestroom, suites and villas, chic F&B outlets (eight for the Ritz-Carlton and 11 for MO), sybaritic spas (ESPA and Mandarin Oriental Spa), lush landscaping and outdoor pools.
Capitalising on the trend for meeting in exotic locales, both hotels are pulling out the stops to attract corporate retreats. The Ritz-Carlton offers 1,700sqm of flexible space, a 910sqm ballroom for 1,200 guests and nine smaller venues. In addition, there will be a wedding chapel facing the waterfront. The MO’s ballroom, perched on the highest point of the complex, measures 525sqm and can accommodate up to 450. Five conference rooms provide other options.
Now let the pampering wars begin.