WHAT’S IT LIKE? A grand and classic five-star hotel that has been part of Haikou’s cityscape since 1998. The lobby is spacious and bright, with two-storey high windows overlooking a garden and the busy streets.
WHERE IS IT? In the heart of the central business district. The hotel is 45 minutes by car from Meilan International Airport and close to the shopping and nightlife area.
HOW MANY ROOMS? 318 recently renovated guestrooms – 90 percent have city views.
ROOM FACILITIES: Rooms are clean and decorated with a hint of modern touches. The 37-square-metre Deluxe Room (pictured) comes with a king-size bed, writing desk, TV with a selection of local and foreign stations, minibar, coffee and tea-making facilities and ironing board. Guests on the Meritus Club floor enjoy free breakfast at the 21st-floor Meritus Club Lounge and internet access in room. Otherwise, internet access is US$3 hourly.
RESTAURANTS: The Chatterbox Coffee Shop, located next to the hotel lobby, is famous for Hainanese chicken rice and lives up to high expectations. You can also find a delectable Chinese and western-style breakfast and lunch buffet here. But head to the cosy Italian restaurant, Ristorante Bologna, for a large evening buffet spread and a huge continental dessert selection and cheese board; and the wine list is extensive and impressive. Pine Court offers dim-sum breakfast, or try its signature dishes in the private rooms over dinner.
BARS: The Promenade bar specialises in flamed coffees; light evening entertainment by the resident pianist and vocalist.
BUSINESS FACILITIES: The business centre located on the 21st floor is great for office needs. There are two computer terminals for free internet access and a lounge area overlooking the city.
LEISURE FACILITIES: The outdoor pool is somewhat uninviting due to its location next to the polluted streets, but the indoor fitness centre satisfies with a sauna, steam, Jacuzzi and plunge pool. There are floodlit tennis courts and even a tennis tournament on Thursday. There is no spa in the hotel, but in-room massages can be arranged.
PRICE: Deluxe room starts at US$63 online.
VERDICT: Fantastic food selection and business facilities for travellers on short visits to the city.
CONTACT: 18 Wen Hua Lu, Haikou 570105, Hainan, China, tel 86 898 6854 8888, www.meritusmandarinhaikou.com