Tropical paradise is home to luxury resort

PUBLISHED : Friday, 25 June, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 25 June, 2010, 12:00am

Nestled in the South China Sea, just off the southernmost tip of the mainland and the eastern coast of Vietnam, Hainan Island has rapidly made its mark on the world as one of the most beautiful tropical island getaways.

Lush green vegetation, pearly white beaches and azure seas have attracted holidaymakers, business, and meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (Mice) travellers from across the region and beyond. And now, the latest luxury resort will open on the island. The InterContinental Sanya Resort looks set to achieve a new standard of luxury.

Located about a 10-minute drive from Sanya, Hainan Island's second city, and a 25-minute drive from the Sanya Phoenix International Airport, the resort sits on Xiao Dong Hai Bay, and will feature 343 rooms and 24 seaside villas, each boasting stunning sea views. The resort is surrounded by pristine white sands and majestic mountains. It is the latest resort under the IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) in Sanya and the first InterContinental brand property there. Architect WOHA has drawn on the area's outstanding natural beauty to inspire the design of the entire resort, which takes the form of a beautiful tropical garden.

The resort's rooms are divided into two distinct sets. One-third are the Skygarden rooms, located in a 10-storey block. The other two-thirds are Watergarden rooms and Club InterContinental rooms.

For those attending Mice events, Skygarden rooms are conveniently located close to function, ballroom and meeting rooms, and all-day dining outlets. All Skygarden rooms have sea views with naturally ventilated open corridors offering views over the surrounding mountains.

Even the bathrooms offer stunning views and each room has a large balcony with day beds.

Watergarden rooms offer a more resort-like feel, with each room having easy access to the lagoon pools, children's pool and slide, the Planet Trekker-Kids' Club and Artists' Residence. Sea views framed with tropical gardens and coconut palms are a natural feature.

Watergarden and Club InterContinental rooms are located in huge water courtyards and are, as the architect says, 'an innovative hybrid of detached villas and room blocks'. A luxurious, private open-air bathroom and detached cabana reached by a bridge or garden walk are standard.

Activities include a large outdoor movie screening area and extensive water sports, including scuba diving. Teenagers also get their own game room, slightly away from the family area, to give them some privacy.

Whether guests are at the resort for a Mice event, a family holiday or a romantic getaway, they can all wander freely around the entire resort, except for the club areas.

The Club InterContinental is a boutique resort within the main resort and offers guests a true escape from the hectic pace of their daily lives. The Inspiration Space is an oasis from the real world where guests can read, watch movies or even take cooking classes in total privacy.

All Skygarden, Watergarden and Club InterContinental rooms come equipped with modern conveniences, including wireless and high-speed internet access, iPod docking stations, BOSE sound system and 42-inch LCD televisions.

Of course, bringing the outside environment into the resort has been a key part of the design, and the architects have adopted highly environmentally friendly designs and techniques.

All rooms have full cross-ventilation, which means that they can be cooled naturally, without the need for air conditioning. Where possible, 'breezeways' have been opened to allow as much ventilation as possible to the public, and food and beverage areas.

The Watergarden and Club rooms benefit from cool sea breezes blowing over and evaporating the waters of the giant courtyards within them. The area's bright sunshine and warm days mean a need to keep interiors cool.

The resort has been designed with natural native grasses, flowers and shrubs planted on all visible flat roofs, offering an insulating layer which acts as a natural cooling system for the spaces beneath them.

Solar water heaters also make full use of the sunshine to heat all the water needed for the Skygarden rooms and back-of-house requirements.

Guests at the Club InterContinental can do more than just benefit from the natural surroundings - if they want, they can learn more about the local geography, environment, history and culture from the library, and visiting experts and artists.

A vibrant mix of outstanding dining and drinking experiences is spread throughout the resort, with nine venues offering everything from Mediterranean treats, local Chinese specialities and exquisite desserts to cool beach bars and even a Bavarian-style restaurant and pub with its own microbrewery.

The entire resort is part of the new Serenity Coast developed by the Luhuitou Tourist Area Development Company. Serenity Coast covers 2,270 acres and will also comprise the Anantara Resort, an international shopping mall, international yacht club, diving club, sailing marina, seaside villas, ocean view residences, an international recuperation centre, golf courses and other unique resources.