Tropical delights thrill families

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 28 June, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 28 June, 2011, 12:00am


The first step off the plane in Sanya will let you know you're in the tropics. The second step will let you know that the beach is close by, and that's the key to the difference between 'tropical' and 'tropical paradise' - a constant, gentle ocean breeze.

Sanya's beaches must be some of the softest in the world. The waves - if that's what you can call the tiny little rollers that ease into the south side of Hainan Island - are just tall enough to make a three-year old squeal, but short enough that mothers don't worry.

And these comforts, among many others, are part of the reason why Sanya has become the premier vacationing spot for China's middle-class families. Almost 90 per cent of the tourists to Sanya are from the mainland and most of them are families or couples, according to the local tourism bureau.

Families on vacation want safe beaches and privacy, good shopping, excellent accommodation options and good food - Sanya offers all of these things.

The whole of Sanya is peppered with excellent resorts - each trying to outdo the other but at the same time welcoming new additions to the luxury scene. This attitude is due in large part to the atmosphere of growth, vitality and opportunity that hovers over Sanya right now.

The main beaches are Yalong Bay, Haitang Bay, Serenity Bay and Sanya Bay. Each bay has its own slightly different version of the standard demography and the comforts.

Yalong Bay was the first bay that focused on luxury travel. The bay is known for the gentle surf and soft white sands.

The resort list for Haitang Bay reads like a Who's Who of luxury brand names, and new hotels are being added at a fast pace.

Serenity Bay has a lot to offer to travellers looking for a little extra luxury and privacy, while Sanya Bay has luxury resorts in addition to lower-tier hotels and beachside resorts.

Sanya has made a name for itself with the beaches and resorts that provide an escape from the daily humdrum of life, and this dynamic will carry the area into the future.