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Dadonghai Bay hotels in Sanya welcome more visitors as wellness travel trend catches on

Arrivals are up in China’s Dadonghai Bay, with more travellers coming in search of the health retreats and fitness programmes on offer at its world-class hotels

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 11 July, 2017, 12:30pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 11 July, 2017, 12:30pm

Hotels in Dadonghai Bay generally recorded an increase in visitors last year, helped by an increased interest in wellness travel and because of its convenient location – only about 4km from Sanya city centre.

“As for this year so far, it feels like arrivals are up again, and up from Hong Kong as well,” says Julian Wong, multiproperty general manager of the Shanhaitian Resort Autograph Collection.

Eric Kee, general manager of Mandarin Oriental, Sanya, says that part of the reason for the rise in the number of arrivals is an “increasing interest in holistic health care in the West [and] a corresponding increase in the number of guests who actively choose Sanya as a travel destination for wellness retreat”. Kee sees this sector as a bright spot for tourism. “The wellness travel trend will continue to evolve, particularly non-invasive anti-ageing, weight management and beauty treatments.”

Of course, people who feel perfectly well are also flocking to the area. “We are seeing more three-generation families from the middle-income segment of the economy,” says Wong, referring to couples who travel with their children and parents.

The wellness travel trend will continue to evolve, particularly non-invasive anti-ageing, weight management and beauty treatments
Eric Kee, general manager, Mandarin Oriental Sanya

Dadonghai Bay also does well because of its convenient location, says Kee. Bustling markets are five minutes away, downtown Sanya is a 10-minute drive and the airport is a 20-minute ride, giving guests “convenient access to all of the area’s major tourist attractions”.

Regardless of the kind of tourist, upscale resorts are working harder than ever to distinguish their offerings.

The Shanhaitian Resort is a “lifestyle brand” that aims for the upper tier of the entry-luxury market, according to Wong. He says the resort’s facilities are designed with an eye on fashion. This extends to room décor, which comes in four design patterns: American classic, British fabulous, French chic and Italian elegance.

The Mandarin Oriental, Kee says, is “the only traditional Chinese medicine licensed resort in Sanya”, and has a “new wellness concept, which encourages guests to relax, recharge and rejuvenate”.

At the Shanhaitian Resort, offerings include a family package featuring airport pick-up and drop-off, a two-day stay, children’s amenities, free access to the Kids’ Club and a downtown shuttle, says Kee.

The Mandarin Oriental runs a Kid’s Camp in July and August, offering coral snorkelling, paddle boarding and archery. Parental needs are also served, with the resort offering outdoor movie nights and a babysitting service for parents seeking some quality adult time.