Sanya is well-known within China as a beach holiday destination, and a number of five-star hotel chains believe it can gain the same fame internationally. The pack in Yalong Bay is currently led by the Sheraton, which has hosted the Miss World finals since opening in 2002 and will again this year. But the Marriott is due for a soft opening next month, and promises an aggressive promotion campaign. Both offer world-class service, classy restaurants and pampering spas. The first five-star resort to be established in the area was the Gloria, next door to the Sheraton. It is looking its age in places, but is also gearing up for the competitive onslaught by investing in a new wing. General Manager Janus Lee promises it will be 'seven star' The Horizon Resort and the Holiday Inn are in the same ballpark price-wise, and your choice will depend on your tastes. The Holiday Inn is situated next to the ferry pier that takes day-trippers out to see the coral reefs - meaning the beach is plagued by souvenir-sellers. But you can escape them by strolling around the corner and looking for Madame Zhang, who offers fish straight from the locals' nets and a few plastic chairs and tables under the stars. If you want something different, try the Universal, set behind the main beach row and styled in the image of South Africa Lost City? What is available now is nothing compared to what the bay will look like within the next two years. The Crowne Plaza and Hyatt groups are building big new resorts, as is the Shangri-La, on the other side of the bay. Capacity is expected to double by 2006. A last word of advice: don't try booking directly. Fly-and-stay or golfing packages booked through travel agents are much cheaper.