left corner left corner
China Daily Website

A sojourn of surf and sun

Updated: 2013-01-30 13:51
By Matthew Fulco (

Hilton's Sanya resort offers an authentic slice of paradise in the Chinese Hawaii

The tropical sun glows faintly behind dense cloud layers looming over the ocean. A steady sea breeze picks up force, rustling the towering coconut palms that line the shore. A lone swimmer emerges from the waves, hastily shaking the water from his goggles. His sunburned face, the color of an overripe tomato, registers a look of mild concern; rain is on its way, the expression suggests.

Silhouetted reflections of the palms dance wildly in a vast, empty swimming pool set back from the beach, its water a deep cadet blue in the morning light. "Looks like rain," I say to one of the pool attendants, a lanky young man with a bronze complexion. He glances at the horizon, holding his gaze for a moment. Turning to me, he says, "Not likely, sir. The weather has been excellent of late."

Nearly on cue, a break appears in the clouds, spreading as the sun's intensity rises. White-hot rays penetrate the clouds in a matter of seconds, leaving a crystalline sky in their wake. The ocean glimmers midnight blue, the pool azure. The air tastes of sea salt and luxuriant foliage.

This is as close as you'll get to paradise in China. Indeed, Hilton's resort in the balmy seaside town of Sanya on Hainan Island, the nation's southernmost province, takes you a world away without requiring you to even leave the country.

The 100,000-square meter resort occupies a prime spot on the western end of halcyon Yalong Bay, renowned for its white-sand beaches, clean water and gentle, swimmer-friendly surf. It boasts a 400-meter private beach, several swimming pools and numerous water sports on site, including diving, snorkeling, parasailing and jet skiing.

 A sojourn of surf and sun
Prime poolside seating at the Hilton Sanya Resort and Spa. 

Previous Page 1 2 Next Page