I’m putting the final touches on my Year of the Monkey Trip Report which starts soon and covers the following places:
- New York, New York
- Bangkok, Thailand
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- Jakarta, Indonesia
- Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
- Guangzhou, China
- Hong Kong
- Shenzhen, China
- Sanya, China
This time around I plan on doing all the reviews in real-time because I have no desire to do it when I return. While some of the new cities have no content in them yet, setting them up with links now is making TPOL’s Travel Map come together nicely.
Sanya, China is considered a ‘country’ according to the TCC list so naturally I have to go visit it. It’s a beach destination for the wealthy Chinese and Russians looking to escape the winter cold. It’s also home to every single brand of hotel. Hyatt, Ritz, Mandarin Oriental, SPG, Marriott, Hilton, among others, have at least one hotel on this island city.
Besides having too many brand choices, the problem is figuring out geographically where to stay. Going with iconic brands like Conrad or Park Hyatt will land you in the secluded area of Haitang Bay Beach. If you’re looking to get away from it and be a prisoner to your hotel, that’s the best place to go. Going down the coast, the next option is Yalong Bay which is closer to the city center. Yalong Bay has a St. Regis and a Ritz Carlton. While the hotels look great, their daily rates of $200-$300 do not correspond with the points price. The St. Regis goes for 25,000 points a night. Out of pocket, it is $290. Clearly, the points option is stupid and the cash option is a bit steep for another cookie-cutter beach resort. Cash and points is the worst value at $180 + 10,000 points.
Another area is Sanya Bay Beach which is in the exact opposite location of Yalong Bay. From what I have read, this is not the area for great beaches but it is very close to downtown. There is a Four Points there for $86 or 7,000 points. That’s not a bad cash option if you don’t plan on spending your time in the hotel.
A less terrible option in terms of price and location is the Hilton Yalong Bay which goes for $200 a night and only requires 60,000 Hilton HHonor points. That’s slightly lower than Lucky’s .4 value for Hilton points and a bad value when using TPG’s .5 valuation. I wouldn’t mind burning my Hilton Stay Certificates which I have historically used for less than aspirational stays here but it’s probably a bad idea.
Alternatively, there’s always the local hostel which is right in the heart of the action.
Anyone have any suggestions?