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Review of the Holiday Inn Resort, Yalong Bay

About.com Rating 3.5 Star Rating

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Review of the Holiday Inn Resort, Yalong Bay

A perfect day at the kid's pool with slides and shallow warm water.

© 2010 Sara Naumann, licensed to About.com.

The Bottom Line

I've stayed at the Holiday Inn Yalong Bay with my growing family a number of times, most recently with my infant daughter and 5-year-old son during his week-long school holiday. It couldn't have been better. It was the perfect escape from urban Shanghai. I fretted about being alone with my kids as my husband could only come for a few days, but the staff helped me with tricky logistics (such as getting both kids, a stroller, floaties and beach bag down to the pool in one go). It's not fancy, but if you're looking for a place to enjoy the beach and not pay a fortune, this hotel is a good option.

Pros

  • Blink and you're at the beach (the hotel has its own private stretch).
  • Friendly (albeit a little bit bumbly) staff will help you with anything you need, just ask.
  • Family rooms are decently priced compared with other fancy international chains.
  • Beachside BBQ several nights a week is the perfect way to enjoy the sunset.
  • Daily activities and child minders in the kids' playroom perfect for hot sun and parental breaks.

Cons

  • The hotel could use a a little refurbishment, it's a little shabby.
  • If you're there for more than a few days, you might want to venture out to a new restaurant.
  • Beach is near public dock so you'll get a big of gawking.

Description

  • Holiday Inn Resort, Yalong Bay, Sanya
  • Yalong Bay National Resort Area, Sanya
  • Telephone for reservations: +86 (0) 898 8856 5666
  • Fax: +86 (0) 898 8856 5888
  • Web: Holiday Inn Yalong Bay

Guide Review - Review of the Holiday Inn Resort, Yalong Bay

There are new hotels and resorts popping up in Sanya every few months. It's become a happening resort area where once there was just the Holiday Inn Yalong Bay, it now has plenty of five-star international neighbors. The trouble with these fancy resorts is while you'll pay fancy-resort prices, you may wait around for your Mai Tai a good 20 minutes at the bar and then have it served with a green olive on the side. Let's just say that all these hotels are still working on getting staff who can provide that 5-star service you're paying for.

That's why we end up back at the Holiday Inn, one of the original resorts in the area, quite often when we go to Sanya. (For us, an escape from Shanghai to Sanya is a nice family getaway that doesn't require international travel or jet lag.) We know what to expect and we're not paying an arm and a leg for poor service and lame food.

Most recently, we spent a week at the Holiday Inn to escape the cold spring of Shanghai during my son's spring holidays. We were 3 families with 5 kids between us but the husbands only stayed for the weekend. After that, we moms were on our own and we were outnumbered. But that's the beauty of going to a small resort like the Holiday Inn. The staff could not be friendlier. The beach bartenders let our kids beg for drink umbrellas and never complained. The child minder at the playroom got to know us all well and the wait staff in the breakfast room had our coffees ready before we even asked by the end of the week. Sanya is still being developed and has not quite made it to international beach resort status so it has a nice, rather laid-back feel. You just can't expect anything too fast and you need to exercise some flexibility in your expectations.

So I can't really comment from the point of view of romantic vacationers looking for a beach getaway. But if you're traveling with kids, then I can highly recommend the Holiday Inn. There are daily activities for the kids and there's a large indoor kids' playroom for hot or rainy afternoons. There are child minders on duty and several nights we moms put the kids in the playroom with DVDs while we enjoyed a quieter dinner. Family rooms are available and one of ours even had bunk beds. Sea-view rooms have kid-safe balconies to enjoy a beer and a view while the kids sleep. Our favorite was the beach-side BBQ that happens a few nights a week. Here you can enjoy freshly cooked meat or fish of your choice while the kids play at the beach. The hotel really offers everything a family could want. When I've got kids in tow, I'm not looking for fancy, I'm looking for functional and the Holiday Inn certainly is for a great beach holiday.

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