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Category Archives: Sanya

SANYA: ENJOYING THE BEACH

The Banyan Tree resort is situated on the beach in Sanya. Thankfully, most of the large hotels have their own private beach (at least that’s what I heard, correct me if I’m wrong?). A very good thing because quite a few people told me that the public beaches are quite weird – filled with locals that stare at you cavorting around in your swimwear, and is a far cry from the lush holiday atmosphere that people want. The Banyan Tree private beach, in contrast, is completely devoid of people. It was actually quite an odd sight!

The skies were bright blue and the water so clear, and the sand soft and clean. Yet, save for 2 cabanas with people in them, no one was in or near the water. I suppose not many people are staying at the Banyan Tree, hence you get the beach allll to yourself. It was a little surreal, since we’re so used to having tons of people around us in Shanghai and being jostled and pushed around. It felt quite.. vulnerable having not a soul around!

At the resort, walking out to the Banyan Tree’s private beach

On the day bed. It was so quiet!

I LOVED the lack of people around :)

Getting our feet wet in the crystal clear waters

Hooray for 2nd honeymoons!!

It was a fantastic way to celebrate Chris’ birthday… fully recommended if you’re after a romantic getaway with barely any people around and top-notch service. Just remember not to be a dummy like me, and use sunblock so you don’t get sunburnt. On our honeymoon last year, I burnt my butt. This time, it was my shoulder. Grrr!

A very SORE, red shoulder. YES I know I’m wearing mismatched swimmers,
no need to point that out! I was too lazy to pack properly, okayyyy….

Close-up, it was hard to capture the redness. It was paaainfulll.. *grumbles*
But at least now it’s faded down to a nice tan, whew :)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, love of my life :)
Every day is a holiday with you.. xoxo

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Posted by on 27 March 2010 (Sat) in Holidays, Sanya, Uncategorized

 

SANYA: IT’S FEASTING TIME

We had a mind-blowing, belt-popping, flat-out awesome HUMONGOUS FEAST whilst in Sanya!

You see, we were just wandering around the Banyan Tree resort to enjoy the sunset.. when we saw, next to the beach, they had set up a dining area. Turns out that it was their special Saturday Night BBQ. The price is *ouch* but it IS all-you-can-eat… right by the beach watching the sunset and with the balmy breeze. We were sold ;)

And whilst it’s expensive, you truly do get value for money. They are very generous with the food, and the quality was superb. Everything was thoughtfully presented in beautiful bowls or glasses, and it was all quality food. The appetizers themselves took up 2 tables and actually could have filled you up for dinner. Normally appetizers are just fillers and nothing too amazing, but these were excellent. It was very similiar to fine dining food that you’d get for the same price or more at restaurants without a view.

The grilled food was the star, of course. Super fresh seafood and meats, which you pick and the grill straight away before serving it to your table. And despite laughing at me for choosing so much food to eat, they were incredibly generous and didn’t try to stop you from eating a lot or going nuts over a particular type of food. Normally I’m a bit suspicious of buffets because something off somewhere, there’s usually some sort of catch. But here, it was genuine flat-out great quality food and fantastic service!

The desserts made me froth at the mouth. It was a HUGE selection, so we had to pace ourselves to ensure we could stuff in one of everything. Lovely desserts and so beautifully presented, they made me happy just looking at them :P

I ate everything in the photos below, except for the chocolate Movenpick ice cream. Chris ate the same as well. Do the math and you can figure out how CRAZY FULL we were afterwards! *burps* All we could do after the dinner was walk around the pool to try and digest our food, then collapse into bed and lie there with glazed eyes but very very satisfied bellies :D I blame the meal for making me put on almost 1.5KG, but I don’t regret it. Worth every calorie and it made for a lovely (and romantic) date sitting by the ocean in the open air :)

Outdoor area for our BBQ buffet….. oh nomnomnom…

The various ‘stations’ of food

Was a big fan of the buttery garlic bread. Not so much a fan of that cucumber juice (ew)..

Duck with mango. This was unbelievably good!!

Potato salad with bacon and onions. I loved this, though I know it’s a ‘filler’

Shrimp and pineapple. Nice and fresh, cute presentation too

Chilled noodles with peppers. Didn’t think I’d like it, but the flavour was great.

Fried fish with some sort of salad. Uneventful cos I had no idea what it was :P

Appetisers plate of chicken, pork ribs (these were amazing), fish and fried rice

Watching the sunset as the girl plays a Chinese harp. The music was beautiful!

The grilled food station. Pick your raw food and they grill it straight away.

Grilled prawns, sausages, lamb chops, fish.. all with copious amounts of garlic. Mm…

Clams. So so so tasty, but they were tiiiny

Grilled steaks. Man these were really tender, and loved the sauces!

Scallops (so small though) and more prawns. Had 6 prawns cos they were yum.

OYSTERS!!!

The dessert table….. *heart skips a beat*

A luscious, creamy, decadent chocolate cake…. I was in ecstasy.

Movenpick icecreams!!! And other assorted desserts that were yummy :)

More desserts, because I was determined to eat myself into a stupor (it worked)

Long Island Ice Tea (for Chris) and my frozen Mango cocktail.. it was divine.

 
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Posted by on 27 March 2010 (Sat) in Holidays, Sanya, Uncategorized

 

SANYA: BANYAN TREE’S MAIN POOL

We did actually check out the Banyan Tree’s main pool whilst we were there. It was completely devoid of guests, just staff looking after various stations around the place. So basically, it became our massive private pool as well :P There wasn’t a soul in sight!! Just fantastic, because we liked the privacy.

The main pool is built for optimal privacy as well. It’s a large and VERY long pool, snaking all around the middle area of the resort. There are many smooth curves in the pool, and all shrouded by a lot of foliage and pretty flowers, so it probably can accommodate many many people in there whilst still feeling really private.

They’ve also got 8 jacuzzis in a grotto, each in it’s own little section, so you don’t get into the strange situation of canoodling in a jacuzzi and having a stranger sitting opposite you staring ;)

There’s something to be said about Sanya’s perfect weather. I certainly wouldn’t mind living there, or the Maldives. I’m a true summer/tropical girl at heart.. I much prefer lounging around in swimmers than huddling and shivering in 5 layers of thick clothes. Plus, it means there’s way less laundry to do every week ;)

What’s your favourite season, and why?

Mine’s summer, hands down!

Me getting into the main pool, which is a HUGE winding pool snaking around.

The little grotto in the main pool, with 8 jacuzzis (4 pictured here)

No one was ever swimming in the main pool, so we had the jacuzzis all to ourselves :P

Floating around, trying to get a tan

Zonked out in one of the canopy beds. Hey, eating and lazing about is hard work!

Went back to our villa for some snacks on our day bed by the pool

Grilled chicken satay with condiments and curry satay sauce

Potato wedges (weird cos they weren’t deep-fried like we like) with
sour cream and chilli sauces.

 
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Posted by on 26 March 2010 (Fri) in Holidays, Sanya, Uncategorized

 

SANYA: BREAKFAST TIME!

There’s one thing that makes me irrationally happy about holidays – buffet breakfasts. Don’t you just love seeing the HUGE assortment of food laid out before you, and you’re spoilt for choice?! It totally gets me going and makes me as excited as a little kid on Christmas day.

Banyan Tree resort has a really big selection for breakfast.. so much so that, as much as I tried to stuff into my belly, I didn’t end up eating everything :( Still, I did end up eating almost all of it, so that’s not too bad! I thought their freshly cooked omelettes were by far the best. Fluffy canary yellow eggs, still gooey on the inside, encasing bits of capsicum, bacon, onion, etc, etc. DELISH!!

It’s also worth calling out their service. They’re so attentive they won’t even let you carry your plate from the buffet area to your table. Instead, they quickly run up, ask to take the plate off you, and put it down on your table (a few metres away). If you order anything, they ask “Is this OK?” to check that you’re satisfied when the dish/drink arrives. And everything with a smile. I think 95% of the service industry need to take a few tips from these guys at the Banyan Tree…

Relaxing at breakfast

My breakfast of (clockwise from bottom): omelette, spring onion pancake,
croissant, peach tart, hash brown, tomato, sausage. That mango + yoghurt
dessert (top left) was AMAZING too. Also, our lattes (top right) were gorgeous!

A bowl of noodles with pork and shrimps. Looks plain but it was tasty

Grilled beef tenderloins and grilled cod fish. Random, but hey, I ate it anyway!

Breakfast ‘dessert’ of Brie and cheddar cheeses with French baguette, and fruit.

Irresistibly cute :)

OH NOMNOMNOM!!!

 
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Posted by on 25 March 2010 (Thu) in Holidays, Sanya, Uncategorized

 

SANYA: HURRAY FOR PRIVATE POOLS!

I’d say 80% of our day was spent lounging in/by our pool :D Fe were specifically after a resort in Sanya that had a villa with a private pool… but oddly, not many do and Banyan Tree was basically the only one that was good. I figured it would be nice to be completely shut away from the rest of the world, where we could have a swim in privacy and lounge around by the pool in tranquil peacefulness.

Well, we certainly had that! Our villa and pool were overlooking a lake, so we were truly hidden from prying eyes and any annoying sounds. It was nice to have our own little playground :) I adored our pool and spent most of my day in it because the water was so warm, thanks to Sanya’s tropical weather. It’s so easy to just *plop* in! Normally I don’t like swimming because I have a fear of getting cold when I swim.. and it almost always takes me AGES to get into the water (I go in inch by inch, would never jump straight in ‘cos that’s for craaaazy people!). But here, I just walked in and it was perfectly fine. Plus, there are steps in the pool going up to the bedroom that you can sit on, and a seat/ledge at the edge of the pool overlooking the lake, so you can rest there and get a tan.

When we weren’t splashing around in the pool, we were laying back on the lounge chairs or day bed. Surfing the internet ;) Originally we weren’t going to bring our laptops because didn’t want it to distract me from spending time with Chris. But then Chris decided it was a craaazy idea and that I needed to be online or I wouldn’t have a perfect holiday :P It was just as well, since we had hours and hours of lounging around!

It was major deja vu of our honeymoon… when I also lounged around by the water surfing the internet :P It’s my little slice of Heaven – internet, sun, water, warmth. Oh, and with a very hot and adoring husband right next to me :) It was all meant to be in celebration of his birthday.. but it kinda felt like my present too, LOL!

The pool area in the day. Spot the lurking peeping tom ;)

The water was sooo deliciously warm since it’s always sunny in Sanya

Our private pool :) Villa to the left, deckchairs (where we spent 80% of the day)
on the right. At the end, in front of where I’m facing, is a little seat in the pool. Cute!

A beautiful dragonfly I found and rescued when it was floating in the pool.

Taken from the bed. My at my favourite spot during the whole holiday..

Chilling on the deckchair in perfect weather, surfing the internet. My idea of Heaven ;)

 
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Posted by on 25 March 2010 (Thu) in Holidays, Sanya, Uncategorized

 

SANYA: THE BANYAN TREE RESORT

I squawked with delight when we stepped into our Banyan Tree villa. I know I’m easily excited and easily impressed, but I just LOVED the villa! It was very very much like our Shangri-La villa during our Maldives honeymoon.. except obviously not actually sitting above the ocean. The layout and prettiness of it, though, was quite similiar. I can see why the Banyan Tree has such a good reputation – their attention to detail is impressive, not to mention their spectacular service. Everything that we wanted was provided for, and we were left with nothing to do but to kick back and relax.

The villa was really, really big. Hard to show in the photos, but it just felt like being in a house. The ceilings were really high, and the lighting and sound system was fantastic. I was particularly impressed with their air-conditioning system, which let out cool air but didn’t blast it out. I’m very particular about air conditioning because I hate feeling the air on me, and I hate dry air. For some reason, theirs was spot-on perfect.

During the day, we simply turned off the air conditioner, and threw open the big glass doors. Because directly outside the bedroom, you step into the private pool. I LOVED that! So fun leaping from the bed into the pool :P And this is where we stayed the entire time… with a villa like this, we figured there’s no need to actually go out onto the streets of Sanya and explore the city :P

A selection of coffees and also teapots with assorted tea leaves!!! Ahhhhh!

Why don’t ALL hotels/resorts have this? It was so cute!

The bedroom with it’s massive bed

And a really high ceiling with skylights. I loved this.

Overlooking the private pool

Open those glass sliding doors and you can hop from the bed, into the pool ;)

The room gets really, really romantic at night.. with surround sound mood music.

His and Hers slippers. Loved ’em as hotel slippers are always too big for me.

Burning essential oils and also incense sticks

Big bathroom with His and Hers sinks

Open the glass sliding doors and you step out into the open-air bath!

The bathtub ‘floats’ in a pond with lilies and makes
an insanely romantic evening bath under the stars.. *swoon*

Cute pottery holders for shampoo/conditioner/bath gel and a freakin’ fantastic
rain shower (not pictured cos it was too high up) with pebbles all over the floor.

The dressing room area, with a naked Chris hiding from my camera :P

A glimpse of our private pool at night. Deckchairs are on the left (in the dark)
and the day bed (all lit up)…. Romantic night-time skinny dipping, anyone? ;)

That concludes your tour of the Banyan Tree villa. Thank you and goodbye :D

 
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Posted by on 24 March 2010 (Wed) in Holidays, Sanya, Uncategorized

 

SANYA: CHECKING IN

Helloooo Sanya

Sanya’s almost 3 hours away from Shanghai, which was further away than I’d expected (for some strange reason, I was thinking it was only 1.5 hours away). However, that meant that we stepped out of Shanghai’s downright miserable rainy cold weather (we’re at the end of March so I have NO idea how we’re still in winter here!) and into glorious 29 celcius Sanya. The entire time we were there, it was crystal blue skies, fluffy clouds, and a lovely warm climate. One of the nicest climates I’ve experienced… next to the Maldives, of course. It was heavenly being able to wander around in a swim suit, or a simple light dress. Have been so sick of wearing 4 layers every day in Shanghai!

The Banyan Tree resort is a sprawling garden of villas in a laid-back, serene atmosphere. There’s actually hardly anyone around, just a lot of service staff. It meant that throughout the trip, the service was top-notch and attentive to the extreme. And due to the lack of people, there was NO pushing and shoving, and no spitting whatsoever. Ahhhh… bliss.

The main foyer of Banyan Tree resort

The restaurants surround the massive water feature

A pond with lillies and fish

The check in/out area

Chilled lemon-spiked water and cold towels to refresh whilst checking in

Looking tired after our flight, and just eagerly anticipating our villa!

In the buggy driving to our villa (the resort is huuuuge, despite only having a few villas)

Zooming along

Our villa! Basically a house with a private pool inside those doors… Heavenly!

 
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Posted by on 24 March 2010 (Wed) in Holidays, Sanya, Uncategorized