Located on the southern tip of Hainan Island, Sanya (sometimes referred to as “Hawaii of China”) is evolving year after year, attracting international hotel brands and creative culinary concepts. But if all you want is a back-to-basics beach bar, we’ve got you covered with these top picks.
If you’re picturing toes in the sand, fruity cocktails in hand, and top-notch service all day long, you must be at Sand. This fresh-faced beach bar at The Ritz-Carlton, Sanya occupies a pristine plot of oceanfront land, overlooking Yalong Bay on Sanya’s southern coast. Right beside the ocean, Sand delivers on the promise of a laid-back beach bar with alfresco surroundings, lounge-worthy couches and even private cabanas for more intimate nights out. Reserve a cabana and taste-test fresh seafood, barbecue and classic summery cocktails while live bands performances hum into the evening.
Tipplers will appreciate the variety at InterContinental Sanya Resort, which is home to its own Beer Factory and Beach Bar. The Beer Factory is set back from the ocean but it does indeed brew its own German-style beer, pumping out fresh dark, lager and wheat varieties.
For views and atmosphere, shimmy into a bamboo swing at the photogenic Beach Bar. The funky design showcases a jungle of hanging pods, alongside several cozy, Thai-style lounge beds right beside the ocean — perfect for parties of two.
Sanya Surf Circus
Aimed at adrenaline junkies and adventurous travelers, Sanya Surf Circus is all about music and mingling. Part bar and part meet-up spot for SUP (stand-up paddle boarding) and surf enthusiasts, Sanya Surf Circus tends to attract an international crowd thanks to its wallet-friendly prices and cordial service.
During the day, it’s all leisurely lounging and watersports here, but come nightfall, the popular spot turns into a lively dancing den with high-energy DJ performances. Don’t expect any pretentious mixology here, though you can look forward to locally brewed Anchor beer and a solid list of classic mixed drinks.
A sophisticated setting at the Conrad Sanya Haitang Bay resort, Vue Lounge might not be right on the sand, but it certainly delivers on its promise with sweeping panoramas of the South China Sea. Designed by Cheng Chung Design, Hong Kong and LEO Thai, the handsome bar pays tribute to the region with lots of jade, gold and marble — not to mention eye-catching chandeliers and sky-high ceilings.
The talented bartenders will ensure your glass is always half-full, whether you’re enjoying a crisp beer, glass of wine or chilled cocktail. If you stop in to enjoy a lazy afternoon on one of the sun loungers, don’t miss the creative afternoon tea sets and the popular margarita, which may be the best on the island.
WOS Beach Bar
This no-frills, unassuming outpost is a mainstay on the Sanya nightlife circuit. Located along the coastline in Dadonghai, WOS Beach Bar doesn’t serve up highfalutin drinks or try to wow you with sophisticated interiors; instead, the low-key bar focuses on its relaxing ambience and quirky personality.
The colorful menus cover all your standard favorites — plus fresh juices and decent coffee — and, most nights, a live band or a DJ is on hand to turn up the energy after dark. Just steps away from Dadonghai Beach and surrounded by coconut groves, this cool little spot is a convenient jumping off point for travelers looking to bar hop.