SANYA, CHINA—The nearly $2-billion Atlantis Sanya recently opened here, the first for the brand in the Asia-Pacific region.
Overlooking the South China Sea, the resort, owned by Fosun International and managed by Kerzner International, is home to one of the largest open-air aquariums in the world, The Ambassador Lagoon, a unique underwater habitat with more than 86,000 species of marine life.
The more-than-5.8-million-sq.-ft. resort has 1,324 guestrooms and 154 suites, including seven uniquely designed underwater suites—the first guest experience of its kind in China, according to the company.
“Atlantis Sanya provides not only a hotel, but also a water park, an aquarium, shopping center, entertainment performances and more,” said Heiko Schreiner, managing director of the resort. “It’s a perfect combination of an integrated travel destination resort and a vacation and leisure destination, which is in line with the current trend of the tourism market. Thus, Atlantis Sanya is crowned as a hallmark of the high-end resort in Sanya and will bring Sanya’s tourism industry to its 3.0 edition.”
The more-than-2.1-million-sq.-ft. Aquaventure Waterpark, designed by Falcon’s Creative Group, is the first in China to open every day of the year, according to the company. For conferences, events and meetings, Atlantis Sanya offers an expansive 50,000 sq.-ft.-plus MICE facility.
Sanya was chosen for the resort because of its popularity with tourists—and its potential for growth. “Sanya is the most popular island destination in China,” said Schreiner. “In 2015, Sanya attracted a total of 15,358 million international and domestic tourists. This has grown more than 70% in the last five years. In 2016, the city received more than 16.5 million visitors, with overseas visitors showing a remarkable 25% increase, reaching 440,000, according to the local government. The growth potential of Sanya and the entire Hainan province is tremendous. The government expects to grow this to 20 million domestic tourists and one million foreign visitors next year. We believe that the number of visitors, our perfect location in Haitang Bay and warm weather are the key reasons to launch this first Atlantis resort in Sanya.”
Guo Guangchang, chairman of Fosun International, sees Atlantis Sanya as a response to the growing trend of family–focused hospitality, ushering in a new era for tourism in Hainan and China. “We call it ‘Foliday,’ Fosun’s distinctive holiday brand that seeks to take the tourism industry to greater heights,” Guo said. “At Atlantis Sanya, families will have everything they want and need for a breathtaking holiday experience. With something for every family member to enjoy, we’ve designed the ultimate multi-generational resort experience, focused on delivering quality family time and treasured memories that last a lifetime.”
Michael Wale, CEO of Kerzner International, believes this new Atlantis resort will continue the company’s tradition of providing memorable vacations to tourists who hail from all over the world. Atlantis Sanya joins Kerzner’s flagship destination Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai, as well as The Royal Atlantis Resort and Residences in Dubai, and Atlantis, Ko Olina in Hawaii, both of which are under construction.
“We are delighted to be welcoming Atlantis Sanya into our family as not only the first Atlantis resort in China, but also a proud first step into the Asia-Pacific region,” said Wale. “Atlantis Sanya is the next generation of Atlantis resorts, offering a wide variety of guest entertainment experiences.”
The resort has a number of similarities to Atlantis, The Palm. “Atlantis Sanya and Atlantis, The Palm are both ocean-inspired integrated entertainment resort destinations that adhere to the Atlantis brand DNA,” he said. “However, the architecture and design of the resorts reflects its location and origins.”
In Sanya, the resort features artwork by local Chinese artists and the furnishings are accented with Hainan province’s native hardwoods such as Zitan, Hongmu and Jichimu. “Works by local Chinese artists on illuminated bronze niches dot the passages that connect lounges, ballrooms and dining areas, while ocean blue stone frames the breathtaking aquatic displays that Atlantis is world-famous for,” said Schreiner.
While Atlantis, The Palm has restaurants catering to more European and Middle Eastern guests, Atlantis Sanya, not surprisingly, has more signature Asian restaurants, such as Singaporean restaurant Crab Kitchen and Japanese restaurant Netsu. Among the resort’s 21 other restaurants, cafés and lounges are Bread Street Kitchen and Bar from celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay and Ossiano Underwater Restaurant and Bar. HB