Denniston’s Jean-Michel Gathy designs Park Hyatt Sanya

Hyatt Hotels Corporation opened the Park Hyatt Sanya Sunny Bay Resort in Sanya on Hainan Island, China’s southernmost province widely known as “the Hawaii of China.” The hotel marks the fifth Park Hyatt hotel in China, as well as the 35th Park Hyatt hotel in the world.

Situated on an inlet and including a private lake and white-sand beach, Park Hyatt Sanya Sunny Bay Resort is three miles away from Yalong Bay, the island’s most popular tourist destination.

Park Hyatt Sanya Sunny Bay Resort was created by Belgian architect Jean-Michel Gathy of the design consultancy firm Denniston. The modernist development comprises six standalone, arch-shaped buildings designed to allow chi, the traditional Chinese notion of energy, to flow unhindered between ocean and mountains. Set amid a lush area next to the Nan Hu Lake, the placement of every building and internal space was carefully considered to maximize the view. The six buildings are linked by walkways and are decorated with paintings and sculptures.


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Designed to replicate the feeling of living in a private mansion by the sea, the interiors are residential in style with a subtle Chinese sensibility. As in private homes, the spaces are flexible. Park Hyatt Sanya Sunny Bay Resort has 207 guestrooms, including 26 suites and 17 villas. At almost 700 square feet, the standard rooms are among the largest on the island, and almost all of the guestrooms enjoy views of the South China Sea.

There are eight drinking and dining venues: Dining Room, Cellar, Pool House, Pool Bar, Bath House, Library, Terrace and Tea House, following the notion of rooms within a large residence.

Dining Room is the main residential-style dining space offering Chinese cuisine. Cellar offers private dining in an intimate setting. Tea House is located in a traditional Chinese-style building topped with ceramic-roof tiles, and featuring a mezzanine floor and a 30-foot-high ceiling with myriad birdcages. Pool House, Pool Bar and Bath House are located near the pools. Meanwhile, Library and Terrace offer ocean views. 

For events, the property features eight residential-style venues, ranging from 450 square feet to over 3,600 square feet. All venues have an abundance of natural light, outdoor terraces, audio-visual equipment and lighting.

Chamber is the largest indoor event space, measuring just over 3,600 square feet and comprising three separate spaces: a reception area, an open kitchen and a main dining area. Gallery is a 3,100 square foot space with paintings and sculptures decorating both sides to resemble an art gallery.  The salons are ideal for smaller events. The almost 1,700-square-foot Grand Salon with its 36-foot ceiling height and walls lined with wooden lattice, is an ideal venue for a wedding or gala dinner. The 6,500-square-foot lawn in front of Pool House is ideal for outdoor events.

Park Hyatt Sanya Sunny Bay Resort also has five separate pools – a 375-square-foot pool, a children’s pool, a family pool, a spa pool and an indoor pool. 

The Spa at Park Hyatt Sanya Sunny Bay Resort is due to open in late 2015. Located by the lake and accessed by buggy, the spa will be built in a traditional Chinese style and will have a main, two-story building and eight freestanding villas around an open-air courtyard. The semi open-air villas will each include a couple’s treatment room, a private foot treatment room, a freestanding tub, a shower, a walk-in wardrobe and an oversized daybed. Meanwhile, the main spa building will have four additional treatment rooms, three foot-treatment rooms, a TCM consultancy chamber and a lounge on the first floor. The floor below has a gym, a yoga studio and an outdoor infinity pool.