Design-led Capella Sanya Opens Its Doors

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Design-led Capella Sanya Opens Its Doors

Now open – 190 Rooms

Designed by legendary architect Jean-Michel Gathy, Capella Sanya, the new benchmark for China’s luxury beach resorts from the Capella brand opened its doors to guests in January 2019. The resort draws on the adventures of Chinese traders along the legendary Maritime Silk Route – from décor, cuisine and menu design to landscaping, recreational activities and spa – taking guests on their own extraordinary journey.


Located on the tropical coastline of Blessed Bay on Hainan Island, Capella Sanya sets new standards in luxury with 190 exquisitely designed rooms and six private villas amid lush gardens overlooking the turquoise South China Sea. With its innovative design by Jean-Michel Gathy and luxurious authentic cultural references, Capella Sanya introduces extensive guest experiences to China’s leading resort destination.

Visionary Architecture & Design By Jean-Michel Gathy

Principal designer at DENNISTON – one of the world’s leading hospitality design firms – Jean-Michel Gathy has masterminded multiple authentic design references to Chinese culture throughout the resort. Such references include the Feng-Shui principles applied to 

the lobby, water features, large meditative spaces and the use of vibrant red to represent the resort. Red is a favourite symbolic colour in China, which symbolises energy – as well as wealth – reflecting the holiday spirit of guests at Capella Sanya. Key to Gathy’s iconic style is this sense of serenity as he blends traditional Chinese cultural references with luxurious, contemporary design.

Guests begin their journey with the stunning 4,257 sqm Dream Pool of Essay, which leads them inside the lobby. This feature is the pinnacle of traditional Chinese culture and design, which connects guests with “oriental wisdom” inspired by the poetry of Tang dynasty poet Zhang Ruoxu describing the scenery of the moonlight.

The spectacular lobby is styled as the heart of its own Feng-Shui universe, with a ‘treasure bowl’ dome trickling water into a central pool, an auspicious metaphor for prosperity and wealth.

In traditional Chinese symbolism, the circle on the top represents Heaven and the square is the Earth at the bottom of the universe. Here Jean-Michel Gathy reversed the Dream Pool of Essay – which the conceptual square with a circle inside representing the Earth and Full Moon respectively, is designed to symbolise family reunion and specifically here, a family resort for guests to relax with loved ones. By night, the water feature transforms into dazzling reflections of energy and peacefulness.

Maritime-Inspired Fine Dining
The cuisine, beverages and even the menu design at the four distinctive restaurants, bars and lounge, pay homage to the rich cultures, flavours and spices found along the fabled trade route.

Refined signature Chinese fine dining restaurant Lan Ting is reached via a finite walkway which is a contemporary reproduction of a traditional Chinese garden with ponds, passages and pathways, to reach the restaurant styled after a traditional teahouse, complete with a classical red-tiled roof. It also features the contemporary zigzag – a common feature in classical Chinese gardens – painted red, the symbolic colour of the resort.

The Library & Library Bar offer guests an intimate, club-like setting with panoramic vistas of Blessed Bay for snacks and cocktails inspired by spices, herbs, teas and ingredients along the voyages; and antique-style drinks menu designed as an ancient seafarer’s spice-route map. A striking red Steinway piano takes centre stage, which due to the open design, can be heard around the hotel. Outside, a far reaching infinity pool reflects the light and the striking design, creating a soothing focal point for guests.

Wellness Masterpiece, The Auriga Spa
A masterpiece in contemporary wellness architecture, the Auriga spa resembles a giant canopy respecting the Chinese preference for shade over direct sun, cocooning spa goers within a serene 4,020 sqm sanctuary for holistic pampering.

A destination in itself, the spa complex introduces Hainan’s first authentic Moroccan bath – and also the region’s first Snow Cabin. Treatments inspired by Eastern traditions blend with healthy recreational facilities complete with a state-of-the-art Athletic Centre with its own private 125 sqm heated lap pool, two floodlit tennis courts and a full range of water sports.

Sanya, on the southern end of Hainan Island, has gradually become China’s first choice tropical coastal tourist city in recent years. Jean-Michel Gathy also designed the Park Hyatt Sanya in 2015 which reflects Asian principals with a spaciousness created through the use of pillars and a high roof. Looking to the future, Andaz Sanya Sunny Bay will open in 2020 also under Jean-Michel Gathy’s design has been carefully designed to capture the charm and ambience experienced in a traditional Chinese village.

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