Imagine a land space so huge that it is almost the size of the entire country of Macau. Imagine a resort so vast that it is 1.5 times the size of Manhattan. Imagine a collection often ten golf courses with 18-holes, spread throughout the resort — making it one of the largest golf complexes in the world. That is the Mission Hills Resort in Haikou, Hainan; and during my trip to China, I got to spend a night at this ginormous resort.
The Mission Hills Haikou
The Mission Hills Resort Haikou is located 10 km south of the center of Haikou, the capital of Hainan Island, China. Hainan Island is a tropical island located in the southernmost part of the country, and is therefore blessed with sun and blue skies all year round. The resort itself is nestled within a dramatic volcanic landscape — though you can’t really see any actual volcanoes around the area, this fact is apparent due to the use of lava rocks to build and decorate many parts of the resort.
The Mission Hills Haikou is the second Mission Hills Resort — the first (and largest) is located in Shenzhen, China. This resort is so huge that I could probably spend an entire week (maybe month) here and not run out of things to do. Unfortunately, we were only visiting for a night (and a day), so we had to cram as much as we could within the short time frame that we had. This was my experience at the Mission Hills Resort Haikou.
The Mission Hills Experience
It was the last night of our visit to the beautiful tropical island of Hainan in Southern China. I was on a tour of the entire island with Parlo Tours (read about the full tour here) — and on this last night, we were brought to spend it at Hainan Island’s biggest resort town, the Mission Hills Resort Haikou. It was dark when we arrived by bus, so I didn’t exactly get to gauge how big this resort really is at that time (so you can imagine my lovely surprise in the morning).
We were greeted at the lobby entrance with a pretty orchid garland (just like in Hawaii) — a little fun fact is that Hainan Island is also known as the Hawaii of China. We were immediately checked-in (leaving our passports at the desk, just like in most hotels in China), and then we made our way up to our rooms to refresh before dinner.
My Room at the Resort
There are a total of 539 rooms at Mission Hills Haikou — ranging from the basic Deluxe Rooms and Grande Deluxe Rooms, to the Premier Rooms, Suites and Spa Suites. I was with my tour roommate, Joan — and we were given the Deluxe Room that comes with 2 queen-sized beds, the most beautiful round bathtub, the basic facilities like a minibar, coffee and tea stuff, safe, television, workspace, bathroom amenities; and small touches like bedroom slippers next to the bed, a personalized welcome note, and a pretty passport cover souvenir.
Our room also had a balcony that faces the swimming pool and the vast expanse of golf courses in the distance. Due to it being already dark when we got in, I couldn’t exactly make out the view — except for the pool from the bright lights surrounding it. I couldn’t make it out in the early morning as well, as everything was surrounded by fog! Luckily we were taken to the resort’s viewing area on a higher-floor later on in the morning — where I finally managed to get the resort panorama I was looking for.
Dinner at Silver Moon Chinese Restaurant, and Breakfast the Next Morning
That night, we had dinner at the resort’s Silver Moon Chinese Restaurant that serves Asian delicacies and signature dishes from China’s many regions. The restaurant is located at the resort’s clubhouse, and we had to pass through a “Mission Hills” Walk-of-Fame, which is a pathway lined with the hand-print plagues of some of the resort’s most famous guests — think Nicole Kidman, Tiger Woods, Donnie Yen, Chris Evans, Ryan Reynolds and more. And upon entering the restaurant, we were greeted by an area filled with aquariums of fresh fish and seafood; and an interesting decorative collection of lava rocks. Our dinner was in one of the 24 private rooms of the restaurant, and we had an array of delicious Chinese dishes set out in front of us — my favorites were the pan-fried mushrooms in soya sauce and the poached spinach with preserved eggs. I guess I am a simple girl to please.
In the morning, we were served buffet breakfast at the Bistro on the Rock — and the restaurant provided a pretty extensive spread of international and local Chinese fares. The Malaysian in me was just so happy to see fried noodles and chilli-paste and curry!
The Hot Springs and Spa
Our one-night stay came with a free entry into the Lava Springs, the volcanic mineral springs at the resort. Due to the volcanic nature of Hainan Island, it is home to many natural springs reserves; and the resort is located in the region’s largest one, with over 168 hot and cold springs. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to visit the hot springs — but I did hear about the many interesting designs and bathing rituals adopted from the many continents in the world that can be found at the Lava Springs. I half wished I went to soak in an Ancient Roman bath, or a Japanese onsen, or even an exotic Turkish pool.
I did however, drop by for a quick tour around the Missions Hills Spa — which I have to say is the most amazing spa building I have ever visited. It is set in an old traditional Chinese circular communal house that could fit an entire village, and is built with lava rocks from the vicinity. The spa, together with the springs, was awarded the Guinness World Records title of the “World’s Largest Mineral Springs Resort”.
A Buggy Tour Around the World’s Biggest Golf Club
The next morning, we were taken for a short buggy tour around one of the ten 18-hole golf courses that surround the resort. I have only played a little bit of golf when I was younger so I don’t know much about the sport — but who would say no to a buggy ride! I made sure that I got a front seat (I would have offered to drive if I was allowed to), and it was so much fun just zooming around the little pathways that run through the greens. The view of the resort from afar is really beautiful too, and it was interesting going through the golf course landscape that has lava rocks all around it.
One of the golf courses at the Mission Hills Haikou Golf Club is the Blackstone Course, which is 7,808-yard core golf course covering 350 acres. It is a premiere tournament venue and comes with extensive spectator mounding. Mission Hills Haikou hosts golf tournaments like the 2010 Mission Hills Star Trophy and the 2012 Mission Hills World Celebrity Pro-Am — with notable celebrity entrants like Catherine Zeta-Jones, Hugh Grant, Eric Tsang and Matthew McConoughey. The resort has a whole wall of celebrity golf pictures displayed at the lobby area.
Movie Town Haikou
With the amount of time we had, we didn’t get to do much at the Mission Hills — but I think the most interesting place for me was the Movie Town Haikou! Located within the larger vicinity of the resort, the Movie Town is a collaboration between Mission Hills, Chinese director Feng Xiaogang, and local production group Huayi Brother Media Group. The entire place was created as a movie and television filming set location, and also as a tourist attraction. It is made up of artificial Chinese towns, movie studios, guest apartments and administrative buildings.
During my tour, I got to visit the set of Nanyang Street, with its old western-influenced Chinese shop houses; and also the set of 1940’s Shanghai, with its ancient wooden houses, long staircases, and moss-covered buildings. It was so fun walking though these sets and imagine being taken back to the past — I really wished I had more time so I could play dress up and put on a Chinese qipao, or a Chinese army corporal uniform. We only had a little over an hour to explore these old film sets.
What Else is There to Do in Mission Hills?
The tour around Movie Town Haikou marked the end of our time at the Mission Hills Resort Haikou. During our visit to the resort, we were also ferried around to see some of the other locations within the vicinity. We passed by the shopping Centreville area in downtown to see the malls, shops and restaurants; which is also the location to some of the most interesting museums — the Barcelona FC Museum, the NBA Basketball Museum, and the Teddy Bear Museum. I really would have loved to visit one of those! Oh, and other than the main resort hotel I stayed in, Mission Hills is home to three other international hotel chains — Renaissance Hotel, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, and Hard Rock Hotel Haikou.
Mission Hills is also home to the largest indoor children’s park, and has a Wet’n’Wild water theme park run by the Village Show from Australia. It also provides tons of sports facilities with more than 30-50 football fields and tennis courts, karting courses, and rock-climbing walls, just to name a few. These are just some of the things I can remember on my visit to Mission Hills; so just imagine, there are much much more other things to do!
At the End of the Day…
… I really didn’t have enough time to even skim through the surface of what Mission Hills has to offer. One day is definitely not enough, but I really had a good time learning about this huge resort and visiting some of the places along the way. I just think it’s amazing that there is such a gigantic place on such a small island with some of the most fun things to do and with such world-class facilities. It may be a costly, but for what it offers for the entire family, it might just be worth it.
And for the golfers (because a whole big portion of the area is a golf course), I guess you can say that this is a golfer’s dream paradise — you can come with friends and play golf all day, or visit with the family and still play golf as much as you want. Because if your husband/wife/children doesn’t golf, they will still have plenty of other things to do. Isn’t that just great?
MISSION HILLS HAIKOU
Where: No.1 Mission Hills Boulevard,
Haikou, Hainan, China.
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*She Walks the World was a guest on a trip to Hainan Island, China with Parlo Tours; which included a stay at Mission Hills Resort. And as always, all opinions stated here are my own.