While revamped pre-Olympic Beijing has been stealing the Chinese spotlight of late, there's an island southwest of Hong Kong undergoing its own renaissance—and Hainan Islandis ready for its debut. The up-and-coming tropical destination has the latitude of Hawaii, the climate of Bali and the white sandy beaches of both. Historically host to Communist exiles, not sun-seeking tourists, the "Land of the Fine Jade Cliffs" has long been under the travel radar. Which means its coral reefs are still intact, its rainforests still untouched and its waterfalls still undiscovered.
And where Southeast Asian hotspots emerge, the luxury resort chain Banyan Tree is first on the scene—and Hainanis no exception. The Banyan Tree Sanya opens next month along Luhuitou Bay, on the island's southern tip. Everyone of the 49 villas sprinkled through the rainforest lagoon boasts private pools and gardens. But if standard VIP won't cut it, you (and your entourage) might consider the resort-within-a-resort Presidential Villa—with a personal massage center, billiards room, mini-theater, fully equipped gym and "guest rooms" aplenty.
Because this isn't a find you can keep to yourself.