by Emma Gall
From humble beginnings as a fishing port to a thriving hub of Portuguese colonial trade, Macau has since blossomed into what is now one of the go-to tourist destinations of the 21st century. Having overtaken Las Vegas as the “gambling capital of the world” thanks to massive investment in casino resorts that attract visitors from every corner of the globe, Macau now has so many hotels that making the decision where to stay in the city can be a difficult task. However, if luxury is at the top of your list of preferences, these are three hotels that should tick every box.
Located within the heart of the Cotai Strip, within easy walking distance to both City of Dreams and The Venetian, the Conrad Macao hotel has been awarded the 2018 Travellers’ Choice badge at TripAdvisor, based upon the consistently high number of 5/5 ratings left by almost 2,500 reviewers. Considering that Macau is one of the world’s eight most popular casino gambling destinations in 2018 according to Betway Casino, this is quite an accomplishment for the Conrad, especially given there’s such a high concentration of five-star hotels within the Macau peninsula and Cotai Strip.
Boasting some of the most innovative hotel designs and architecture in Asia, all the five-star hotels in Macau are widely renowned for their luxurious accommodation and facilities, but what truly appears to set the Conrad apart for reviewers is the stellar quality of service from staff. The majority of reviews frequently praise the personalized level of attentiveness and attention to detail they have received, with a friendly and positive attitude suggesting that no request is too great or too small, ensuring each and every guest receives VIP treatment.
Such focused reviews on quality service highlight the fact that, for the broad majority of tourists, the quality of service from staff at hotels leaves some of the longest lasting impressions. No matter how great the hotel looks, it’s location and views of the surrounding area, or how sumptuous the suites and rooms are, welcoming and helpful staff are paramount to guests enjoying a positive experience.
Morpheus at the City of Dreams
It’s still hard to believe that, less than two decades ago, the Cotai Strip was a stretch of sea between the islands of Taipa and Cotai, south of the mainland peninsula of Macau. Once these two islands were united as one, The Venetian was the first of the major casino resort complexes to be completed on the newly reclaimed land, however, that was shortly followed by The City of Dreams resort complex, which has continued to adapt and change since the initial first phase of its completion in 2009.
Rising alongside The Countdown, Grand Hyatt, and Nüwa hotels, the fourth addition is Morpheus, which is set to open its doors ahead of the 2018 summer tourist season. A technical and engineering marvel, the uniquely sculpted 150,000 square meter structure rises forty floors and will house around 780 rooms. Designed by internationally renowned architect Zaha Hadid, the new hotel will feature an infinity pool on its top deck, 130 meters above the street beneath, along with exclusive villas in the upper floors.
This is certainly a new hotel venue which promises to be oozing with modern style and sophistication. Regarded as a flagship in both design and innovation for Melco Crown Entertainment at the City of Dreams, in comments to the Macau Daily Times in 2016, CEO Lawrence Ho appeared to hint that this will be a hotel venue offering the utmost luxury to its guests, including executive areas and VIP gaming salons. Internationally celebrated French chef Alain Ducasse will also be bringing the finest of his contemporary haute cuisine to Morpheus, with two signature restaurants at the hotel.
The Ritz-Carlton at the Galaxy Macau
The name itself is synonymous with quality and class throughout the world, as part of a chain of hotels which prides itself on providing the most luxurious accommodation to guests in numerous destinations, and The Ritz-Carlton in Macau is certainly no different in that regard. Consistently the highest rated hotel by guests via Booking.com, with an “exceptional” rating of 9.6 out of 10, its public perception would suggest this is a hotel which lives up to group’s reputation.
The plush design of the rooms and suites embraces their classic European influence, whilst the marbled grandeur of the Exclusive Club Lounge is like a trip back in time to the opulent interiors of early twentieth century hotels in New York. Fine dining is always a signature part of the Ritz-Carlton experience, with the Macau venue offering a mouth-watering fusion of both Asian and international dishes, including the Michelin-starred Lai Heen restaurant on the 51st floor serving Cantonese cuisine.
After a busy day exploring all that Macau has to offer or shopping in the plethora of stores and boutiques around the Cotai Strip, guests can also wind down and pamper themselves at the award-winning spa and wellness center. A wide variety of therapeutic massages and treatments are available, along with steam rooms, saunas, and vitality pools to soak all your troubles away.
Enjoying the Macau experience
A genuine cultural fusion of East meets West, it’s no wonder that Macau has become such a popular location for international tourists. There’s no shortage of hotel accommodation throughout the year but, for the most luxurious hotels, such as the three mentioned above, it’s well worth planning and booking your stay in advance. While you’re in Macau, although it’s very easy to get swept along by the exciting entertainment on offer at the casino resorts, don’t forget to explore some of the older areas, where you’ll discover a wealth of Portuguese colonial history, tranquil and beautiful gardens, or ancient places of worship dating back over two-thousand years.