Macau - bring on the bling!

Expect spacious, well-lit, colonial interiors with grand views in most directions. Pousada de Sao Tiago. Science is well and truly brought to life through an array of challenging hands-on tasks, which include building robots, eco-puzzles and sport tests. Archived from the original on July 23, Macau is increasingly luring world-famous pop stars, too. An entertaining option for kids and team building groups alike.

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Getting to Macau – a ferry tale come true

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Ask your hotel concierge to write out the Chinese characters for your various destinations in advance. Macau is spelled Macao in Portuguese. It feels Latin, with the churches to match. The architecture is old world and you could wander the area for hours, exploring the alleyways and admiring quaint louvered windows and plant boxes.

Walking is the best way to see the sights in this area. Start with a selfie on the steps of the iconic Ruins of St Paul. Some steel steps and a vertigo-inducing podium have been constructed at the back, so you can climb up to admire the views of Macau all around. Here, old men cluster in groups at sundown and families gather to play. An adjacent museum — Treasure of Sacred Art — occupies what is left of the ancient cloisters and contains religious artefacts that date from the 17th century.

The 16th-century neo-classical Holy House of Mercy the oldest institution in Macau, founded in as a home for widows and orphans has a museum displaying historic paintings and artefacts. Yes, this IS China. Just to make sure, check out the Sir Robert Ho Tung Chinese Library with its peaceful garden dotted with reading tables close by.

Sir Robert was a Hong Kong businessman who bought the house — built in the s — in as a retreat and left it to the Macau government in his will. It still hosts regular symphony concerts and other recitals. Not far from here, at Barra Point, is the famous Ming Dynasty A-Ma Temple , built on terraces against the hill and dating back to No Macau guide would be complete without mention of this august spot. Bring your earplugs — devotees come here to explode firecrackers to scare away the evil spirits stock up at the temple kiosk.

Check out the Moorish Barracks on Barra Street nearby. Now neon-wrapped Macau casino hotels vie for space with churches and temples and for the best views you need to catch high-speed elevators whooshing skywards. The famous Hotel Lisboa with its distinctively gaudy neon lighting and colourful mosaics, once the main event, is now dwarfed by the literally rising competition. Step through the moon gate and admire the decorative tiles and carved doors of this tranquil former home of Chinese literary figure Zheng Guanying.

Take a stroll down its historical centre, Rua do Cunha , with ubiquitous cookie and cake shops, quaint traditional shop houses and a relaxed pace. Streetside maps and booklet guides with groovy passport stamps for each site point visitors to highlights in the area, such as Our Lady of Carmo Church, Taipa Houses Museum and the year-old Pak Tai Temple with its billowing plumes of incense.

Recharge with an iced coffee at traditional roaster Fong Da Coffee No. Cosy Casa de Tapas Macau www. Local favourite Antonio see Dining section below, antoniomacau. The old Praia waterfront is idyllic, with a row of five beautifully restored green and white neo-classical houses, grassy areas and benches to mellow out on.

Until recently, the views from here were of tranquil, rural Coloane, but now The Venetian looms in the distance.

Coloane is the most untouched part of Macau, with two beaches, small eateries and low-rise housing. Locals like to hang out at Hac-Sa beach, with small beachfront stalls and barbecue areas. Take a stroll through Coloane village, where there are also a few small galleries and souvenir stores for browsing. Macau is the only Chinese territory where gambling is legal and, it has to be pointed out, until not too long ago, it had a bit of a reputation for gambling dens of a more sordid nature — not to mention the odd shootout or two.

These days, the headlines are dominated by a burgeoning casino culture, and glamorous entertainment. On with our Macao casino hotels review. It is easily among the top Macau luxury casino hotels. The shiny, choc-coloured crescent has made its mark on the Macau skyline.

And the fountain that explodes into some serious water-dance action outside the main entrance at quarter-hour intervals is quite a draw. The result is a sense of freshness, brisk service and energy. No question, this is a large casino hotel in the Las Vegas mould. Within that ambit, however, it manages to exude an elegant, even formal, presence. In any other hotel this contrast may look silly, but the Wynn pulls it off.

Deluxe rooms at the Wynn are huge 56sq m , with heavy, extra-large wooden doors, massive two-basin bathrooms and grand entrance halls. Tasteful creams and light browns abound and the facilities are extensive from flat-screen LCD television sets in bathrooms, to safes that will fit a laptop, to Broadband Internet access, and ironing boards. One-bedroom Suites have a bit more glitz, with mirrors on the living room ceiling, blood-red couches, black marble entrances, an extra room with a massage bed, and Jacuzzis and LCD TVs in bathrooms.

For VIPs, there are ten sq m Sky Suites with spectacular city and harbour views out floor-to-ceiling windows, two bedrooms, TVs that ascend on remote command from the depths of sleek wood cabinets, a serving bar, an in-suite spa, a dining room, a kitchen, his and her bathrooms, and more. What else do you expect for a rack rate of MOP30, per night? The casino is laid out in intimate pockets with rich, cream drapery creating a sense of privacy and seclusion.

Take the opportunity to try Chinese speciality menus at two-Michelin-star Golden Flower restaurant, which has glowing teapots on the ceiling and a poet who will present you with some handwritten verse at the end of your meal.

For a classy cocktail try a ginger and lemongrass margarita at Cinnebar — grab a table outside in the lush sculpted garden by the pool. Wynn comes complete with a top-notch spa and a glitzy high-end mall for Macau shopping of the rarefied kind.

This is where punters spend their winnings on trophy bags and jewellery as scuttlebutt goes, the roomier your handbag, the better your chances to win big. This hotel is a top address on our Macau casino hotels review. This all-suite, boutique-style tower is for the highest of high rollers.

Check-in is a rather mesmerising experience thanks to 1, moon jellyfish housed in a giant aquarium above the reception desk. Watch carefully and you may see them being fed by one of four dedicated jellyfish keepers. There is a crystal and jewel theme running throughout the hotel including rock crystal wall art and a chandelier so twinkly you almost need shades.

The offerings here are mainly luxury jewellery brands such as Cartier and Piaget and even the classy Champagne den Bar Cristal has a jewel-box decor. Encore has Deluxe Suites, 41 Grand Salon suites and four invitation-only villas, which are 7,sq ft and include a hair salon, fitness centre and media room — perfect for a celebratory karaoke night. Interiors feature bold scarlet and blond wood, effusing a funky art vibe and all rooms have floor-to-ceiling views of Nam Van Lake and the city skyline.

For the Deluxe Suite, expect an average living space of sq m, twice daily housekeeping service, twin vanities, a LCD TV between the lounge and bedroom which swivels degrees plus a smaller TV in the bathroom, iPod docking station, laptop-sized safe, free WiFi, Vidal Sassoon hairdryer, iron and board, and funky minibar snacks such as spicy prawn crackers and egg rolls. The 99 Noodles restaurant is decorated with hundreds of colourful chopsticks and serves nine different types of hand-pulled noodles and nine broths.

Top it all with a signature four-hand massage at The Spa at Encore, designed to resemble the interior of a luxury yacht. Expect 34,sq ft of gaming space at Encore. At night, the casino resembles a giant psychedelic, flashing flower. It offers gaming tables and electronic games. The flame-shaped hotel, with rooms, opened in December as a flagship for the group. It aims to be among the best Macau casino hotels. Average room size is a sweeping 50sq m with suites touching 75sq m. Rooms start on the 11th floor offering open views of the city and the seafront.

Swim in an outdoor all-weather pool and later unwind at the Lisboa Spa by Clarins. The Grand Lisboa is also positioned as a Macau conference hotel with a Grand Ballroom capable of accommodating up to 1, persons. The latter hides behind a nondescript steel door that is opened by remote control to reveal a decadent ebony and red restaurant with rippling chandeliers and bold, goldfish-painted silk screens.

The menu showcases Cantonese and Huaiyang cuisines, with more than 50 types of dim sum served at lunchtime. The Eight is highly recommended for a sophisticated Cantonese meal. Right next door is the original Hotel Lisboa , which — with its low-ceilinged entrance halls and chandeliers, collection of priceless Chinese art pieces for viewing, 1, rooms, and many restaurants — is well worth visiting for a whiff of nostalgia, frescoes, or more. The hotel has been through extensive refurbishments that have produced brighter restaurants and bars and a brisk feel to things, not least due to the money coursing through the thrumming Casino Lisboa.

The old wing offers comfortable rooms with a faux-Versailles touch and soaring half canopies above the beds. Rooms feature all the mod-cons with the de rigueur hairdryer, in-room safe, and satellite TV. Broadband as well as local calls are free. Several rooms look out to city and lagoon views. The Lisboa Wing offers rooms that conform more to a conventional modern standard.

Of an evening, the basement is commandeered by a colourful cast of fast-strolling ladies with long legs and business intent. Rooms come with Internet access, TV, small working desk, large safe and iron and board. Daring guests can challenge themselves to a spot of rock climbing on the 10m and degree outdoor tower at the back of the property, or smash some volleys on one of three tennis courts.

The bar — Vasco — on the second floor of the lobby provides great views of the Macau Grand Prix route, held every year in November. The property is conveniently located close to the ferry terminal and offers modern comforts with a touch more understatement. It works both as a Macau business hotel within easy reach of the boat, as well as a child friendly family hotel.

The amber-hued hotel, integrated with the mixed-use development One Central, has rooms including 26 suites and one presidential suite. In a district of gaudy spaces, the intimate zen lobby is refreshingly subdued, with glowing teak wood, geometric sculptures and a minimalist feel. Rooms are modern with subtle European flair, and dominated by warm tones of dark wood, caramel and gold. Although not as spacious as some other casino hotels, the standard Deluxe Corner room is more than adequate at 40sq m and has plenty of perks such as Aromatherapy Associates toiletries, a bath with a view, a work desk and a Nespresso machine.

If the thought of all those whirling roulette wheels is keeping you up at night, switch to the mood channel with soothing music and views of peaceful alpine peaks. Adjacent to the dining room, the bijoux bar is a glam spot for cocktails, offering stellar evening views of the waterfront and bridges beneath a glimmering spiral chandelier.

Also on the premises is a spa and Mandarin Oriental cake shop. An East-Meets-West theme is implied through a Renaissance-inspired mural on the ceiling but on the whole, this hotel is disappointingly conventional.

As a symbol of good fortune, the lobby also houses a giant pot of gold Chinese coins — shaped like hats as opposed to bricks. The ensemble does not do its aesthetic appeal any favours. In contrast to the somewhat ostentatious lobby, the standard Deluxe is surprisingly simple with contemporary touches in white, beige and peach, and a chaise lounge stretched along a marble-ledged window.

Amenities include a inch flat-screen TV and DVD, laptop-size safe, work desk, hairdryer, tea and coffee facilities, minibar with cup noodles, and clock radio with iPod dock. There is free Broadband but ironing facilities are only available on request. The in-house casino comprises over gaming tables and slot machines.

There are four restaurants including Chinese, Shanghainese and Japanese. The resort style Grand Suite almost doubles the floor space and extras include a coffee machine, multi device charger, hairdryer, rain shower and a huge wall safe with jewellery box. In the vicinity is Sands Macao Hotel along with the Sands casino , a gold, mirrored-glass creation that opened in the casino opened a few years earlier. The feel is modern, emphasised by catchy art pieces and dark wood doors with pearl-shell mosaics.

Return guests — which are largely from the business sector — rave about the comfort of the beds, and, because of its location close to office blocks, this is a reasonable Macao business hotels choice. It cuts a fine figure on the waterfront with its waved design. For sheer wow factor, this is a place to see. The lobby is deep and wide with reception off to the left backed by huge abstract square paintings in bright splashes and spatters , a sitting area to the right, and a huge red glass chandelier hanging in the centre, created by renowned American blown-glass artist, Dale Chihuly.

At the risk of being excessive, this sight to behold is modelled on a typical courtyard that you might see in Lisbon, complete with faux European buildings, tiled floor, a clock tower, a fountain, real trees, sitting areas, restaurants and a sweeping staircase often used by couples for wedding photos.

At its centre is a giant glass bubble packed with exotic wildlife — sometimes fluttering butterflies, other times darting fish and coral. Rooms at MGM, which start at 48sq m and vary in design because of the curved nature of the building, feature inch flat-screen plasma TVs, Wireless and wired Internet access and possibly any other amenity you could wish for.

Grand Suites have TVs embedded in bathroom mirrors. There are also yoga, tai chi and meditation classes, or just pop outside for a swim in the infinity pool. More wallet-lightening offerings await at the Grand Casino, with around gaming tables with over arm-exercising slot machines and a further 16 private gaming rooms. The Grand Ballroom can host persons theatre-style while assorted function rooms and alcoves for those sound-and-fury board meetings provide versatile space for small meetings or larger conferences.

This is another address to mark in your Macau casino hotels diary. The rooms and 40 suites including a 6,sq ft presidential suite offer Broadband Internet access, inch plasma TVs, and panoramic views of downtown Macau. There are nine eating and drinking outlets, as well as a VIP lounge. The hotel also has an infinity pool, gymnasium, and vast conference facilities, while the casino boasts gaming tables and slot machines. For something over the top yes, even by Macau standards , this is a worthy contender among Macau casinos and hotels.

Just across the road, a great value option is the Emperor Hotel. The four-star underwent a refresh in and offers the option of rooms and suites decorated in Chinese style, Western style bright Portuguese blue and the more subdued Business style. Apart from the super-convenient location, the service here is very friendly and there is free WiFi in public areas and most rooms.

Walking into the lobby feels like stepping back in time to 18th-century Victorian England. Oil paintings, flock wallpaper, a sweeping marble staircase and ornamental birdcages combine to give the place a cosy olde-worlde charm. Rooms are well lit, feminine, and kitted out with claw-foot wood cabinets, blue-and-white bed linen, free standing bathtubs, and Maxwell and Williamson floral teacups.

Every room has a spacious balcony with sea views, ideal for a romantic sunset dinner with a loved one. Rooms may be dainty, but they come with modern amenities such as inch flatscreen LCD TVs, complimentary Broadband Internet access, CD stereo systems, and large safes. If you enjoy a wee dram of whiskey, check out the British pub and for cocktails with a view, try the rooftop Sky Lounge. There is also a charming banquet-hall style meeting room which seats up to 12 people. Another attraction along the "Inner Harbour" is the Ponte 16 entertainment and resort complex that includes the mustard-yellow five-star Sofitel Macau at Ponte There is a casino attached, but the hotel manages to distinguish itself from the gaming world with its relaxed ambience and sense of history — the original clock tower from the old pier still stands.

Marvel at the big pillars, ornate blue crystal flowers and Parisian bric-a-brac and then head on to the rooms. Guests in Club Sofitel rooms get access to a lounge, which offers breakfast and evening cocktails, free Internet access, as well as personalised check-in and additional services. A multi-function meeting room has a balcony attached, while the outdoor unheated pool with its blue tiled mosaic and water-spouting cherubs is a fine spot to cool down after work or gaming.

Dinner or coffee served up poolside is perfect. There is a ginger-scented fitness centre with a dedicated room for yoga. Expect spacious, well-lit, colonial interiors with grand views in most directions. Try the spa or French restaurant, Prive. VIPS staying in the top category Mansion Suites get their own private entrance, lobby, lift and pool.

The colonial building houses 19 suites with varying personalities. From the all-white Blanc Romance suite, popular among honeymooners, to the gold-encrusted Michael Jackson suite, these one and two-floor sprawls are in another dimension. Expect beds that look like thrones, giant Jacuzzis, crystal beaded drapes, rain showers, karaoke rooms, walk-in closets, free WiFi and butler service.

This is an alternative in-city choice with gaming facilities but without the clamour and clutter of the other Macau casino hotels. It has been around for many a long year, providing mid-range hospitality to weeklend trippers. The decor is staid oriental but cheerful with flashes of red and gold, flat-screen televisions and crimson bed runners. The hotel offers shuttle buses to the town centre, a Chinese restaurant, Western nibbles and a music lounge.

The atmospheric Pousada de Sao Tiago , set on Avenida da Republica near the A-Ma Temple, in the restored remains of an earlyth-century fort, is small and traditional with stone walls and floors. Bathrooms have TVs embedded in the mirrors, bidets, Jacuzzis and Hermes toiletries.

It is a tad removed from the St Paul's central area and Senado Square as well as the newer business district around the Mandarin Oriental. Yet it does serve up free WiFi and grand views across the sea and city from contemporary pastel rooms with a woody finish and mottled tan carpets. At the hotel, expect an indoor pool open from 7am to 9pm, a fitness centre, and a range of dining that includes a Chinese restaurant.

The hotel also sports 11,sq ft of meeting space with the largest room able to accommodate up to persons. This stylish and contemporary storey casino-hotel offers distinct experiences for its guests by creating separate entrances for gamers, residents and diners. The hustle and bustle from the plus high-end gaming tables is confined to the casino resulting in a serene hotel atmosphere complemented by low lighting, endless vases of vivid red roses and floaty music.

There are also some tantalising dining options such as Japanese restaurant Tenmasa, which specialises in tempura and has a traditional charm thanks to its grey stone walls, romantic candle-lit walkways and tatami-style seating.

The tranquil theme continues at the 6,sq m spa that includes a stunning infinity swimming pool and healthy juice bar. There are rooms including eight villas each with floor-to-ceiling windows. In-room features include a walk-in wardrobe, inch plasma TV, iPod dock, portable keyboard, complimentary Internet and minibar soft drinks only , posh teas, a long work desk separating the bedroom and lounge area, which includes a corner sofa, a circular Japanese-style bath and separate rain shower.

A useful option for lovers of contemporary style, good food and high-end gaming. Taipa Island has an increasing number of hotel choices. One older stalwart is the Regency Hotel , the former Hyatt Regency. The Regency is an oasis of calm for family or business stays surrounded by thrusting condominiums. The rooms are well appointed and attractive, several looking onto the bay. Flexing new muscle along the Cotai strip is Studio City Macau studiocity-macau.

The hotel features two modern blocks - the Celebrity Tower and Star Tower with rooms in each. There is American Roulette and European Roulette. American Roulette is made up of 38 slots with numbers , 0 and European Roulette is made up of 37 slots with numbers and 0.

It is a game played against the house. In both versions, 18 numbers are red and 18 numbers are black with the 0 spots being green. Baccarat Punto Banco is a unique casino game offering the player a choice of three bets; banker Banco , player Punto and the standoff. The Standoff bet wins when the dealer and player are dealt identical hands and is the least common of the three; offering less odds with a higher payout.

Baccarat is played with either a 6 deck or 8 deck shoe. Once all of the cards are dealt, the highest count wins the hand. The standoff bet wins only when the dealer and the player are holding identical cards. Video Poker is simply an automated form of poker without a dealer. Players cannot bluff and the machine does not attempt to actually beat players, it will only play against them. Keno is very similar to Lotto and just as simple.

That vanishing heritage

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