Macau currently has more than 30,000 guest rooms spread across 75 hotel properties which range from 5-star deluxe to 2-star hotels. There will be approximately 3,000 more rooms added as new hotels open. Wynn Palace opened on August 22, 2016; THE 13 opened in 2017 comes with 200 villas (suites) and MGM Casino Cotai also opened in 2017 comes with 1,400 rooms. Grand Lisboa Palace another hotel opened in 2018 offers 1,400 guestrooms and suites.
Macau is home to Asia’s largest fully integrated convention and exhibition centre; a city of world heritage stature that also boasts one of the world’s most spectacular and modern skylines; a city that blends the rich traditions of Chinese and Portuguese cultures which is reflected in its lifestyle, food, restaurants, architecture and festivities.
The number of hotel rooms in Macau has increased by almost one-third over the next few years. The latest data from Macau’s Land, Public Works and Transport Bureau shows that currently there were 20 hotel projects under construction and a further 27 projects in planning stage that would together provide the city with 12,750 new hotel rooms. Macau has approximately 38,700 hotel rooms including guesthouses and resorts spread across 73 hotel premises that range from 5-star deluxe to 2-star hotels. A majority of the new hotel rooms under construction is on Cotai.
After foreign companies were allowed to enter the market in 2002, a number of larger Las Vegas operators came to join Galaxy and SJM. Galaxy owns StarWorld, perhaps one of the most iconic buildings in Macau.
Wynn Palace and Parisian Macao opened in 2016 and MGM Cotai is slated to open in late 2017. Each of the aforementioned properties cost in excess of a billion dollars to build. The 13 has already purchased the world’s largest fleet of Rolls-Royce Phantoms and here a room costs $100,000 a night.
If you want to mix shopping and gambling, then you can head over to the Cotai Strip. Casinos like Galaxy Macau and Venetian are loaded with slots and plenty of shopping opportunities. Sands Shoppes at the Venetian offers an amazing retail experience with more than 850 duty-free outlets.
Upcoming hotels in Macau
Macau casino operator SJM Holdings Ltd is currently developing the HKD36-billion Grand Lisboa Palace in Cotai. The firm had mentioned in its first quarter results that it “continued to make progress” with the construction work of the project in the period.
Upon completion, the hotel towers in the Cotai project bearing the insignia “Grand Lisboa Palace”, “Palazzo Versace” and “Karl Lagerfeld” will bring in total approximately 2,000 rooms, SJM Holdings in its annual report 2017.
Rival Macau-based casino operator Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd is also speeding up the development of Galaxy Macau Phases 3 and 4. Phase 3 of the Cotai project is designed to provide 1,500 hotel rooms; while Phase 4 is designed to supply approximately 3,000 rooms.
Morpheus, the fifth hotel tower at the casino resort City of Dreams Macau, is due to open in the first half of 2019. The property – promoted by Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd – will feature approximately 780 hotel rooms, suites and villas.
Melco is also set to develop the second phase of Studio City, another casino resort property at Cotai. This new phase of Studio City would feature “additional entertainment and additional hotel rooms” to complement phase one.
As of the first quarter this year, Macau has seen 27 hotel projects in the planning stage, with the potential to provide 5,194 rooms. A majority of them are on Macau peninsula – the traditional downtown gaming area – where there are 22 projects of 2,534 rooms; and another three hotel projects are being planned in Cotai, which can potentially bring a supply of 2,077 rooms.
Macau hotels provide diverse entertainment
Besides Macao being home 25 UNESCO-listed World Heritage sites, it is a city on the move, but it never loses its unique blend of European and Chinese cultures that have evolved over four centuries. Macao’s architecture, religious rituals, customs and cuisines reflect Macao’s unique cultural heritage.
Macanese food, which is a fusion of Portuguese, African, Southeast Asian and Chinese cooking, has begun to gain international recognition after being enjoyed by locals for decades. In these recent years, Macao has become more firmly planted on the map as one of the world’s culinary destinations – following an influx of internationally renowned restaurant brands from around the world and celebrity chefs that takes Macao’s gastronomic scene to new heights.
Varied shopping districts in Macao ranging from multi-brand shopping centres to fashion boutiques, from Chinese antique shops to popular daily flea markets can surely fulfill the shoppers’ desire.
Visitors can also enjoy “The House of Dancing Water”, the world’s largest and most spectacular water-based show directed by Franco Dragone, at the City of Dreams. For a thrilling adventure, visitors can try the Sky Jump or Skywalk at the 338 meters high Macau Tower. Visitors now can add health and wellness to their list as the largest integrated wellness centre of its kind in the world, the TAIVEXMALO Day Hospital & Spa, has opened in Macao.
How to reach Macao?
Macao is accessible from air (the Macau International Airport is only 15 minutes to most hotels), sea with ferry services to Hong Kong and China and also to the Hong Kong International Airport and by land (Barrier Gate in Macao Peninsula and the Cotai Frontier Post). Incidentally the new SkyPier at Hong Kong International Airport makes air-to-sea transfers, and vice versa, a breeze these days.
All of the Macau SAR (Coloane, Taipa, Cotai, and Macau) is connected by beautiful bridges as well as tunnels into mainline China. There is only one other Chinese SAR and that is Hong Kong, which you can easily reach from Macau using the turbojet ferries. The fast catamaran and standard ferry trips take from 45 to 75 minutes depending on vessel choice and sea conditions. Vessels run every fifteen minutes from 7 pm until midnight with another 7 overnight trips after that.
Gamblers from Hong Kong and Taiwan and other nearby locations in Asia can reach Macau in a relatively short period of time using various methods of transportation. Visitors from more distant locations in Asia can take advantage of short travel times by air to Macau or to Hong Kong followed by a short hydrofoil ferry or helicopter trip to Macau.
Most importantly, China opened two border crossings with Macau shortly after the opening of Sands Macau Casino which allowed Chinese citizens to freely cross the border. This resulted in a wave of lower income punters that fill the main gaming halls, and if they do not return the same day they may sleep in such places as massage parlors and parks in order to not waste money on a hotel rooms. Such play is a welcome bonus for the casinos, tending to even out the volatility from high-roller play in the VIP rooms.