- Part 1: Star Alliance Lounge at LAX Tom Bradley Terminal
- Part 2: Asiana Business Class Quadra Smartium LAX-ICN
- Part 3: Asiana Business Class Lounge at ICN
- Part 4: Asiana Business Class ICN-HKG
- Part 5: Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel and Towers
- Part 6: Sightseeing in Hong Kong
- Part 7: Getting from Hong Kong to Macau
- Part 8: Sheraton Macau Hotel, Macau Central
- Part 9: Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Lounge at HKG
- Part 10: Singapore Airlines First Class HKG-SFO
First of all, I realize I’m a terrible trip reporter. It’s been forever since I wrote the last part of this and I had to be reminded about it before realizing it. But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t finish it, especially since the last half is more interesting than the first. Don’t worry…I take notes on my trip and I have a pretty good memory, so let’s just pretend I did them in a timely manner :).
After I got off the boat, I had to go through border patrol once again. The line was surprisingly long as there were a lot of boats that arrived at the same time, but I was through after 30-45 minutes. I had no idea where to go after that – all I knew was that there were buses running all day to the various hotels and casinos in the city. I asked someone at the information desk where to go and was told to take an escalator downstairs, walk through a passageway that goes under the street, then come back up the escalators on the other side where all the buses are. Sure enough, there was a long line of buses.
The buses had names of hotels on them so it was easy to find mine. The Sheraton shared a bus with two other hotels and was lime green in color. I got on the bus and after a few minutes we were on our way.
The ride was kind of interesting, especially because I had no idea what Macau was like. In my head I always pictured something like Las Vegas, since I kept hearing that it was the Vegas of Asia. But what I saw on my ride was much different. Here are some pics I took.
At this point I’m starting to get a little worried. We just drove by many of the major hotels/casinos, yet the bus was still on the highway. Where the heck was my hotel? Did I book it in the middle of nowhere and not realize it? After another 10 minutes of driving we started seeing some more hotels.
After a 15 minute bus ride we finally arrived at the Sheraton Macau. I wasn’t sure if there would be anything around after passing so many big name casinos, but I was pleasantly surprised to find quite a few. The Grand Hyatt was right next door, as was the Holiday Inn and Conrad. Across the street was The Venetian and Four Seasons.
I had to walk through a giant mall to get to the reception desk, so that was a bit interesting. The line was only one person long so I stood in the normal check-in line. Once they saw I’m an SPG Platinum member they immediately wanted to take me up to a separate check-in area for SPG elites. I wasn’t really interested in the special check-in – I just wanted my room key and wanted to grab some food. After getting my room key, the person who checked me in insisted on escorting me to my room. I almost had to argue when I said I’d take my own luggage! They were literally that nice and considerate.
I was upgraded to a suite and it was a long walk to my room. Carina was the person guiding me to my room, and she was extremely friendly. One of the questions she asked me was what types of food I like. I gave her a couple of cuisines (Thai, Chinese) and she immediately had recommendations for me, both at the mall and a little further away. I was only going to be there a day so I figured I’d stay nearby at the mall.
The hotel was EXTREMELY quiet. I didn’t ask what the occupancy rate was but I think it was really, really low. The hotel had only been open for two months so I assume people were still staying at more established hotels. That was just fine with me, though very different from Las Vegas hotels that are similarly large but usually much busier.
Then I got to my suite.
Okay so you’ve seen the living room and the bedroom, which both look amazing. Everything looks so brand new, and I honestly think I was the first person to be in this room. It was THAT clean. But the bathroom was my favorite part of the room.
I don’t know about you, but that’s probably the nicest bathroom I’ve ever seen in a hotel. It looks like a bathroom you’d see in a home, with all the marble and lighting and other upgrades. I was very impressed. The only two items I’d improve are in the shower: The bath amenities are still the standard Sheraton “Shine” amenities and there wasn’t a rain shower head. It’s obviously not necessary, but that would have been AWESOME!
I was very impressed with the room, if you couldn’t tell. I took some time to just look around and appreciate one of the nicest hotel rooms I’ve stayed in.
While I continued to look around the room I heard a knock on the door. I was just finishing up taking a picture so it took a minute to get to the door. When I opened the door, Carina, the person who initially walked me to my room, was there writing a note. She said “I wanted to give you the name of the Thai restaurant again and its location so you can tell the taxi driver exactly where to go. I wrote you a note that you can just hand to the driver.”
Wow. How extremely thoughtful of Carina. We all know that the service in Asia far surpasses most other places in the world, but this was great. And it wasn’t just the action itself – it was the friendliness with which she did it. She genuinely wanted to help me and wanted me to have a good time while in the city. I was impressed, yet again.
I had lunch in the mall downstairs. They have plenty of expensive restaurants and a much cheaper food court with all kinds of cuisines. The mall was actually pretty cool and had a tropical/jungle theme to it. And there was a cool water feature that had messages in it (see image below).
This wasn’t just a wall of water with messages being projected on it. Water drops were actually falling in that pattern and all the water was lit from the top. It’s a lot more impressive in person than in this picture!
The next morning I headed down to the lounge for breakfast. The lounge was on the same level as a bunch of conference rooms, and this definitely felt more like Vegas (but again, minus the people). Huge hallways and monstrous rooms.
I was greeted by about 15-20 Sheraton employees as I walked up to the lounge. It was actually comical because each one of them said good morning as I walked by. They were wayyyyy over-staffed. This is also where SPG elites check-in and out.
The lounge was large and was made up of separate rooms. One was the dining area where breakfast was, the next was the bar area and some tables, and the next was just a sitting/lounging area. There was also a computer area and printers at the end of the lounge.
The lounge was large and empty, like the rest of the hotel during my short one night stay. There were plenty of people eating breakfast as you can see above, but I was seated immediately as half the room was still empty. I only took two pics of the breakfast area but I figure you don’t need a picture of every food item anyway.
It was pretty much a Western-style breakfast. They had all the standard items, plus an omelette bar. There were only a handful of hot items though, but the spread was still plenty good to start the day.
I visited the Casino and it was quite interesting. There were no photos allowed and there was a ton of security so I wasn’t going to risk it, so no pics unfortunately. The floor was large and square shaped, which is different from the long, winding casinos of Las Vegas. The slot machines were more or less the same, and I even recognized a lot of games from Vegas. The big difference was in the table games. I’d say that 90% of them were games I didn’t recognize, but there were plenty of people playing them. I was only there for a day so I didn’t attempt to learn any new games. In terms of getting cash, you can hand the cashier nearly any form of currency and they’ll change it for you, and the exchange rate wasn’t too bad either.
One other note that made my stay exceptional. I took a taxi back to the Sheraton on my way back from sightseeing in the city. As the taxi driver pulled up to my hotel, a Sheraton employee opened my door for me. I got out and started walking in. Now, I don’t know about the other guys out there, but when I stand up I always check for my wallet, my cell phone, and my keys. I check all my pockets. I did this upon getting out of the taxi and realized I didn’t have my wallet. I looked straight at the Sheraton employee and said “Crap…I think I left my wallet in the taxi!” The taxi was already making his way to the main street and I was about to chase it down to get a number or something.
But without hesitation, the guy who opened my door sprinted across the grass (not a short distance), and jumped in front of the taxi to stop him just before he got to the main road. He retrieved my wallet and brought it back to me. Vince was his name, and boy was I glad he was there. I tipped him handsomely for this act of valor, of course.
My stay was just one night, but it was made absolutely exceptional by the staff at the hotel. I left a review and made note of both Carina and Vince, and I even sent the below email to SPG after my stay.
The only negative was about Macau itself and not the hotel. Everything was so spread out that I simply couldn’t visit all of them in my one day there. That was poor planning on my part, but it also doesn’t have the same magic that Vegas has. In my opinion, Vegas is special because you have EVERYTHING within half a mile on the same street. You can walk to everything. Some of these places were a 15 minute drive apart.
Still, definitely worth visiting in my opinion. I think you need at least two days here, depending on what you want to do. My rate was cheap at just $119 for the night, so it wasn’t bad at all in my opinion…especially for the great room I had.