If you’ve got a few days up your sleeve but aren’t keen to travel too far, then look no further than Macau. We’ve picked a few of favourites for family-friendly stay-cays and kid-free escapes.
Service with a Smile
The St. Regis Macao opened in December and has already won praise for its bespoke service and luxury accommodation. After checking in, we were guided to our room by our own private butler. The St. Regis is the only hotel in Macau to offer a 24-hour butler service, and our butlers were so keen that we felt guilty that we didn’t have more for them to do! From tea- and coffee-making to ironing and shoe shining, they will do just about anything for you at a moment’s notice.
By Macau standards, this is a small hotel (only 400 rooms) but it feels very spacious. Our Grand Deluxe Room was huge – at 860 square feet, larger than your average Hong Kong apartment – and offered fantastic views over the city. The rooms are still in immaculate condition from the opening, and the décor is cool and calming, with some classy touches and high-quality fittings. Needless to say, we were very comfortable.
We could have stayed put all afternoon, but we had a booking at the Iridium Spa. Located on the 38th floor of the hotel, this is the highest spa in Macau, and the views from all of the treatment rooms are fantastic. We elected to have the signature couples’ treatment, which included an 80-minute full body massage. The specialty of the spa is its six specially developed gemstone-inspired oils.
Dinner and drinks
From the spa we went straight to dinner at in-house restaurant The Manor. This unique venue is set up to make you feel as if you’re dining in someone’s exquisite home. It has four separate settings within the one location, and you can choose where you want to dine; the type of service varies in each room, from a privately curated meal to something more casual. We ate in the Dining Room and couldn’t fault it. The cuisine is very multicultural, with ingredients sourced from all over the world, and the service was exceptional once again. The wine list is also impressive and the in-house sommelier (a Frenchman, of course) was knowledgeable and helpful with his recommendations.
After dinner, we headed out to see The House of Dancing Water, the in-house show at City of Dreams, but we were quite keen to head back to The St. Regis afterwards for a nightcap. The bar inside the hotel is small and homely – a rarity in Macau. We were treated to a demonstration of the bartender making the signature Bloody Mary, known here as a Maria Do Leste, and inspired by the city’s unique history and blend of cultures. It was a very special treat and absolutely delicious. The other cocktails on the menu were equally impressive and it was nice to sit back and enjoy a couple of drinks in a quiet and classy space that felt a million miles away from the Cotai Strip.
St Regis Macao | Estrada Do Istmo, s/n, Cotai, Macau
Family-friendly and Macau aren’t usually words that go together, but the Farr family found just what they were looking for at the Holiday Inn.
Located within the Sands complex, right on the Cotai Strip, the Holiday Inn Macao Cotai Central is a great spot for families looking for a quick, easy and inexpensive break in our sister SAR, and our Twin Double Room worked well for us. It gave us all the space we needed (big brother was thrilled with a huge bed all to himself), and there was ample space for the baby’s cot near the (happily blacked-out) windows. The room also features a desk area, comfy armchair and bright, spacious bathroom with separate shower cubicle, which came in handy after swimming.
After a quick shower and a change, we headed off to spot the boys’ favourite film characters at the DreamWorks All-Star Parade. This free daily show, featuring a huge cast in full costume, along with stilt-walkers and music, winds its way through the Cotai Central Shoppes daily, stopping off for photo opportunities on the way. After a quick dinner, it was time for an early night all round in preparation for the next day’s fun.
Day Two began with a special breakfast buffet, Po’s Kung Fu Feast (previously known as Shrekfast), which offers kids the chance to eat with their favourite characters in one of the Sands’ imposing ballrooms. All the regular buffet items are there, along with some cute DreamWorks-inspired touches, such as panda-shaped dim sum, and a few sweet treats too – the cake pops were a particular hit with our eldest. But the food plays second fiddle to the experience, as the ballroom’s stage hosts a live show throughout the meal and larger-than-life characters mingle with the guests as they eat. Our two loved this, and our toddler had to be distracted with a pancake in order for us to prise him away from Po the Panda.
Holiday Inn Macao Cotai Central | Estrada Do Istmo, s/n, Cotai, Macau
All that talk of kids holidays got us thinking we need an adults only one too. The Mandarin Oriental is one of our all-time favourite hotels in Hong Kong so we went to visit the one in Macau to see if it could give us one night of ‘us’ time.
One of the most exclusive hotels in Macau, Mandarin Oriental Macau is a decidedly elegant five-star retreat. With a chic, contemporary design, fabulous restaurants and legendary service, they offer a sophisticated atmosphere with unbeatable luxury. With just 186 rooms, this ‘small’ hotel packs a real punch. Located on the NAPE waterfront, just a stone’s throw from the ocean, the rooms boast harbour views and scenes of the cities sparkles. One out of your room, there’s only a few other places you’ll want to be, and the 25m infinity pool is one of them! Relax in a private cabana and enjoy as the world goes by around you.
Another place you’ll want to be is in one of their 8 treatment areas, which includes Thai massage beds, steam rooms, relaxation rooms, and a nail spa to name a few. Spa rooms even look out onto the Macau tower!
We had news this month there was a brand spanking new hotel in Macau which rivals many others on the strip. The Parisian, Macau, opened its door just a few weeks ago, so we just had to take another trip over to see if it lived up the hype!
All designed with a signature contemporary French flair, the rooms and suites of The Parisian Macao are your own personal slice of France away from France. Each takes its name from an iconic location of France, from the Eiffel Tower rooms to the Versailles Suite and some even have views of their very own personalised Eiffel Tower. When it comes to the rooms it’s all about the space (another reason to escape HK for the day) and cleanliness, and it doesn’t get much better than a newly opened hotel!
Shop ’till you drop
Immerse yourself in the Parisian atmosphere with a spot of shopping as you stroll down the Champs Elysees, past Place Vendôme, and discover a huge range of luxury products in exclusive and elegant surroundings. It’s all just part of the experience of staying at The Parisian.
A night to remember
If you hadn’t already had the best day ever in The Parisian, your night is about to get even better! Entertainment at The Parisian Macao is more than simply a concert or show, expect the very best in global entertainment like Thriller Live (30 Sept – 13 Nov) and classic French cabaret acts all year round!
The Parisian, Macau, | Lote 3, Strip, Estr. do Istmo, Macau
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