Macao's most glamorous address - The St. Regis, Cotai Central
Macao is known as the "Vegas of China" and this tiny autonomous peninsula on the country's south coast used to be a Portuguese territory up until 1999. It's a fascinating place of significant contrasts - a mass of modern skyscrapers and enormous casino complexes somehow coexist with ancient colonial ruins and traditional Chinese temples...
Located in Cotai's glitzy gambling district, St. Regis Macao opened towards the end of 2015 and is one of the newest luxury hotels in the city. Thoughtfully designed with the pleasure seeking elite in mind, this high-rise property is connected to boundless gaming, retail and entertainment venues. Conveniently, the historical old town (a renowned World Heritage site) and all major transportation hubs are within 20 mins drive away.
There are 400 rooms and suites, ranging from Deluxe rooms to the immense 486m² Presidential suite. Spanning 30 odd floors, the stylish accommodations offer views of the city skyline, pool terrace or the shimmering Cotai strip. I was lucky enough to be upgraded to a magnificent Metropolitan suite, positioned on a front corner of the building, overlooking the iconic drag below and famous casino landmarks like the Parisian and Venetian.
The expansive quarters featured a separate living and dining space, beautifully decorated in regal hues of gold, pearl and teal. Apart from the high-end finishes and opulent furnishings, I particularly fancied the bespoke minibar cabinet (which was stocked with everything from vodka to condoms) and the authentic cocktail trolley - bring on happy hour!
Naturally the most important room in a hotel suite is always the boudoir - it has to be comfortable, private and provide excellent conditions for a good night's rest. Needless to say, I was not disappointed. Thick drapery, inaudible AC and a huge bed with ultra luxurious linen eased me into dreamland, before I could start pining over my gambling losses...
I must admit that the ensuite bathrooms at all St. Regis properties I've stayed at have continued to impress me without fail. Surfaces clad from floor to ceiling in grainy white marble, one-of-a-kind Remède bath amenities and of course a mirrored TV made this the ultimate private retreat.
As expected, an extravagant hotel like this simply has to have an outdoor pool, or two. Located on the 8th floor, the extensive leisure deck boasts twin tiled sparkling swimming pools as well as a set of bubbly blue jacuzzis. The space is surrounded by casual cabanas and ample sun loungers, where guests can indulge in a full beverage service and food menu.
Of course there is also a decently sized fitness centre with all the latest cardio and weight training equipment. I thought the complimentary post-workout protein powder available was quite a nice touch. Having experienced the St. Regis's splendid Iridium Spa's before, I knew I had to try out their sanctuary of calm on the 38th floor. It is currently the highest wellness space in Macao, with sweeping vistas over the urban area and beyond.
My treatment of choice was their Asian Combination massage which incorporates elements of both traditional Thai and soothing Lomi Lomi. I actually fell asleep during this exquisite and relaxing therapy - in my book that's a sign of a masseuse's perfect technique and know-how.
Being directly linked to an endless array of eateries, it's fitting that the hotel has one all day main restaurant. Cleverly divided into different sections to provide diners with contrasting ambiences, The Manor has a distinctly continental European theme. In the morning a substantial breakfast spread is served here, and you simply have to try an authentic Pastel de nata.
No St. Regis property would be complete without their signature bar - an institution in itself, which has garnered world wide esteem since its inception at the original New York premises. In this dimly lit and intimate space you can savour an expertly crafted cocktail, whilst unwinding to the smooth sounds of top-notch live music performed by specially selected artists.
One of the main reasons I continuously choose to stay with this brand is their unsurpassable level of service excellence. Despite being a newly opened hotel, the staff here obviously share a profusion of experience, making your stay here a seamless delight. Their legendary butler service (available to all guests) is a guilty pleasure of mine, and never ceases to amaze me.
With all the big industry names literally a stone's throw away, The St. Regis Macao successfully manages to convey its particular kind of magic in a market that's booming with 5-star establishments. Most visitors to Macao come mainly for gambling and shopping, which can make the atmosphere seem soulless. Luckily this hotel's genuine touch and trademark hospitality bring a little warmth to a society dominated by hedonistic tourism and cold hard cash...
* I stayed at the hotel as a mystery guest on my own account.
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All opinions and select photos are my own © Traverate