Meet in Macau: The Glamour strip

10 Apr 2017 by Neha Gupta Kapoor
A gondola ride, Macau

Up until the first decade of the 21st century, Cotai was just a piece of reclaimed land that connects Macau’s islands — Coloane and Taipa. It then became a part of the Macau government’s efforts to expand and develop this region that is a 45-minute ferry ride from Hong Kong.


In 2004, when the US-based Sands Corporation opened Sands Macao, the group’s founder, chairman and chief executive officer, Sheldon Gary Adelson saw immense potential in the then barren Cotai. He laid the founding stone of The Venetian Macao (venetianmacao.com) and three years later, the 3,000-key hotel officially opened at 7:18pm on August 28.

Today, it remains the largest hotel and casino in Macau and falls under the purview of Sands China. With all the facilities offered by The Venetian, it is safe to say it can easily be a one-stop shop for MICE groups — for which it is popular in Southeast Asia.

In fact, The Venetian has a specialised team to help plan a staycation for small, medium and large corporate groups. To begin with, “Key Express” ensures quick and personalised group check-ins.

The Venetian has live entertainment every day in the form of light shows, musical plays, dance performances, acrobats and concerts. If booked well in advance, some of these can be exclusively arranged by the hotel as part of the MICE package. Other recreational facilities, apart from the casino, include four outdoor swimming pools, an 18-hole golf course, a gym, a hospital and spa, as well as 30 international restaurants and more than 350 retail stores.

Its 108 meeting rooms span across more than 18,600 sqm: The Venetian Ballroom is a pillar-free space of 6,500 sqm, Cotai Arena can seat up to 15,000 delegates and The Venetian Theatre can fit 1,800. In addition to this is the 75,000 sqm exhibition space.

Currently The Venetian has an ongoing “Smart Meetings at Sands Resorts Macao” offer until December 2017. It is one of the eight international hotels under the Sands Resorts Macao (SRM) group — Conrad Macao, Four Seasons Hotel Macao Cotai Strip, Holiday Inn Macao Cotai Central, Sands Macao, Sheraton Grand Macao Hotel, The St Regis Macao, and The Parisian Macao.

Booking an event (for minimum 20 people) at any of the SRCSM hotels before December 31 for stay until December 22, entails:

  • A five per cent discount off the master bill.
  • A free room for every 25 rooms booked, plus upgrade.
  • A 20 per cent discount on audio-visual equipment rentals.
  • A 50 per cent discount on Cotai Water Jet sailing tickets.
  • A 50 per cent discount on tickets for in-house entertainment performances.
Entrance to the casino at The Venetian
  • Four Seasons Hotel Macao Cotai Strip: 360 rooms and suites; 2,555 sqm of meeting space with two ballrooms, seven breakout rooms, and a 12-person boardroom. fourseasons.com/macau
  • Conrad Macao: 654 rooms and suites; about 6,500 sqm of meeting space with three ballrooms that can be divided into 53 function rooms. conradhotels3.hilton.com
  • Sheraton Grand Macao Hotel: 4,001 rooms and suites; 14,000 sqm of meeting space with a grand ballroom, six junior ballrooms and 166 breakout rooms. sheratongrandmacao.com
  • Holiday Inn Macao Cotai Central: 1,224 rooms and suites; no on-site dedicated meeting space. ihg.com/holidayinn
  • The St Regis Macao: 400 rooms and suites; 1,332 sqm of meeting space with a ballroom, five meeting rooms, two boardrooms, and an exclusive VIP meeting room. stregismacao.com
  • The Parisian Macao: 3,000 rooms and suites; 5,200 sqm of meeting space with a ballroom, six meeting rooms, two boardrooms, a theatre and an outdoor venue. parisianmacao.com
  • Sands Macao: 289 suites; 1,877 sqm of meeting space with a ballroom, theatre, multifunction room and poolside area. sandsmacao.com
The Ritz-Carlton, Macau


It began as a dream project for Melco Crown Entertainment that specialises in integrated entertainment resorts. Under the careful guidance of chairman and CEO Lawrence Ho, City of Dreams (cityofdreamsmacau.com) has risen as a significant venue on the Cotai Strip. A citadel of sorts, it has one entertainment (and namesake) building, and three hotels (cityofdreamsmacau.com/hotels): Crown Towers, Hard Rock Hotel, and Grand Hyatt.
A fourth one, Morpheus, will join the collection in 2018.

Passages connecting the existing four towers hold retail stores that are part of the new 15,793 sqm luxury mall  inside the City of Dreams building with brands such as Dior, Salvatore Ferragamo, Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Omega, and Bulgari to name a few. Often on a tourist’s must-visit list, an entire day can be spent at City of Dreams with its myriad F&B offerings and entertainment, including the casino and disco. These continue in the open-plan concept of SOHO in the same building where people can enjoy live and interactive performances over casual drinks and dinner. Hence, City of Dreams is attractive to MICE groups and has a dedicated sales team to handle such requests.

The House of Dancing Water also situated here, is the most popular show at City of Dreams. It is a mesmerising “water extravaganza” — a love story beautifully enacted on “a stage pool that holds a record-breaking 3.7 million gallons of water, equivalent to five Olympic-sized swimming pools”. If you don’t mind getting splashed, sit in the first six rows of the 270-degree view theatre.

Additionally, resident guests of Crown Towers, Hard Rock Hotel and Grand Hyatt can enjoy
the outdoor heated swimming pools, spa treatments, Jacuzzi, and sauna and steam rooms for extra hydration at these properties.

Grand Hyatt (macau.grand.hyatt.com) is better suited for business travellers, as the other two properties do not have in-house meeting rooms. The 791-key property is split between Grand Tower and Grand Club Tower. Room sizes start from 52 sqm and can fit three people. All guest rooms include a 42-inch television, free wifi, and a separate bathtub and rain shower.

Amongst its dining options are Beijing Kitchen, mezza9Macau for international fare, and the lobby lounge for impromptu gatherings, high teas and live entertainment. For exclusive corporate dinners for 12 people, Private Dining on The 37th Floor curates bespoke menus in any of its four private penthouse suites.

Grand Hyatt also has 8,000 sqm of meeting space that contains two pillar-free ballrooms and eight salons.

Currently it is offering a Residential Meeting Package for HK$1,999/ 17,530 per person per night until December 31. It includes:

  • A night in the Grand Deluxe room.
  • A full-day meeting package that includes usage of function room and its facilities, morning and afternoon coffee and refreshments, and lunch.
  • Daily breakfast.
  • Free designated minibar refreshments (per room per night).
  • Free regular laundry and pressing services (per room per night).
  • A five per cent discount on the MICE group contract billing.


This is perhaps the first glitzy resort that comes into view when driving from the ferry terminal in Macau Peninsula that is to the north of Coloane and Taipa, on the other side of the Ponte da Amizade bridge.

The first phase of Galaxy Macau (galaxymacau.com) opened not so long ago in May 2011. At the time its over 2,200 rooms, suites and villas spread across Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts, Hotel Okura, and Galaxy Hotel. Phase-2 that opened in May 2015, “doubled the original size [of Galaxy Macau] to over 1.1 million sqm”, and included The Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott Macau, and Broadway Hotel.

Sizes of the 320 rooms and suites at the riverside Broadway Hotel (broadwaymacau.com) start from 26 sqm and offer free wifi. Its paucity of recreational facilities, limited to an outdoor swimming pool and a gym, is barely noticeable for it’s within the otherwise buzzing Broadway Macau.

As the name suggests, it is an entertainment tower with a Broadway theatre, “street” performances in other parts of the building, and the hawker-style Broadway Food Street. From here, one may seek more amusement at Galaxy Macau by walking through a “beautifully designed, air-conditioned link bridge showcasing the past, present and the future Broadway Theatre shows”.

Galaxy Macau is the second entertainment building here with over a dozen F&B options, and a 2,700 sqm high-end retail area — Promenade Shops. This is where the main entrance to Grand Resort Deck is situated. Entry to this water kingdom is free to all residents of the six properties in Galaxy Macau, but chargeable to non-residents. Its 75,000 sqm space includes the 575 sqm Skytop Aquatic Adventure River Ride, Skytop Wave Pool, slide mountain, 350-ton white sand beach as well as pool side restaurants and lounges.

This building too has a hotel — Galaxy Hotel (galaxymacau.com) with 1,500 rooms and suites, an outdoor swimming pool, three Jacuzzis, gym, four restaurants and bars, and direct access to Grand Resort Deck. It doesn’t have meeting facilities  though.

Overlooking Grand Resort Deck is Asia’s largest JW Marriott (marriott.com) with 1,015 rooms and suites. Its 4,575 sqm of meeting space includes 11 event and breakout rooms. The hotel also has its own outdoor swimming pool, whirlpool, and a spa (common to The Ritz-Carlton). The pool bar serves snacks and drinks that include health juices. Other dining options on the property are namely The Lounge — a coffee shop, the all-day Urban Kitchen for international fare, and Man Ho for Cantonese cuisine.

Just behind this is The Ritz-Carlton (ritzcarlton.com) featuring over 250 suites. Its relaxation options include the spa (common to JW Marriott), outdoor pools, steam rooms, saunas, ice-fountains, and four F&B outlets. The grand ballroom, three meeting rooms and Library Room are spread across 899 sqm.

About a seven-minute walk northwards from here is Hotel Okura (hotelokuramacau). Currently it has a full-day meeting package for HK$930/₹8,130 per person and a half-day meeting package for HK$580/₹5,070 per person. Both commonly include lunch and dinner, three-hour use of any of its six meeting rooms spread across 520 sqm, LCD projector and screen hire, coffee/tea with refreshments, and stationery. Okura’s signature restaurant, Yamazato Japanese Fine Dining also has a private dining room for 12 people. Informal discussions may continue at the indoor infinity swimming pool, heated Jacuzzi, gym, sauna and steam.

Finally, the sixth property of the Galaxy Macau consortium is the luxury Banyan Tree (banyantree.com) with 256 suites and villas, an outdoor swimming pool, spa, gym and a boutique. Pre-dinner drinks can be enjoyed at Banyan Lounge, followed by a meal at either Belon for its seafood and grill specialities, or Saffron for Thai cuisine. Alternatively Cabana serves a good mix of cocktails and barbecue. It is essentially a leisure property, but has a compact meeting space of 2,070 sqm — or three meeting venues — with a total capacity for 1,300 people.

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