Sneak peek: Galaxy Macau, Asia’s latest leisure palace

Galaxy Macau, styled the first “Asian-centric” integrated resort in Macau, is set to open on schedule tomorrow, May 15, 2011, on the Cotai Strip.

At an exclusive press event, Francis Lui, vice-president of Galaxy Entertainment Group (CEG), named some of the facilities at the new property he is most proud of, such as the world’s largest rooftop wave pool and the world’s first Maccallan Whisky Bar. “Galaxy Macau will facilitate the development of Macau as a leisure vacation destination,” he said.

Three hotels are put under the same roof: the 1,500-unit Galaxy Hotel, the 500-room Hotel Okura and Banyan Tree featuring 250 suites and villas. They are connected by a complex of casinos, VIP clubs, food and beverage outlets and retail outlets, including Van Cleef & Arpels. Guests can navigate between the three without going outside but each also has its own main entrance.

The first thing that greets visitors entering from the main entrance is a psychedelically-lit fountain under an impressive raindrop-crystal chandelier. The mammoth main lobby can be confusing in the beginning, but basically, the casino is straight ahead, Galaxy’s reception area is to your left, after the bridge over a water feature, and the other two resorts can be accessed through the West Promenade on your right. The rooms at Galaxy are decorated in neutral colours and motifs of nature, as seen from the butterflies pattern on the carpet and floral embroidery on the cushion cases.

As expected, Japanese-style details are found throughout Hotel Okura Macau, including a back-lit wall resembling Japanese screen doors, frosted-glass partitions that look like washi and tea sets placed in guest rooms. Friendly staff in kimonos are found throughout the lobby area ready to greet and help guests. Gourmands will be attracted to the Japanese restaurant Yamazato with its kaiseki meals, sushi and sashimi and grilled dishes. Its sister restaurant in Amsterdam has garnered one Michelin star and its chef Akira Oshima is currently in Macau overseeing the opening of this new branch.

The most unique feature here is the globe-shape tea ceremony room made of fiberglass, washi and washi strings. It is here that Shirai-san will share her 50 years of tea-ceremony experience in four sessions every day at 2pm to 6pm, with each session hosting up to two guests. Customers do not need to dine here or stay in the hotel to book a time with the tea master, but the price of the experience is yet to be confirmed.

Banyan Tree Macau, on the other hand, has created a tropical resort in the middle of Cotai. At the Sanctuary Villa, the largest of standalone villas, the guest can enjoy 950sqm of tastefully decorated indoor space with a master bedroom, a guestroom and a spa treatment room, as well as a private garden with swimming pool. Being here, it feels like you could be in Phuket or Bali. This luxury costs about MOP50,000 (US$6,139).

Smaller units, starting from the 100sqm Grand Cotai Suite with its own indoor relaxation pool, start from MOP2,000 (US$245). This property also features the Banyan Tree Spa with 21 treatment rooms, Banyan Tree Gallery, a gym and a swimming pool with eight private cabanas for hire. Banyan Tree will feature its own food and beverage outlets but the signature Belon Oyster Bar & Grill will not be opened until June.

For more details, visit www.galaxymacau.com

Reggie Ho


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