BACKGROUND The largest hotel under Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Sheraton Grand Macao opened in 2012. It was constructed by Las Vegas Sands and is managed by Marriott International. Some of the other hotels owned and managed by Las Vegas Sands are Sands Macao, The Venetian Macao and The Parisian.

WHAT’S IT LIKE? Grand like its name. Its exterior resembles an Oriental mansion beside two towers. The lobby is huge with a central lounge called Palms with palm trees that tower up to the high glass ceiling. At any given point, there are hoards of tourists queueing for check-in at the oval shaped reception area that’s embellished with elaborate light installations. Fortunately, my check-in process was smooth at the Sheraton Club Lounge. Being a family-friendly hotel, it has collaborated with DreamWorks Studio — the American animation house. Frequently, “stars” of animated movies can be found walking around the property, posing for pictures. Similarly, the property has a lot of programmes planned around children — such as SPG Kids Pass (kids’ dining discounts) and a Kids’ Salon. A busy hotel with 4,001 rooms, it is always buzzing with energy. I got lost on the property a couple of times trying to find my way around, however the staff was amiable and helped out.

WHERE IS IT? On the Cotai Strip, about 1km to Macao Airport and around 9km to Macao Ferry Terminal. The hotel offers free shuttle services for its guests to the airport and the ferry terminal.

Accommodation categories begin from Deluxe rooms (42 sqm) and continue to Deluxe Cotai rooms (42 sqm) and Sheraton Club rooms (42 sqm). There are seven suite types including Deluxe suites (125 sqm) where I stayed. Types upward of the Sheraton Club room can access Sheraton Club Lounge on level four that offers breakfast, check-in facility, all-day refreshments, afternoon hors d’oeuvres and a meeting room. There are also OSIM foot massagers, televisions and work-stations here. My suite had subtle Chinese elements like the bed’s bright red headrest and upholstery. The design otherwise is quite contemporary. Beside the bed is an iPod docking station to which I connected my phone to play music. The living room is a plush space with a round dining table and lounge area with television. A marble bathroom features a large bathtub in the middle. There is a separate media-room with a queen-sized sofa where I watched the evening news. The windows of my suite overlooked the bustling  Cotai Strip.

RESTAURANTS AND BARS Xin is its Asian restaurant that specialises in hotpot cuisine, Feast serves international flavours, the previously mentioned Palms has cocktails, tea and coffee. I enjoyed the salad buffet at its Italian restaurant Bene and breakfast was at Sheraton Club Lounge.

BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES The hotel has 13 flexible meeting spaces with three outdoor event venues. Out of these, there are six ballrooms and three junior ballrooms within the Sands Cotai Central complex that sprawl across 20,000 sqm. They can be divided into 166 meeting rooms. The hotel has three pool areas — Jaya, Sala and Tiki — that can also be used for hosting casual affairs.

LEISURE FACILITIES The hotel has three outdoor pools as mentioned earlier. Shine Spa offers holistic treatments. Sheraton Fitness is its gym.

VERDICT Business-friendly hotel in a city known for leisure and entertainment.

PRICE Internet rates for a midweek stay in September started from HK$796/ 6,565 for a Deluxe room.

CONTACT Sheraton Grand, Estrada do Istmo; tel: +853 2880 2000;

Ravi Lalwani