Tried & Tested

Hotel review: Altira, Macau

28 Mar 2019 by Michael Allen

Background

Altira is developed by Melco Resorts and Entertainment, the developer of Studio City and City of Dreams. The hotel has been around for a decade, but underwent a refurbishment in 2017.

Where is it?

About 10 minutes’ drive from the Taipa Ferry Terminal. I took advantage of the hotel’s limousine service, which offers bottled water and moist towels.

What's it like?

The hotel says its name comes from the Latin word altus, meaning “high”. This is certainly demonstrated by the positioning of the lobby, which is actually on the 38th floor, the top floor of the hotel. When you enter the property, you find yourself in a small reception area, then are immediately whisked up to the 38th floor and the main reception.

My first impressions of the property were good: the check-in was swift and the staff were polite.

The room

The 38-storey Altira hotel has 216 rooms, including 24  suites and four “villas”. My Waterfront View Room was on the 32nd floor. Upon exiting the lift, I saw a couch to my left.

And here is the view from the window behind the couch.

Proceeding along the corridor, which was lined with a translucent curtain…

…I came to my room, 3207.

The size of the room immediately impressed me, though that tends to happen when I visit Macau; I live in Hong Kong, where even rooms in five-star hotels are pretty diminutive.

A short while after entering the room, I was served my welcome tea.

The view is potentially rather nice. It overlooks the expanse of water between Macau’s Taipa district (where Altira is located) and the main city, which includes the beautiful old town. It would certainly have looked better if it had not been a foggy day (as it was on the day of my stay).

There is a construction site and undeveloped land directly below the hotel.

The facilities in the room are mostly excellent. In-room amenity highlights include a very well-thought-out toiletry kit, which includes mouthwash and floss, as well as pretty much everything else you could possibly need.

The mini-bar is well-stocked…

But I was slightly disappointed with the tea and coffee making facilities. While there is a decent selection of TWG teas and Voss mineral water…

…the only coffee available was some instant coffee. I would have preferred proper filter coffee, or even a Nespresso machine.

My other gripe was with whoever designed the plug sockets in this room. The plug sockets next to the desk could not accommodate my MacBook charger, though users of other types of MacBook to mine may not have the same problem. The charger was too big to fit inside the nook where the sockets are housed. Therefore, I had to sit hunched over on the side of the bed while working, as there was another plug socket there where my charger would fit in.

One nice feature about the room is that there is a Bluetooth speaker next to the bed.

In the morning, I was offered an in-room breakfast. I chose the American-style breakfast and opted for poached eggs and bacon, with coffee to drink. The hotel also delivered a newspaper, the South China Morning Post, with the breakfast.

The breakfast was tasty, though I couldn’t finish the toast as it was much thicker than I’m used to.

Food and beverage

Altira has four food and beverage outlets: Aurora, which serves Mediterranean cuisine; Tenmasa, which serves Japanese cuisine; and Ying, which serves Cantonese cuisine. There is also a bar on the 38th floor called 38 Lounge, which has live music. The hotel took me on a “safari dinner” to experience a few dishes from each restaurant.

First, I dined at Aurora, where I started off the meal with some white wine and bread.

Then I had the Loire Valley White Asparagus, with white spider crab, bergamot, golden oscietra white pearl caviar and a sea urchin emulsion.

I also got to sample some of the caviar separately.

Next, I had the Denaux Veal Ravioli, with confit onions, quail egg, fresh morels and melanosporum truffles.

Then I moved on to Temasa, the Japanese restaurant. I was impressed by the interior of this restaurant, which really makes you feel as if you are in Japan. Diners must also take their shoes off before entering, as in traditional Japanese restaurants.

The first dish I tried here was the Japanese Amadai with salmon roe sauce and yuzu zest.

Then I had the A5 Kagoshima wagyu tenderloin with Hokkaido sea urchin.

Lastly, I tried the cedar sheet wrapped seasonal Japanese mackerel.

My final stop was Ying, the Cantonese restaurant. The first dish I tried here was the apple wood chipped smoked Iberico pork.

Followed by a Japanese sea cucumber stuffed bamboo prawn mousse with broccolini.

For the last dish, I had the homemade Shanghainese noodles with braised beef short rib.

It’s also worth mentioning that Altira has a large outdoor patio area outside of Aurora, where you can have cocktails.

There’s also a private dining room, with impressive views across the Outer Harbour. The minimum spend to use this room is 10,000 patacas (US$1,237).

Overall, Altira’s food and beverage offering is delicious and diverse. It’s nice to have the variety of three different types of restaurant without having to leave the hotel. The Japanese chef, who said he had moved to Macau from Japan to work for the hotel, was particularly impressive.

Leisure facilities

The hotel’s flagship leisure facility is its spa. While this may be of limited interest to some business travellers, its worth mentioning for its sheer size alone: two-storeys and 6,000 sqm spread across floors 15 and 16. The spa has 12 treatment rooms, as well as a self-contained VIP room and a deluxe hair salon. Each treatment room has a private bathroom equipped with an aromatherapy steam rain shower coupled with colour light therapy.

Here is the 1,000 sqm VIP spa area that can accommodate up to 12 people…

 

Of more interest to the average business traveller will be the hotel’s gym on level 16.

There is also a heated 25-metre infinity pool, as well as a yoga and Pilates studio.

After your swim or workout, you can relax on the sun deck.

Verdict

Altira provides a luxurious all-round offering that surprises and impresses. As noted above, I experienced some minor issues, including with the plug socket and unsatisfactory in-room coffee offering. With those issues corrected, though, I am pleased to recommend this hotel for a stay in Macau, whether for leisure or business.

Fact file

  • Best for… Good sized rooms with decent amenities
  • Don’t miss… Having a cocktail on the expansive patio
  • Price Internet daily rates for a one night stay in mid April for one person start at MOP 1,274 (US$157.63), excluding breakfast.
  • Contact altiramacau.com 
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