Phase One of the Galaxy Macau integrated resort complex launched in 2011 with the 1,500-room Galaxy Hotel in one tall building, plus the smaller Banyan Tree and Hotel Okura properties sharing a similar building. Between them is a huge casino flanked by a mall filled with shopping and dining outlets, on top of which is the Grand Resort Deck, a leisure centre of grand proportions. In 2015 Phase Two was completed, adding a Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott – in a bigger tower that completed a rough triangle with the first two buildings – as well as more space for the gaming, retail and leisure areas.
WHERE IS IT?
In the northwest sector of the huge Cotai district that comprises reclaimed land between the former islands of Taipa and Coloane. Macau’s city centre on the peninsular mainland is 10-15 minutes’ drive away, while access from the international airport or Taipa Ferry Terminal takes only 5-10 minutes.
WHAT’S IT LIKE?
The main entrance, called the Diamond Lobby, is one of multiple entrances to this huge integrated resort complex. It’s grand and glitzy, with a huge, multicoloured fountain feature hiding the entrance to the casino area. Over a faux bridge is the main check-in area (there’s a more personal priority check-in space to the side), and a staff member escorts you to the lifts as these are split between lower and upper floors, in side corridors off the shopping mall. While hardly a luxurious, intimate process, it was efficient and the staff were very friendly and helpful.
I was staying in a 35 sqm Deluxe Resort King room, the only room category but with king/twin queen and city/resort view options. (There are also four much more opulent suite categories up to 121 sqm in size.) The fairly standard rectangular room layout had the usual wardrobe and minibar in the entrance corridor, the bathroom on the other side, and the bed facing a wall-mounted TV with a chair and circular glass table by the large windows, which looked down on the Grand Resort Deck. However, its warm browns, unobtrusive gold accents and butterfly and floral motifs gave it a much more relaxing ambience than some other Cotai properties in the same middle market bracket.
The minibar was sparse but complimentary (you only pay for refills), there was a Bluetooth music system by the bed, power points were at the table and by the bed (with USB ports also at the table) and the TV’s guest service and facilities menu was comprehensive and easy to access. Wifi is free and fast throughout the entire Galaxy Macau complex. The bed’s mattress was hard, which I like, but the pillows were all very soft, which I don’t. An environmental policy card must be placed on the bed if you want your linen changed – the right procedure for this “service” in my opinion, and also cost-saving for the hotel.
The bathroom was a neat affair, with sliding doors, a glass partition next to the bath so you could watch TV and listen through piped audio speakers, an excellent walk-in shower, and a clever sliding glass door that served either the shower or toilet area. All told, though designed for the leisure rather than business guests, this was a well-conceived, functional and comfortable room at the price point.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS
On Level 2, accessed directly from the lifts, is Terrazza Italian restaurant, next to which is The Macallan Whisky Bar & Lounge, a cosy, plush place to relax in the evening. Breakfast is served in Festiva, a large all-day dining restaurant close to the room lifts on the ground floor – nearby are Portuguese and Macanese cuisine served in Gosto, Korean BBQ eatery Myung Ga, and Pak Loh Chiu Chow Chinese restaurant. There are of course plenty of other F&B options in the vast Galaxy complex, from affordable food courts to top-end offerings at The Ritz-Carlton – all within easy reach.
The six hotels of the Galaxy Macau complex have a vast range of meeting and event spaces, all of which can be booked and charged through Galaxy Hotel, whose own offering is Oasis, a 567 sqm ballroom that can hold up to 500 people and looks out over the Grand Resort Deck.
The hotel itself does not have any spa facility, but there are excellent spas at both Banyan Tree and Ritz-Carlton, plus Foot Hub massage and Asian therapy treatment centre on the lower ground floor near a large cinema complex. Theatrical shows are also available at Galaxy Macau’s Broadway Hotel location across a covered bridge between Banyan Tree and Ritz-Carlton.
A well-equipped gym is located on the sixth floor, and there’s a hotel guest-only outdoor pool and three Jacuzzis on the second floor – though all of these are only open 8am-10pm. Guests also have access to the 75,000 sqm Grand Resort Deck (open 9am-6pm), which boasts a 575-metre inner-tube river ride, a huge wave pool, real sand beach, tropical gardens and much more.
Though positioned more for leisure than business travellers, service quality was very high (given the numbers of middle market customers), the room was a cut above in this price range, the leisure and dining options are endless, and my experience was a very good one.
Internet rates for a midweek stay in a Deluxe Resort King in mid-May start from HK$1,953 (US$252) per night including taxes and surcharges.
Galaxy Macau, Cotai, Macau, tel +853 2888 0888, galaxymacau.com