Vegas icons like Steve Wynn and Sheldon Adelson continue to realize their Vegas-like visions in Macao, such as the latter's Parisian resort (pictured). Luxury lodging, lauded restaurants and gaming options abound, surrounded by the unique Portuguese and Chinese historical influences of the destination.
• MGM China has once again delayed the opening of its $3.1 billion MGM Cotai. The chain's second Macao resort is now set to open in the second half of 2017, with 1,400 rooms, casino, meeting space and more.
• To diversify its attractions, Macao officials are working with peers in Hengqin, a nearby underdeveloped island three times the size of Macao. Joint projects in entertainment and cultural facilities have been proposed.
Zi Yat Heen, the signature Chinese restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel Macao, Cotai Strip, was awarded one Michelin star last fall for its authentic Cantonese cuisine and fine dining.
• The Parisian Macao opened for business in September 2016. The latest Sands China resort to debut on the Cotai Strip features a half-scale replica of the Eiffel Tower, as well as 3,000 guest rooms and suites, a pool deck with themed water park, a 1,200-seat theater and a 150-shop retail mall. The resort offers nearly 56,000 square feet of meeting space, including the nearly 37,000-square-foot Parisian Ballroom, which can seat up to 2,600 people for a banquet. Additional amenities include 20 on-site restaurants and observation decks on the 7th and 37th floors of the ersatz tower.
• The luxury Wynn Palace Cotai opened last August, featuring two enormous custom-designed floral sculptures and more than US$125 million worth of fine-art pieces on display. The 1,706-room resort also features an eight-acre Performance Lake and fountain show. Also on-site are what's called the largest spa in Macao, 50 luxury shops and 26,300 square feet of event space, including the Grand Theater Ballroom, which can accommodate as many as 1,200 attendees. The resort is home to five fine-dining establishments and seven casual-dining outlets.
• Last summer, both the 4,001-room Sheraton Grand Macao Hotel, Cotai Central, and the 400-room St. Regis Macao launched new technology initiatives. Each property now offers Starwood's eVent Portfolio to planners holding meetings or events on the premises. The eVent Portfolio tool is a mobile, collaborative platform that allows planners and key hotel staff to access important meeting documents from desktop or mobile devices. In addition, both hotels now include Handy phones in every guest room, devices that guests can take with them on their outings in the city, each with unlimited local calls and data.
WAIT AN HOUR AFTER LUNCH
Studio City's Golden Reel
-- billed as the world's highest figure-eight Ferris wheel -- rises nearly 427 feet up, carrying up to 10 people in each of its 17 cabins.
The St. Regis Macao celebrates the destination's Portuguese heritage with the exclusive Port Perfection experience, consisting of a bespoke five-course dinner paired with wines and ports from Portugal's famed Quinta Da Sequeira winery. The experience must be booked at least a week in advance.
Meeting Hotels: Properties include the 1,008-room Wynn Macau, 600-room MGM Macau, 408-room Sofitel Macau at Ponte 16 and 213-room Mandarin Oriental Macau.
In the Cotai area, hotels include the 4,001-room Sheraton Grand Macao Hotel, Cotai Central; 3,000-room Parisian Macao; 2,989-room Venetian Macao; 1,706-room Wynn Palace Cotai; 1,600-room Studio City Hotel; 1,500-room Galaxy Hotel; 1,015-room JW Marriott Hotel Macau; 791-room Grand Hyatt Macau; 654-room Conrad Hotel, Cotai Central; 488-room Hotel Okura; 400-room St. Regis Macao; 360-room Four Seasons Hotel Macao, Cotai Strip, and 230-room The Ritz-Carlton, Macau.
To find and compare hotels, and send RFPs, visit mcvenues.com.
Convention Centers: Macao Convention Center; exhibit space, approximately 54,778 square feet; number of meeting rooms, four; (011) 853-2885-0168
Macau Tower Convention and Exhibition Center; exhibit space, 19,946 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 16; (011) 853-2893-3339
Airport Transit: Macau International Airport, about 5 miles south of downtown Macao and 1 mile north of the Cotai Strip. Transfer cost by taxi, about $10 to $20 to both downtown and the Cotai Strip. All major hotels provide pickup service.
Hong Kong International Airport, accessible via ferry; about 45 minutes from the airport to either downtown Macao or Taipa. Transfer cost by TurboJET to Macao, $21--$47 one way; transfer cost to Taipa by Cotai Strip CotaiJet, $21--$42 one way
Taxes: Service charge, 10%; local tourism tax, 5%; total tax on hotel rooms, 15%
Group Venue: The acclaimed fine-dining Italian restaurant at Wynn Macau, Il Teatro, debuted a new, more modern design and revamped its menu early this year, bringing new style to the decade-old favorite. Two lake-facing private dining rooms are available to groups, with floor-to-ceiling views of the colorful light and water shows outside. (011) 853-8986-3663
Contact: Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute; (011) 853-2871-0300