Last year, the top 10 source markets for visitors to Macau were mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, Japan, the Philippines, Republic of Korea, the U.S., Singapore and Thailand. Mainland China remains the largest source of visitors for Macau, accounting for more than 55 percent of total visitor arrivals.
Macau's Cotai Strip has an impressive slate of projects on the drawing board, including such leading hotel properties as Four Seasons, Sheraton, St. Regis, Shangri-La, Traders, Hilton, Conrad, Fairmont and Raffles. When all of these projects reach completion, the numbers add up to an additional 20,000 guest rooms.
Busy times to book Macau are public holidays like the Chinese New Year (which falls in January or February), and major events such as this year's 55th Macau Grand Prix, to be held November 13-16.
MGM Grand Macau (www.mgmgrandmacau.com) has 600 rooms. Prime accommodations include the Grand Deluxe Ocean View Rooms, at 216 square feet. These have windows looking out over the waterfront with great views of the city and sea. The One-Bedroom Grand Suite and Two-Bedroom Grand Deluxe Suite services include VIP in-room check-in and 24-hour butler service.
The hotel has 52 connecting rooms; large families will want to opt for one of the suites. The hotel's spa has seven treatment rooms and one facial room. The most popular treatment is the Six Senses Massage Fusion, which blends Swedish, Thai, aromatherapy and sports massage. E-mail [email protected] to set up advance appointments.
The hotel's Aux Beaux Arts Brasserie is overseen by Michelin Star chef Philippe Marc. A favorite with diners is the Plateau de Fruits de Mer: lobster, prawns, mussels, scallops and oysters served on ice for two persons.
Travel agents can reach out to Irene Wong, director of sales ([email protected]).
The five-star Sofitel Macau at Ponte 16 (www.sofitelmacau.com) is in the Ponte 16 casino-entertainment resort area, located in the Inner Harbour of Macau. The French Riviera-styled casino-hotel Sofitel Macau will have 408 rooms, all with views of the city and Inner Harbour. Club Sofitel is the hotel's executive floor, with an exclusive lounge that provides Internet access, buffet breakfast, coffee and tea, evening cocktails and private meeting room facilities.
Agents with VIP requests can contact the hotel's sales & marketing department ([email protected]).
The $2.4 billion The Venetian Macao-Resort-Hotel (www.venetianmacao.com) opened last year to great fanfare. At 10.5 million square feet, it claims to be twice the size of the Las Vegas original. The property has 3,000 rooms, a 15,000-seat sports arena, 1.2 million square feet of convention space and multiple fine-dining venues. Visitors will get a hint of Venice in the decor, although gondolas share the waters of the canal with Chinese sampans. Of the three types of suites in the hotel, the Bella Suites and Royale Suites are both 246 square feet. The main difference is that Bella has two queen-size beds, while Royale has one king-size bed. The Rialto Suites are the largest in the hotel at 557 square feet. Suites afford striking vistas, and depending on the location of the suite, guests will have views of the Grado Golf Course or the Cotai Strip.
The 8,000-square-foot V SPA has 19 treatment rooms, two of which are couples' treatment rooms. The spa director is Johan Potgieter. Agents can make advance spa reservations by contacting [email protected] Agent inquiries can be directed to [email protected]
Wynn Macau (www.wynnmacau.com) comprises a five-star hotel, designer shops, a spa, performance venues and three restaurants. Each of the hotel's 600 guest rooms and suites in the Wynn signature bronze tower come with spacious bathrooms, Italian linens and flat-screen TVs and are a minimum of 183 square feet. All suites also include private massage rooms. The most luxurious rooms are the two-bedroom Sky Suites, with views overlooking Nam Van Lake and Macau city. Sky Suites average 912 square feet of living space with floor-to-ceiling windows, "his and hers" bathrooms with dressing areas, glass-enclosed shower and ultra-deep bathing wells, in-room spa therapy suite, 24-hour personal butler, special reception through the Wynn Club Entrance for VIP check-in and access to the exclusive amenities of the Wynn Club.
There are 240 sets of connecting rooms at the hotel. The hotel's two-bedroom Lake Suites and two-bedroom Sky Suites are a good recommendation for large families.
Agent inquiries should be directed to the hotel's reservations department (011-853-8986-9966, [email protected]).
The Spa facilities include 14 treatment rooms, including three couples' rooms, for massage, body treatments, facials and hydrotherapy. The spa director is Melissa Dowell. For reservations and inquiries, contact The Spa at 011-853-8986-3228 or [email protected]
Wynn Macau's proposed expansion includes the $600 million Wynn Diamond Suites hotel tower. The tower will house 400 suites and villas, as well as restaurants, retail and gaming space. The project is scheduled for completion in early 2010.
The Macau Special Administrative Region is part of the People's Republic of China. Macau is located off the southeast coast of China, 36 miles from Hong Kong and 87 miles from Guangzhou.
U.S. citizens do not need a visa to visit Macau.
Macau International Airport is located on Taipa Island. Here, it is possible to book direct flights to several destinations in the region and then make connecting flights to the U.S., Asia and Europe.
Visitors from the U.S. traveling to Macau via Hong Kong have a number of options. High-speed catamarans, jetfoils and ferries make frequent roundtrip journeys between Hong Kong and Macau.
TurboJET journeys (www.turbojet.com.hk) will take one hour from Hong Kong to Macau. Trips are made between the Hong Kong Ferry Terminal (located in the Shun Tak Centre at Sheung Wan) and the Macau Ferry Terminal (located in the Outer Harbour).
First Ferry (www.nwff.com.hk) has catamarans offering roundtrip sailings to and from Macau and Kowloon, arriving at the China (HK) Ferry Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui. The journey takes about 60 to 75 minutes.
Cotai Strip CotaiJet (www.cotaijet.com.mo) runs ferry service between Hong Kong Macau Ferry Terminal and Macau Taipa Temporary Ferry Terminal. Travel time is approximately one hour.
There is also regularly scheduled helicopter service between Hong Kong and Macau, a 20-minute flight, operated by Heli Express (www.heliexpress.com).
The pataca (MOP$) is Macau's official currency. At press, $1 equaled MOP $8.04.
Chinese and Portuguese are the official languages, with Cantonese being most widely spoken.