Macau is just a short 45 min ferry ride from Hong Kong and it's known as the 'Las Vegas of China'. Mainly because of the thriving Casino culture which sees huge influxes of mainland China tourists and also HKers who like to visit for a short weekend. I've visited many, many times now and last year I stayed at the wonderful Banyan Tree. This time we stayed at the Sheraton hotel which was not as fancy as Banyan Tree but it sure did have all the ammeneties. Starbucks, McDonalds, Sushi, Steak, Dim Sum, Hot Pot and endless luxury brands which all exist within the same hotel complex. It's kind of crazy. However, one evening we escaped the Hotel and caught one of the free hotel shuttle buses into town to walk around Macau at night.
Above is the old Casino Lisboa which they have spruced up with lots of flashy neon lighting and below is the upgrade - the Grand Lisboa with it's distinctive design. My dad calls it 'the perfume bottle' and I rather love the curves and the dome design. I have heard a huge buffet exists inside the Grand Lisboa - Asia's largest. This is kind of saying something as the Chinese take buffets seriously - remember this?
Here is a view from the Sheraton. On the left, are the hotel pools. At the time of visiting, HK/Macau was still recovering from a Typhoon (the ferry ride over was SERIOUSLY bumpy and took 15 minutes longer than usual!) so testing the pool wasn't really my idea of fun. On the right is a prime example of what Macau is like. It's a constant building site which isn't always pretty. Every time I visit, there is a brand new hotel complex, boasting more luxury shops and pools. For example, it's once famed Fisherman's Wharf is in the process of being knocked down and revamped. My family say that Macau, at least the old town (more on this soon!), is like old school Hong Kong in the 60s - but it's catching up fast.
One of the hotels I really dislike is the Venetian. Yep - Macau has it's very own Venetian. I'm not the biggest fan because it's fake inside/outside design is so claustrophobic, cheesy and parts of the hotel still allow smoking. We ventured over because they had a Lord Stows shop inside which is famous for it's Portuguese tarts (FYI - Macau was a former Portuguese colony and it's dual heritage is actually pretty interesting - see this super old post). Last year we visited this one which was way more effort than it was worth as it wasn't the easiest finding return transportation.
Venturing into the crazy Venetian with it's finest fake Sistine chapel ceiling was worth it for these babies. Oh how I love and miss these! The ones at the Venetian are just as fresh but not to worry if you can't get to Macau, there is a Lord Stows at the Excelsior Hotel in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. Though when in Macau, eating Portuguese egg tarts should definitely be on your to do list!