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Located across the Pearl River Delta from Hong Kong, the Chinese special administrative region of Macau is a territory with two distinct personalities. On the one hand, its UNESCO-recognized center is steeped in history and full of fascinating architectural sites that date back to its time as a Portuguese colony. On the other, the Cotai area is an ultra-modern gambler’s paradise renowned for its megacasinos and glamorous five-star resorts. Most of Macau’s accommodation options fall into the latter category, each one competing to offer bigger and better amenities than the next. However, budget and boutique options still exist for those that know where to look. Below, we look at the best Macau hotels for every kind of traveler.
Best Overall: MGM Macau
Located on the edge of the outer harbor, the five-star MGM Macau is made up of three architecturally stunning, different-colored glass waves. Inside, expect exquisite artworks by the likes of Chihuly and Dalí, and at the center of it all, a European-style plaza with a soaring glass ceiling and a huge cylindrical aquarium. Around the plaza’s edge, designer stores such as Omega, Coach, and Swarovski await as well as some of the hotel’s many different restaurants.
Head to Imperial Court for contemporary Cantonese or choose from over 10,000 vinos at the award-winning Wine Cellar. Other impressive amenities include an infinity pool with panoramic views of the South China Sea and Tria Spa, where you can indulge in a customized massage. Accommodation options start with the plush Grand Rooms, which offer a complimentary minibar, 46” TV, and impressive city views. For top-tier luxury, choose a one or two-bedroom villa with a kitchenette and karaoke room (yes, really).
Best Splurge: City of Dreams - Morpheus
Part of Cotai’s City of Dreams gaming and entertainment complex, Morpheus stands out for its extraordinary architecture, celebrity restaurants, and ultra-luxe amenities. It’s also exceptional for its sky-high room rates — over $1,000 per night for the cheapest room. The experience starts from the moment you first catch sight of Zaha Hadid’s eye-catching building with its figure-eight cut-out and fabulous steel exoskeleton. Inside, high-speed panoramic lifts whisk you to your hotel room or suite.
The most extravagant is the Pool Villa, designed to resemble the interior of a super-yacht with a central swimming pool, beige stone floors, and a private butler. Spend your days browsing limited edition designer items at the Morpheus Boutique, or admiring iconic contemporary artworks at the Art on 23 gallery. Dining is an exclusive affair, whether you opt for French cuisine at Voyages by Alain Ducasse or exquisite pastries at the Pierre Hermé Lounge. A spa and salon, Club Lounge, and 40th-floor open-air pool add to Morpheus’ appeal.
Best Budget: Ole Tai Sam Un Hotel
Pleasant budget hotels are hard to come by in Macau, making Ole Tai Sam Un a bit of a gem. This three-star option is praised by TripAdvisor reviewers for its cleanliness and comfort, but its biggest selling point is its historic city center location. From here, you can walk to top attractions like Senado Square and the Ruins of St. Paul’s in under 10 minutes. The front desk is manned around the clock by friendly staff who can book tours, recommend restaurants, and even arrange babysitting services.
There are 40 rooms, all with air-conditioning, cable TV, free Wi-Fi, and an iPod docking station. Choose whether you want a double or two single beds and upgrade from 11 to 15 square meters of space if your budget allows. Though the rooms are small, white linens and light wooden floors make them feel more spacious than they really are. On-site amenities include a small bar and a restaurant that serves a daily breakfast buffet for a small additional fee.
Best for Families: Grand Coloane Resort Macau
Those looking for a place to reconnect with family away from the hubbub of Cotai should consider the Grand Coloane Resort Macau. Surrounded by landscaped gardens in tranquil Coloane, it puts you within walking distance of Hac Sa Beach and Macau Golf & Country Club. Children will love the sprawling outdoor pool complex and practicing their backhand on the tennis courts. The Kids Club offers half- and full-day activity programs for children aged four to 12, giving Mom and Dad a chance to head to the spa or grab a meal together.
All rooms and suites sleep four, except the eight-person Presidential Suite. You’ll benefit from a private terrace, satellite TV, and charming garden or sea views. Deluxe Suites provide nearly double the space of standard rooms and have a separate living room. There are five restaurants on-site, of which the most family-friendly is Café Panorama with its garden terrace and casual Asian and international dishes. Kids will also enjoy the novelty of ordering light refreshments directly from the Poolside Bar.
Best for Nightlife: The Ritz-Carlton, Macau
An all-suite haven of marble corridors, rich fabrics, and glittering chandeliers, The Ritz-Carlton, Macau occupies the top floor of Cotai’s Galaxy Macau resort. With over 120 bars, restaurants, and lounges in the same complex there are plenty of places to party, but none are quite as effortlessly elegant as the hotel’s own Ritz-Carlton Bar & Lounge. The scene is set by mesmerizing 51st-floor views and a Champagne Hour that lasts from 8 PM to 10 PM. Choose from 17 different craft gins at the gin and tonic trolley before enjoying the evening’s live entertainment.
The hotel also has a vibrant Pool Bar, located next to the Grand Resort Deck with its wave pool and artificial beach. Dining choices are similarly diverse, including a French brasserie and a Cantonese restaurant with a resident tea master. After a late night, unwind in the spa or in your luxury suite. The smallest sprawls across 82 square meters and includes a marble bathroom, three LCD TVs, and picture window views.
Best Casino: The Venetian Macao Resort Hotel
If gambling is the main reason for your trip to Macau, it makes sense to stay in the world’s largest casino. Located at the northern end of the Cotai Strip in The Venetian Macao Resort Hotel, the casino boasts more than 2,000 slot machines and over 500 gaming tables. There’s more to the hotel than its gambling potential, however. With slightly over-the-top Venice-inspired decor throughout, it has two major concert venues, four outdoor swimming pools, and a 9,000-square-foot children’s playground.
You can spend your winnings in the luxury stores of the Shoppes at Venetian, a glitzy mall intersected by three canals. In true Venice style, the waters are plied by singing gondoliers. The hotel has a choice of suites — all with gold-accented decor, marble bathrooms, and a sunken living area. If you’re traveling with kids, they’ll love the bunk beds and bean bags of the Famiglia Suite. Dining options are endless, ranging from Michelin-starred Indian restaurant Golden Peacock to laid-back Italian trattoria Portofino.
Best Boutique: Pousada de Coloane Beach Hotel
Imagine the antithesis of Cotai’s glitzy five-star resorts and you may come up with something similar to Pousada de Coloane Beach Hotel. One of only a handful of boutique Macau hotels, it’s located almost as far south as it’s possible on a wooded hillside overlooking Cheoc Van Beach and the South China Sea. It was originally built as a private manor house in the 1930s and with just 28 rooms, it retains the atmosphere of a charmingly ramshackle colonial home. Rooms are decorated in vintage Portuguese style with blue-and-white wall tiles and dark wood furniture.
Whether you opt for a Standard Room, Superior Room, or Family Suite, amenities include cable TV, free Wi-Fi, and a private balcony with pretty sea views. There’s a small swimming pool for cooling off in summer, and a magnificent cobblestone terrace perfect for al fresco dining and sangria sundowners. The on-site restaurant pairs authentic Portuguese meals with an exclusively Portuguese wine list. Breakfast is included in your room rate.
Best for Romance: Sofitel Macau at Ponte 16
Of all the five-star hotels in Macau, Sofitel Macau at Ponte 16 offers the most romantic location. Situated in the heart of the historic center, it overlooks the inner harbor and is a short, hand-holding stroll from landmarks like Monte Fort and St. Dominic’s Church. Inside, luxe fabrics and floral motifs give the hotel a definite French flair. Celebrate a special occasion by booking the Prestige Suite with its king bed, separate living room, and decadent whirlpool spa bath. You’ll also have access to the Club Sofitel lounge, where complimentary breakfast, afternoon tea, and evening cocktails are served alongside spectacular city and water views.
Spend lazy days looking across to mainland China from the landscaped pool terrace, or enjoying signature massages at So SPA. In the evening, start with cocktails at retro French lobby bar Rendezvous. Le Chinois restaurant boasts exquisite dim sum and sensuous black-and-red decor, while Chef’s Table-style restaurant Privé is custom-made for more intimate dinners. Ponte 16 also has its own casino for those looking to fit in a little gambling.
Best Business: Mandarin Oriental Macau
Mandarin Oriental Macau offers contemporary luxury for every kind of traveler but is especially suited for business guests due to its proximity to the Macau Tower Convention and Entertainment Center (a 15-minute walk away). It also has its own flexible meeting rooms, the largest of which has space for up to 330 people. A dedicated conference manager, a business center, and catering and translation services add to the appeal for corporate guests. If you have time between meetings, recharge with a massage at the spa.
Vida Rica Restaurant offers Chinese and Western fine-dining, while Vida Rica Bar is an atmospheric spot for networking. Its marble, crystal, and chrome interior is complemented by stunning views of the Macau Tower and an excellent cocktail and tapas menu. All rooms and suites are designed for a productive stay with a spacious work desk and high-speed WiFi for up to four devices. A marble bathroom with a large tub, an HD TV, and a walk-in wardrobe provide your creature comforts.