The New Sheraton Macau Review

First of all, I realize I’m a terrible trip reporter. It’s been forever since I wrote the last part of this and I had to be reminded about it before realizing it. But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t finish it, especially since the last half is more interesting than the first. Don’t worry…I take notes on my trip and I have a pretty good memory, so let’s just pretend I did them in a timely manner :).

After I got off the boat, I had to go through border patrol once again. The line was surprisingly long as there were a lot of boats that arrived at the same time, but I was through after 30-45 minutes. I had no idea where to go after that – all I knew was that there were buses running all day to the various hotels and casinos in the city. I asked someone at the information desk where to go and was told to take an escalator downstairs, walk through a passageway that goes under the street, then come back up the escalators on the other side where all the buses are. Sure enough, there was a long line of buses.

The buses had names of hotels on them so it was easy to find mine. The Sheraton shared a bus with two other hotels and was lime green in color. I got on the bus and after a few minutes we were on our way.

The ride was kind of interesting, especially because I had no idea what Macau was like. In my head I always pictured something like Las Vegas, since I kept hearing that it was the Vegas of Asia. But what I saw on my ride was much different. Here are some pics I took.

Big buildings...looking good so far!

Big buildings…looking good so far!

The MGM...still looking a lot like Vegas.

The MGM…still looking a lot like Vegas.

Very cool architecture. But here's where I start to notice a difference from Vegas - why are these buildings so far away?

Very cool architecture. But here’s where I start to notice a difference from Vegas – why are these buildings so far away from the first few I saw?

At this point I’m starting to get a little worried. We just drove by many of the major hotels/casinos, yet the bus was still on the highway. Where the heck was my hotel? Did I book it in the middle of nowhere and not realize it? After another 10 minutes of driving we started seeing some more hotels.

 

More cool hotels.

More cool hotels.

The Venetian, another Vegas hotel, and right across the street from the Sheraton.

The Venetian, another Vegas hotel, and right across the street from the Sheraton.

It says the Sands, but that's just the Casino. This is actually the Sheraton...finally!

It says the Sands, but that’s just the Casino. This is actually the Sheraton…finally!

After a 15 minute bus ride we finally arrived at the Sheraton Macau. I wasn’t sure if there would be anything around after passing so many big name casinos, but I was pleasantly surprised to find quite a few. The Grand Hyatt was right next door, as was the Holiday Inn and Conrad. Across the street was The Venetian and Four Seasons.

I had to walk through a giant mall to get to the reception desk, so that was a bit interesting. The line was only one person long so I stood in the normal check-in line. Once they saw I’m an SPG Platinum member they immediately wanted to take me up to a separate check-in area for SPG elites. I wasn’t really interested in the special check-in – I just wanted my room key and wanted to grab some food. After getting my room key, the person who checked me in insisted on escorting me to my room. I almost had to argue when I said I’d take my own luggage! They were literally that nice and considerate.

I was upgraded to a suite and it was a long walk to my room. Carina was the person guiding me to my room, and she was extremely friendly. One of the questions she asked me was what types of food I like. I gave her a couple of cuisines (Thai, Chinese) and she immediately had recommendations for me, both at the mall and a little further away. I was only going to be there a day so I figured I’d stay nearby at the mall.

The hallways were long, wide, and 100% empty.

The hallways were long, wide, and 100% empty.

The hotel was EXTREMELY quiet. I didn’t ask what the occupancy rate was but I think it was really, really low. The hotel had only been open for two months so I assume people were still staying at more established hotels. That was just fine with me, though very different from Las Vegas hotels that are similarly large but usually much busier.

Then I got to my suite.

Entryway looking at the living room. The door on the right is a half bath.

Entryway looking at the living room.

Half bath just to the right of the entry door.

Half bath just to the right of the entry door.

Half bath vanity/sink.

Half bath vanity/sink.

The living room - looks brand new.

The living room – looks brand new.

View of the entry and bedroom door.

View of the entry and bedroom door.

Three apples in the middle of the living room....and a TV.

Three apples in the middle of the living room….and a TV.

King size bed...

King size bed…

Bedroom window and work desk. The TV is kind of cut off on the side, but who watches TV on vacation anyway...

Bedroom window and work desk. The TV is kind of cut off on the side, but who watches TV on vacation anyway…

The other side of the bedroom...and the bathroom.

The other side of the bedroom…and the bathroom.

 

Okay so you’ve seen the living room and the bedroom, which both look amazing. Everything looks so brand new, and I honestly think I was the first person to be in this room. It was THAT clean. But the bathroom was my favorite part of the room.

 

Now THAT'S a bathroom!

Now THAT’S a bathroom!

More awesomeness.

More awesomeness.

The door on the right is the toilet, the door on the left is the shower.

The door on the right is the toilet, the door on the left is the shower.

The shower head. There was a sitting area in the shower as well.

The shower head. There was a sitting area in the shower as well.

I don’t know about you, but that’s probably the nicest bathroom I’ve ever seen in a hotel. It looks like a bathroom you’d see in a home, with all the marble and lighting and other upgrades. I was very impressed. The only two items I’d improve are in the shower: The bath amenities are still the standard Sheraton “Shine” amenities and there wasn’t a rain shower head. It’s obviously not necessary, but that would have been AWESOME!

I was very impressed with the room, if you couldn’t tell. I took some time to just look around and appreciate one of the nicest hotel rooms I’ve stayed in.

The lighting was cool, and you can tell they spent some extra money to make the room look great.

The lighting was cool, and you can tell they spent some extra money to make the room look great.

The Grand Hyatt is the building on the right. The long strip of land just before the water is actually the Macau airport (zoom in to see the airplane).

The Grand Hyatt is the building on the right. The long strip of land just before the water is actually the Macau airport (zoom in to see the airplane).

On the other side was the Venetian. You can see a bridge that connects the two sides of the street.

On the other side was the Venetian. You can see a bridge that connects the two sides of the street.

While I continued to look around the room I heard a knock on the door. I was just finishing up taking a picture so it took a minute to get to the door. When I opened the door, Carina, the person who initially walked me to my room, was there writing a note. She said “I wanted to give you the name of the Thai restaurant again and its location so you can tell the taxi driver exactly where to go. I wrote you a note that you can just hand to the driver.”

I didn't have a chance to go to this restaurant, but I have no doubt it would be excellent!

I didn’t have a chance to go to this restaurant, but I have no doubt it would be excellent!

Wow. How extremely thoughtful of Carina. We all know that the service in Asia far surpasses most other places in the world, but this was great. And it wasn’t just the action itself – it was the friendliness with which she did it. She genuinely wanted to help me and wanted me to have a good time while in the city. I was impressed, yet again.

I had lunch in the mall downstairs. They have plenty of expensive restaurants and a much cheaper food court with all kinds of cuisines. The mall was actually pretty cool and had a tropical/jungle theme to it. And there was a cool water feature that had messages in it (see image below).

See the "Welcome" in the water that's falling from the ceiling? It was really cool! Messages were in both English and Chinese

See the “Welcome” written in the water that’s falling from the ceiling? It was really cool! Messages were displayed in both English and Chinese.

This wasn’t just a wall of water with messages being projected on it. Water drops were actually falling in that pattern and all the water was lit from the top. It’s a lot more impressive in person than in this picture!

The next morning I headed down to the lounge for breakfast. The lounge was on the same level as a bunch of conference rooms, and this definitely felt more like Vegas (but again, minus the people). Huge hallways and monstrous rooms.

The conference area, which is on the same floor as the lounge.

The conference area, which is on the same floor as the lounge.

I was greeted by about 15-20 Sheraton employees as I walked up to the lounge. It was actually comical because each one of them said good morning as I walked by. They were wayyyyy over-staffed. This is also where SPG elites check-in and out.

The lounge was large and was made up of separate rooms. One was the dining area where breakfast was, the next was the bar area and some tables, and the next was just a sitting/lounging area. There was also a computer area and printers at the end of the lounge.

This is the eating area. At the end of the room is where the food is.

This is the eating area. At the end of the room is where the food is.

The bar, empty in the morning.

The bar, empty in the morning.

The seating area around the bar.

The seating area around the bar.

The sitting/lounging area. The computer area is off to the right.

The sitting/lounging area. The computer area is off to the right.

The lounge was large and empty, like the rest of the hotel during my short one night stay. There were plenty of people eating breakfast as you can see above, but I was seated immediately as half the room was still empty. I only took two pics of the breakfast area but I figure you don’t need a picture of every food item anyway.

Pastries and breads, plus there were fruits, yogurts, and a pancake machine I couldn't figure out.

Pastries and breads, plus there were fruits, yogurts, and a pancake machine I couldn’t figure out.

There were a couple of hot items, but it was almost entirely a Western breakfast.

There were a couple of hot items, but it was almost entirely a Western breakfast.

It was pretty much a Western-style breakfast. They had all the standard items, plus an omelette bar. There were only a handful of hot items though, but the spread was still plenty good to start the day.

I visited the Casino and it was quite interesting. There were no photos allowed and there was a ton of security so I wasn’t going to risk it, so no pics unfortunately. The floor was large and square shaped, which is different from the long, winding casinos of Las Vegas. The slot machines were more or less the same, and I even recognized a lot of games from Vegas. The big difference was in the table games. I’d say that 90% of them were games I didn’t recognize, but there were plenty of people playing them. I was only there for a day so I didn’t attempt to learn any new games. In terms of getting cash, you can hand the cashier nearly any form of currency and they’ll change it for you, and the exchange rate wasn’t too bad either.

One other note that made my stay exceptional. I took a taxi back to the Sheraton on my way back from sightseeing in the city. As the taxi driver pulled up to my hotel, a Sheraton employee opened my door for me. I got out and started walking in. Now, I don’t know about the other guys out there, but when I stand up I always check for my wallet, my cell phone, and my keys. I check all my pockets. I did this upon getting out of the taxi and realized I didn’t have my wallet. I looked straight at the Sheraton employee and said “Crap…I think I left my wallet in the taxi!” The taxi was already making his way to the main street and I was about to chase it down to get a number or something.

But without hesitation, the guy who opened my door sprinted across the grass (not a short distance), and jumped in front of the taxi to stop him just before he got to the main road. He retrieved my wallet and brought it back to me. Vince was his name, and boy was I glad he was there. I tipped him handsomely for this act of valor, of course.

My stay was just one night, but it was made absolutely exceptional by the staff at the hotel. I left a review and made note of both Carina and Vince, and I even sent the below email to SPG after my stay.

My email to SPG. I never write them emails.

My email to SPG. I never write them emails.

 

The only negative was about Macau itself and not the hotel. Everything was so spread out that I simply couldn’t visit all of them in my one day there. That was poor planning on my part, but it also doesn’t have the same magic that Vegas has. In my opinion, Vegas is special because you have EVERYTHING within half a mile on the same street. You can walk to everything. Some of these places were a 15 minute drive apart.

Still, definitely worth visiting in my opinion. I think you need at least two days here, depending on what you want to do. My rate was cheap at just $119 for the night, so it wasn’t bad at all in my opinion…especially for the great room I had.

Comments

  1. Excellent trip report.

  2. Very nice report! Thank you! You made me want to squeeze Macau in for my China trip at the end of this year and stay at the Sheraton (apparently hotels in Macau are just much much cheaper than in HK). I though Macau is packed with people, especially with Mainland tourist. Maybe you were there during the week in the winter?? I can’t wait to read what you did in Macau. :-)

    • Travel Summary says:

      That is true – it was the winter months and I believe it was a Monday that I was there. I’ll plan to go back on a weekend to see if it’s much different!

      • You bet it will be! According to my families in Guangzhiu, buses load of mainland tourists arrive at macau early in the day and often make the lines super long at border patrol, sometimes takes two hours. They will eventually fill up the casinos and make you feel like in Vegas! ;-) One thing I heard really worth seeing in Macao is the water show at night.

  3. Nice report, was just here in November! Although the hotel was nice, it seemed liked there was nothing to in the Cotai area. Looks like you did the crazy jump though!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] untouched. Definitely not your standard Sheraton, although the bath amenities were. Full review here (assuming I can post my own link in this [...]

Speak Your Mind

*