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Where to stay in Macao

A bit about Macao

Macao is one of a kind. A former Portuguese colony in the south of China, it has a harmonious blend of cultures, a unique charm and rich heritage, and a flush of Asia's brightest and best casinos concentrated into just 11 square miles. It's a strange but wonderful blend of east and west - colonial churches and Taoist temples, egg custard tarts and crispy fried pork, luxury shopping centres and typical oriental alleys. The richness of its history is exemplified by its charming UNESCO-listed heritage centre, temples and first-class museums that make quite a contrast to its modern persona of mind-blowing scale and kitsch-chic casinos.

A Ma temple stands at the entrance to the harbour, an ancient place of worship for the farmers and fishermen who first populated the area. The Portuguese first arrived in the 16th century and quickly established a major trading post between Japan, China, India and Europe. The Chinese enclave was transformed into a prosperous melting pot of east and western cultures, and was the first and last western colony in the country.

It now enjoys Special Administrative status similar to nearby Hong Kong, which lies just 42 miles east across the Pearl River Delta. The area covers the little Macao peninsula where the city was originally settled and the linked islands of Taipa and Coloane fused together by the manmade Cotai casino district sandwiched between the two. As one of only a few places where gambling is legal in China, Macao attracts a local crowd too, though there's much more to the city than its dazzling casinos.

In Macao visitors have a wonderful choice of places to stay from luxurious suites in heritage districts and comfortable rooms at international chains to casino-hotels in Cotai reminiscent of Las Vegas and peaceful beach resorts tucked away in the islet of Coloane. At Macoa's hotels you can expect world-class service and hospitality and the very latest mod cons befitting the wealthiest territory in Asia.

Heart of the city

Macao Central

The compact Macao Peninsula is speckled with appealing accommodation options ranging from dazzling casino resorts to luxury non-gaming hotels. Between the colonial heritage sites of old Macao and the glitzy lights of Lisboa casino and the entertainment district, the mid-range Metropole Hotel is ideally located to sample the best of both worlds. For something abit more fancy, consider staying at the Sofitel Macau at Ponte 16 overlooking the waterfront close to the heritage sights, which include the ruins of St Paul's and A-Ma temple. The luxury complex features a fabulous restaurant, bar and casino and there's a large pool and a deluxe spa.

Another plush place to stay is the Mandarin Oriental Macao. This tranquil luxury hotel is a stone's throw from the entertainment district but its interiors exude Zen-like calm. Large comfortable rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic views and the hotel also features a fine dining restaurant.

Travellers visiting Macao who want to experience refined luxury and the delights of the city without the razzmatazz of the casinos should choose a hotel away from the southern tourist area that's close to the ferry terminal where the main gaming hotels are situated. The Royal Macau hotel is a pleasant midrange option with a pool in a good spot close to the lofty Guia Lighthouse and hilltop fort, and within walking distance of Macau Museum and Senado Square. Located in the lovely St Lazarus quarter, with its steep streets, cafes and heritage buildings, the Royal puts you at easy walking distance from the city's best bits. Don't miss a trip to photogenic St Lazarus Square flanked by yellow-painted period buildings and shaded by tall trees. There's also a free transfer to the ferry terminal and casino district should you wish to try your luck with the high-rollers.

Heritage and character

For holidaymakers who prefer the ambience of pavement cafes, bakeries and old world charm, there are a few good choices close to the heritage centre of Macao that's a world away from the over-the-top character of the casino hotels in south Macau and the Cotai Strip. The UNESCO-listed centre is chockfull of curiosities including the stunning ruined baroque facade of St Paul's Church, the Ming dynasty Lou Kan mansion and renowned Lord Stow's bakery where you can try Macao's delectable egg custard tarts.

Macao Peninsula

If you are looking for high-end accommodation with heritage and character in Macao the exclusive Pousada de Sao Tiago is ideal. At the south-west corner of the peninsula overlooking the harbour, the luxury 12-suite hotel is housed in a converted 17th-century Portuguese fortress that retains many of its original features. For active travellers seeking a basic and affordable room in a good location for sightseeing , the Ole Tai Sam Un Hotel and the similar Ole London hotel are decent options both close to the heritage sites.


Linked to Macao Peninsula via several causeways, the island of Taipa has colonial pockets and heritage spots that give it a character and history that's an altogether difference atmosphere to the fabulous entertainment district or Cotai strip. Taipa's highlights include Taipa Houses Museum, housed in a beautiful mint green colonial building and the atmospheric and ancient-feeling Pak Tai Temple. Accommodation options close to the sights of Old Taipa include Taipa Square hotel and the Regency Hotel with pretty grounds and a colonial feel to the communal area and rooms.

Among the luxury hotels in Taipa the elegant white and gold towers of the Banyan Tree Macau stand out in the skyline. The style is art deco with an oriental twist - dark wood on a light palette with clean lines and comfortable alcoves with palm fronds and pools. It's a peaceful sanctuary in a buzzing city with a Zen-inspired spa.

Glitz, glamour and gaming

Macao has a flush of casinos and impressive hotels that have given it the reputation as Asia's Las Vegas, and there are certainly a few areas that shimmer with razzamatazz and dazzle with size and scale. Hotels with casinos are concentrated towards the southern peninsula's lakes and lagoons, with the newest ones along the Cotai Strip. Many of them are truly glorious hotels with opulent furnishings and grand architecture, first-class service and hospitality, luxurious suites, fabulous views and all mod cons.

Southern Macao Peninsula

Towards the south of the Macao Peninsula, close to the ferry terminal, is Macao's original casino district. The hotels here are designed for maximum impact. The striking Starworld Hotel has plush rooms, a Michelin-starred restaurant and a large glitzy casino in heart of Macau's entertainment district. Close to the large Nam Van lake, Grand Lisboa hotel is a humungous golden-glowing structure with one of the city's most renowned casinos, while the nearby Wynn Macau has an outstanding reputation for high service and room standards. Alternatively, the 35-storey MGM Macau has no less than 600 smart and comfortable rooms, a grand casino, Six Senses spa, swimming pool and a variety of restaurants.

Cotai Central

You can find Macao's newest gaming resorts in the Cotai area of reclaimed land that rises above the azure waters between Taipa and Coloane islands. Centring on the Cotai Strip, the huge flashy buildings are a feast for the eyes reminiscent of Las Vegas and the area also has some fabulous shopping centres. The Venetian Macao Resort Hotel, for instance, encompasses an elaborate Venetian-style shopping mall complete with canals and gondola rides, alongside the world's largest casino.

From the Galaxy Macau Resort and the Sheraton Grand Macao to the excellent Four Seasons Macao, hotel standards are extremely high in this ultra-modern development so choosing the right hotel for you largely depends on your personal tastes. If you like to be wowed on holiday, Studio City is the newest casino resort integrating shopping and entertainment into the mix. Contained in a monolithic glass art deco-inspired building with two towers bridged by the world's first figure-8 ferris wheel, the resort's other unique features include a Batman flying theatre attraction. A luxury Hard Rock hotel has also taken up residence along the strip, bringing its signature rock and roll brand to the casino market.

For those who prefer a peaceful retreat to balance the buzz of the strip, the Hotel Conrad Macao is part of a quiet complex close to casinos but slightly away from the action. Channelling an opulent oriental style, the luxury hotel also boasts a sumptuous spa. The equally-deluxe St Regis Macao is in the same spot tucked away from the main strip.

Tranquil enclaves

North Macau Peninsula

Less-visited than Macau's southern areas and its central heritage district, the north of the Macau Peninsula nevertheless makes a pleasant place to stay away from the hustle and bustle of the tourist and entertainment districts. The Pousada de Mong-Ha hotel is a peaceful boutique retreat from the city. It has the added bonus of sharing its grounds with a historic fortress and the area is also dotted with Chinese temples, though in such a small region Macao's main sights and bright lights are only a short journey away.


At the southern point of Macao beyond the bedazzling Cotai Strip, Coloane island is a surprising contrast of green natural landscapes and rocky coastline. It is perhaps Macao's most peaceful pocket, the perfect place to relax in the subtropical climate. Indenting the shore, a 1km-long stretch of black-gold sand backed by verdant hills and softly rounded rocks and overlooked by a sole resort provides the chance for a beach holiday in Macau. Known as Hac-Sa beach, it's the largest of Macao's beaches and the upscale Grand Coloane Beach Resort is on a little hillside just steps away. The luxury resort has spacious sea view rooms, a large pool and in-resort dining as well as an adjoining 18-hole golf course surrounded by lush parkland. Nearby, the Pousada de Coloane Beach Hotel is another option on the isle. Originally built as a manor house, it has a pretty Portuguese colonial style right beside Cheoc-Van beach, and a locally renowned restaurant serving Portuguese food overlooking the sea.

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Places of interest in Macau

Depending on the type of location you want, the kind of facilities you'd like to find and the proximity to certain attractions, we have a good number of areas for you to choose from and stay at during your holiday.

Whether you want a pumping and energetic beachside retreat, a tranquil setting in a secluded cove, a hillside resort perched in the midst of nature, or a strategic central location close to civilisation and buzzing city life, nightclubs, theme parks and other kinds of leisure attractions, we can advise you on the best places for you.

Choose from our selection of handpicked places and be based right at the place that's most ideal for you and your travelling party

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