Quick guide to Macau stays and eats
By: Stephenie Gee
November 6, 2023
As the last European colony in the Far East, Macau offers a unique blend of East and West that can be felt around every corner from its architecture to its local cuisine. Nature lovers also have a place here, with beaches, parks and walking trails alive with fauna and flora. Stephenie Gee rounds up the city’s best stays, sights and eats
Where to Stay
set between the picturesque and well-preserved neighbourhoods of Old Taipa and Coloane, Andaz Macau is the brand’s first and only hotel in Macau and its largest property globally. Local touches abound in the hotel, from a stunning wall installation featuring layered skyline photographs of the city with natural Chinese materials and a multi-sensory staircase showcasing over 100 videos that narrate the history of Macau to the 700 rooms and suites done in a refreshing palette of forest greens and earthy orange hues as a nod to the surrounding lush landscape, and equipped with a minibar stocked with locally sourced eats like biscuits from Macau’s Yeng Kee Bakery. Downstairs, Andaz Kitchen showcases a dazzling array of local and global dishes. Wash it down with creative cocktails and local craft beers from the intimate Andaz Bar.
Raffles at Galaxy Macau
macau is hardly lacking in luxury hotels. Still, Raffles at Galaxy Macau stands out, from its sleek, contemporary facade integrated with LED screens offering possibilities for displays that can be seen right across Macau and the neighbouring Hengqin Island to the modern palazzo-inspired interiors of its 450 suites – featuring exquisite artworks thoughtfully curated around the four seasons, living-room fireplaces, and even pillowcases and bathrobes personalised with your embroidered initials. All of the brand’s signatures can be found here: the attentive – but not obsequious – butler service, afternoon tea featuring a selection of delightful treats on three-tier silver stands, and the historic Long Bar designed by the luminary Joyce Wang with a new iconic Sling tailored for Macau.
W Macau – Studio City
W Macau – Studio City marks the debut of the W Hotels brand in Macau, bringing with it a 1950s Hollywood-inspired design by the world-renowned Zaha Hadid Architects with a few local touches. The hotel’s 557 guest rooms and suites come with views of the city’s glittering lights, while taking cues from classical cinema as well as Macau’s rich maritime history. The highlight is the two-bedroom Extreme WOW Suite, which features 258 sqm of living space including stunning 270-degree floor-to-ceiling windows, a luxurious circular bed and generous dining area. The hotel also brings Macanese influence to its four food and beverage concepts: three- meal period restaurant Hawker Hawker, all-day coffee and cocktail bar Living Room, contemporary Cantonese restaurant DIVA and destination bar Blind Tiger. Located within is the first W Sound Suite in Greater China for guests to explore their musical talents.
Where to Eat
Chef Tam’s Seasons
Renowned cantonese master chef Tam Kwok Fung’s new conceptual restaurant, Chef Tam’s Seasons, is Wynn Palace’s latest addition to its repertoire of gastronomic experiences. Inspired by the 24 solar terms of the traditional Chinese calendar, Tam reinvents and reinterprets Cantonese cuisine through global ingredients, contemporary cooking techniques and a culinary philosophy that pays homage to seasonality. At the time of its preview in Chushu – the 14th solar term that signifies the end of the hot summer season – dishes included a nourishing shredded duck soup with salty citrus, wok-fried Chinese kale with dried shrimp and squid in a clay pot, and baby pear with superior bird’s nest.
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Open since 1986, this cosy joint decked out with brick walls and red-chequered tablecloths is the place where diners can enjoy some of the finest Portuguese dishes in town. Tuck into the oven-roasted suckling pig, sumptuous sardines, garlic clams and pastéis de bacalhau (Portuguese salted cod fritters). A bracing sip of house sangria proffered by the affable waiters wraps up the meal.
Kam Lei is a casual noodle spot: food is served in modest interiors of tiled walls and plastic stools, staffers wear T-shirts and, outside, large red lettering and crates of Coca-Cola announce its presence. Yet, waiting for a table is an exercise in patience because the food is just that good. Order the chicken curry vermicelli with a good dollop of their homemade chilli oil crisp, a portion of beef brisket and bottle of Vitasoy, and you’re set.
What to Do
For an authentic slice of Macanese culture, be sure to visit this quaint village formerly home to local fishermen. Here, among its winding lanes and pedestrianised alleys, Macau’s East-meets-West character is on full display, with colonial churches juxtaposed against Chinese temples, museums – like the Taipa Houses-Museum built in 1921, which served as a residence for the Portuguese governor – art galleries, souvenir shops and some of the best Portuguese and Macanese restaurants in town.
Hac Sa Beach
Laid-back and picturesque, Hac Sa Beach on the southern end of Coloane is – as its name, which translates into “Black Sand” beach, suggests – known for its striking black sand. Now mixed with yellow sand as an attempt to prevent erosion, Hac Sa is the largest natural beach in the city. Stroll along the shore flanked by tall pine and palm trees, get a pork-chop bun at one of the barbecue stalls, paddleboard at the nearby Hac Sa Reservoir Country Park, set out on the Long Chao Kok Coastal Trail or simply enjoy the tranquillity.
Beyond its casinos, sightseeing and gastronomy, Macau is home to a thriving art scene. Occupying 10,192 sqm of space across five storeys, the Macao Museum of Art is the city’s only museum dedicated to cultural relics and arts. The city’s international art biennale, Art Macao, is also running until the end of the month, with a host of world-class exhibitions like Mr Doodle taking over galleries, integrated resorts, museums and public spaces across Macau. Offering immersive and interactive art experiences, teamLab SuperNature is another must-visit attraction for art lovers.
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