The former Portuguese colony of Macau is looking anything but colonial in a fast-paced expansion along its Cotai Strip.
Obviously, one could compare Macau to Las Vegas due to the similarities in casino gaming. However, you’d be wrong to do so. Because with gaming revenues six times larger than the best day in Vegas, Macau makes the Strip look like a sleepy kid brother. There are currently 33 casinos — and counting — in this former Portuguese colony across the bay from Hong Kong 37 miles away.
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Macau is One of the World’s Fastest-Growing Destinations
Calling it “Las Vegas on steroids,” an August 2013 article by Forbes indicates that even more big ticket projects are in the works to ensure Macau captures an ever-increasing steady flow of rollers, big rollers and the biggest rollers. Expect a high-speed railway link to the China mainland and a bridge to Hong Kong to come to fruition.
Meantime, hoteliers and investors are building as fast as they can. Wynn Macau, opened in 2006, holds the Forbes sought-after five-star award and expanded in 2010 into an all-suites tower called Encore. Next for Wynn is a massive project at Cotai Strip, a newer destination in Macau. where ground has broken on a 51-acre hotel scheduled to open in early 2016. Sands, Galaxy, Four Seasons (check out a cascading waterfall at the pool), Mandarin Oriental (a non-casino property), Conrad, Sheraton, Westin, Hard Rock and Venetian are among the brands familiar to Americans, all making recent appearances on the Macau and Cotai Strip. Sands has announced plans for its fifth project in Macau.
Chinese shoppers from nearby Shenzhen pour in to luxury shops from Armani to Zegna, indulgent spas proliferate, and the City of Dreams promotes extravaganzas from The House of Dancing Water. It’s all happening here.
Don’t for a minute think that the dining scene of traditional Macanese food, a blend of Chinese and Protuguese, is being left behind. It’s as well-liked as ever. And as each new hotel unlocks its front doors, guests are confronted with a plethora of flashy dining options. Italian and Cantonese are among the top-rated, as well as plenty of French dining spots, including Le Monde, an entry from none other than master Chef Joël Robuchon