Published: 26 April 2016 by: Natasha Pavez

Airmail cocktail at Heart Bar

 Blink and you’ll miss the myriad openings popping up across Macao, taking the oriental-meets-colonial city to dazzling new heights. 

An entertainment precinct, a list of five-star hotels, restaurants aplenty – it’s all happening in Macao. As we speed through 2016, Macao is embracing change with gusto, with more to satisfy travellers at every turn. The best part? Macao remains, at its core, the unique jewel it has always been, effortlessly straddling the divide between classicism and modernity. Travellers, whatever their itinerary, can find something to cherish on a Macao romantic getaway.

If festivals are your must-see, take your honey’s hand and check out the vivid parades on show, paired with morning marathons in an unlikely pairing that’s actually dazzling. December saw the launch of a new, spectacular Light Festival (think Sydney’s Vivid Festival) which enchanted visitors and locals alike – while being the perfect post-marathon soother.
 
Or, you can wander around the famous Cotai Strip, where many of the new attractions are being introduced. In recent months, Macao has seen the opening of Studio City (with its famous 8 Ferris wheel), The St Regis, Macao, The Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott Hotel, Macau … with Wynn Palace and The Parisian due at the end of 2016, and a few more big names in 2017. 
 
St Regis Macao
 
 
Along with five-star hotels comes Michelin star restaurants, exciting stage shows, and luxury shopping - it is all here at Cotai.  Hollywood glamour abounds in the Art Deco Studio City, with a lustrous, star-studded experience ready for every guest, a magic show, and the dynamic Batman ride which will keep those from young to old entertained. The Galaxy’s luxury offerings encompass shopping, lifestyle and social experiences (and performances at The Promenade if you need some entertainment), along with a fun water park. As Asia’s leading entertainment destination, a certain lavish touch is evident throughout all of the new developments in Macao.
 
With hotels opening at such dizzying speeds it’s hard to keep track unless you’re visiting Macao constantly. “We are going through exciting times, so swift that if you hadn’t been to Macao for a couple of years you would be amazed by the transformation,” says Helen Wong, GM of Macao Government Tourism Office Australia & NZ. “Yet the old UNESCO World Heritage-listed Macao remains – and is a prime tourist attraction.”

Nowhere else in Asia offers the unique mix of Portuguese history and modern five-star glamour - where else can you eat authentic Dim Sum for breakfast, and Portuguese by the water for lunch? Whether you’re wandering hand-in-hand along the historic streets in Taipa Village or the cobble-stoned walkways of Senado Square, or luxuriating in one of the new hotels, whiling the hours away is simple in Macao – and romantic, too. 

“Macao continues to evolve in 2016, and will do so for years to come,” says Ms Wong. We can’t wait to see what’s ahead.

If you are considering a honeymoon or romantic getaway to Macao, even if just to get a glimpse of this  marvel, it is easy to reach with flights via Kuala Lumpur on Air Asia directly into the cute little Macao airport, or most Australian cities have flights directly into Hong Kong with a short one-hour ferry connection. For more, visit Macao Tourism online.

 
The Golden Peacock
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