Macau is an exotic paradox of east and west, Asian yet still symbolically European where the choice in luxury accommodation, dining, entertainment, spas, bars and nightclubs is only rivalled by the glittering streets of Las Vegas.
If you're planning a trip to Asia we recommend adding a few days onto your itinerary to drop into this unique and vibrant city. For an insider's point of view, we asked Concierge Francis Sien to share his little black book ...
WHEN DID YOU FIRST MOVE TO MACAU?
I am a Chinese born in India and moved to Macau in 1992.
DID YOU HAVE ANY IMPRESSIONS OF MACAU BEFORE YOU MADE THE MOVE AND WERE ANY PREVIOUS IMPRESSIONS DRAMATICALLY ALTERED AFTER LIVING IN THE CITY?
Before moving to Macau, I thought this place was a quiet, small town, but after settling down here, I have realised that Macau is rich in its historical and cultural heritage. The Portuguese and Cantonese traditions are perfectly mixed, creating a unique environment which cannot be found in other places.
WHAT DO YOU THINK MAKES MACAU A GREAT ROMANTIC CITY BREAK?
Macau has an interesting contrast between old-world charm and modernity which is romantic in itself.
EVERYBODY HAS HEARD THAT MACAU HAS INCREDIBLE CASINO/RESORT COMPLEXES, BUT ASIDES FROM THESE, WHAT OTHER ENTERTAINMENT ELEMENTS DO THEY OFFER THIS CHARISMATIC CITY?
In addition to the two most popular shows in Macau, The House of Dancing Water and Taboo, casino/resorts here also regularly provide spectacular lighting shows or fountain shows, making hotel tours a must for all visitors.
CAN YOU RECOMMEND A LOCAL NEIGHBOURHOOD STYLE RESTAURANT WHICH GIVES VISITORS AN AUTHENTIC OR UNIQUE DINING EXPERIENCE?
Restaurante Fernando is an ideal place to savour the traditional Portuguese cuisine. After the meal, guests can also stroll the famous Hac Sa Beach (Black Beach) nearby. Restaurante Litoral provides a delectable range of Macanese specialties which nicely combines Portuguese and Cantonese cooking styles.