When The Ritz-Carlton opened in Macau this year, it heralded the start of a new era. As the group’s first all-suite property anywhere in the world, it is a huge vote of confidence for Macau. Situated at The Galaxy, an integrated leisure and entertainment precinct that’s a destination within a destination, guests have dozens of restaurants and bars, world-class shopping, movies, and an aquatic adventure park all at their doorstep. Less than two months from opening day, reviewers on TripAdvisor have voted the hotel Macau’s best. Given that Macau offers a staggering number of luxury hotels, this is quite an achievement in such a short time.
ROOM FOR TWO:
There are three levels of suites, starting with 138 Premier Suites, and culminating in the Carlton two-bedroom suite. Ours was ‘entry-level’ Premier, but I had a double take — had we been upgraded? At over 80 square metres, the room was huge and included 24-hour access to the Club Lounge. With five generous food and drink offerings served daily, and an intimate yet opulent atmosphere, the lounge is a wonderful escape or somewhere quiet to get a bit of work done.
Interior design takes inspiration from the locality.The classic blue of the Portuguese tiles found in Macau’s UNESCO heritage areas is woven into the luxurious carpets. Mosaic tiles in the bathroom are a quintessential European touch, as is the chandelier. The furniture is best described as Euro-Asian, a little bit like Macau itself.
The piece-de-resistance was the stunning marble bathtub, which takes pride of place in the huge bathroom and large enough for two people to luxuriate in enjoying a bottle of Champagne! Our suite offered twoTVs,a super comfortable King bed and separate living and sleeping areas. Nothing is overlooked: Nespresso machine, luxurious Asprey toiletries, deluge shower, heated toilet seat.
We started our food experience with lunch at the Ritz-Carlton Cafe, a casual brasserie offering all-day dining. Helmed by Lyon-born head chef Raphaël Kinimo, the authentic French cuisine is delicious, and afternoon tea utterly indulgent. The atmosphere is enhanced with daily Parisian-style entertainment. We were entertained by a mime artist at lunch and the following day a caricaturist was there sketching diners.
Later that night, we arrived at Lai Heen on the 51st floor, the highest authentic Cantonese restaurant in Macau. Stepping into Lai Heen is like entering an exquisite box of treasures, and yet again you see Macau’s rich culture perfectly captured. The creative touches are indelible and never-ending. From the smashed Por tuguese tiles, bound together as Chinese vases, to walls embellished with beautiful designs crafted from thousands of pieces of Azulejo ceramics. And amazingly, a waterfall that creates soothing sounds and lit-up waves, inspired by the old trading port of Macau.
Our sommelier, just one of only three born and bred Macanese sommeliers in Macau, matched each of our six courses with wines as delicious as the food. Each dish was a revelation, and there were many we’d never tried before such as Marinated Jellyfish Head and Barbecued Iberian Pork, Baby spinach with Yunan Black Boar in Winter Melon, and the dessert of Double-boiled Hokkaido Milk-Brulé in Baby Pumpkin. With the Chef who helped Tin Lung Heen (at The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong) achieve two-star Michelin Restaurant recognition now steering Lai Heen, tables here are set to become Macau’s most sought after.
We finished our evening at the Ritz-Carlton Bar & Lounge, enjoying one of their signature cocktails and a two piece Jazz band. This intimate lounge bar has the coolest Gin-trolley I’ve seen!
COUPLES WILL LOVE:
Espa is The Ritz-Carlton’s signature spa brand, and the Macau outlet is nothing short of magnificent. In addition to the ten treatment rooms, there are three couples’ suites just perfect for honeymooners or couples on holiday. The decor is dark timber, oak and onyx with stunning Asian-inspired fabric on the walls, complementing unique tall birdcage-like dividers that hug the brown leather chairs. The facilities are second to none - vitality pools, experience showers (the side spray was my favourite!), steam rooms and saunas, complete with ice-fountains to cool down with after. This is a true sanctuary, staffed with highly experienced therapists, obvious from the moment the first stroke touches your body.
Taipa Village, one of the most important historical sites in Macau, is just across the road. Here you see Macau’s unique mix of Chinese and Portuguese heritage in one area, with traditional Chinese shops sitting amongst colonial Portuguese buildings, now used as restaurants, museums and unique shops.