Located on China’s southern coast, Macau is a bustling, thriving city that is often compared to Hong Kong. This former Portuguese colony presents a vibrant mix of cultures, a breathtaking metropolis skyline, and plenty of cultural experiences waiting to be explored by visitors.
Recently, we’ve been fortunate to have explored some of what Macau offers via a couple of its incredibly luxurious properties, and our explorations have given us an insight into its unique and special properties.
In this travel guide, we’re once more shining the spotlight on this Chinese city, revealing some of the things that make it such a popular destination.
Cultural & culinary fusion
Macau was a Portuguese colony for 300 years, which is primarily felt in the modern day through its mish-mash of cuisines. Travellers will find themselves torn between dim sum and bacalhau for dinner or Chinese steamed milk pudding and pasteis de nata for dessert.
Macau’s favourite street food snack is a beautifully simple dish: a freshly baked Portuguese bread roll stuffed with a fried pork chop. Another staple is Portuguese-Cantonese fried rice, made with prawns, bacon, egg, asparagus, chicken and olives.
The most recent culinary development comes in the form of a brand new Gordon Ramsay restaurant that has just opened in the city.
Macau’s cultural hybridity is one of its defining features; aside from the fusion of flavours, Portuguese street names mark Macau’s cultural tapestry, as do many of its landmarks.
The ruins of the Church of St Paul are the remains of a church designed by an Italian Jesuit and built by early Japanese Christian exiles and Chinese craftsmen between 1602 and 1640.
There are also many ancient temples to explore, the oldest of them being Kun Iam Temple, dating back to 1627. Those looking to explore old-world Macau can hop on a bus to Taipa Village, which preserves its authentic Macau character.
Thriving hotel scene
With the opening of a hotel designed by the late Karl Lagerfeld this summer, the city has definitely gained international attention. Macau’s hotel prowess doesn’t stop there; here are some of the best new additions to Macau’s skyline that rival Karl Lagerfeld’s cool factor:
W Macau – Studio City
W Macau – Studio City opened its doors at the end of October, making it the freshest hotel in the city. Located within one of Macau’s most exciting new leisure complexes, the Cotai Strip, which comes with its own indoor waterpark, theatre and more, this hotel is at the forefront of Macau’s innovation.
It was designed by world-renowned Zaha Hadid Architects, W Macau – Studio City takes inspiration from the glamour of 1950s Hollywood, with rich detailing, geometries and contemporary representations of Macau’s unique East-meets-West culture and history.
Guests are invited to relax at the AWAY SPA or work off all that incredible food at the fitness centre before heading back into the city to explore.
The Ritz-Carlton, Macau
For those looking to indulge in a world-class stay in Macau, they should look no further than The Ritz-Carlton, Macau. True to The Ritz-Carlton brand, the hotel offers impeccable levels of service.
Set within the top floors of one of the world’s most spectacular entertainment and leisure destinations – Galaxy Macau™, the hotel is an all-suite hotel by The Ritz-Carlton, featuring over 230 suites which overlook inspiring views of Cotai Macau.
The Ritz-Carlton, Macau, holds the distinct honour of being rated among Forbes Travel Guide for garnering Five Star awards in hotel and spa and Michelin Star award in dining at the hotel’s Cantonese Lai Heen restaurant.
Prices start at £291 for a double room in January. For more information on the hotels listed above, visit www.marriott.com.
Read more travel news and features here.
The exterior of the Londoner Macao.