A Good Gamble
In a city filled with mega-resorts, the Altira Macau stands out for its stylish simplicity
By PAUL ERHLICH
Think Macau, and intimacy probably doesn’t spring to mind. In the past three years, Asia’s answer to Las Vegas has seen a spate of splashy mega-projects: The Venetian, MGM Grand Macau and City of Dreams. Compared with these developments, the recently rebranded Altira Macau, formerly the Crown Macau, succeeds in creating a discreet, cozy feel.
Situated on Taipa, the hotel offers spectacular vistas of Macau’s surreal skyline. Perhaps more importantly, it’s within walking distance of a handful of neighborhood restaurants so guests can get a taste of Macau’s other side.
Understated elegance prevails here; but don’t expect stark minimalism. Renowned L.A.-based designer Peter Remédios, the talent behind the Four Seasons New York and the Landmark Oriental, uses a palette of off-whites, golds and brown to create a sophisticated look. Miniature bamboo gardens hint at the hotel’s Asian locale, while modern art give the public areas a contemporary touch. He also lets the views do the work: glass-to-ceiling windows in the lobby on the 38th floor and guest rooms afford panoramas of the city.
Generously sized at 128 square meters, the Premier Suite reflects Remédios’s low-key approach; clean lines and dark-wood floors add to the general calm. If gambling isn’t your thing, the 42-inch flat-screen TV, Nespresso machine and iPod/iPhone dock—not to mention the nearly three-meter-high windows—will keep you well entertained. And as you’d expect from a property of this caliber, luxury touches abound, from the impossibly high thread count of the Egyptian cotton sheets to the complimentary bottles of Voss mineral water from Norway. The marbled bathrooms are enormous, with a separate Japanese-style shower room, circular bathtub and double sinks. We loved the satiny robes with terry-cloth lining and organic toiletries by the U.K.’s REN.
Among the four restaurants is the Michelin-starred Ying, which dishes up refined Cantonese cuisine. Spa-goers will delight in the 6,000-square-meter spa, while gym rats will appreciate the state-of-the-art fitness facilities and heated swimming pool (music is piped in underwater). And there is, of course, the multilevel casino, with more than 200 gaming tables.
While butlers are at your beck and call, staff throughout the hotel are genuinely attentive. One server, for example, instantly recalled what we had for breakfast the day before. Highly recommended.
Avenida de Kwang Tung, Taipa
+853 2886 8888