I rarely venture to Macao but with a long weekend on the horizon and my boyfriend and I at a loss for what to do, an invitation to enjoy a Macao “staycation” (can you still call it that?!) at the Conrad Macao was just what the doctor ordered.
Having battled endless queues in Hong Kong to board the ferry (side note: pre-book ferry tickets on a long weekend!), I was relieved when we were met by a member of the Conrad team at Arrivals. Swiftly escorted into the waiting car, we were taken the short drive to the Conrad Macao, which is located directly opposite The Venetian. Like most Macao hotels, the Conrad Macao is incredibly grand; the foyer merges seamlessly with a very expensive shopping mall and busy casino, and the rooms are three times the size of my apartment!
Our suite was absolutely beautiful with views over Taipa, a bathtub big enough for a pool party and a ridiculously comfortable bed. The room was also kitted out with all mod cons including a media room, Nespresso machine and iPad docking station – not to mention the chocolate platter that was in the living room on our arrival!
The weather during our stay was incredible, so we quickly made our way to the Conrad’s pool to soak up the sunshine. The pool is a strange design – four long slim pools with cabanas around the edge and sun loungers by the side of the swimming pools; it lacked a bit of character and its shape meant that you were forced to bathe uncomfortably close to overly excited children. That said, it was still a nice little suntrap with a good poolside menu, so it served its purpose!
Whilst walking through Conrad Macao’s foyer, I had noticed a group enjoying afternoon tea at The Lounge. Without hesitation, I dragged my boyfriend over and ordered the English Afternoon Tea Set (the other option was a Spanish Afternoon Tea Set, which also looked delicious!).
Our set looked beautiful, simple and very traditional; unfortunately, it lacked a bit of flavour but it was pleasant enough to sit and watch the world go by – a nice way to pass a few hours before we ventured back up to our palatial suite.
Having nibbled our way through the chocolate platter and made use of our complimentary Aromatherapy Associates products, we ventured down to Conrad Macao’s Chinese restaurant, Dynasty 8, located in the previously mentioned plush shopping mall. Perhaps we arrived earlier than the normal clientele, but it was very quiet! As we made our way through our monstrous order, the restaurant filled up and by the time we left, it was buzzing – so it’s worth making a reservation for later in the evening to get a bit of atmosphere.
As with many Chinese restaurants, I found the menu slightly overwhelming but having explained my dietary preferences to the charming waitress, I was presented with a host of options, two of which I couldn’t resist – the crisp-fried crab claw with five spices and garlic pepper, and the crystal jumbo king prawn with truffle in abalone sauce.
Five courses later, we were presented with the crab claw (which was bigger than my hand!), followed by an enormous king prawn that, despite being absolutely delicious, I couldn’t finish! Both were cooked to perfection, along with everything else we ate – it was Chinese fine dining at its best. Needless to say, we woke up the next morning still full from the night before.
With a typhoon rolling in, I convinced my other half that the only option for the following day was a massage in the Conrad’s Bodhi Spa, which specialises in Aboriginal, Asian and Ayurvedic spa treatments. I opted for a Pitta Abhyanga, a medium-strength massage that enhances blood circulation and promotes deep relaxation. With sore and stiff muscles, my boyfriend opted for Kapha Abhyanga, a much deeper massage that is designed to remove tension.
The two therapists looking after us were so attentive and made us feel at ease straight away, explaining what oils they were using (lemongrass and ginger, respectively) and why. Although I’m no massage expert, I was really impressed with my therapist and felt incredibly relaxed when it was all over; she avoided my feet as requested, and spent time working on the knots in my shoulders, which I desperately needed!
Like everything in Macao, the Conrad is over-the-top grand, but it was the service that really impressed me. My previous experiences at not-to-be-named hotels had been disappointing due to the service but everyone here, from the bellboys to Guest Relations, was delightful, friendly and incredibly helpful. Afternoon tea aside, I’d certainly recommend a weekend getaway (and a cheeky spa trip) to the Conrad Macao – the hotel is far enough removed from the casinos and gambling to enjoy some R&R, but close enough to roll the dice if you wish!
Room rates start at $1,328 per night for advance bookings, with packages available
Conrad Macao, Sands Cotai Central, Cotai Strip, Macao, +853 2882 9000