12 January, 2011

The Grand Hyatt Macau

12 January, 2011

I’ve never been Macau’s hugest fan. A few early visits in the first year I moved to Hong Kong had me convinced that the city was nothing more than a depressingly flat scrub of land looking onto a dirty brown harbour, and littered with overwhelmingly huge and soulless casinos where people don’t seem to be having a huge amount of fun. It’s no Vegas, let’s put it that way. But lately a combination of some high-end hotels opening that don’t have casinos in them, and a change in mindset on my part (any getaway is great when you have a small baby) has led to Macau rising hugely in my estimation. Last weekend my husband and I (and our baby, and our in-laws) took the Cotai Jet over for a night to stay at The Grand Hyatt and see The House of Dancing Water Show (review post coming soon!). The Grand Hyatt has been open since the end of 2009 and is connected to the City of Dreams, along with the new Hard Rock Hotel. It’s a five minute taxi ride from the Kotai Jet which means all in all you can be checked in and installed in your room within an hour and a half of leaving Hong Kong. The expansive lobby area makes a dramatic first impression, and from there there are two towers where the 791 guest rooms are located.

Our Grand Deluxe Room was the perfect size with a gorgeous stand-alone bathtub which is just the other side of a glass wall looking back into the room. We luxuriated in the central heating after leaving our drafty Hong Kong apartment, and admired the enormous bed. Then it was quickly off to the spa, where I had booked myself in for a 90 minute massage.

The Isala Spa is all pale marble, cream leather and soft curves, enfolding you in a cocoon of relaxation. The decor is very modern, but not cold at all, and you’ll feel all your cares starting to slip away as you enter… The spa facilities that you can make use of before and after treatments are fairly basic for a five star hotel and I think more intended for users of the pool which is just outside the spa. There’s a little relaxation room, jacuzzi, steam room etc., but no real reason to linger here, and you can’t help thinking that they’ve slightly missed a trick considering the huge amount of floor space the spa occupies. The treatment rooms however are absolutely gorgeous, with a full bathroom and changing room attached (including a safe for your valuables) so you could easily go straight from the spa to dinner if you haven’t booked a hotel room for the night.

The concept of the Isala Spa is all about blending the new with the old, drawing in influences of Traditional Chinese Medicine and using organic sea derived treatments. I tried out the Isala Signature Massage (1,080 MOP), and wouldn’t be exaggerating to say this was one of the best massage experiences I’ve ever had and which was just perfect for winter. The massage started with some deep tissue manipulations, involved hot stone massage (using jade stones), a seaweed wrap which sent me drifting off into a blissful sleep and finished with a foot and head massage. The 90 minutes absolutely flew by, and the massage bed was so comfortable that I would have been happy to lie there and snooze for twice as long. I often get a bit fidgety during massages but for this one from the moment it started I was able to relax and enjoy. My therapist really got into some tricky knots in my back and I felt like she was working to deal with issues in my body rather than just going through some choreographed motions which is what some hotel massage can be like. I drifted back up to our room in a happy haze, and almost couldn’t bear to head out to see the show as I just wanted to drop to the floor and sleep…

The next morning we checked out the mezza9 breakfast which looks out onto the swimming pool and had a delicious brekkie with milky coffee and the kind of yummy pastries which are hard to find in Hong Kong. I will definitely be heading back to The Grand Hyatt Macau in the near future as it has gone straight to the top of my list for a weekend getaway, and I’m already itching to get back to the Isala Spa to work my way through their treatment menu!

We booked our stay at the Grand Hyatt using the House of Dancing Water “WOW” Package which is currently available from HK1,833 for two tickets to The House of Dancing Water and a night’s stay including breakfast at The Grand Hyatt.

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