22 May, 2012

A girls getaway to The Wynn, Macau – hitting the city in style!

22 May, 2012

Macau evokes an image of boys’ trips, gambling and returning home poorer than intended. What this stereotype doesn’t take into account is the sheer luxury on offer and thus its suitability for a girlie indulgence trip. Fellow Sassy blogger Ale and I decided to plan the ultimate day and night of girl’s escapism; we envisaged sipping cocktails between massages, delicious meals over a bottle(s) of wine and gossiping whilst wrapped in hotel dressing gowns… and our one night stay at the Wynn Macau delivered all of the above and more.

There was something exciting about rocking up to the Turbojet terminal on a normal Thursday workday. As we drew up to the Wynn and entered the impressive lobby of the Encore tower, we knew we were in for a treat. The Wynn, with its 1,000 rooms, delivers the garish but opulent décor you’d expect from a Vegas hotel but what sets the Wynn apart is the attention to detail and beautiful touches. Yes, the colours are bright and loud, but the beautiful embroidered butterflies on the silk wallpaper, the gold mosaic tiles lining the floor and the investment in Chinese antique artworks take this hotel from the tacky to the sublime.

Our room was no different, a Deluxe Suite with two double beds so inviting I couldn’t resist dropping my suitcase in excitement and jumping onto the bed. Floor to ceiling windows, rich red and gold fabrics and a beautiful view of the city beyond; we were in heaven. And yes, a quick check revealed the obligatory dressing gown and slippers would be waiting for us, but first we had a date with lunch. With four fine dining restaurants and four more casual ones, we were truly spoilt for choice on where to dine.

Having informed the hotel that both of us are gluten-intolerant, we were a little apprehensive about what would be served at Cantonese restaurant Wing Lei – thinking it either wouldn’t actually be gluten free or we would get food envy for all the dishes we would have to miss out on! Perhaps we should have had a little more faith in two Michelin-starred Wing Lei however, as every dish we were served was both beautifully presented and utterly divine.

Out of the appetisers, we were particularly fond of the marinated eggplant with barbecued duck, as well as the chilled sliced sea cucumber with spicy sauce. Moving onto the selection of dim sum, we were wowed by the beauty of the steamed turnip cake stuffed with fish paste and osmanthus, whilst the sweet delicate flavour of the osmanthus flowers contrasted perfectly with the saltiness of the seafood.

It was the two dishes that followed, however, that really made Wing Lei shine: the melt-in-the-mouth steamed codfish roll was incredible, stuffed with silky soft bean curd, swathed in a delicate broth and dotted with intensely flavoured preserved tree seeds. The crispy crab claw with crabmeat and egg white offered an amazing contrast between the light fluffy egg white and the fragrant crispy garlic flakes that coated the claw.

In fact, this contrast between delicate and intense seemed to be a recurring theme throughout Wing Lei, even in its design; subtle traditional décor is juxtaposed with Wing Lei’s centrepiece, an iconic flying dragon composed of 90,000 Swarovski crystals that fits in perfectly with the overall feel of Wynn, richly elegant yet still maintaining that sort of ‘Vegas’ style charm.

Feeling full and sleepy from our wonderful lunch, we did what any girls should do on a sunny day and wandered past the array of designer boutique shops, into the centre of the hotel complex, to the tranquil oasis of the pool, surrounded by tropical vegetation and only open to hotel guests. We favoured being pampered poolside princesses over gambling but the low ceilings, elegant chandeliers and smaller intimate sections within the casino made it feel less daunting and more personal than most others in Macau.

Afterwards we headed to the Encore Spa for our massages, and this was truly the most beautiful, aesthetically pleasing spa I have ever visited. With only 8 private spa suites, this is the ultimate private pampering and we each set off to our own suite, complete with an intimate dressing room that led through to our own steam/sauna/hydrotherapy baths. After half an hour of enjoying the facilities, my four-hand massage was expertly carried out in my private massage room by professional therapists.

Having had a wonderful day feeling like we were in an episode of The Hills, we glammed-up and headed down for a pre-dinner cocktail at Cinnebar before settling down at our prime location table at il Teatro, overlooking the spectacular fountain.

We had originally thought that a fountain ‘show’ every 15 minutes would start to get repetitive and slightly tacky. However, every time the amazing cheesy music such as Pocahontas’ Colours of the Wind and Always Look on the Bright Side of Life came on and the water began to dance in time to it, we wanted to wave our arms in the air and join in. The choreography of the water, the music, the lights and the FIRE was incredible and so mesmerising!

Everything about our six-course meal was pure perfection – from the outstanding service by our Maitre d’ Bhong, to the presentation, taste, and the incredible wine-pairing put together by the wonderful sommelier Michael.

Our first starter of buffalo mozzarella with Parma ham and melon consommé was a modern twist on the traditional classic Parma ham and melon dish. Here, the melon came in jelly form, creating a bed for the freshest mozzarella I’ve tasted in a long time.

Dish number three of pan-seared Sicilian red prawns over artichoke risotto was divine, made the more so by a sweet saffron Emulsion. Perhaps it boils down to chef Anthony Alaimo’s New York-Italian background, but the risotto was so authentic that we could close our eyes and be somewhere in Northern Italy.

The first meat and final savoury dish of the night was a Lamb Chop Scottadito. This translates literally to ‘burnt fingers’ due to their being so delicious that it’s hard to resist eating them straight off the sizzling grill, and I must say they fit their name exactly! The meat was so tender and bursting with flavour that I had to stop myself from picking them up and licking the bone clean! We ended the meal with a panna cotta with spiced pineapple and passionfruit sorbet – beautiful.

Our thoughts that we might try our luck at some slot machines were beaten by full bellies and sleepy heads and instead, we sank gladly into our beds. The morning was greeted with a delicious breakfast at Cafe Encore, where our gluten-free needs had been remembered; afterwards, like true ladies of leisure, we had manis and pedis to set us on our way!

The trip, although just 24 hours long, perfectly transported us into a world of pampering, indulgence and escapism. And all of this was a mere 60-minute hassle-free ferry ride away. I have now decided that girls’ trips to the Wynn will be an obligatory yearly occurrence. No other hotel could have so conveniently and expertly anticipated our needs, satiated our desire for pampering and spoiled us in the way that every girl should be.

Rates start from $2,688 HKD per night.

Wynn Macau, www.wynnmacau.com, +853 8986 9966

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