Macau Lodging


Macau has no substandard accommodations-the competition, in such a small space, is far too hot for that-and what's on offer ranges from grand hotels to Portuguese-style posadas (inns) and modest Chinese- and Portuguese-style guesthouses. Well-heeled gamblers (well-heeled on arrival, that is) favor the Hotel Lisboa, which has Macau's biggest casino handily on the premises-the casino is open around the clock-right in the heart of town. At the other extreme, the Westin Resort Hotel, overlooking a fine beach on the southeastern tip of Coloane, the farthest out island, has 208 rooms, each with a view over the South China Sea, and the full sporting menu: a golf course, tennis and squash courts, swimming pools, a gym with aerobic dancing classes, and a supervised children's playground. Oh, and peace and quiet, although nowhere in Macau is more than 20 minutes from anywhere else.

The Bela Vista, which used to be a broken-down Portuguese inn (I liked it then), is now one of the most glamorous (and expensive) small hotels in the world. It has only eight rooms, but you can drink coffee or sip port wine on the terrace without checking in, and watch the fishing junks homing to ports up the Pearl River. But my own current favorite hotel (maybe for sentimental reasons) is the inexpensive Metropole, next door to the government offices in the city center. Its scrubbed, old-fashioned atmosphere proclaims that the owners live on the "mainland".

The Cantonese congee breakfasts served in the Metropole's fast-food restaurant are authentically delicious, but then again it's impossible to get even a mediocre meal anywhere in Macau-there's much too much discriminating competition!

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