Around Macau, ladies (and guys if they want to join in) have a ball sussing out fun and pleasure in this great big gambling city. As the guys hedge their bets by the blackjack tables, the gals can take off for some personal pampering of their own. Come summertime, unmarried women in Macau often are seen participating in the Feast of Maidens festival (sometimes known as the Seven Sisters Festival), an annual event that has unmarried women, widows and wives praying for a husband or a son. The fest is also often accompanied by burning incense and leaving offerings of fruit and flowers. Now here’s a look at the shops, spas and other local relaxation hubs for the ultimate “Girlfriend Getaways” in Macau.
For the fashionista
Every fashionista loves a great bargain. In Macau, duty free shopping gives retail therapy new meaning. Head to the many malls like the Venetian Macau for a fun faux Venice experience. The lighting effect at the Shoppes at Venetian turns the mall from day to night at a blink of an eye giving the illusion of sunset and sunrise. Picture over 350 shops in 9 hectares of mall space – that’s the size of nearly 17 American-sized football fields. The best time to shop is arguably during Macau Fashion Week. Watch for the next one in September 2016.
For the old timers
That is in old finds like antiques – the best spot a gal can resurrect and breathe new life in some classic chinoiserie is to visit the cramped narrow streets around the ruins of St. Paul off Rua San Paulo. Find lacquerware, bronze ware and some nice Chinese wood carved repros.
Diamonds (and gold) are a girls’ best friend
As hubby or your significant other is making big at the slots why not use some of the big winnings to spend on some amazing jewellery. The gold shops along Avenida Horta e Costa, Avenida do Infante D. Henrique and the Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro are well known. Make sure you ask for a certificate of guarantee when splurging.
For spa girl
With loads of private pampering you could totally have your head reach the clouds from all the great treatment options at The Spa at Encore, a Wynn Macau creation. Enjoy the privacy of your own suite spa that comes with a steam room, sauna, and a hydrotherapy bath. Now let all the stresses wash away with one of their signature spa treatments.
Then there’s discovering whether you have a sixth sense over at the Six Senses Spa on the third floor of the luxurious MGM Macau. Styled as a Moroccan dream, think colorful tiles, stunning intricate wood pieces and the famous Turkish bath, holistic treatments are combined with Asian therapies that emit a total ‘serenity now’ moment at this day spa. No flashing lights, no slot machine bells — its tranquility and peacefulness now.
Any place known as the ‘City of Dreams,’ gets a huge thumb’s up. That goes for the luxurious spa at the Crown Towers located in the City of Dreams in the heart of Cotai. The Crown Spa has a hefty spa menu that includes facials, body wraps, customized body massages and hair and nail services. The sky is the limit there.
For the internationalist-ah
This is for the gal who likes being in Macau but wants to feel like she’s flown somewhere else. That place could be nicknamed Nirvana. You wouldn’t be wrong either. The Nirvana Spa located next to Nam Van Lake specializes in Hindu wellness philosophies.
For the gals who have a fixing for Mediterranean dishes they will not be disappointed at the legendary La Paloma Restaurant in the highly sought after Pousada São Tiago. The setting alone makes you feel as if you’ve arrived to a rich Portuguese pousada (meaning “inn”) with its ancient stone steps and exquisite blue azulejo tiles. Overlooking the picturesque Macau Harbour, the magnificent 1629 Barra Fort is the enchanting setting for La Paloma Restaurant which specializes in authentic Spanish cuisine.
For the Pool Girl
No wonder the pool at the Altira Macau has been reeling in the awards. The latest is from US Forbes Traveler which ranks the aquatic paradise among the top 10 best swimming pools in the world. It’s only got the best infinity-edge pool ever. Picture floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Macau’s dramatic peninsula with the skyline of skyscrapers as its backdrop now smile. As you submerge, the sound of music underwater reverberates. After you’ve soaked long enough (how could you not since the water is at a sinful 29 Celsius that’s bath water warm), leave the luxury pool and towel off at the outdoor terrace with poolside cocktail in hand.
For the Happy Hour in us
For the gals who like to raise a glass and toast to a great day of exploring Macau there’s not a nicer way than indulging at the Cinnebar at the Wynn Macau. This chic but warm lobby bar celebrates a huge burst of colour with its fun tones of fuchsia, orange and honey yellow.
But then again, if you want to feel like a million bucks there’s nothing wrong with the swanky surrounds by Wynn Macau’s luxurious Bar Cristal. Cocktail patrons are spoiled as the ambiance radiates in this classical looking hotel bar that’s been transformed into a work of art. The showstopper there is a French imported antique crystal chandelier. Luxurious silk fabric inspired from a 17th century Chinese Venetian design seduces the walls. Everything sparkles in this giant jewel box of a lounge.
For the Sweets Lover
The gals who can’t resist sweets race over to one of the Koi Kei bakeries that dot the city. There’s a nice assortment of almond cakes, moon cakes, candies and Chinese cakes made from heavily guarded recipes that use only the finest ingredients. We love the citrus moon cake using dried tangerine peel with the finest walnut paste.
Mcpherson’s Sweet Shoppe is another fab find but it’s not easy to locate as the ice cream and dessert parlour is off the beaten path. Located enroute between the St. Paul Ruins and the Senado Square you can spot the Mcpherson’s mascot, the Durian King, standing on the main road by Rua da Palha directing sweet tooth lovers to the sweet shoppe. Believe it or not the durian ice cream is a popular seller!
For the yoga girl
Namaste, it’s time to perfect your downward dog as yoga lovers unite at this new yoga studio located in the heart of Macau overlooking the fabled Senado Square. The staff there is preparing for some fun social programs like movie screenings and dance sessions. There’s a nice selection of classes from which to choose.
For the fitness buff
After sitting in front of the slots for days on end, it’s nice to stretch the loins at one of the local fitness centers. The Sheraton Macau Hotel in Cotai has a mega huge fitness center equipped with all the latest equipment. Go for a run on the treadmill, give the weights a work-out, and twist and twist some more at one of the group fitness classes scheduled weekly. Don’t feel like having others see you sweat? No problem. The hotel offers a gym-in-a-bag for in-room workouts.
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