Macau’s skyline has seen yet another dramatic change with the recent addition of The Parisian, a luxury mega-resort that is attracting both mainlanders and international visitors in droves. Bonnie Tai experiences The Parisian Macao first-hand.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF THE PARISIAN MACAO
The vibe on Macau’s Cotai Strip is electric; especially at night.
Around me, gamblers, with heavy pockets, expertly weave their way through traffic and crowds, in search of their lucky tables; while tourists put on their best smiles and pose for holiday snaps in front of twinkling facades.
My cab pulls up to a massive, illuminated replica of Paris’ iconic Eiffel Tower. At 160m tall, the half-sized recreation is magnificent. This Eiffel Tower replica marks the entrance of The Parisian Macao, a new 3,000-room mega-resort which officially opened in September 2016.
A friendly porter rushes over to the cab and helps me unload my bags. He leads me through gilded doors reminiscent of Paris’ famed Palais Garnier – and in case the overarching French theme wasn’t obvious enough – I arrive in an extravagant Rotunda, inspired by the famous L’Hotel National des Invalides.
As I enter, my eyes are is drawn to the impressive cast iron mermaids and mermen within the ornate fountain in the centre of the lobby.
The water feature is yet another clever replica. Inspired by Fontain des Mers in Place de la Concorde in Paris, it pays homage to France’s rich maritime history.
Separate to the lobby is a reception area fit for French royalty.
This room is saturated in rich, ruby tones and the walls are adorned with Parisian artworks. Check-in is a breeze and a few moments later I am escorted to the Lyon Suite with my luggage.
PARISIAN MACAO – THE ROOM
On the 21st floor, my keycard grants me entry into a spacious suite with panoramic views of the Eiffel Tower and the west end of the Cotai Strip.
Directly below are lounge chairs and cabanas lining the pool’s edge, and despite it being quite late in the night, the spot is a popular hangout for vacationing families.
While the Parisian theme does carry through into the bedrooms and suites, it is a lot more subtle compared to the opulent fittings in the lobby.
My room is decked out with everything I need. At the entrance, there is a large sitting area with modern couches and a massive 55” high-definition television. And in the adjoining bedroom, an enormous king-sized bed with fluffy pillows looks ready to usher me into the land of nod.
DINING AT THE PARISIAN MACAO
The next morning I head to breakfast at Le Buffet, situated on the ground floor of The Parisian Macao.
Le Buffet is one of three signature restaurants at The Parisian. The other two are the upmarket Chinese restaurant, Lotus Palace, and a French bistro-style restaurant called The Brasserie.
Le Buffet is a lively marketplace with an assortment of international delicacies prepared by the chefs manning each station.
Any and every breakfast item that you could possibly imagine is available here. There’s a station carving up Christmas ham and potato chats; a traditional breakfast station for omelettes; and in the corner a tower of pastries and donuts that will soothe those savage sweet tooths.
The spread is splendid, and in an effort to try a little of everything, I end up with a hodgepodge of breakfast foods on my plate, including glazed ham, French toast, stir-fried noodles and a single hashbrown.
Get a taste of Chef Alex Gasper’s (La Chine restaurant) creations by trying his delicious crab tartar and avocado salad recipe.
SHOP ‘TIL YOU DROP
After downing my breakfast I make my way to the Shoppes at The Parisian, the resort’s luxury retail complex.
The entire complex – while completely undercover – has been fashioned as the famed Avenue des Champs-Elysee and is lined with a mix of boutique shopfronts and high-end labels.
In the centre of the Shoppes is a faux Place Vendome. The unique feature of this replica is that it has an inbuilt projector which transforms the ceiling from day to night to match the sky outside.
The illusion is so convincing that it causes me to do a double take to ensure that I hadn’t just accidentally wandered outdoors without realising.
What makes the Shoppes at the Parisian unique, is the fact that the complex is interconnected to sister Sands properties at The Venetian, Four Seasons and Cotai Central via sky bridge, meaning there are over 800 stores to explore.
THE PARISIAN MACAO
The Parisian Macao is at Lote 3, Strip, SAE, Estra. Do Istmo, Macau. (Phone +853 2882 8833).
The Macao Eiffel Tower is an attraction on its own, offering views of Macao from the Observation Decks on level 7 and 37. Eiffel Tower prices are MOP 100 (adults) and MOP 80 (children under 12 years old). Eiffel Tower opening hours are 11 am to 11 pm daily but if you’re visiting at night make sure you get there before 10.30pm.
We have some excellent guides to help you plan your time in Macao. Read our Macao restaurant guide for the best Macanese, Chinese, French and Japanese cuisine in town. Then, head to Macao’s hippest hotspots on Taipa Island. Read our Macao family itinerary and more ideas on what to do in Macao if you’re travelling with kids.
If you want to make absolutely sure that there’s something happening while you’re in town, here’s a guide to festivals in Macao. We like the Parade Through Macao, Latin City, the Wushu Masters Festival, the Macao International Fireworks Festival and Chinese New Year. Another fun thing to try is the Macao bungy jump.