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Live like James Bond at the Four Seasons Hotel Macao

Travellers seeking an elevated hotel experience in a convenient location should opt for the Four Seasons Hotel Macao, writes Mike Smith.

Traveller: Mike Smith
Room: Superior Room
Address: Estrada da Baia de N.Senhora da Esperance, B/N Taipa, Macao.
Date: October-November 2023
Best for: Couples and families to relax in luxurious surroundings at a hotel that offers a European and Asian mix of décor and cuisine, and an inviting outdoor pool area with poolside snacks like pizza and burgers.

The concept

Tucked between the canals of The Venetian and the Eiffel Tower of The Parisian Hotel, within earshot of The Londoner’s Big Ben bells, is a piece of Monte Carlo where James Bond would feel at home. Unlike its famous and larger neighbours along Macao’s Vegas-style strip, the Four Seasons Hotel Macao is considered boutique – with some royal touches.

Zi Yat Heen at Four Seasons Hotel Macao
Zi Yat Heen at Four Seasons Hotel Macao

First impressions

The luxury hotel feels like it’s been plucked out of Monaco, the expensive Italian sports cars parked outside hinting at what to expect from the hotel within. The Casino Royale-style lobby features a white-painted dome and a grand chandelier that’s as impressive as the elegantly furnished lounge area, which is positioned between two grand staircases. The hotel’s attention to details such as this has earned it a few international hospitality awards.

Four Seasons Hotel Macao; Xiao Ting restaurant
Four Seasons Hotel Macao; Xiao Ting restaurant

The Signature factor

Significantly, Macao featured prominently in the 1974 Bond movie ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’, starring the late Roger Moore. Thirty-eight years later, the formerly Portuguese enclave featured in the drama-charged Skyfall, starring Daniel Craig.

The room

The Four Seasons Hotel Macao has 360 rooms, including 276 guest rooms and 84 suites across 20 storeys. Despite the classic Western designs of the public areas, the guest rooms are modern with Asian touches befitting Macao and well-appointed with state-of-the-art features.

Top suite

There are three types of guest rooms (premier, deluxe and superior), while those seeking something more expansive and luxurious can opt for one of the five suites: Presidential, Royal, Ambassador, Executive and Junior.

The Royal Suite at Four Seasons Hotel Macao
The Royal Suite at Four Seasons Hotel Macao

On my plate

One of the hotel’s restaurants, the Michelin-starred Zi Yat Heen, serves authentic Cantonese cuisine and dim sum. If you weren’t staying at the hotel, you’d visit to dine at this restaurant. Executive Chinese chef, Charles Cheung, is at the helm of this authentic fine dining experience.

On the lobby level is the Japanese-influenced Ohte Ramen restaurant where noodles are in abundance. The signature dish is tantanmen ramen, a spicy pork broth topped with minced pork, sesame, slow-cooked pork belly, spring onion and nori.
Xiao Ting satisfies the tastes of discerning guests with an elegant afternoon tea, and an extensive selection of Chinese and Western specialities.

The vibrant buffet restaurant Belcanção is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and serves international cuisine from its open kitchen, including tasty Portuguese and Asian specialities.

A focal point for guests seeking respite from the tropical warmth is the outdoor garden that features six pools and is home to a poolside dining pavilion, appropriately named The Splash, where burgers and freshly-baked pizzas, salad and pastries are a popular choice for lunch.

Ohte ramen restaurant at For Seasons Hotel Macao
Ohte ramen restaurant at For Seasons Hotel Macao

Staying in

It’s easy to imagine secret agent 007 ordering his martini – shaken, not stirred – at the hotel’s bar. As with most hotels in Macao, there’s a casino – Plaza Casino – where the stakes are high, the complimentary glasses of Remy Martin are free-flowing, and the wearing of Bond’s black-tie attire wouldn’t be out of place.

There are 11 poolside cabanas (with flat-screen TVs) that make a great base for a day spent in the sun, especially for adults supervising their children in the pools. There’s a maze of duty-free designer label stores linking the Four Seasons Hotel Macao with its neighbouring resort precincts.

The outdoor pool; the lagoon pool at Four Seasons Hotel Macao
The outdoor pool; the lagoon pool at Four Seasons Hotel Macao

Stepping out

The Four Seasons Hotel Macao celebrated its 15th birthday in 2023. Since opening in 2008, the hotel has been joined by other properties on the reclaimed land between the Macao islands Taipa and Coloane. Today, the Cotai area is home to 26 international hotels of varying styles and sizes – primarily of high standards – and the list continues to grow as more land is swallowed up nearby.

Spa life

There’s a lavish full-service day spa with 14 treatment rooms and services that are so comprehensive it’s easy to imagine not setting foot outside the hotel. It’s not surprising to find the signature treatment is called Blissful Sensations.

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