Finding the Best Luxury Hotel in Macau
When it comes time to plan a trip to Macau, people are often intimidated by the city’s reputation as a place for high-rollers.
It’s certainly true that the majority of hotels I could find when looking for a place to stay in Macau tended to be on the pricier side of things.
Sure, there were hostels and dingy business hotels aplenty, but finding a base that was affordable and a pleasure to stay in was a tad difficult.
Thankfully, I stumbled across the Sofitel at Ponte 16 during in my searches.
Finding a perfect balance between affordability and the kind of luxury you look for when you’re taking a trip to China’s Vegas, the Sofitel at Ponte 16 is the perfect luxury base in Macau.
Five Reasons Why Sofitel at Ponte 16 is the Ideal Base in Macau
#5 – The Staff
From the moment I stepped out of the cab, I was treated with the kind of respect you’d expect from a luxury hotel chain of Sofitel’s reputation.
The bellboy the concierge the staff in the club lounge and the lovely team who helped me check in were always smiling and always willing to help out.
“But Chris,” I hear you say, “Isn’t that pretty much par for the course at a luxury hotel?”
Sure, you wouldn’t expect any less from Sofitel, but let me give you an example of them going above and beyond to help me out.
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I spent a hot and humid day wandering the alleys of Macau's old town today and fell just a little bit in love. My meandering took me to Senado Square and the Ruins of St. Paul all the way to the top of Guia Lighthouse and back. I also sampled egg tarts, African chicken, and delicious 'sawdust pudding' along the way. I think I've earned a few happy hour cocktails back at the @sofitelmacau
That time I left my luggage in a Macau taxi
It was sometime during check-in that I realised I was missing something important: my suitcase full of clothes for my two day trip to Macau.
This isn’t the first time I’ve made a tremendous cock-up in my travels. Earlier this year, I broke my arm without travel insurance while scuba diving in Sumatra, Indonesia.
In my hurry to get out of the cab, pay the driver, and check-in, I’d left my suitcase in the trunk of the taxi and it had driven off.
The staff, from Paige at the check-in desk to the assistant manager who came to grab details from me, kept me calm and managed the situation wonderfully.
They accompanied me to speak with the police officer who found my bag, helped me arrange a cab to pick up my luggage from Taipa, and checked in with me over dinner to make sure everything was accounted for.
Above and beyond
The attention to detail went beyond helping me recover my lost bag.
Several staff members stopped to chat with me during evening cocktails to offer their recommendations on things to do in Macau, and Paige even took me up onto the roof to snap the below photo of a Macau sunset.
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Enjoying a Macau sunset from the roof of @sofitelmacau. The sun is actually setting over mainland China here, as it's located just across a narrow strip of water. Macau has been a real treat and a pleasant surprise. You can read more about how to spend a day in Macau as well as my experience at Sofitel on the site next week!
Throughout my stay, the Sofitel Macau staff made me feel like a valued guest.
It’s a little thing that doesn’t cost them anything extra, but it goes a long way towards making an already memorable experience an unforgettable one.
#4 – The Sofitel Club Experience
Ever since I experienced my first club experience during my stay in Tainan, Taiwan – I’ve been hooked.
Paying that little extra to have access to a luxury hotel’s club lounge is such a great way to add a little extra flair to your stay.
You not only get priority check-in and access to higher quality rooms, but you get access to the fantastic Club Lounge.
Happy Hour at the Sofitel Club Lounge
Far and away my favourite feature of the club experience is the daily happy hours.
From 5.30pm until 7.30pm, club members are treated to free flow wine, beer, and cocktails alongside a selection of delicious appetizers such as dim sum, desserts, fresh fruit, and a few western favourites.
Set against the backdrop of the sun setting over Macau’s distinctive skyline – it’s a really great way to work up an appetite for dinner and end your day’s explorations in style.
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I can't get enough of these views of Macau from @sofitelmacau! The juxtaposition of the weather-stained tenements of old town and the glittering towers of Macau's casinos only serves to emphasise the unique beauty of both. I'm off to spend the day exploring the city. What are your recommendations?
Breakfast at the Sofitel at Ponte 16
Another perk to the Club Lounge is having access to the complimentary breakfast buffet.
While all guests have access to breakfast on the hotel’s 6th floor, club members can instead dine in the peace and quiet of the Club Lounge.
Whether you sample the traditional Chinese and Western breakfast options from the buffet or ask the chef to prepare pancakes or eggs, you’ll get to wash it all down with fresh juices, coffee, or tea made to order.
#3 – Signature Restaurants: Prive Restaurant & Le Chinois
While Macau is famous for its affordable street food, I made a point of sampling both of Sofitel at Ponte 16’s signature restaurants while visiting.
In addition to Prive’s French cuisine and Le Chinois Cantonese offerings, the hotel is also home to Mistral Restaurant – which offers a more standard hotel dining experience.
Having called China ‘home’ on and off for the better part of four years now, I get to eat plenty of Chinese food on a daily basis. From delivery jiaozi to spicy date night malatang to my breakfast jianbing, I’ve become something of a regular with the local flavours.
Le Chinois boasts an impressive selection of Cantonese and local dishes but is undeniably in the Chinese way of dining: ordering a variety of dishes and sharing them around the table banquet style.
Unfortunately for me, I was dining alone, and so had to content myself with an order of flavourful Macanese pork belly and a summery soup with cuttlefish and chicken.
While both were good, I walked away hungry.
This is typical of Chinese restaurants, where eating is a communal affair in which dishes are shared around between all diners. Eating alone, I found Le Chinois to be a less than ideal option.
Prive French Restaurant
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Prive Restaurant was the perfect place for a quiet meal for one.
Boasting French sophistication, a daunting wine list, and some truly decadent dishes – I didn’t feel at all out of place alternating between scrumptious courses and a good book.
A small space lit by candlelight and the city’s skyline, Prive was all about quiet charm and I lapped it up.
I sampled an exquisite fois gras creme brulee with champagne gelato and followed it up with a divine salmon, all accompanied by a rambunctious glass of Riesling.
(That may be the most pretentious sentence I’ve ever published)
The entire experience was a pleasure, and one I’d thoroughly recommend.
#2 – Luxurious Rooms
It goes without saying that a brand as prestigious as Sofitel is going to have fantastic facilities.
You’d expect no less than a large, comfortable bed, a flat screen TV, fast WiFi, and plenty of space in a property like this.
But it’s the little added touches at Sofitel at Ponte 16 that make it such a pleasure.
Upon arrival in my room, I was greeted by three tall carafes of fresh fruit juice, a bowl of fruit, and a selection of Macanese desserts including peanut brittle, almond cakes, chocolate coated strawberries, and a delicious egg tart.
After a long day of travel, it was a real pleasure to throw myself back on the bed with an ice cold glass of watermelon juice and some sweet treats.
An Amazing Bathroom
A rainfall shower? Check
A big bathtub? Check
A TV over the bath? Check
A waterproof pillow so you can really relax in the bath? Check
Let’s just say I spent a good amount of time relaxing in the bathroom after a hot day exploring Macau.
A Complimentary Smart Phone!
By far the most unique touch that the Sofitel at Ponte 16 had to offer was the complimentary smart phone in your room.
Set up with all of the essential apps for exploring a new city, the phone also had unlimited data and local calls as well as free calls to a number of countries (including China and Australia).
While I had my own iPhone with local data on hand, it was handy to have a phone set up to show me the local sights, and I can imagine it would have been a huge help to somebody who doesn’t live in China.
#1 – Location, Location, Location!
Far and away the best feature of Sofitel at Ponte 16 is its location.
While many luxury lodges can boast being at the heart of the casino and nightlife district, the Sofitel is the only luxury hotel in Macau located in the historic old town.
You’re a mere ten-minute walk from local landmarks such as Senado Square and the Ruins of St. Paul’s, and crossing the street puts you at the heart of real Macau.
It’s a location that no other hotel in Macau can boast, and it makes it the perfect base for exploring the city.
As you can see, the Sofitel at Ponte 16 has a lot of reasons why it can claim to be the best luxury hotel in Macau.
Its unbeatable location, innovative inclusions, and delicious food make it the obvious choice when looking for a Macau hotel.
Looking for Macau inspiration? Don’t forget to check out my one day Macau itinerary!
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