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In case you were thinking that labeling what’s going on over in Macau as Macau Hotel Madness was unnecessary exaggeration, take a look at this: Studio City Macau, to open sometime later this year, will be bringing us the world’s first figure eight ferris wheel, 130 meters up in the air.
That’s right, those two golden circles that sort of look like Olympic rings are in fact a ferris wheel, joining the 1,600 rooms divided between the “Celebrity Tower” and the “Star Tower”. For some real-life photos of what that looks like, keep reading.
The Sands Cotai Central. At the front is the St. Regis Macao, opening in December.
Recently, we took a closer look at all the shiny new hotels that are expected to open in Dubai in the coming years. What surprised us there was that Dubai's scene is becoming more "lifestyle" rather than "high-end luxury". Of course, this is Dubai so the hotels will keep time with the city's unofficial credo of "more is more."
However, in Macau, a former Portuguese colony which has exploded in the past decade as a glitzy gambling destination, the city's unofficial credo when it comes to the hotel scene might just be "more is more is more" and "bigger is always best." Even while in the midst of an economic downturn, Macau is adding more and more and more hotel rooms.
Here's a shortlist of the new hotels expected to open in Macau in the very near future. By 2018, there should be over 46,000 new hotel rooms. We're calling it Macau Hotel Madness.
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Adding 2,000+ hotel rooms to your group’s portfolio in the space of four months is pretty impressive, but JW Marriott is doing that by opening just two hotels. Last month, we welcomed JW Marriott Austin, at 1,022 rooms the beginning of a little hotel boom in the city, and on May 27 it will finally be time for JW Marriott Macau to open its 1,015 rooms. Between these two and the JW Marriott Marquis in Dubai (1,600 rooms), JW Marriott is clearly going big, while at the same time not being afraid of a little private island action (or a little creative CGI).
Above a rendering of an entry-level Deluxe Room inside the hotel, part of the $1.9 billion Galaxy Macau complex. They come in at around 500 sq ft and seem to price around 2,388MOP (that is Macau Pataca), or $300 a night for an “Unlimited Urban Escape” package that includes breakfast, WiFi, and a “Grand Opening Welcome Gift”.
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Rolls Royce Phantom
Here's one way for a hotel to drum publicity before opening: Place the world's single-largest order for Rolls-Royces ever.
There were no figures released on how much the cars were purchased for, but given that the hotel recently raised another $135 million in funding, we're guessing money was no issue. The total cost of the hotel, shown in rendering format below, will be about $1 billion.
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This one, the City of Dreams Hotel Tower, will no doubt stand out in the crowd in Macau's newest entertainment and gaming destination.
The hotel will be the fifth developed by Melco Crown Entertainment Limited in China and it will be their flagship at this mega-playland. No kidding. Other Melco Crown-owned hotels at the City of Dreams include Hard Rock Hotel, Grand Hyatt Macau, and Crown Towers Macau. They also own the 5-star Altira Macau, located on the neighboring Taipa island.
We seriously thought Missoni Hotels would be a contender for the "fashion-branded" hotel opening at the Lisboa Palace, a hotel casino complex coming to Macau. But then Carslon Rezidor Hotel Group announced that Missoni Hotels would be closing down as of this June.
We thought Armani Hotels might also be a contender, especially since it could somewhat complement the Palazzo Versace from Donatella Versace that's also to open in the Lisboa Palace. But it turns out, our last suggestion was very right.
Also, Karl Lagerfeld of Chanel has been dabbling in the hotel design arts as of late. Perhaps the Cotai Strip could be his very first Karl Lagerfeld-branded Hotel. But remember, NO SWEATPANTS ALLOWED.
That's right, Karl Lagerfeld is designing his very own hotel in Macau. Here's what he had to say about it.
"An entire hotel designed by me. It's the first time for me! I think the idea is great!"
Of course you would.
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Just like hotels stacking a few different brands into urban skyscrapers,, multiple hotels combined into one massive resort seem to be a "thing" these days. We've seen it happening down in the Bahamas with Baha Mar hotel wonderland which will include Rosewood, Mondrian, Grand Hyatt and Melia hotels, along with the Baha Mar Resort and Casino. And now we will see it in Macau at Cotai with the Lisboa Palace which just recently broke ground. (It's opening next to Steve Wynn's new Wynn Palace.)
The destination, designed by firm WATG, will include the five-star Lisboa Palace with over 1,450 rooms, the Palazzo Versace Macau with up to 270 rooms and a "fashion-branded hotel", also with 270 rooms.
But what fashion brand could this be? Actually, the Palazzo Versace is from Donatella Versace and it will be a spin-off of her Gold Coast hotel. So the question really is--what other fashion-branded hotel could co-exist with Versace?
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David Beckham made his name as a top footballer in his younger years but now in his retirement, he's become a man of many leisurely pursuits such as underwear modeling, cologne-making and tattoo collecting. He's also dabbling in the hotel world.
Last week, the Las Vegas Sands Corp., announced that Beckham would be assisting in the development of "dining, retail and leisure concepts" at the Sands properties in Macao and Marina Bay, Singapore. Much of the press release about the partnership is a bunch of "we're so excited" type of statements yet the details are scant on what exactly Beckham will be doing.
Our guess is that someone else is going to come up with these new concepts which will obviously have a luxury element to them for which Beckham will lend his face and body. We're thinking David Beckham Steakhouse, David Beckham Watch Shop, David Beckham Cigars, David Beckham Men's Intimates, David Beckham Noodles To Go. Er, maybe not that last one.
However, given that Becks is now the global ambassador for Chinese Football, we're sure at least one of these concepts will have to do with the sport itself. All "Bend It Like Beckham" jokes aside, we're quite curious to see what they, er, he, comes up with.
[Photo: Las Vegas Sands Corp.]
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MGM Resorts International is planning their second property in China, this time it's a massive resort on the Cotai Strip in Macau, China's answer to Las Vegas. Except Macau is bigger and wealthier and way more intense when it comes to gambling.
In a quarterly earnings call yesterday, Jim Murren dished on a few details for the property, which is about halfway through the excavation stage.* The property will have an atrium three times the size of the Bellagio's and it will feature its own "over the top" Mansion.
If you don't know what The Mansion is, allow us to educate you. The Mansion is a super secretive hotel within the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Most people, including those who work for MGM, have never seen it. Others don't believe it exists. However, it's real. We saw it with our own eyes last month. We even went to the bathroom there.
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Last month, the 500-room Radisson Blu Mall of America became the second Radisson Blu to open in the US (after Radisson Blu Aqua Chicago). But one thing that sets this place apart from Chicago (and all other subsequent Rad Blus) is that it directly connects to the Mall of America, with its 530 shops, 5 major department stores, multiple food courts, indoor theme park, and 14-screen movie theater. If they want, hotel guests can even arrange for a personal shopper and bag pick-up to maximize the experience. Rates from $174/night.
For more mall hotel awesome-ness in Hong Kong, Dubai, and Houston, read on!
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Only one month away from its grand opening, the Sheraton Macao is set to become the largest hotel in Macao, as well as the largest property in Starwood's already-sizeable portfolio. With 3,863 rooms built inside two separate towers (dubbed, appropriately, 'Sky' and 'Earth'), the hotel is going out of its way to help guests make the most of their Macao stay.
How? Well, for starters, Sheraton launched new website earlier this month that helps guests navigate the "wide variety of experiences" available on the Cotai Strip. To do this, they've assembled a cast of four "themed" proto-guests, who each offer a different perspective on the city: food, heritage, adventure, and shopping. So even though you're likely to spend hours wandering the halls trying to re-locate your own room, at least you'll know how to maximize the rest of your time.
If you want to talk about hotel hotspots, the conversation isn't complete with some mention of both Hong Kong and Macau. Both are leading the world's way in terms of super-high hotels, super-techy hotels, super-expensive hotels and, just in general, hotels that reach high into other superlatives.
Nonetheless, it is kinda an ordeal to reach Hong Kong. It's a 16-hour plane ride from New York and, if you want to travel in any kind of comfort, you can plan on spending thousands and thousands of dollars, and before booking any hotels.
Jaunted.com to the rescue! Our sister site is giving away a roundtrip ticket in Cathay Pacific's new Premium Economy class from US or Canada to Hong Kong, and it could be your stepping stone to sipping tea in the lobby of the original Peninsula Hotel. Or perhaps grab a cocktail in the Clipper Lounge at the original Mandarin Oriental. All hotel geeking out, all the time.