Asian Oasis

The Westin Resort Macau keeps its natural roots among the casino craze

By: Eleanor M. Wilson

Macau is one of those territories that defies description under one name. It actually consists of a peninsula bordering mainland China and two separate islands, connected by a causeway and soaring bridges. The official name for the peninsula plus the islands, Taipa and Coloane, is Macau SAR (Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China).

Because of its ideal location, jutting into the South China Sea, and its former status as a Portuguese possession, Macau was once a major stop for trade between Europe and the Far East. Traces of that heritage remain today among tall modern buildings and landscaped boulevards. But the big attraction now is dozens of new casino hotels, rising skyward at a rapid rate that is barely keeping pace with the sharp increase in visitors.

The Westin Resort Macau continues to make its own name on the island of Coloane, offering a serene setting far removed from the bustle of Macau city, but easily accessible by free hotel shuttle running every half-hour to Macau Ferry Terminal. No casinos are allowed on Coloane, which suits The Westin’s profile, which is to keep the property focused on its more nature-oriented surroundings. The enviable location for both the leisure and meetings markets features a beach on one side, Macau Golf and Country Club on the other and the airport 10 minutes away.

“We’ve been here 14 years,” said general manager Humayoon ‘Tom’ Shaikhzadeh. “We don’t compete with the casino business, but are sold as a destination within a destination. Our quality product and attentive service have built a level of confidence and trust that accounts for our high percentage of repeat meeting and leisure guests.”

Luxury Amenities The property is distinguished by its step-style indented rise, providing 208 guestrooms with spacious balconies that are outdoor rooms in their own right. All amenities expected at a top-tier hotel are present, including broadband Internet connections, daily newspaper service and in-room movies. Then, of course, there’s the signature Westin Heavenly Bed to enhance the comfort experience.

A Service Express button on the phone offers answers to guest requests round the clock. Interconnecting, non-smoking, mobility-challenged, and Westin Workout rooms are available, and a business center is open 24 hours. Dining is limited to an expansive ground-floor indoor/outdoor restaurant, a lobby lounge, the pool sandwich bar and a more formal Chinese restaurant on an upper floor. Several gardens join 12 breakout rooms on the mezzanine, where meeting attendees often enjoy catered events.

Public areas are roomy, and there’s never a crowded feeling. Activities include a fitness center, massage spa, indoor heated pool with steam room, sauna and Jacuzzi, outdoor garden pools, children’s play park, bike rentals and maps for hiking trails in nearby Coloane National Park. There is even a driving range where golfers sail balls right into the sea.


Westin Resort Macau

Agents can book Singapore Airlines from New York and the West Coast, transferring to subsidiary Tiger Airways. Eva Airlines flies from the West Coast via Taipei.

From Hong Kong visitors connect by helicopter (approximately $170 one way) or by TurboJet Sea Express from the airport or Hong Kong Central (about $35). Be sure to make specific shuttle arrangements with the hotel regarding meeting clients at the extremely busy Ferry Terminal.