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Watching the Macau International Fireworks Display Contest is most definitely a memorable experience, but watching the explosions in the sky from the comfort of your guestroom earns you bragging rights for years to come. Some waterfront guestrooms at Mandarin Oriental Macau overlook Taipa Island, the Macau Tower and — for five nights a year — they provide unparalleled views of Macau’s fireworks extravaganza, which attracts thousands of spectators annually.
Mandarin Oriental Macau, located within the mixed-use complex One Central, is an oasis amid the Nape waterfront’s flashy casino resorts and attractions. That isn’t to say that the 213-room hotel falls short in entertainment offerings — steps away from the hotel lobby, guests will find themselves ensconced by high-end retailers, including Dior, Gucci, Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Marc By Marc Jacobs, Coach, Fendi, Emporio Armani and others. One Central also connects to the MGM Grand, should visitors wish to try their luck at blackjack or baccarat.
While dining options are somewhat limited at the hotel itself, the Vida Rica Restaurant & Bar has a menu that could even impress the likes of Gordon Ramsay. Dinner offerings include grilled Australian lamb shank with celeriac gratin, creamy tortellini stuffed with black truffle and ricotta and a massive seafood tower stocked with Boston lobster, spider crab, bamboo clams, river prawns, scallops and oysters on the half shell. At the breakfast buffet, I loved Vida Rica’s buttery croissants smeared with homemade raspberry and rosewater jam as well as the fresh-squeezed juice selection featuring everything from carrot to cucumber. Around-the-clock room service is also available, and a cake shop as well as a lounge are located on the lobby level. Although I found it under-utilized during my stay, the rooftop pool is an ideal place for a sunset cocktail.
All visitors to Macau have an obligation to try the ever-popular Portuguese egg tarts, and the hotel treated me to my first-ever egg tart as part of its evening turndown service. While I found it to be an acquired taste, the local delicacy paired well with an espresso brewed by my en-suite Nespresso coffee machine, one of the many toys guests have at their fingertips (an iPod docking station and a 42-inch LCD television among them).
Guestrooms are decorated in neutral tones with a touch of metallic and are further accented with hardwood furnishings and oversize leather headboards. The marble bathroom was gorgeous, with plenty of natural light and expansive views of Nam Van Lake. It also featured a large soaking tub, a spa shower with three showerheads and a conveniently located phone.
Business travelers can take advantage of the high-speed Wi-Fi access and sophisticated audio-visual equipment in their rooms. The hotel also features several meeting and conference venues, including a 3,485-foot ballroom and an elegant pre-function area.
After a day of work or play, guests can kick back at The Spa at Mandarin Oriental Macau’s softly lit rejuvenating showers, vitality pools and crystal steam room. The Spa’s eight treatment rooms — including couples’ suites, a VIP suite and a room for Thai massage — are designed with Mediterranean-inspired blue and red hues.
Last year, The Spa at Mandarin Oriental Macau made Conde Nast Traveler’s Hot List and, throughout 2012, both the spa and the hotel can boast about their newly awarded Forbes Five-Star statuses.