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If you thought that the nonstop hotel building boom in Macau was finally over, think again. Almost overnight, Starwood Hotels & Resorts brought its Sheraton brand to the Cotai Strip with twin 39-story towers: the Sky Tower that opened in September last year and the Earth Tower that joined it in January 2013. With its 3,896 rooms and suites, the Sheraton Macao Hotel Cotai Central represents the city-state’s largest property and Sheraton’s biggest property in the world.
The Sheraton Macao is conveniently located within what’s called the Cotai Strip Resorts Macao. This is a sprawling complex of five major brand properties — the Venetian, the Four Seasons, the Conrad, the Holiday Inn and the Sheraton — all interconnected via marble-floored corridors lined with luxury retailers. Together the five offer approximately 9,000 guestrooms, more than 100 dining options, duty-free shopping with 600 mostly high-end retail outlets and, of course, four casinos.
What ties these properties together is a common owner — Sands China Ltd. As a result, instead of the expected competition for business, the managements of all five properties work cooperatively. For example, shuttle buses that transfer arriving guests from Macau International Airport or from Hong Kong via the ferry stop at all the properties, not just one. Guests have almost full access to the services and amenities of each of the sister hotels. For example, guests at the Sheraton Macao enjoy the convenience of cross-charging privileges at the others.
“We all work together to promote Macau as a destination and to develop it as a family destination,” said Ruth Boston, general manager of sales and marketing for the Sheraton Macao Hotel.
The accommodations in the Sheraton Club are among the amenities offered to guests at the Sheraton Macao. Literally a “hotel within a hotel,” the club offers 341 upgraded rooms on floors 31-39 in the Sky Tower. On Level Four, guests enjoy access to the 13,000-square-foot Sheraton Club Lounge, accommodating 274 guests. It features a full complimentary buffet breakfast, snacks all day and a happy hour from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. during which the bar is open and accompanied by an extensive array of hors d’oeuvres. The lounge provides Wi-Fi access and work stations equipped with PCs, as well as a printer and a private meeting room.
The new partnership between Sheraton Macao and the DreamWorks Experience underscores the hotel’s desire to be thought of as family-friendly. One of the large function rooms within the Sands Cotai Central has been totally redecorated with DreamWorks characters from hit animated films including “Shrek,” “Madagascar,” “Kung-Fu Panda” and “How to Train Your Dragon.”
The venue can seat more than 200 guests for what’s called a daily “Shrekfast With the DreamWorks Gang.” It combines a buffet breakfast with a lively show, featuring a cast of high-energy young dancers who take the characters around table to table to interact with guests young and old.
As a feature of this ongoing association, Sheraton Macao Hotel has developed a DreamWorks Experience Package, giving guests the chance to stay in a DreamWorks character-themed family suite. In addition, guests can receive a DreamWorks Experience Welcome Kit, featuring a Sheraton Kids Passport, a welcome kit bag, a photo frame and a tumbler with a DreamWorks Experience-themed coloring sheet.
This partnership, like the creation of the Sheraton Macao itself, is yet another step in the evolution of the destination as it continues its rise on the world stage.