Review of the Ritz-Carlton in Macau (and how we scored a free stay!)

For our one year (dating) anniversary, The Boy booked us into a suite at the Ritz-Carlton in Macau, which was only opened in May 2015.

We booked through the exceptionally helpful Charlotte from Charlotte Travel in Hong Kong, who ensured that we got an early check in/late check out, a complimentary upgrade to club level access (which usually only comes with the more expensive rooms), and a car to pick us up from the ferry pier.


However, the first time we stayed, there were some slightly odd things that occurred with the service at the Ritz-Carlton, such as hotel staff attempting to clean our room 20 minutes before we were checking out (and then appearing to not want to leave the room, even after we had politely asked them to do so), no turn down service being provided, and dirty dishes and cups left on the coffee table even after we requested the turn down.

Given the strong relationship between Charlotte and the hotel, she passed on our feedback to the General Manager, the very friendly Juan Samso, who apologised profusely, and invited us back for a complimentary stay. This review is based on a combination of our two experiences.


Check in

Checking in is quite an affair at the Ritz-Carlton.

The lobby is grand, with marble tiling, beautiful flower bouquets piled on a marble centerpiece, and a chandelier hanging from above. Given that we were collected from the ferry pier and taken to the hotel in their car, we already had our hotel hostess with us, who lead us up to the lobby on the 51st floor. Before she did that though, she took a photo for us at the hotel lobby on her iPhone (something I thought was odd, but will come back to later). Along the way, we were greeted numerous times by the staff, who seemed to be milling around the lobby with the sole purpose of beaming at us and wishing us a pleasant stay (and I mean that in a good way - the staff were very welcoming!).



Up on the 51st floor, sky high ceilings with white marble walls and curtains draping from over 16 ft high against enormous open windows gave the place an airy, elegant vibe. Similar to downstairs, there were perfectly arranged, beautiful peonies and roses, which were matched by the postmodern and abstract artwork hanging from the walls behind. A modern fireplace in a dark blue and gold tinted frame against one wall reinforced the impression of modern elegance.


The first time we stayed at the hotel, the check in took a little longer than expected. While we saw other guests being offered soft drinks, juice and champagne, the champagne we asked for never arrived - but that may have been due to our rush to get to our lunch destination, the famous O Santos Portuguese restaurant (which I reviewed here). On our second visit, we were offered in-room check in, which was much more efficient.

Rooms

The rooms in the Ritz-Carlton don't come small given that they are all suites, with approximately 900 sq ft per room for the Premier Suite and over 1,000 sq ft per room for the Carlton Suite.



The first time we came, Charlotte had informed the hotel that we were on our anniversary, so the hotel had kindly arranged sweets and rose petals in the shape of a heart on a table for us, and they had printed out the photo our hostess took of us in the lobby, placing it in a cardboard frame with the words "Happy Anniversary" written on it. Equally charming, we were provided with a divinely rich chocolate cake, and much to our surprise, a hand drawn, customised card with a race car and pole dancer on it, wishing us a happy anniversary. (We later discovered that Charlotte had informed the hotel that The Boy was into cars, and that I was a pole dancer.) We were actually really flattered that so much effort had gone into making our stay so personal, which was all thanks to Charlotte from Charlotte Travel.


The second time we stayed at the hotel, we were greeted with fresh berries laid out on a platter in neat pyramids, plus some macaroons and a bottle of organic red wine. Again, we were very grateful for this welcoming touch.

The rooms managed to be opulent without being gaudy (a surprise in Macau). A beautiful marble entrance lead to a side bathroom with a seat warming toilet. On the other side was the walk-in wardrobe area, which came well equipped with space to place your luggage, and a safe that was neatly concealed in the vanity dresser.


This vanity side room then led to a large bathroom, with separate his and her sinks, as well as a shower on one side and a self-flushing toilet on the other. The toilet was particularly entertaining, as the lid self-opened upon entering, and the lights came on automatically. For guests who enjoy their privacy, be warned that both the toilet and shower are enclosed by clear glass, although there are double French window style sliding doors that you can close to partition off the entire bathroom.

In the middle of the bathroom was a large round bathtub with a jacuzzi function. While the tub can fit two people, being so circular means that some adjusting is needed to maximise comfort. Against the wall overlooking the bathtub were beautiful mosaic tiles that were arranged to depict flowers flowing up the wall.


The bedroom and living room were lined with plush beige carpet that was decorated with blue swirls that reminded me of a topographical map. Inside the bedroom was a large king sized bed with a solid leather base. To top it all off, tucked neatly near the window was a reclining love sofa in blue grey.



The living room was fitted with a long sofa that sat behind a beautiful marble and mahogany coffee table. On the table were some stunningly impressive books; I spent some time flipping through the Iconic Photographs by Steven McCurry and Parties, Exhibitions, People by Vogue and the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute. The hotel's appreciation for art and aesthetics was reinforced by the beautiful, elegant artwork throughout the room (and indeed, the entire hotel) - there were ornate, hand painted vases around the room, as well as large painted canvases depicting both contemporary Asian and classical Chinese style.


In addition to the coffee and side table, the living room also housed a surprisingly small business desk with mahogany and leather chairs, and a helpful electric cable port that includes a USB charging outlet. Given my previous experience with business hotels, I felt that the Ritz was adequately equipped for the business traveller but that, naturally, it was more inclined towards those who come for leisure.

Club level lounge

Remember how I said that our travel agent, Charlotte, managed to get us club level access without us paying an extra cent? Well, this ended up saving us an enormous amount of money, because when you have club level access, you get access to freeflow food and drink, 24/7.



The club lounge is located on the 53/F, and boasts a 24/7 mini-restaurant and bar for its patrons. During the morning, there was a selection of pastries (including somewhat lacklustre chocolate chip muffins, danishes, warm pineapple buns, and croissants), crab congee, pork and shrimp dumplings, BBQ pork buns, waffles, sausage and ham, fried noodles with beef, cold cuts (including a salami slicer, smoked salmon, ham, parma ham, salad and cheese), freshly cooked-to-order omelets, and the usual array of cereal (but no granola), fruit and yoghurt in jars. In the afternoon, there were grilled vegetables delicately laid out on a wooden board, tiny hot plates with fried noodles, and miniature crockery bowls full of fried rice and chicken, as well as pan seared lobster and pasta with mussels.


Opposite that bar was another where a fresh fruit selection was elegantly presented on beautiful wooden platters, accompanied in the nearby fridge with cute fresh milk bottles and freshly squeezed juices. On the far bar was a stunning array of baked goods, including my favourite butter and custard buns. With a generous selection of desserts, including a variety of miniature tarts and slices, puddings in large shot jars, fresh strawberries with marshmallows and chocolate skewers, and sandwiches and baguettes, there is sure to be something to please you.


Facilities

The facilities at the Ritz-Carlton are as you would expect - the gym is well equipped, and beautiful with dark mahogany wood, similar to the library below - but both are so well-kept largely because they don't seem to interest the other patrons.  For details of the ESPA at the Ritz-Carlton Macau, check out our review here.



Given that the Ritz-Carlton is situated in the Galaxy Macau complex which is made up of numerous hotels with their own facilities, as well as a communal/shared facility area for all hotel guests, it is hardly surprising that the view from the top down looks like a giant, sprawling oasis of pools.

We spent very little time in our own complex's swimming pool area (which was staffed by lovely hotel pool boys who offered us champagne, cake, and smoothies when they realised it was our anniversary), and instead took a visit to the giant pool maze in the communal area where we lazed in floating donut rings as the current of the water swept us around the pool track. Be warned though: there are water pistols on the side shooting water at you and some devices installed above to tip water on you, so don't expect to come out of the water with your hair in tact!



There is also a set of three water slides that go around and around for a good minute and half (the difference between them being that one is completely in the dark, whereas the other two are a mixture of dark and light, but one is faster than the other, and they were a lot of fun.

  1. Given the design of the hotel, there are large, thick gold bars weaving across some of the windows on the outside, blocking the view. Be sure to request a room that has a clear, open view.
  2. If you are celebrating any sort of special occasion, definitely let the hotel know. We were given more free cake than we've ever seen in our lives, as well as free drinks by the pool. Also ask nicely if it is possible for a complimentary upgrade to the club lounge, because this is so worth the trouble!
  3. You can BYO wine (or alternatively, there will be a bottle shop nearby) and ask housekeeping for an ice bucket and wine glasses, but be warned that it may not come when expected - the second time we visited, we asked for and icebucket to be brought up at 9:30 pm, but it didn't happen at all. Also note that the fridge is small, so you'll need to strategically shift the drinks inside around to make room for your bottle (and only one will fit).
xx Carmen

Lifestyle Lookbook

3 comments :

  1. What a beautiful hotel! I appreciate your honest review.

    XX, SS || A Little Seersucker Sass

    ReplyDelete
  2. When we all introduced ourselves here. We were received warmly by all those who participated in the event at venue houston tx. Events here are a lot of fun, giving access to features that aren't always the easiest to get into and aren't always the most wallet friendly.

    ReplyDelete

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