Hotel Review+ Back
Sands

 

Largo de Monte Carlo No 203
(853) 2888 3388
https://www.sandsmacao.com/

 

No. of hotel suites: 300+
Table games: 400+
Slot machines: 1200+

(Last updated: September 23, 2017)

 

 

HIGHLIGHTS

Except for the huge casino, there isn't much to see or do here.

 

CASINO GAMES

 

Baccarat - The cheapest table I saw was for $1000 in the Sands Rolling section.


Commission Free Baccarat - I'd say 100% of the Baccarat tables on the main floor are Commission Free Baccarat.  Minimum bet is $300.

Blackjack
- The surrender option is only offered before the player on first base plays his hand.  Minimum bet is $300.

Compared to most Blackjack in Macau, the rules at the Sands are inferior, because Doubles made with totals of 11 lose both bets vs a Dealer Blackjack, instead of just the original wager.  This results in a house edge of 0.24% compared to the standard number of 0.16% city wide. 

Sands Stud Poker - Although the name is different, Sands Stud Poker is just like normal Caribbean Stud Poker, only with an important side bet variation.  Players can now bet up to 5 times the original side bet amount and then are paid in proportion to that wager should they win.  Here’s what the pay table looks like:

 

 

    
If you hit a straight flush or royal, however, you'll have to be content with just taking the normal 10% or 100% win.    

In an interesting twist, players can bet the side bet on the Dealer's hand as well, with all of the same rules still applying.

Please note the side bet wager starts from $50 now instead of the standard $25.  

Minimum bet is $300.

Fan Tan -  Kwok, Nim and Fan minimum bets are $200, while Nga Tam is $400 and Sheh Sam Hong is $600.  

Roulette
- Inside/Outside bets start from $25 and $100.  On some tables, both Inside and Outside bets start from $50.

Sic Bo - 10 different Sic Bo bets are available.  Minimum bets for Big/Small, Even/Odd are $200, and combination bets are allowed.  That is, players can make two separate $100 dollar bets at a time if they want.

Slots - Around 1200 slots with minimums between 0.05 and $10.

Banking 3 Card Baccarat - It looks like people can bank as many times in a row as they want, provided no one else at the table wants to.  Minimum bet is $300.

Three Card Baccarat
- Minimum bet is $300.

Three Card Poker - Minimum bet is $200.  

War - Minimum bet is $200.

 

VIP PROGRAM

 

The Sands VIP program returns the following rates:

 

 

HOTEL

Opening in 2004, the Sands Macao was Las Vegas Sands first foray into the Macau gaming market.  Coincidentally it was also the first casino review I ever wrote for the Wizard of Odds, way back in 2010.  That marked the beginning of my love affair with Macau that eventually culminated in the website you're reading now.  I stayed in the Deluxe Suite way back then, which ran $2184 Mops at the time, and that was midweek!  Almost a decade on, yes it does kind of look like I got ripped off, but such is life.

 

Current prices are a lot more palatable, and include all taxes and service charges.

 



Knowing what I know about Macau now, there's no way I'd choose to stay at the Sands again.  First of all, the location is somewhat inconvenient and ridiculous, out by the Ferry Terminal and the Reservoir, far away from all of the main sites and action around San Ma Lo.  Secondly, the hotel is basically just one big casino, with no mind paid to giving guests a proper resort experience, especially in terms of dining, entertainment, and shopping.  It's just a place to gamble, not to stay.

During my visit, I stayed on the 18th floor, in room number 1826.  To call it a suite is very misleading in my opinion since it didn't have two separate rooms, just one wooden cabinet that divided the room in half, with one side the bedroom and the other the living room.  

 

Sands Macao Deluxe Suite Sands Macao Deluxe Suite bedroom Sands Macao Deluxe Suite living room Sands Macao Deluxe Suite TV

 
Granted, the room was comfortable and nicely furnished, and there was a nice view overlooking Fisherman's Wharf and the South China Sea.  The bathroom was quite good too, nicely done up in marble and fully equipped with a shower and jacuzzi.

 

Sands Macao Deluxe Suite marble bathroom Sands Macao Deluxe Suite jacuzzi Sands Macao Deluxe Suite toiletries Sands Macao Deluxe Suite free fruit platter

All in all, I don't think anyone could be disappointed with the room, but since the Sands doesn't give guests enough incentive to stay there, a discussion of how good it is is all rather moot.

POOL

I like the outdoor setup of the Sands pool on the sixth floor.  The only problem with it might be that it's too small.

 

Sands Macao outdoor swimming pool Sands Macao outside swimming pool Sands Macao outdoor pool and deck

 

SPA
 

The Sands spa is a little difficult to get to.  First you have to make your way to the third floor, walk past the restaurants and through the high limit Paiza section, to a whole other set of elevators.  Take one of them up to the 8th floor and that's where you'll find the spa.  The spa is pretty good for men because their section comes fully loaded with a fitness centre, hot tub, steam room, sauna and cold pool, while women only get access to a shower.

 

The spa also has a small menu featuring massage, facial care, and beauty services like hair, nail and make-up work.  Prices for massage are a little lower than other 5 star joints where 60 minute massage goes for $688 to $988, 90 minute massage $888 to $1388 and 120 minute massage all $1488 to $1588.  Facials meanwhile go from $788 to $2888 while beauty services stay between $388 and $588. 

 

Spa hours are from 11 am to 3 am daily.

DINING

With four restaurants in total, the dining options at the Sands pale in comparison to what you get at most large hotel casinos.  I don't think any of them are any good either.

The Moonlight Noodle House - Located on the first floor, the Moonlight Noodle House is open 24 hours a day.  They mostly serve Cantonese food, with most dishes ranging from $52 to $88.

888 Gourmet Palace - Located on the second floor, 888 Gourmet Palace is separated into two parts.  The left side offers a day long buffet, with the following prices for adults and children. 

Breakfast buffet (7 am to 11 am)        $138 and $68 
Lunch buffet (11:30 am to 2 pm)        $188 and $78
Dinner buffet (5:30 pm to 10:30 pm)  $318 and $148
 
The right side of 888 Gourmet Palace mostly serves Asian fast food.  They have three different counters each specializing in a different fare, be it Shanghai, Macanese, Cantonese, Thai, or Japanese food.  Prices usually range from $32 to $88 per dish, while the Japanese restaurant has pricy set meals for $172 to $358.  I tried a rice and spicy chicken plate which ran $48 in total.  While the food was good, it wasn't enough, so anyone planning to eat there probably has to order two dishes. 

Copa Steakhouse - Located on the third floor, the Copa Steakhouse is generally considered the best place in town to get a steak.  I'm down on the place though, with my last visit a double dose of pain and misery.  First I had some hardened Hong Kong waitress trying to execute a bait and switch on me, before having to deal with the worst filet mignon I've ever had in my life.  It literally tasted like water, and I'm sure it was either a month old and recently defrosted or just improperly handled from start to finish.

 

For a review of my horrible meal there, please click here: Copa Steakhouse.

 

As for the prices, steaks range from $378 to $1188 while seafood dishes are $218 to $688.  Other things on their menu include appetizers and salad ($88 to $188), soup and salad ($85 to $148) and Chef’s Specialities ($228 to $788).

 

Hours daily are from 5:30 pm to 11 pm.

Golden Court - Located on the third floor, Golden Court is another Cantonese restaurant.  Chef’s specialities run $68 to $338, main meat dishes $108 to $280, while rice and noodles are $88 to $128.  The most expensive items on the menu are bird’s nest ($208 to $1318) and seafood ($88 to $378).  At lunch they serve a lot of dim sum which mostly costs between $28 and $48 while a 4 course set meal is $198.   

I had a beef noodle dish there that was mildly decent but probably not worth the 88 Mops I paid for it.  

Golden Court hours are from 11 am to 11 pm daily while they close an hour later on Fridays and Saturdays.

SUMMARY

 

The Sands Macao opened in 2004 and is way behind the times now, making no real attempt to offer guests the type of fully integrated hotel resort experience that's expected nowadays.  With poor dining, shopping, and entertainment options, it's a throwback to a time that nobody wants to return to.

 

LOCATION

The Sands is situated directly opposite Fisherman's Wharf, about a ten minute walk away from the Ferry Terminal.