Accommodation+ Back

Full disclaimer right away - I haven’t stayed in every single hotel in Macau, but I’ve been in enough of them to know a few guidelines that can help you choose the right one.  The most difficult decision is deciding where to stay on the history laden Peninsula; Taipa and Coloane are much more straightforward in comparison.

Macau Peninsula

I’ve been staying in Macau hotels for the better part of 7 years now.  With the current state of Macau rents, I imagine I'll be staying in them for 7 more too.  Whenever I think of places to stay in the city, these general principles always guide my decisions. 

IT ISN'T CHEAP

 

The first thing you need to understand is that there is no good budget accommodation in Macau.  By budget, I mean 300 Mops or less per night.  The best place to stay in this price range is the San Va, on the Street of Happiness, where rooms go for $220 Sunday to Thursday and $320 on Friday and Saturday.  Despite its obvious shortcomings, the San Va is clean, convenient and not a brothel, so that alone does it for me.  While some of their counterparts in the area might be $20 to $40 MOP cheaper per night, I wouldn’t trust leaving my belongings there during the day nor sleeping in their beds at night.  That pretty much makes the San Va the best of a bad lot, but at least it’s safe.

 



For more information about the San Va, please follow the link to Trip Report III.

If you’ve found your hotel, congratulations!  If not, let’s keep moving on.

EXPLORE THE MIDRANGE


Okay, so the San Va isn’t for you.  It isn’t for a lot of people, including me, if it’s summer.  When Macau nights are rocking 30 degrees plus, being in that little room with that little fan is the last place I want to be.  So in order to move up to something nicer, the prudent thing to do is investigate the $600 to the $1000 range.  While it’s true that Macau does have other hotels/hostels/hovels in the $300 to $600 range, they're probably not appreciably better than the San Va, which defeats the purpose of spending more money to stay there.

Three hotels I’m happy to recommend in this price range are the Pousada de Mong Ha, Hotel Royal and Hotel Sintra.

 

 

Pousada de Mong Ha has the most character of these hotels and probably the one I’d recommend first.  The only downside is that it’s located halfway up a hill on the northern part of the Peninsula, close to the Border Gate.  Apart from that, it rocks real Portuguese style, the staff is great, breakfast is free and it’s an exceedingly warm place to stay.  For more information and pictures, please follow the link to Trip Report I.

The Royal and Sintra, comparatively, have much better locations and are two fine options in themselves.  While they’re not fancy, they’re functional, clean, safe and quiet.  I’ve stayed at both places many times and never had a bad experience.

To learn more about the Sintra and Royal, please check out Trip Report III and the 2014 Grand Prix Race.

Other hotels in this price range that you might also want to consider are the Grand Lapa, Sofitel and Lisboa.

 



On the flip side, hotels in this price bracket to avoid are the Beverly Plaza, Metropole and Emperor.  It’s not that any of them are unlivable or anything, but they’re clearly inferior options to the ones I’ve mentioned about, so there’s no point in considering them.

If none of the hotels mentioned in the $600 to $1000 range float your boat, let’s move on, but I think I’ve got some bad news for you.

 

FOOL'S GOLD


Okay, so you want a better place to stay and you want to spend money.  No problem, Macau has plenty of options in the $1000 to $1600 range.  At this price point, Starworld, L’Arc, and the Sands definitely open up to you, as do MGM and the Grand Lisboa too, depending on the time of year and whether you can get a deal.

Without question, these hotels are all better than the likes of the Royal and Sintra.  Generally  speaking, when you spend more money you get nicer things and that is also the case here.  The hotels are larger, more comfortable and have better service and amenities, but are they necessarily better value?  That's ultimately for you to decide, but I personally don’t think so. 

Drawing a parallel to wine if I may, let’s take an example of a very good bottle of wine for $50 that might rate as a 92, versus a $100 wine that’s a 95.  While the $100 wine is better, it’s nowhere near twice as good, and I think the same point applies when comparing these hotels.  The Sands costs twice as much as Pousada de Mong Ha, but it is definitely not two times better.  L’Arc and Starworld both have big beautiful rooms, but are they so much better than what you get at the Sintra or Royal that it’s worth paying double for?  In my opinion, the answer is no, but again, it all comes down to personal preference, how much you want to spend and what conditions you can handle.

Which brings me to my last point.   

 

YOU NEVER LOSE AT THE WYNN

If you have the financial capability to seriously consider hotels such as MGM, Grand Lisboa, Starworld or L’Arc, then I suggest you pay a tiny bit more (say $50 US per night) and stay at the Wynn.  Of these hotels, the Wynn is clearly the best and I think you’ll see where the extra money is going. 

 

 

Rocking absolutely huge rooms and fantastic amenities, the Wynn has set the standard on the Peninsula since it opened in 2009 and continues to do so.  A lot of people, including myself, actually prefer it to the much ballyhooed Wynn Palace that opened in Cotai in August of 2016. 

So long review short, here are some general guidelines to follow when choosing hotels on the Macau Peninsula.

- For cheap hotels, it’s the San Va or bust.

-To move up to something more acceptable, you have to go to the $600 to $1000 range, and I’d like to recommend these options: Pousada de Mong Ha, Hotel Sintra, Hotel Royal, Grand Lapa, Lisboa, Sofitel.

-If you want to get something better, you might as well go all in and stay at the Wynn. 

Not getting what you want on the Peninsula?  Then move on to learn about staying in Taipa and Coloane.

Taipa

I think hotels in Taipa have ceased becoming a viable living option ever since rates on the Cotai Strip plummeted.  Three or four years ago I thought Hotel Taipa Square and Grandview were good cost effective bases to explore both Macau and the Cotai Strip from, but they’ve become rather redundant now that rooms at Broadway, Holiday Inn and Sheraton are often available for around $750 to $850 per night on weekdays. 

 

The biggest problem, of course, is that outside of Taipa Village, there isn’t much to do or see in Taipa.  Strictly a residential area, it’s the suburban block, home to street after street of high-rise apartment buildings.  With very little sightseeing available, you’ll definitely be spending most of your time either on the Peninsula or the Cotai Strip, so staying in one of those places obviously makes a lot more sense. 

For more information about the Cotai Strip and what hotel to choose, please follow the link here: The Changing Story of the Cotai Strip.

The last place we need to talk about, accommodation wise, is Coloane.

Coloane

There are two budget hostels in Coloane and two beach resort hotels, the Pousada de Coloane and the Grand Coloane Resort.  The budget hostels are weird entities, available only to students or people who hold International Youth Cards or International Youth Hostel Cards.  Registration and check in procedures look complicated and maybe not even worth the trouble, considering how isolated both hostels are.  For more information, please follow the link to the Macau Government webpage: Regulations of the Youth Hostels of the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau

As for the two beach resorts, they’re both personal favorites of mine, but are really only in play from May to mid November, before the weather gets too cold.  The Grand Coloane Resort is much more comprehensive than Pousada de Coloane, so it’s probably the preferable option, although the latter definitely has its own merits, being smaller, far less busy and more romantic.

 

 

For more information about Pousada de Coloane, please follow the link to Trip Report II.

To learn more about the Grand Coloane Resort, please check out the 2014 Grand Prix Race.

No matter which resort you choose to stay at, one thing needs to be absolutely understood.  These hotels only make sense for those tourists who have no interest in sightseeing and just want a resort type of experience.  If you intend to visit most of Macau’s top sites, then you should probably be staying on the Peninsula first and the Cotai Strip second.