Maven Meter: Diamond Casino & Holiday Inn
(Last updated: May 20, 2020)
Most Westerners have probably stayed at a Holiday Inn at least once in their life, so this hotel hardly needs any introduction. Clean, cost effective, and family friendly, it’s everything you’d expect from a Holiday Inn, with the only outlier being that it has a casino.
Run on the SJM license through a third party operator, I don’t know when Diamond Casino opened exactly, but it has to be one of Macau’s oldest gaming halls, possibly even predating the handover in 1999.
HOLIDAY INN PHOTO GALLERY
DIAMOND CASINO GAMES
Diamond casino would be totally irrelevant save for its $100 Blackjack table, which usually draws a good crowd.
Baccarat – Minimum bet is only $200.
Blackjack – Minimum bet is $100.
Pai Gow – Players can’t bank. Play is conducted at all times versus the Dealer. Minimum bet is $200.
Sic Bo – 5 different bets are available. Big/Small minimum bet is $100.
HOLIDAY INN PROMOTIONS
Diamond’s only promotions are related to VIP gaming. Their extremely disappointing Dead Chip program returns 0.7% on buy ins of over $10,000, while immediate settlement is 0.5%.
As for free rooms, they’re available at these numbers, which actually aren’t half bad.
Diamond’s 5th floor belongs to an independent junket that returns a dreadful 0.7% (monthly) or 0.6% (immediate settlement), by far the lowest commission in Macau.
HOLIDAY INN HOTEL
There are currently two Holiday Inns in Macau, this older one on the Peninsula and a newer Holiday Inn Express located around the Rio. The one in the Sands Cotai that used to to be the world’s largest Holiday Inn is no more, a victim of the property rebranding itself the Londoner Macau.
Unlike most hotels in Macau, rooms on the weekend are not difficult to get. Advanced booking online 5 days beforehand guarantees the lowest rates, which are the figures I’ve used below.
Prices are listed in Macau Mops, inclusive of all tax and service charges.
If you’d like breakfast, the cost is $140 per person.
HOLIDAY INN POOL
Holiday Inn has a small pool located on the 9th floor. I’m not sure why it’s partitioned in two, it all looks rather weird to me.
There’s also a hot and cold tub side by side, for those who like to experience both pleasure and pain.
The pool is open daily from 7 am to 10 pm.
HOLIDAY INN SPA
Holiday’s Inn’s spa is completely legitimate and offers a wide range of massage and beauty treatments. 90 minute massage runs $940 while a 30 minute head massage is $480 and a 75 minute foot massage is $580. 60 and 90 minute facials are $660 to $940, while body therapy is $380 to $480. The most expensive treatments are Signature Journeys which last 105, 120 and 150 minutes and run $1060, $1180 and $1380 respectively.
One excellent perk is that hotel guests get about 40% off of all treatments. No other spa in Macau, and I mean NO other spa, has a discount remotely close to anything like that.
Tree Top Spa is located on the 9th floor and keeps hours daily from 3 pm to 2 am.
HOLIDAY INN RESTAURANTS
The Holiday Inn has one Chinese restaurant and one Western restaurant.
Holiday Inn Chinese Restaurant – When I first showed up they handed me a laminated A4 menu with about 20 dishes on it. I looked at them and said, is this it? No, they have a lot more, but that’s the menu they hand to white people, because it has English on it. For those who can read Chinese, the real menu is 10 times bigger.
Everything stays very cheap though, with appetizers $28 to $48, seafood $128 to $288, meat $68 to $88 and other mains $68 to $128. Dim sum at lunch is very affordable as well, with selections ranging from $14 to $38.
Hours are from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm.
Frascati Cafe – Frascati Cafe has a buffet twice daily, one at lunch that goes for $178 (adult) and $98 (children/seniors) and one in the evening that’s $258 (adult) and $118 (children/seniors).
A la carte selections include appetizers ($58), salads ($48 to $88), soup ($48) and entrees ($68 to $168). Rice and noodles run $58 to $98 while meat favourites are $58 to $188 and sandwiches and burgers $68.
Hours are from 7:00 am to 11:00 pm.
HOLIDAY INN BARS
Oskar’s Bar – Oskar’s Bar has a fairly comprehensive wine list, with labels from all corners of the globe. Full bottles are mostly $200 to $450 while glasses of house wine are only $48. Other drink prices are all around market rate with beers $58 to $68, cocktails $58, and hard stuff $48 to $58.
Regarding food, they have two different snack menus with standard pub fare like hamburgers, sandwiches and curry beef briskets for $48 to $78.
Happy Hour runs daily between 5 pm and 8 pm with a buy 2 get 1 free promotion, which is just cheap. There’s also a Heineken special where one bottle runs $58.
Oskar’s Bar is located in the lobby and stays open daily from 1 pm to 12 am.
THE LAST WORD
The $100 Blackjack in Diamond casino is the only reason why this property is relevant.
As a living option, I’d ignore it completely, and that goes double for its restaurants, spa and bar too.