The Maven Meter: Grand Lapa Hotel / Eastern Casino
(Last updated: August 23, 2023)
***The Artyzen Grand Lapa Hotel no longer has a casino, but I’m leaving the hotel review up because it’s one of the best places to stay in town. Definitely give it a hard look if you prioritize outstanding service and beautiful pool, gym and spa amenities.
Originally known as the Mandarin Oriental, the Artezyn Grand Lapa has been around since the 1980’s, which is shocking considering how good the grounds, lobby and rooms still look. Much like yours truly, the property is aging like fine wine, with recent refurbishments keeping it as vital as ever.
A personal favourite of mine, it definitely gets my vote as the best hotel around the Macau Ferry Terminal.
ARTEZYN GRAND LAPA PHOTO GALLERY
ARTEZYN GRAND LAPA HOTEL
The Grand Lapa may not have the same name brand as other well known Macau hotels, but it’s probably just as good as the Grand Lisboa, MGM Macau and Sands. The hotel facilities are second to none, especially the gym and pool area which are both outstanding for a hotel of its size.
I’ve stayed there numerous times throughout the years and never had a bad visit. Staff, in particular, are always amazingly polite and very willing to please. I’ve been in hotels sometimes where the help seem to think they’re the guest and you owe them something, but the Grand Lapa understands what good customer service is all about.
All told the Grand Lapa has 388 rooms and 28 suites. Bookings made through the official hotel website entitle guests to the lowest rates, so definitely do it there. Prices below are in Macau Mops and include all tax and service charges.
Rooms for only $935 in a hotel this good is almost like stealing, and actually $65 less than what they were in 2010! The Sands Macao next door is double the price and does have nicer rooms but is vastly inferior in terms of everything else (namely restaurants, bars, the pool, the gym, the spa, and even shopping and entertainment). All in all, I’m confident in calling the Artezyn the best hotel in Macau for under $1000 per night.
Artezyn Grand Lapa Hotel Room
I used to stay at the Grand Lapa all the time around 2011 and 2012. Hence the pictures below looking a little dated.
Fortunately, trusted sources tell me that all their rooms have been recently refurbished, finally bringing them into the 21st Century.
I always thought the bathrooms especially needed some work, but they should be much, much better now.
One thing that always looks great in the Grand Lapa room, though??
The delectable Yang Jie – that’s what!
ARTEZYN GRAND LAPA POOL
The Grand Lapa offers the best swimming pool on the old Macau peninsula, bar none.
Fully heated, it’s good to go 12 months a year.
The pool is actually part of a larger Recreation Area that includes tennis courts and a driving range practice cage that only costs guests $40 for 30 minutes of use. Basketball, volleyball and football are other activities that can be played on their multi-purpose courts.
For young visitors, there’s also the Kids Company, a play zone designed for children aged 4 to 12. It’s free for the first two hours everyday and then each additional hour is only $85. Staffed by professional counsellors, it’s outfitted with video games, computers, a playground and an assortment of toys and games.
Closed on Mondays, Kids Company is open from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm Tuesday to Friday and 9:30 am to 8:30 pm on weekends.
Located behind the Spa building, the pool keeps hours daily from 6:30 am to 10 pm.
I’ve eaten at all three of the Grand Lapa’s restaurants, and they were all average at best.
Kam Lai Heen – Located on the second floor, Kam Lai Heen is the Grand Lapa’s most expensive restaurant. Specializing in Cantonese fare, cold dishes run $58 to $328, while barbecue is $138 to $468, and soup $68 to $108. Abalone lowers the boom costing $118 to $588, while seafood is $168 to $488 and spicy specialties $78 to $328. The rest of the menu is composed of home style dishes ($128 to $188), poultry ($88 to $368), meat ($128 to $348), vegetables ($98 to $118), and rice and noodles ($38 to $148).
Kam Lai Heen’s lunch menu is dominated by a lot of dim sum, with most selections $38 to $68. That means that one person probably needs to spend $200 to $300 to eat well.
Here’s a review of my dinner there: Kam Lai Heen.
Hours are from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm, and from 6 pm to 10 pm at night. Closed on Tuesdays.
Cafe Bela Vista – Also on the second floor, Cafe Bela Vista serves a wide array of World food, along with a heavy emphasis on Portuguese and Macanese favourites. Starting with a la carte, hot and cold appetizers run $78 to $238, while soups are $88 to $148 and meat and poultry choices $128 to $998.
Macanese specialties are decently priced, just $138 to $228, while Cataplana dishes are $198 to $268 and fish and seafood favourites $228 to $298.
Their World menu offers both Eastern and Western favorites, mixing and matching selections like Singaporean fried vermacelli, Indonesian fried rice, and Nyonya seafood curry laksa with more typical North American dishes like burgers, pasta, and salad for $98 to $198.
Breakfast is quite comprehensive, featuring eggs ($75 to $85), cereals and yogurt ($35 to $75), and traditional selections like congee, French toast and pancakes ($68 to $150). Three sets are also available: Continental ($158), Chinese ($198), and Grand ($228), the latter of which comes with fruit, cereal, eggs and sides.
At lunch, they offer a semi buffet, composed of appetizers, salads, dessert and your choice of main course for $418 (2 people), or $238 (1 person). Afternoon tea follows that up, running $368 for 2 people, another customer friendly price.
They are currently offering a number of 4 to 8 course Portuguese sets at the moment, which range in price from $598 to $998. Some even include free bottles of house wine, or unlimited free flow Portuguese wine for $198. Cafe Bela Vista isn’t exactly the first place I’d be going to for Portuguese food in Macau though, so keep that in mind.
A more attractive option might be their Wagyu Beef and Seafood dinner buffet held every Friday to Sunday from 6:30 pm to 10:00 pm. Very reasonably priced at just $398 per adult and $198 per child, free flow beer and wine is on for an extra $128.
Here’s a review of my lunch there with the Mavenettes, from way back when I was still young: Cafe Bela Vista
Cafe Bela Vista keeps hours from 6:30 am to 10:00 pm daily.
NAAM Thai Restaurant – NAAM Thai carries the reputation of being the best Thai joint in town, which isn’t really saying much these days. I didn’t think very much of my lunch there, with that review found here: NAAM Thai.
Prices at NAAM stay firmly in the $100 to $300 range, with appetizers $78 to $108, salads $108 to $138 and soups $118 to $188. For main dishes, expect to drop between $138 to $438, while curries are $188 to $258 and vegetables $98. The cheapest selections are rice and noodle dishes for $118 to $168.
At lunch, a 4 course set runs just $188, which comes with red wine, white wine and beer. That’s one sweet price when you consider the free drinks.
Hours are from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm in the afternoon and from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm at night. Closed on Mondays.
The Cake Shop – Located beside Cafe Bela Vista, the Cake Shop serves sandwiches, cake, and other tasty pastry treats. Sandwiches run $50, while delicious looking full cakes cost $220 to $370, and single pieces $40 to $58. Other things I noticed were tarts ($15), cookies ($15), muffins ($25), apple turnovers ($28) and loaves of bread ($50 to $70).
Hot tip: show up around 7:30 pm and items like the bread, tarts and muffins are all half price!
The Cake Shop keeps hours daily from 10:30 am to 8:00 pm.
ARTEZYN GRAND LAPA SPA
The Grand Lapa’s spa is another highlight of the hotel, offering an excellent range of beauty and massage treatments. Massage is either 50 or 80 minutes and costs between $860 and $1250 while 60 to 90 minute facials are $930 or $1100 and 80 minute body treatments $1080 or $1800. 90 to 170 minute Signature Journeys run between $1200 and $2180 while an intriguing couple treatment costs $3980 and lasts 3 hours.
If you just want to use the sauna and steam room inside, access is free of charge for in house guests, a tremendous perk that the vast majority of Macau hotels don’t provide. Most of them require payment via a door pass fee, something I find completely unacceptable.
Hours are from 6:30 am to 10:00 pm daily.
The fitness centre is fantastic as well, more on the level of a full fledged membership gym than anything usually found in a hotel. In addition to a full regimen of cardio and weight machines, the gym also offers aerobics, yoga, tai chi, and Bollywood Dance classes free of charge to all hotel guests.
The gym is open daily from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm.
ARTEZYN GRAND LAPA BARS
Vasco – Without a doubt the most beautiful hotel bar on the old Peninsula, Vasco’s prices are also excellent, with beers $55, cocktails $65 to $88, and most hard stuff $65 to $170. Glasses of wine stay very affordable too, just $50 or $60, with most full bottles sourced from all the world only $180 to $375.
Named after legendary Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama, it’s only appropriate that they’re currently doing a special Cocktail flight that chronicles the path of the Portuguese Discoveries from Portugal to Macau. Composed of 9 different cocktails that each trace a different part of the journey, inspiration is drawn from such far flung locales as the Cape of Good Hope, Mozambique and Goa.
Costing $88 each, the thing to do is come during Happy Hour from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm, when all drinks under $88 are half price (or Buy 1 Get 1 Free, to be exact). Once my six week cleanse is up and my liver is off the thread it’s been hanging on for 3 years, I’m going to dive back into the debauchery hard and give this cocktail flight a go. A full review of course, will be soon be forthcoming.
If you prefer whisky, they are also doing a Journey of Whisky cocktail special, which costs $118 per 1, $198 for 2, and $298 for 3.
Every Wednesday it’s Ladies Night from 8:30 pm to 12 am, where lucky gals get a free glass of rose sparkling wine and a mini game to play to win a prize.
If afternoon tea is more your fancy, Vasco holds one daily that only runs $368 for two, an outstanding price for such a splendid venue.
In terms of live entertainment, Vasco is currently featuring Cathy and Rihanna, two Chinese singers on Friday and Saturday nights from 9 pm to midnight. They tend to rotate through the acts every couple of months.
Hours are from 4:00 pm to 12:00 am (Tuesday to Thursday), 4:00 pm to 1:00 am (Friday), 2:00 pm to 1:00 am (Saturday) and 2:00 pm to 12:00 am (Sunday). Vasco is closed on Mondays.
ARTEZYN GRAND LAPA ART SPACE
The Artezyn just keeps pulling at my heart strings with their new art space that opened sometime during Covid.
Located in the lobby, it’s large enough to display a good 20 to 30 paintings, making it larger than a lot of art galleries in Hong Kong. Free of charge, there’s no harm in dropping by if you’re in the area and having a look.
Their current exhibition is entitled Amagao, featuring works by contemporary Portuguese artists.
The best stuff was really quite wonderful.
The Art Space opens from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm daily, except on Mondays when it’s closed.
ARTEZYN GRAND LAPA SHOPPING
The shopping quarter at the Artezyn is back. For awhile in the mid 2010s everything was shuttered up,
Not very large, it’s still 1000 times better than what you get in most mid range hotels in Macau, which is to say absolutely nothing.
THE LAST WORD
It’s tough to find much fault with anything at the Grand Lapa. They offer comfortable rooms, a great bar, and facilities that rate second to none. The pool and fitness centre, in particular, and simply superb. For the price you’re paying, especially from Sundays to Thursday, the value is just ridiculous.
Luxury and value are two concepts that often collide in the real world but they can both be yours at the Grand Lapa.