The Maven Meter: Plaza Casino & Four Seasons Hotel
(Last updated: May 20, 2020)
One of Macau’s most alluring luxury hotels, the Four Seasons debuted over a decade ago in 2008, but is still in impeccable condition. A true destination in itself, it’s one of the most complete properties in Cotai, boasting amazing amenities, fine restaurants, superlative shopping, and a casino that might be the nicest one in town.
In what must come as a shock to all who read this website and/or know me personally, I don’t have one bad word to say about the place. I love every inch of the property and always have.
FOUR SEASONS PHOTO GALLERY
If I had extra cash to burn, I’d be at the Plaza every weekend setting the Craps table on fire. My favorite casino in town by far, the Plaza is the place where service and style meet, where gamers are treated like their business actually matters. Waitresses work the floor pushing free glasses of Remy Martin VSOP, Hennessey VSOP, along with the best house wine I’ve ever had. The trade off is that the minimums are very high, with many games starting from $500 up, while the slots are also expensive for Macau, with most lows $1, $2, $5, and $10.
The Plaza also has one restaurant named Ping adjacent the main casino floor. Serving Cantonese fare, barbecue dishes run $98 to $130, meat favourites $98 to $168, and seafood $168 to $738. Rice and noodles are $98 to $388, vegetables $98 and dim sum $42 to $54. They also have quite a few hotpot choices and more expensive choices like bird’s nest, abalone and dried seafood, if you feel like spending a couple grand on a few dishes.
On the second floor, there are 20 more Baccarat tables and another 95 slots, with most minimums over $1000.
PLAZA CASINO GAMES
The Plaza has a good range of games for a casino its size.
Baccarat – $1000 minimums.
Commission Free Baccarat – Players are paid only 50% on won Banker bets that total 6. Tables start from $500.
Blackjack – Pricy $500 minimums. Players may only split up to 3 times, instead of the usual 4.
Craps – One table paying 3-4-5 odds, with a minimum Pass line bet of $200. The table only opens on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The City of Dreams next door pays 5 times odds so yeah, you know what to do and where to go.
Roulette – Minimum bet of $50 Inside and $200 Outside.
Slot Machines – Around 200 machines with minimums from 10 cents to $10. Also has Electronic Baccarat ($50), Blackjack ($25) Roulette ($10) and Sic Bo ($10).
PLAZA CASINO PROMOTIONS
I’ve never seen the Plaza run any independent promotions in the 8 years I’ve been covering casinos in Macau.
The only options are to accumulate points on the Sands player card or to join the Sands VIP rolling program, which returns the following commission.
FOUR SEASONS HOTEL
Until the Ritz-Carlton came along, the Four Seasons was the must luxurious hotel on the Cotai Strip. Even though it opened over a decade ago in 2008, it’s still in impeccable condition, and the lobby remains one of the most beautiful ones in Macau.
I’ve always loved the grand staircase and exquisite furnishings.
In terms of room rates, they’ve come down a lot since reaching their peak in 2013 and 2014. It used to be that $2500 a night was the standard norm, now they don’t even break $2000 from Sunday to Thursday. Weekends remain expensive however.
Reservations made 7 days in advance result in 12% off, which are the prices I’ve used below. They’re also inclusive of all tax and service charges.
For the absolute lowest rates, always book through a third party travel agency, and you should be able to save at least $300 per night, compared to the prices above.
As good as that sounds though, there’s a better way to save money, and that’s to take one of their 3 special packages, only available through their hotel website. Respectively, they are Pay and Play, Bed and Breakfast and Spa Indulgence.
Pay and Play
- Daily buffet breakfast for two in Belcanção restaurant (Value: $560)
- Nightly $300 match play voucher for the Plaza Casino (Value: $300)
- Deluxe Room, Premier Room or Junior Suite: Nightly $300 Hotel food and beverage credit (Value: $300)
- Executive Suite: Nightly $500 Hotel food and beverage credit
- Ambassador Suite or higher accommodation category: Nightly $1,000 Hotel food and beverage credit
- One-way Cotai Jet ferry tickets (Cotai Class) from Macau to Hong Kong (except airport route) for two persons (Value: $300)
- One-way Cotai Jet ferry tickets (Cotai Class) between Hong Kong (Shun Tak Center) and Macau for two persons for your next visit, valid for 30 days from the date issued (Value: $300)
Excluding the ferry tickets, Total Value of the Pay and Play Package offered: $1160
Bed and Breakfast Package
- Daily buffet breakfast for two in Belcanção restaurant (Value: $560)
Total Value of the Bed and Breakfast offered: $560
Spa Indulgence Package
- Afternoon tea for two at Windows Restaurant (Value: $590)
- Welcome gift of Bvlgari amenities (Value: $200?) No idea, wild guess
- 60-minute massage for two per night, choice of Therapeutic, Classic Swedish, Four Seasons Signature or Relaxing Foot Massage (Total Value: $2400)
- One-way Cotai Jet ferry tickets (Cotai Class) from Hong Kong (Shun Tak Center) to Macau for two persons for your next visit, valid for 30 days from the date issued (Total value: $300)
- Complimentary 6:00 pm late check-out, Sunday to Thursday only (Total Value: $400) Maybe? It’s hard to quantify this one. FYI, Macau hotels often give 2:00 pm late check-outs, so it might only be an extra 4 hours here.
Excluding ferry tickets once again, Total Value offered from the Spa Indulgence package: $3600
To show you how good these packages are, let’s take a Deluxe room, and compare how much it would cost booking it on C Trip versus off the Four Seasons website, assuming that C Trip is $400 cheaper.
If your trip involves getting massages at the spa as well as afternoon tea, book that Spa Indulgence package at once. It’s like your getting the hotel room for free.
The Pay and Play is a terrific deal as well, provided you want breakfast, intend to gamble and will eat on site in the evening as well.
There’s one more deal you need to be aware of. If you spend in excess of $50,000 at the Shoppes at Four Seasons, they’ll give you a free hotel room at night. If you really g0 crazy and spend more than $100,000, they’ll up it to a suite.
Guest quarters at the Four Seasons are located from floors 6 to 19.
FOUR SEASONS HOTEL ROOM
The fourth hotel on my 2020 Coronavirus Tour, I stayed for one night at the Four Seasons on Sunday, February 23rd, 2020. I’d been dying to try the hotel for over a decade, ever since writing the original Plaza Casino review back in 2011. In the intervening years, everything about the property just kept on impressing, and I finally wanted to experience it firsthand as a guest myself.
I booked the cheapest room available, the Deluxe King, which cost $1870 through C Trip. Had I gone directly through the website instead, it would have been about $140 more.
Check in took a little longer than usual, given a new procedure mandated by the Macau government to record guests travel history and health information. Still though, it gave me more time to chat with the desk staff and meet the lovely Guest Relations Assistant Manager, Wenslie Iao. Her job title is something straight out the VIP gaming industry, and this was only the second time in Macau that I’d met someone like her on the hotel side of things. (The only other instance was at the Ritz-Carlton Macau in 2015). After check in Miss Iao showed me up to my room on the 19th floor, number 1907, then gave a brief tour, explaining the different features.
Given that the Four Seasons opened in 2008, there really wasn’t that much to tell, other than that iPhones could be charged by the alarm clock next to the bed.
At first glance, the Deluxe Room felt a little underwhelming, too similar in size and grade to ones across the road at the Conrad, which are routinely $600 cheaper.
Nothing in the the mini bar was free, while the TV had a very standard assortment of channels, along with movies that could be rented on a PPV basis. Standard flicks cost $98 and adult varieties $168, the majority of which were Japanese, so at least they got that right. Of course, over at the Lisboa and Grand Lisboa, all of that naughty naughty action comes free of charge.
In terms of positives, the room had some nice design features, starting with the dark hardwood floor at the entrance, and the two pieces of artwork hanging over the bed.
The bathroom was very well put together, with more dark wood used on the sink and doors, while the bathtub had a TV directly across from it, just like at Morpheus.
I couldn’t complain about the view either, which had a great one of the Eiffel Tower, and the fact they put me on the highest floor just made it all that much better.
While it’s probably true that what you get in the Deluxe Room is not commensurate to the price, you’re paying for more than just a bed at the Four Seasons.
Everything about the hotel needs to be baked into the equation, and they don’t cut corners anywhere. The pool and spa facilities are second to none, while their service is absolutely phenomenal as well.
The Ba Bao Cha came first, courtesy of the Hui Tribe in Northwestern China, and it was absolutely delicious. Not that I’m any kind of expert on tea or anything, but it was a million times better than some run of the mill Earl Grey or Chrysanthemum nonsense.
I looked online later and found out that Ba Bao Cha is known as “Eight Treasures Tea”, and is one of the most celebrated herbal teas in China. It tasted so alive: sweet yet fruity, earthy yet light. If it were a wine, I’d give it a 95 score.
The free chocolate was another sweet gift and I really enjoyed the fruit, although I had no idea what that purple one was.
That strange looking thing turns out to be pitaya, or dragon fruit, native to parts of Southeastern Asia. In order to eat it, just cut it in half then use a spoon to scoop the white part out.
Somewhat similar to kiwi, it was pretty good, and tasted even better when served cold.
The next day at check out I ran into Miss Iao again and mentioned to her that I hadn’t had dinner the previous night, just the chocolate, tea and fruit. She immediately gave me another free snack on the way out named Dragon Beard Candy, a traditional Cantonese sweet made from peanuts. I liked it so much that I tracked down the bakery it came from and later added it to my list of Macau snacks.
The Four Seasons is truly one of Macau’s best upscale luxury hotel options. A choice between it and say, Morpheus, Wynn Palace, St. Regis, and MGM Cotai, is really no choice at all. The only hotel in Cotai that I have ranked above it is the Ritz-Carlton, and considering how much those rooms costs, there’s no shame in the Four Seasons coming in second.
I’d also like to thank Miss Iao again for her excellent service and kind gifts. I’d love to do it again!
FOUR SEASONS POOL
Fantastic pools at the Four Seasons, and there will never be a lot of people using them, given that the hotel only has 360 rooms. To put that into context, the Venetian next door has over 3000.
It feels like a brilliant oasis out there, like you’re miles away from the Cotai Strip. Galaxy no doubt has the biggest pool, but it’s quite possible that the Four Seasons has the best pools. (Except in winter, because four of them close down then.)
Pool hours are from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm daily.
FOUR SEASONS DINING
The showstopper here is Zi Yat Heen.
Zi Yat Heen – Zi Yat Heen formerly had 2 Michelin stars for a couple of years, but were knocked back down to 1 from 2017 on. Regardless, I still think it’s one of the best restaurants in town, and Mu Yi and I had a fabulous dinner there during Trip Report I.
Prices are lower than you’d expect too given how highly rated the food is, with many dishes available for less than $150.
Appetizers: $90 to $420 Meat: $150 to $1020
Barbecue: $180 to $320 Poultry: $230 to $820
Soup: $140 to $2980 Seafood: $210 to $1880
Birds Nest: $650 to $1060 Vegetables: $150 to $230
Abalone: $228 to $4800 Rice/Noodles: $100 to $320
In a mild surprise, dim sum is available all the time, with selections that range in price from $66 to $110.
There’s only one set meal on offer that’s composed of 8 courses and costs $1880. To pair it with wine, 2 glasses run $328 while 4 glasses are $588.
Zi Yat Heen is located on the lobby floor and opens from 12 pm to 2:30 pm in the afternoon, and from 6 pm to 10:30 pm at night. On Sundays, lunch is extended by an hour, from 11:30 am to 3 pm.
Belcancao – Belcancao is a rip off and I’d advise everyone to stay away from it. For more information about their terrible dinner buffet, please follow the link here: Belcancao.
Current prices are as follows: $258 for breakfast, $298 for lunch and $638 for dinner. Children 5 to 12 get charged half price while those under 5 eat for free.
Located on the lobby floor, Belcancao is open from 7 am to 11 am in the morning, 12 pm to 2:30 pm in the afternoon, and 6 pm to 10 pm at night. On weekends, lunch gets extended by a half hour to 3 pm.
Windows Restaurant – Windows Restaurant serves a mix of Eastern and Western fare. Salads include some exotic choices like Quinoa and Green Mango and run $118 or $158, while pizzas are $148 to $168, and desserts $68.
Mains stay between $188 and $288, and include burgers ($168/$198), miso codfish ($288), laksa ($188), seafood spaghetti ($238), tempura soba ($198) and tacos ($188), along with a trio of Korean favourites: kimchi jjigae ($198), wagyu beef bulgogi ($238) and hot stone bibimbap ($198).
One set meal is also available for $128, composed of a White Truffle pizza, soup of the day, mixed salad and dessert.
Held daily from 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm, afternoon tea is quite the high brow affair and runs $538 for two people, which includes two cups of coffee or tea. If you prefer to drink, there’s also a White Wine ($658) and Champagne ($738) option.
Windows is located on the lobby floor and opens daily from 10:30 am to 1:00 am.
Splash – Splash is situated outdoors next to the pool and has a very similar menu to Windows Restaurant, minus the afternoon tea. Mostly foreign eats, bar bites are $148 to $198, pizzetas $138 to $148, and burgers, tacos and sandwiches $188 to $198. Desserts, finally, are $28 to $118.
As for drinks, beers are $58 while cocktails are $88.
Open daily all year round, hours are from 12:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
FOUR SEASONS BARS
There’s only one drinking establishment at the Four Seasons, Bar Azul.
Bar Azul – Bar Azul is pretty hip, it’s a shame that it’s empty most of the time. Colossal cocktails are their newest concoction, massive tub sized bowls of love good enough to take down 6 to 10 people. Starting from only $388 mops, it’s great value. Other drinks are a little on the high side with glasses of white wine $90 to $140, red wine $105 to $165, and champagne $100 to $220. Cocktails are a more appropriately priced $58 to $68, while beers are $55 and other harder fare mostly between $65 to $90, with some premium selections well into the $100’s.
Bar Azul also serves pizza for $128 and Asian bar snacks like Wagyu cheese burgers, codfish fritters, and chicken crab meat spring rolls for $148 to $268.
Make sure you say hello to the dynamic duo behind the bar, Tara and Sara who make Bar Azul so much of what it is.
Located on the lobby floor, Bar Azul is open daily from 6 pm to 1 am Wednesday to Monday.
According to a commercial I saw on the Venetian bus, the Shoppes at Four Seasons is (or was once) the largest grossing mall per square meter in the world. Judging from how it looks inside, that doesn’t surprise me at all, considering many sections are more beautiful than the lobbies of many 4 and 5 star hotels.
Home to 72 stores and well over 160 luxury and designer brands, I doubt anything there ever comes cheap.
FOUR SEASONS GYM
The Four Seasons gym is large and state of the art, featuring a wide range of equipment, including an advanced Kinesis Wall and Yoga Studio. Professional trainers are also on hand to offer tips and assistance as needed. Without a doubt, it’s one of the best ones in town.
Located on the 4th floor, the gym is open 24 hours.
FOUR SEASONS SPA
The spa at Four Seasons spa is one of the few ones in town that lets guests in for free. Most other places charge a door pass, but here access to a jacuzzi, steam room, sauna, and ice fountain is all on the house.
Like a lot of spas around town, prices for treatments vary according to the day, with weekend rates $60 to $200 more expensive than their weekday counterparts. For this review, I’ve used the weekday prices.
Two 120 minute signature rituals are both $2300, while a 90 minute Refresher runs $1980 and a 150 minute Pamper treatment is $2980. For couples there’s an enticing 3 hour package that costs $5380 for two.
60 to 120 minute massage ranges between $1080 and $1680 while facials are $1380 to $2880 and hand and foot therapy is $480 and $580.
Also located on the 4th floor, the spa keeps hours from 9 am to 10 pm daily.
THE LAST WORD
Until the Ritz Carlton Macau came along, I’d always considered the Four Seasons to be the best hotel on the Cotai Strip. As the Maven Meter clearly shows, there isn’t much that it doesn’t get right. Entertainment, bars, and nightlife are their only black marks, but that action is easy to find in all of the monster hotels nearby.
The Plaza casino is one of the best ones in Macau, but it’s probably only useful for Sands Rewards players with larger bankrolls, since most table minimums are $500 and up. If that action doesn’t scare you off, then I’d recommend making the Plaza your Sands casino of choice. It’s far more cozy, charming and intimate than the Sands, Parisian or Venetian, while their drink service is second to none. Much like the Four Seasons Hotel, it’s just pure class through and through.
FOUR SEASONS LOCATION
The Four Seasons is located in the heart of the Cotai Strip, directly between the Venetian and Parisian. In fact, all three hotels are interconnected, as is the Sands Cotai across the road, which is linked by an overhead pedestrian bridge.