The Maven Meter: Plaza Casino & Four Seasons Hotel
(Last updated: August 23, 2023)
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 it. I love every inch of the property and always have.
FOUR SEASONS PHOTO GALLERY
If I had 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 games starting from $500, while Baccarat is an ungodly $3000.
The Plaza also has one restaurant named Ping adjacent the main casino floor. Serving Cantonese fare, lunch sets are only $180 while Chef’s Recommendations run $168 to $528. They also offer barbecue ($98 to $130), meat favourites ($98 to $168), and seafood ($168 to $738). Cheaper selections include rice and noodles for $98 to $388, vegetables for $98 and dim sum for $42 to $54.
PLAZA CASINO GAMES
The Plaza had a good range of games prior to Covid. Unfortunately, they no longer offer slots or Roulette.
Baccarat – $3000 minimums.
Commission Free Baccarat – Players are paid only 50% on won Banker bets that total 6. Tables start from $2000.
Blackjack – Pricey $1000 minimums.
Compared to most Blackjack in Macau, the rules at the Plaza 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.
Craps – One table paying 3-4-5 odds, with a minimum Pass line bet of $500. Even though the City of Dreams next door pays 5 times odds, I’d stick with the Plaza and those free drinks EASILY.
Roulette – Table looks permanently closed, but at least it’s still on the floor.
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.
All in all, I’d say they’re a tad under market.
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.
In terms of rates, it’s crazy towns at the Four Seasons. Right before Covid rooms were down to about $1800 a night, which is just about what they should cost. The fact that they’re up to $3200 now is quite frankly shocking, considering the most I’d ever seen them before was around $2500 in 2013 and 2014. Overpriced back then, it’s pure lunacy now, especially when you look at the weekend rates. Knock off a bank or two, spend a Saturday at the Four Seasons, then do 10 in a federal institution. You cannot be serious!
I’d still gobsmacked by those weekend prices. I love you Four Seasons and always have, but I’ll never be in your arms again.
Summer Shopping Extravaganza – I’m pretty sure this deal is available no matter the season, but all I know are the summer figures. If you drop $1,000,000 in the Sands Shoppes Macao, they’ll give you a free night’s stay in a Dynasty Suite. If the spending amount reaches $2,000,000, they’ll up it to a Skyview Villa. How nice of them.
I don’t know about you, but I’d be asking them to rename a whole wing of the hotel after me if I spent so much.
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 have gone up recently, with many dishes now over $200. Previously they had stayed in the $150 range. Specifically, starters range from $90 to $420, while soup is $180 to $1060 and vegetables $170 to $230. Chilled barbecue costs $240 to $390, while bird’s nest is $768 to $1060 and pricey abalone and dried seafood $358 to $4000. The menu is rounded out by seafood ($220 to $488), meat ($280 to $888), poultry ($230 to $728) and rice and noodles ($150 to $398).
In a mild surprise, dim sum is available all the time, with selections that range in price from $78 to $298.
Two set meals are on offer. The first is a Michelin Tasting Menu, composed of 7 courses for $2280, plus $498 for beverage pairing. A 9 course Black Pearl Set runs $1880, plus $598 with wine.
Zi Yat Heen is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Hours daily are from 12:00 pm to 2:30 pm in the afternoon and 6:00 pm to 10:30 pm at night. Sunday lunches are a little longer, from 11:30 am to 3:00 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: $348 for breakfast, $348 for weekday lunch, $368 for weekend lunch and $628 for weekend dinner. Children 5 to 12 get charged half price while those under 5 eat for free.
Located on the lobby floor, Belcancao is open daily from 7:00 am to 2:30 pm. From Fridays to Sundays, their evening buffet happens from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm.
Xiao Ting – Formerly known as Windows Restaurant, they’re going with a Chinese name now. Their menu remains a mix of Eastern and Western fare, which includes fish and seafood ($338 to $888), main meat favourites ($168 to $218), rice and congee ($138 to $228), noodles ($188 to $248), vegetables ($88 to $338) and dim sum ($68).
As for Western fare, they offer salads ($168 to $198), soup ($98), burgers, sandwiches and snacks ($218 to $268), entrees ($218 to $688) and pizza ($188 to $688).
Afternoon Tea runs $648 for two people, and comes with two cups of coffee, or tea. If you prefer wine instead, tack on another $120 for rosé, or $200 for champagne.
Hours are from 10:30 am to 10:30 pm daily. Afternoon tea happens in two sessions, the first from 2:15 to 4:00 pm and the second from 4:15 to 6:00 pm.
Ohte Ramen – Ohte Ramen took over for the dearly departed Bar Azul, which was always such a waste of a prime venue. Ramen costs $168 to $888, while Wagyu Creations are $498 to $788, and Chef’s Recommendations $138. They also serve sides for $48 to $98 and dessert for $88 to $138.
Bottles of sake go for $380 to $1100, while bottles of Japanese beer are $48 to $88 and glasses of Japanese whisky $168 to $218. Cocktails, finally, are $118.
Hours daily are from 11:00 am to 10:30 pm.
Splash – Splash is situated outdoors next to the pool and has a similar menu to Xiao Ting, minus the afternoon tea. Mostly foreign eats, salads are $168 to $198, while bar bites are $228 and tortillas $228 to $268. They also serve burgers and sandwiches ($248), sides ($148), and pizzas ($188 to $688).
As for drinks, cocktails are $118, while beer goes for $78 to $88, and glasses of wine $80 to $265.
Open daily all year round, hours are from 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm.
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 peak prices.
90 to 150 minute Black Pearl Treatments run $2280 to $3490, while 90 or 120 minute Signature Rituals are $2200 or $2750.
90 minute massage checks in at $2680, while 60 minute varieties aren’t much cheaper, going for $2150 to $2880. For couples there’s an enticing 3 hour package that costs $7170 for two. Unfortunately, that’s (gasp) $2000 more than it used to cost. Ouch.
60 or 90 minute facials run $2060 to $3490 while a 30 minute body scrubs is $740.
Also located on the 4th floor, the spa keeps hours from 9 am to 11 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 Londoner Macao across the road, linked by an overhead pedestrian bridge.