The Maven Meter: Regency Art Hotel
(Last updated: August 23, 2023)
***The Regency Art Hotel no longer has a casino, but I’m leaving the hotel review up because it’s one of the best ones in town. And the kicker is, it’s largely unknown and underutilized.
REGENCY ART INTRODUCTION
In the 1980’s and 90’s, the Hyatt Regency was one of Macau’s top living options, a rare 5 star hotel in a city that barely had any at the time. It was state of the art, cutting edge, hip to jive and a very popular venue for weddings, banquets, conferences and corporate events. They even had Macau’s first ever kick ass disco, something that seems totally inconceivable now.
Fast forward 30 years and it’s an afterthought with a new name – the Regency Art Hotel – and nothing left from the glory days but the mould and mildew that’s been multiplying in their bathrooms since the turn of last century. Make no mistake, this hotel is long past it, and with tour groups taking up the bulk of their business, they really have no incentive in getting it back.
I love how I can rip hotels when I’m in the mood to do so. My hatchet job on Wynn Palace remains one of my favourite reviews on this site, mostly because it’s all true. The Regency Art Hotel however has totally turned things around since 2017, so much so that I now consider it one of the best budget options in town. I mean, it very well could be the best, especially if you’re into large outdoor pools, and amazing spa and gym facilities.
Sure the rooms may be a touch dated, but they’re super clean and in excellent condition, with no signs of the mould or mildew that used to plague them before. The Regency Art Hotel is squarely back in the circle of trust, and whoever manages it needs to be given serious props for rescuing it from the dead.
REGENCY ART HOTEL
The Regency Art lobby is a glimpse into the hotel’s halcyon days, a beautifully designed space that exudes elegance and high station, albeit in a dark understated way.
Interesting art pieces are displayed here and there, along with a well lit gallery room adjacent to the main doors that actually never opens, but still looks sophisticated nonetheless.
When booking rooms, always use a third party operator instead of going through their website, which routinely charges about $200 to $300 more. It only cost me $470 per night in November 2019 after using C Trip, which was just ridiculous value, especially when compared to other hotels in its price bracket, such as these monstrosities: Budget Hotel III and Budget Hotels IV.
Current rates in July 2023 are a touch higher due to the summer high season, but they should be back down to $500 to $550 come autumn.
Check in could be an issue as I encountered rude service from a girl who couldn’t be bothered to put forth any effort at all. She stood there stone faced, pretended not to hear my questions, then ignored me when I asked them again. It was typical Chinese service minus minus, which the hotel definitely needs to address. The night crew was way better though, so it’s not like all of their desk staff are train wrecks.
Regency Art Hotel Room
The Regency Art was built in an era long predating the rise of boutique hotels. As such, even their lowest grade room, the Superior, is sufficiently large, checking in at a very ample 30 square meters, which actually felt more like 45.
Given the age of the hotel, the fixtures and furniture were all in immaculate condition, without so much as a chip or scratch anywhere.
I don’t know if it was because of the color scheme, the soft warm light, or the simple smart furnishings, but the room felt extremely comfortable to be in. I was definitely expecting something far more dodgy, especially given the price.
The bed was just to die for: soft, luscious and supremely sublime, I could have melted into those sheets and stayed there forever.
The bathroom was in tip top shape too, a long rectangular room that had the mirror on one side and bathtub on the other.
The view probably could have been better, half Macau skyline, and half nasty field/construction site, but sometimes we just have to take the good with the bad.
I didn’t didn’t hear a peep of noise from anywhere during my stay, and while free water only amounted to two bottles, housekeeping was on call any time that I wanted more.
The only thing to watch out for is the Wifi, which was super unreliable, often cutting out. Apart from that though, everything else was a dream.
From the first review:
The outside leisure zone is the perfect microcosm to diagnose all of the current issues with the Regency Art Hotel. You have all of the makings of something truly great out there; however, through neglect, laziness, cheapness, indifference, or perhaps all of the above, the area is a wasteland that’s of no use to guests and visitors.
Appearances matter in the hospitality/leisure industry, people pick up on the slightest hints and clues and draw conclusions about how much their business matters. And when you step outside to see an empty pool, broken down children’s playground, abandoned tennis courts and no sign that anyone gives a damn, that answer is obviously not very much.
It’s all quite a shame, because if the pool and tennis courts ever get fixed and open up, the area could be among the best in Macau.
Well, well, well, I’m happy to welcome everyone to 2020, and you know what?? Everything has been repaired and the outdoor recreation area is just awesome.
When I visited in early November, I almost had the whole place to myself which was just the cherry on top.
33 by 28 meters of lavish love, the pool is divided into four zones with different water depths of 1.9 meters, 1.3 meters, 0.9 meters and 0.7 meters.
Hours daily are from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, while it’s closed down three months of the year from January to March.
The Recreation Area is also home to a children’s playground, tennis court and multi-purpose court.
Inside the hotel, there are other facilities as well, including a squash court, foosball table, snooker table and pong pong table. The only problem is that they’re not free, when they probably should be.
Prices are as follows:
Come on cheap Regency Art, cut your loyal guests a break!!
The Regency Art Hotel offers three restaurants for your dining displeasure. Regency Noodles and Chinese Light Dishes and A Pousada both operate out of the same venue on the lobby floor, which is also where you’ll find the breakfast buffet.
Prices are as follows:
Regency Noodles and Chinese Light Dishes
Appetizers and BBQ: $83 to $108
Soups: $38 to $105
Abalone and Shark’s Fin: $188 to $438
Poultry and Meats: $80 to $238
Seafood: $78 to $288
Vegetables: $60 to $88
Southeast Asian flavours: $68 to $108
Burgers and Sandwiches: $68 to $78
Indian: $68 to $88
Desserts: $92 to $298
Flamingo – Flamingo is the other restaurant and might be Macau’s worst Portuguese joint. My lunch there with two friends in 2017 was an unmitigated disaster. For a review of the carnage, please follow the link here: Flamingo.
Appetizers and Salads: $68 to $138
Main Dishes: $158 to $288
Seafood: $98 to $198
Rice and Vegetables: $78 to $128
Hours are from 12 pm to 3 pm in the afternoon, and again from 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm at night. Mercifully, Flamingo closes on Tuesdays.
Update: Flamingo has yet to re-open after Covid.
REGENCY ART HOTEL SPA
The Regency Art Spa does not offer any treatments nor are there any treatment rooms, but they’ve got the next best thing – bitching spa facilities.
The sauna could hold 50 people inside it if need be, while the adjoining steam room is about half the size.
They’ve got great hot and cold tubs too, which any spa worth its salt needs to have.
My sworn enemy is the cold pool and I don’t know why I can never last more than 30 seconds in it, before seizing up and shrieking like a little girl. And even though I legitimately hate everything about the experience, I still force myself to go in at least 3 times an hour.
The spa also has a simple relaxation room that I always enjoy, good for spreading out and relaxing after a good vigorous spa session.
After about 45 minutes in there, I’m ready to hit that hot tub again!!
Hotels in Macau that cost around $500 just aren’t supposed to have a spa this good.
REGENCY ART HAIR SHOP
I only mention Images Hair and Body Studio because it offers both massage and beauty treatments.
Images Hair and Body Studio – Prices are excellent at the Images Hair and Body Studio – try doing the same things in Cotai and they’ll cost three times as much.
Deluxe Facial: $350
Hand Massage: $90
Foot Massage: $130
Body Massage (30 mins): $250
Body Massage (40 mins): $300
Beauty Package: $450
Waxing Procedures: $100 to $300
Of course, it’s a hair shop too and haircuts are $180.
Located on 2nd floor, hours are from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm daily. Mondays are off.
Update: The Hair Shop has yet to re-open after Covid, and I doubt if it ever will.
Just like the spa, the gym is top notch as well, as they usually are in older Macau hotels.
Large and in charge, it has everything you need for a full and thorough workout.
THE LAST WORD
The Regency Art Hotel is one of Macau’s best kept secrets. For around $500 per night, the rooms are amazing and the spa and pool facilities even better. Don’t let older online reviews dissuade you from trying it out, because they’ve turned things around 100%.
REGENCY ART HOTEL LOCATION
The Regency Art Hotel is located in the Northeastern tip of Taipa, right beside Altira. It’s easy to get to from the Historic Peninsula via bus, just take any going to Taipa over the Wynn/MGM bridge and get off at the first stop.