Saturday, 27 October 2012

The Strip

Made you look? Much to your disappointment the strip I refer to is off the geographic rather than the buck-naked kind.  Deriving its name from the Vegas Strip, The Cotai Strip is a project funded by the Vegas Sands and a strip of casinos, hotels and other dens of vice in the Cotai district of Macau, China’s only gambling destination. So from Hong Kong I decided to make the 50 minute journey to Macau and as I love my Hotel reviews, I thought I’d tell you about my stay.

I didn’t come to Macau to gamble, try my luck at Baccarat or leave with a suitcase full of Patacas.  As a somewhat atypical visitor to the place, what I sought was some R&R (Rest and relaxation) after my R&R (Rock and Roll) lifestyle in Hong Kong… actually it was pretty tame, but indulge me by pretending you believe me when I say it wasn’t.

The formula never changes. A cabana by the pool, some scrummy local delicacies (culinary) and a fluffy marshmallow of a bed to sleep off the day's exertions.




The MGM grand was too hot. The Mandarin left me cold. But as always, The Four Seasons was just right; I know, as a brunette I probably shouldn't be using that analogy.

The Four Seasons Macau is nestled within the mammoth Venetian complex, with direct access to the casino and The Venetian shopping centre. However, the atmosphere is so warm and cosy that you would never guess what lies beyond the plush corridors and the neoclassical Chino-Portuguese elegance. Moreover, the 5 restaurants,  several pools, huge gym and 2000 meter spa mean if lady luck isn't on your side, lady solace will be.  

My room was beautifully appointed in warm golds and yellows, baskets of fresh fruit, violet orchids and a bathroom to oo-and-ah over. The journey across the  South China Sea had left me slightly sea-sick and I had casually mentioned this at check in. So it was incredibly sweet that when I was walking through the lobby I was approached by a member of staff and asked how I was feeling, she even offered to send me up some chicken congee to settle my stomach. It was also incredibly nice that every staff member addressed me by name, so even though I was travelling alone, I never felt the ache of being invisible in a new city. 

My days were spent in splendid solitude. Reading Ian McEwan's brilliant new book Sweet Tooth in my private cabana in the pool; exploring the city; trying custard egg tarts from every vendor; visiting the casinos and when their electric dazzle began to wear, retreating to the sanctuary of the Four Seasons Spa. I had the Four Seasons signature massage and facial. My therapist, Aida, might as well have had a magic wand. The massage melted me to butter- not the lardy kind mind you, but the soft golden bain-mari kind, suitable for anything, even the most complex patisserie; similarly I suddenly felt unconquerable and had there been mountains in Macau, I would have climbed them. 

The day of my departure was a trial. I ended up taking the later ferry into Hong Kong because the lure of the sun lounger, swaying palm trees and the gentle murmur of cicadas proved my undoing.



















2 comments:

  1. you totally inspired me to travel more...amazing photos.

    bellaconscience.blogspot.com

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