Whether you are in the market for a family-friendly or adults-only trip to Macau, Kate Farr has the inside scoop on where to eat, sleep and play.
Looking for a holiday without the hassle? Our sister SAR is just a short ferry ride away, and offers plenty to keep kids entertained. But it’s also an excellent option for a short grown-up getaway if you have some childcare chips to cash in – gambling strictly optional!
GETTING THERE – FAMILY
It really couldn’t be easier to mini-break in Macau with the family. If you’re heading for a sneaky mid-week getaway, then simply rock up at Sheung Wan’s iconic red Shun Tak ferry terminal, buy your ferry tickets at the counter and – assuming you have remembered to bring everyone’s Hong Kong ID and passport – away you go!
At weekends and busier times of year, such as holidays, it’s advisable to book your journey in advance online. Depending on whether you’re planning to head into central Macau or Cotai, you’ll need to choose between the Cotai Water Jet or TurboJET services, so do check your destination before booking.
From HK$171 per person, per single journey.
GETTING THERE – ADULTS
For an extra-special, adults-only splurge, why not splash out on a chopper transfer? Sky Shuttle runs regular helicopter services between Hong Kong and Macau, and while it may not be a budget option, the views are magnificent, making this a fun treat for a big birthday or anniversary gift.
HK$4,300 per person, per single journey.
WHERE TO STAY – FAMILY
When it comes to Macau with the whole team in tow, you really can’t beat Sheraton Grand Macau’s family suites. Offering a comfy master bedroom for parents, with an adjoining kids’ room featuring brightly coloured bunks, a games console, DVD player and craft table, the suite also includes kids’ toiletries, robes and slippers. You can even borrow a stroller to keep your packing light. In fact, the rooms are so well thought-out your biggest challenge will be persuading your family to leave.
From HK$2,574 per night.
WHERE TO STAY – ADULTS
Meanwhile, parents in need of peace and pampering should check out Banyan Tree Macau for the ultimate in indulgent escapes. Each of the hotel’s spacious suites comes with its very own in-room relaxation pool, wooden soaking tub and plush bedding, while the Banyan Tree Spa has a range of award-wining treatments to melt away stress, guaranteeing a serene stay.
From HK$2,519 per night.
WHAT TO EAT – FAMILY
No trip to Macau is complete without a meal at Fernando. This Macanese institution dishes up fresh charcoal-grilled seafood, meats and salads in a casual space that offers great value for money. The beachfront location on Coloane Island, with plenty of space for kids to play, is an added bonus.
HK$450 for a couple, for a two-course meal with wine.
WHAT TO EAT – ADULTS
Fine dining stalwart Robuchon Au Dôme is perched atop the Lisboa Hotel, offering three Michelin-starred fine dining with a distinctly French accent. And while dinner can quickly add up to a pricy affair, the restaurant’s weekday set lunches are a steal, representing excellent value for an unforgettable meal.
From MOP688 (HK$668) per person, for weekday set lunch.
WHERE TO PLAY – FAMILY
There are near-endless options for fun family activities in Macau, and how you choose to spend your trip will most likely depend on the hotel in which you’re staying. Most of the larger resorts have on-site kids’ clubs, family theatre shows, indoor soft play centres and excellent pool facilities, so you won’t need to venture far unless the mood takes you.
The Sands Cotai Central Little Big Club All Stars Breakfast is a high-energy family show that takes place over the most important meal of the day. Parents can enjoy their coffee hot just for once, while kids breakfast with Thomas the Tank Engine, Barney, Fireman Sam, Angelina Ballerina and many more.
MOP238 for adults and MOP138 for kids.
After brekkie, burn off some of that energy with a day at Aqua World. Located at The Parisian Macau, this huge complex offers pools, fountains, sprinklers and the vast Jules Verne Airship – a life-sized pirate ship packed with water slides.
MOP160 per person/ MOP480 for a family of four.
A world away from the high-octane Cotai Strip, the Macau Science Centre is well worth a visit. There are dedicated children’s galleries and a planetarium, as well as permanent robotics, and food science and space displays to fascinate enquiring little minds.
MOP25 per adult/ MOP15 for children aged three and over. Under-threes get in for free.
WHERE TO PLAY – ADULTS
Meanwhile, grown-ups who like a flutter are free to gamble to their heart’s content in Macau’s near-endless casinos, all of which are strictly for over-18s. But there’s more to Macau than its gaming tables, so prepare to be surprised by this former Portuguese colony’s hidden depths.
Feeling fearless? Prove it, with a trip up (and very rapidly down again!) the Macau Tower. Standing 338 metres above the city centre, the tower draws thrill-seekers from all over the region to try their hand at bungee jumping, sky walking and tower climbing. Safely managed by extreme sports experts AJ Hackett, this is the perfect experience to push you out of that comfort zone.
From MOP3,488 for bungee jumping, MOP788 for sky walking and MOP2,288 for tower climbing.
If you’re looking for some good, old-fashioned razzle-dazzle, then the Viva La Broadway show combines burlesque, Latin dance, illusions and lasers in a fast-paced extravaganza. A riot of colour, music and costume, this is a great night out at the Broadway Theatre in the heart of Cotai.
MOP150-380 per person.
Bringing Balearic beats to Macau, relive your pre-kids party days with a night out clubbing at Pacha Macau in Studio City. This outpost of the famous Ibiza super-club regularly plays host to household name DJs such as Roger Sanchez, Felix Da Housecat and Fatboy Slim, so pack your fluro body paint and reach for the lasers! Varies according to line-up.
Images: www.wikimedia.orgTags: broadway, macau, family activities, adult activities, sheraton macau, sky shuttle, sands cotai, banyan tree, aqua world