The sparkling coastal city of Macau is a colorful mix of Old World colonial style and casino-laden glitz. Located on the mouth of the Pearl River, Macau consists of a peninsula and two islands, Coloane and Taipa. Portuguese traders first settled in Macau in the 16th century and Macau remained a colony until the handover in 1999, making Macau both the first and last European colony in China.
The Portuguese left a distinctively Mediterranean footprint there with ornate churches, cobblestone streets, tantalizing delicacies and even a distinctive Creole language, Patuá, spoken by a handful of “Macanese” citizens. (Cantonese and Portuguese are the official languages). The fusion of Portuguese and Chinese culture provides a zesty ambiance and culture unique to the region.
But the big draw in Macau is the casino culture. As the only region in China (and Hong Kong) that allows gambling, Macau is a haven for high rollers and tourists seeking a Vegas-type experience. The Venetian, the largest single-structure hotel in Asia, is home to a 550,000-square-foot casino floor that is three times the size of its sister-property in Vegas. The Sands Macau is the world’s largest casino with respect to total number of table games. With casino giants like the Sands, the Venetian, the MGM Grand and numerous others, Macau is the world's highest-volume gambling center.
Construction is booming in Macau to accommodate this tourist-driven economy. Almost a quarter of Macau's workforce is employed in either the gambling industry or the restaurant and hotel business.
For the non-gambler, Macau offers a bevy of sightseeing opportunities, including the A-Ma Temple, the Ruins of St. Paul's, Mong-Há Fort and a variety of dining and shopping opportunities.
When Macau was returned to Chinese rule, it became a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China and, like nearby Hong Kong, Macau benefits from the principle of “one country, two systems.” This system means the Central People’s Government is responsible for Macau's defense and foreign affairs. Macau maintains its own legal system, police force, and monetary system.
Macau’s distinctive society, blending East and West, offers something for all travelers to enjoy.
Venetian Macao — Out of this World
Glamorous and ginormous, the US$2.4 billion, 10.5 million-square-foot Venetian Macao is the largest single structure hotel in Asia. Like its Vegas counterpart, the Venetian Macao is a Renaissance Venice-themed property featuring replicas of famed Venetian landmarks such as St. Mark’s Square, the Doge’s Palace and man-made indoor canals replete with gondolas. Non-gamblers will indulge in an impressive one million-square-feet of high-end shopping. The Venetian Macao, which opened for business in August 2007, has 3,000 all-suite guest rooms, beginning at approximately $205 a night.
The Venetian’s massive casino floor is the largest in the world and houses 870 table games and more than 3,400 slot machines. The facility also features the 15,000-seat Venetian Arena, which hosts professional sporting events and other major concerts and entertainment.
For business travelers, the Venetian Macao offers 1.2 million-square- feet of meeting, convention and exhibition space. The facility features the largest pillar-less ballroom in Asia and has the catering facilities to provide a five-course banquet for 15,000 guests. The Venetian Theatre is home to the popular Cirque du Soleil’s ZAIA, a mega-production in true Cirque fashion complete with fantastical creatures and stellar performances.
The Cotai Strip
The Venetian Macao, owned and operated by the Las Vegas Sands, put the Cotai Strip on the map. Named for Macau’s two islands, Coloane and Taipa the Cotai Strip is inspired by the Las Vegas Strip and mirrors the stretch of casinos found there.
The Cotai Strip project is invested by Las Vegas Sands, and Sands currently has a trademark application pending in the U.S. for rights to the name “Cotai Strip,” but Cotai Strip is used generically to describe the area.
The Sands’ Cotai Strip project is often confused with Estrada do Istmo, the actual road connecting Taipa and Coloane, or even broader, the whole district. Some hotels open for business or in development on the Strip include: the Venetian Macao Resort Hotel, Four Seasons Hotel Macau, and the Wynn.
May 13-14, 2010 at the Venetian MacaoContact Nancy CalabreseCome, Network & Win!