The word ‘staycation’ has become commonplace in Macau’s lexicon these days. Then there’s ‘seacation’ for those keen enough to board a cruise ship and take to the seas. And I even came across ‘hospication’ the other day when a friend was describing his last 2 weeks spent as an inmate of our local San Januario hospital.
But back to staycation … and here in Macau, when it comes to vacationing in one of our hotels, we’re spoiled for choice. My partner and I have enjoyed the hospitality of the Parisian, then the MGM Cotai, the Wynn Palace, the Grand Lapa, Studio City, the Four Seasons and lately the Pousada de Coloane. Such a range I know, but each one fun in their own way. And in normal, non-Covid circumstances it would never occur to us to do this, but it’s a fabulous opportunity to get an inside view of the hospitality and gaming businesses that keep this town ticking.
We go about our daily lives, driving to and from Macau and Coloane, past the glitzy glamorous buildings that line Cotai, and unless one works for one of the integrated resorts, you’d have little idea of what they look like inside – the guest rooms, the pool decks, the spas, even the restaurants. Now having stayed in many, the experiences put meat on the bone so to speak … we have wonderful memories of the flying dolphins at MGM Cotai, the cable car circling Wynn Palace’s fountain at night, holed up during a typhoon in a super-comfortable Studio City room, or an early morning dip in one of the gorgeous Four Seasons pools, the list goes on.
And it’s the people we meet on these staycations that’s important too; the diversity of cultures that make up the fabric of Macau society. So eager to please, so willing to help. Sure, one comes across a dud once in a while, but generally when it comes to Macau’s service standards and the progress made over the past decade, we can stand proud.
It’s so true that more often than not we don’t know as much about our own city as we may do about Singapore or Bangkok, Tokyo or Taipei. With traveling so restricted we get a chance to explore our own country, rather than jet off elsewhere …. Our twenty-two or so UNESCO World Heritage sites now have us as their captive audience and we should make the best of it. The fascinating Mandarin’s House with its fusion of East and West architecture, the fabulous churches and the discoveries down historic little back streets and patios behind St. Paul’s.
And lately, coinciding with Macau’s three-day mass Covid testing, when the weather was humid and raining, cinemas, swimming pools and children’s’ entertainment were all closed … a treat: the much-awaited soft opening of Grand Lisboa Palace. Attentive staff, beautifully dressed in their smart elegant uniforms. Families strolling through the corridors of Macau’s newest hotel casino integrated resort exploring the shiny new space. And the highlight – seven of Macau’s artist giants commissioned to produce two huge art installations each, now on display for us to feast our eyes on. We’ve been back three times already!
So yes, though most of us yearn to travel beyond the confines of Macau, the staycation is as good a way as any to stay sane!