A spacious 4-bedroom, 4-bathroom lake-side home in the heart of down-town Macau waits patiently for the lift of Covid-related travel restrictions

It’s not often that one comes across such a well appointed and large family home that’s sat waiting so long and so patiently for a next tenant.  Usually a furnished 4-bedroom, 4-bathroom property, with multiple terraces, stunning views of Nam Van lake and central location would be snapped up.

But these are strange and different times.  Thanks to Covid-19, since shortly after Chinese New Year no foreign passport holders have been permitted to travel to Macau; the ripple effect of this has undoubtedly impacted the real estate leasing market here.

Those who rent their homes and are lucky enough to still have jobs are hunkered down and staying put – with generally a slightly reduced rent negotiated with their landlord.  Or there’s the move to de-clutter and down-size.  Or, of course, with blue-card holders being let go left and right, they leave Macau, and leave swathes of empty apartments behind them.  Businesses that at one time couldn’t get enough of large, quality, furnished apartments to accommodate management employees from Hong Kong or China have contracted, their staff returned home.  More apartments sitting empty.  How long this will last is anyone’s guess.



Belonging to local businessman Mr. Wai this property in Lake View Mansion has been in his family ever since the building was first occupied in 1995.  “We lived here ourselves originally,” he explains, “but as our children grew up and left for university overseas my wife and I decided to move to something smaller and to have this as an income-property.  Over the years it’s certainly helped towards the university fees!”

Perfect for a family of five or six, it offers space and convenience.  And did I mention the multiple terraces and spectacular lake views?!  Granted, there’s no clubhouse facility as there is in the newer Lake View Tower or the more luxurious One Central further along the lake but for some this is an asset as it means that the monthly management fees are considerably cheaper.  Compare One Central’s HKD2.5 per square foot, per month, with the Mansion’s MOP0.8 per square foot per month.  So plenty of savings each month that can be spent on a nearby hotel clubhouse or gym membership if needed.

“Over the years we’ve opted to rent our apartment as furnished as this has proved most convenient for tenants.  We understand that a lot of families already living here tend to have their own furniture so this eliminates them from the potential pool of tenants.  In these more challenging times we may have to review our position”, Mr Wai smiles, “but let’s wait and see – our agent tells us that once the travel restrictions are lifted they have a number of expatriates looking for furnished accommodation.  I know our furniture is quite traditional but its solid, good quality and it would be a pity to let it all go now only to have to buy new later”.

As one enters the apartment into a short hallway, to the immediate right there are two bedrooms both with ensuite bathrooms and terraces.  Ahead is an open living-dining area.  The kitchen, laundry and housekeeper’s room are to the left, the main terrace overlooking the lake is to the right.  Further ahead still, to the right is the master bedroom and ensuite bathroom, and a fourth bedroom-cum-study with separate bathroom on the left.

The sun shines brightly and its rays sparkle on the water.  From the terrace one can spend many happy hours enjoying the fresh air and scenery, looking down    over some of Macau’s most iconic landmarks and UNESCO World Heritage sites.  From the U-shaped pink and white Government Palace (now office) and the 460 year old San Lourenco church with its clock and bell towers, the tree-lined Praia Grande meanders alongside Nam Van and on further to Sai Van lake towards Barra and the mouth of the inner harbor.  Dotted with stately old low-rise buildings and local restaurants with alfresco dining, it’s a popular spot for sports enthusiasts to jog or cycle around the lake and local couples, hand in hand, to take an evening stroll after dinner.

The beautiful and legendary Bela Vista sits in her elevated position on Penha Hill at the junction of both lakes, a Grande Dame, regal in her yellow and white, an ornate neoclassical beacon from the past.  For 150 years she has served the community as a hospital, a school, several times a hotel and today as the Portuguese Consul’s residence.

Slightly further along the Penha Hill, in all its pink and white splendor is the equally imposing Government House, its famous tennis courts, gardens and little pergola and viewing area for visitors to also take in the views.  Penha Church at the hill top has been a fixture of the area since 1622.

Beyond the inner harbor are the hills of China’s Zhuhai and skyscraper buildings emerging at break-neck speed.

Literally on the edge of the central business district, with Macau’s only Grade A office towers adjacent, the immediate surroundings of Lake View Mansion have a surprisingly relaxed and leisurely atmosphere.  Retail space on the ground floor is occupied by a handful of little restaurants that also take advantage of being on the lake with its breezes and boardwalk.  Then there’s a sizeable MacDonald’s on the corner that draws a steady flow of clientele that grab their takeaway lunch and go perch on the water’s edge to eat it.

So what is to become of this lovely, 3800 square feet family home?  “We hope that entry restrictions to foreigners are lifted soon as they will likely be our next tenants” says Mr. Wai.  “It’s not good to leave a home unlived in for too long.  We have our housekeeper going in regularly to keep it clean and aired, but a home needs to be lived in and appreciated!”

Published by Macau Closer in late November.  One week after the article appeared, Ambiente Properties found a perfect long term tenant for this lovely property.

Text and photographs by Suzanne Watkinson