Swish, striking luxury resort set in Galaxy Macau complex
Location along Cotai strip means ample restaurants and bars nearby
Impressive suites come with heated indoor relaxation pools
Villas extend to outside pools with whirlpool sections
Bathrooms have Japanese tubs and high-tech toilets
Huge resort deck with sandy beach and water ride
Main swimming pool with private poolside cabanas
Extensive, high-end spa with 19 treatment rooms
Health club with heated indoor pool and modern gym
Free fast Wi-Fi throughout the resort
Set away from most of Macau's main attractions
On-site dining options relatively limited
The 256-room Banyan Tree Macau is a swanky, luxury resort set in the glitzy Galaxy Macau complex on Macau's Vegas-like Cotai strip. Spanning over 30 floors, the hotel has seriously high-end and large suites, all with private relaxation plunge pools. Villas open to outdoor pools and all bathrooms feature Japanese tubs and high-tech toilets. Leisure and spa facilities are some of the best in town -- a highlight being the terrace with a beach and river ride. Dining is excellent, but options are limited, though scores of eateries are located in the wider complex. Overall, it's hands-down one of the most impressive resort hotels in the area -- and one of the most expensive -- and understandably popular with families as much as romancing couples. Those wanting a blow-the-budget stay with a more party vibe will prefer the Wynn Macau.
High-rise luxury resort with opulent, serene, and Asian-infused atmosphere
Opened in 2011 as part of the $2-billion Galaxy Macau resort complex, the Banyan Tree Macau has the distinction of being the first high-rise resort in Macau -- and it continues to be among the most impressive. Its immense shimmering gold facade crowned with ornamental domes and Neoclassical touches certainly sets an opulent tone for what is unmistakably a luxury-level stay. Inside is no less ornate, starting with an immaculately presented and moody low-lit lobby, with contemporary Asian-infused design that combines carved wood, natural stone, and plush velvet furnishings. Aromatic oils add to the exotic ambience, and in the evening candle-lit sconces line the hallways to the elevators -- adorned with an explosion of intricate patterning, shimmering gold, and marble illuminated by chandeliers dripping in crystals. The grounds are crisscrossed with wide footpaths lined by mature tropical plants and manicured shrubbery, and often feature colorfully costumed performers that add a splash of carnival. Generally, however, the mood is serene and seriously high-end, attracting a mixture of vacationing couples and families -- often on short breaks from neighboring Hong Kong, but also throughout China and beyond.
Set in the heart of glitzy Vegas-esque Cotai district, a 10-minute drive from airport
The hotel is located in the Vegas-style, purpose-built neighborhood of Cotai, a gambling and tourism strip situated between the Coloane and Taipa districts south of central Macau. Part of the Galaxy Macau complex, guests have direct access to over 100 dining options and 200 retail outlets, while the surroundings consist of other top-notch hotels and casinos. Five minutes' drive away is Taipa Village, a touristy historic quarter that offers a blend of local and Portuguese cultures, as well as the Tapia Homes Museum. Most of Macau's more interesting sights and lively neighborhoods are across the harbor. It will take about 20 minutes to reach destinations like the historic Ruins of St. Paul's and the oldest parts of the city by car or taxi. Macau International Airport and the main ferry port are both a brisk 10 minute-drive from the hotel.
Huge suites and villas -- all with private pools and Japanese tubs
The 256 rooms comprise a dizzying number of types, which break down into two main categories: suites and villas. Decor tends to follow a similar theme, however, with a swish though understated combination of Asian-inspired design touches, warm earthy tones, and dark-wood paneling. Even entry-level suites are huge, starting at 1,075 square feet (100 square meters), while the one-bedroom villas come in at close to 5,000 square feet (450 square meters) -- the largest is more than double that. Beds are also large by any standards, and particularly comfortable with pillow menus (with samples). All suites include at least small indoor relaxation pools overlooking the city surrounds, while villas extend to outdoor pools with whirlpool sections, plus terraces housing loungers.
Sky Villa Suites swap outdoor spaces for top-level floors and spectacular views. Standard amenities include 42-inch flat-screen TVs (in bedrooms and lounges), quality music systems, coffee- and tea-making facilities (including espresso machines), and well-stocked minibars. Guests can create the right mood with the choice of incense and scented oils. Large bathrooms all feature Japanese wooden tubs for two, double showers, and Japanese-style automated toilets, plus villas add steam rooms. Hotel-brand toiletries, bathrobes, and slippers are also provided.
The world's largest resort deck with water ride, splash parks, and sandy beach
With its various swimming pools, waterslides, splash parks, and even sandy beach lined with loungers, the Grand Resort Deck (the world's largest) stands out among the hotel's many impressive features. The world’s longest sky-top water ride is an additional deck attractions. The property's extensive and particularly swish spa is considered one of the best in Macau, featuring their signature Rainmist Steam Bath treatment among dozens of others across 19 treatment rooms. Sunsets can be enjoyed from the hotel's main pool, which is also surrounded by daybeds, loungers, and eight luxury cabanas -- private cabanas also offer poolside snacks and barbecues. A 31st-floor health club offers state-of-the-art fitness equipment and an indoor swimming pool. Dining options are adequate, though not extensive, ranging from the hotel's signature Thai eatery (which also serves buffet and a la carte breakfast) to a luxury oyster bar, seafood grill, and steak restaurant. Romantic dinners for two can be arranged, which includes live music on the resort deck (reservations necessary). Resort-wide Wi-Fi is free of charge and speedy.
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