The Grand Lisboa is the epitome of bling. Inspired by the lotus – Macau’s national flower – and the long feathers of carnival costumes, its distinctive lines can be seen from most parts of the city. Seated atop an egg-shaped structure derived from the shape of Russian Imperial Faberge eggs, the Grand Lisboa stands out from the crowd, in all its glittering, gaudy glory.

Grand Lisboa Casino Opens

The flagship of gambling tycoon Stanley Ho’s Sociedade de Jogos de Macau, the Grand Lisboa casino opened in February 2007, followed by the hotel in December 2008.

The entrance is full of chandeliers, gleaming marble and museum quality artwork, including the Qing Dynasty bronze horse head bought by Stanley Ho for US$8.84 million in 2007 which takes pride of place.

The hotel boasts 430 rooms complete with flat screen televisions and jacuzzis, the Lisboa Spa and a ballroom, while the Grand Lisboa’s Cantonese restaurant The Eight was awarded one star in the Michelin Guide Hong Kong Macau 2009.

Macau’s Gaudy Casino Architecture

Spurred on by the arrival of Las Vegas-style casinos such as the Sands Macau, chief architect Dennis Lau wanted to create a place full of flamboyance and excitement. His inspiration for the project came from a picture of Brazilian carnival dancers wearing headdresses of long colourful feathers. “These feathers were the perfect symbol of the expression I had been looking for,” he told Macau Closer magazine in January 2009.

Conception to completion was a lengthy process, with design work commencing in 2002, and construction in 2004. The complexities of the architectural design posed a number of challenges, but also provided an opportunity to enhance the hotel experience. The structure arches out by up to 21 metres from the waist of the tower to the tip of the feather, with the result that each room is slightly different.

It is probably inevitable that such a striking building should evoke strong opinions. The December 2008 edition of Business Traveler said “The entire project is bathed in ostentation, with the lobby alone featuring several thousand Swarovski crystals.”

Macau’s casinos are a monument to conspicuous consumption and, financial crisis permitting, are set to become even more gaudy. Gambling in Macau has never been about good taste. Below are some more top luxury hotels in Macau as mentioned in website for casino lovers.

MGM Macau

Architecturally, the MGM resembles a curvy, tri-colored wave, guarded by a signature golden lion. More decorative glass awaits visitors in the Grande Praça, the MGM’s glass-ceilinged conservatory, which encloses a Portuguese town square, complete with European-styled building facades and an ornate floor modeled after Macau’s iconic Senado Square. Infused with innovative design, and equipped with 12 restaurants and bars, the Six Senses Spa, and plenty of meeting and convention space, the MGM is a unique destination filled with entertaining diversions.

Hotel Class: 5-Stars

Address: Avenida Dr. Sun Yat Sen, NAPE, Macau, People’s Republic of China

Tel: +853 8802 8888

Wynn Macau

Wynn Macau is located smack in the middle of all the action, next to the flashy Grand Lisboa and the MGM Grand. Featuring an upscale shopping esplanade filled with the likes of Cartier, Armani, Louis Vuitton, and Versace, and a spa with over 30 therapies on the menu, Wynn Macau has all the luxury trimmings covered. Surrounded with five-star amenities, guests enjoy brown and white accented rooms with floor to ceiling windows filled with sea or city views. Performance Lake showcases synchronized fountains complete with lights and music, and through a glass wall in the lobby, poolside guests strut their stuff.

Hotel Class: 5-Stars

Address: Rua Cidade de Sintra, NAPE, Macau, People’s Republic of China

Tel: +853 2888 9966

Luxury Hotels in Cotai, Taipa, and Coloane

Roughly 15-20 minutes by taxi from downtown Macau, and 5 minutes from Macau International Airport, you’ll discover the Cotai strip, Macau’s challenge to Las Vegas. This casino-lined street is populated with mega casinos and designer shopping, located on reclaimed land that now joins the two islands of Taipa and Coloane as one.

Grand Hyatt Macau

The Grand Hyatt Macau is a elegant retreat with skyward-sweeping ceilings and polished reflective floors. The dramatic lobby is filled with contemporary sculptures, show-stopping flower arrangements, and geometrically accented walls. Guest rooms are both modern and spacious, with an abundance of light and glass. This designer hotel also has exquisite dining options including a patisserie, contemporary Asian fusion options, and Northern Chinese cuisine. A world-class spa, and state of the art meeting facilities are big draws as well. Overall, the Grand Hyatt is a great choice for travelers seeking comfort amongst cutting-edge design.

Hotel Class: 5-Stars

Address: Grand Hyatt Macau, City of Dreams, Estrada do Istmo, Cotai

Macau, People’s Republic of China

Tel: +853 8868 1234

The Venetian Macau

Like its Las Vegas twin, the Venetian Macau features Italian-inspired architecture and grand canal shoppes with singing gondoliers below ceilings painted with clouds. With 3,000 suites to choose from, this massive hotel also boasts the world’s largest casino floor. It’s easy to get lost here, or in the disorienting maze of shops. A destination in itself, the Venetian also showcases a long list of entertainers, including its own Cirque du Soleil show, Zaia. This is a great hotel for those desiring a hassle-free experience, since there isn’t much reason to leave the property.

Hotel Class: 5-Stars

Address: The Venetian Macau, Estrada da Baía de N. Senhora da Esperança, s/n

Taipa, Macao, People’s Republic of China

Tel: +853 2882 8888

The Westin Resort, Macau

Located on Coloane island along the South China Sea, this resort offers a secluded getaway from the frenzied bustle of neighboring Hong Kong and the fast-paced beat of casino-obsessed Macau. Located near Hac Sa Beach on 150 acres, this removed property has its own 18-hole golf course, boutique spa, and indoor and outdoor plunge pools. Its brightly colored rooms and landscaped grounds play off the hotel’s beach location, offering guests a quiet hideaway from the city.

Hotel Class: 4.5-Stars

Address: The Westin Resort Macau, 1918 Estrada De Hac Sa

Macau, People’s Republic of China

Tel: +853 2887 1111

By Manali