And when I say aged opulence, I mean this in all the good respects. With new newer, excessive casino hotel monstrosities that have popped up in Macau in recent years, thank god for a well preserved classic like Grand Lapa. To use a wine metaphor, if you want bright, overpriced new vintage like Beaujolais nouveau, go with one of the big, new, glitzy casino hotels. But if you appreciate the finer nuances of a classic old world vintage, Grand Lapa is the place. From its spacious, elegant lobby decked out in actual antique furnishings and art, to the slightly ornate guest rooms, this hotel has just about everything I seek in a luxury property, yet without the high price. Not to mention the stellar service the Mandarin Oriental chain is famous for. Not only did the desk and concierge staff go beyond the call of duty in addressing our various questions and needs, but they made a point of remembering my name, a seemingly small detail which really goes a long way in the service department. I had let them know in advance that we were celebrating my birthday and upon check-in, they upgraded our room to a superior, resort view. On the eve of my birthday, unbeknownst to us, the staff snuck into our room while we were out for dinner, leaving behind a lavish birthday cake from their in-house bakery. How many hotels do this?
We dined in two of the hotel's excellent restaurants, and when I asked staff if I could bring my own bottle of wine into the dining room, they not only allowed it, but waived the corkage fee because it was my birthday! Again, it's the little service details like this that add up over the course of a three-day stay.
The resort and spa part of the hotel is almost, itself, worth the price of admission. I'm not usually a swimming pool person, but I could lounge around Grand Lapa's huge pool (set amid lush tropical greenery) all day - and I did!
Some reviewers have complained about the aged state of the rooms, and it's true, you'll find no state-of-the-art high tech gadgetry or flat screen TVs in the guest rooms, but the rooms are extremely well maintained and housekeeping staff sneak in a couple times throughout to day to remake the beds, add fresh towels and amenities. We found the room perfectly satisfactory. If anything, the ambience hearkens back to bygone Portuguese era of region, which added to our overall experience of Macau. If you stay at a self-contained new hotel like the Sands, Wynn or worse, Venetian, you may as well be in Disneyland, Las Vegas or a mega-mall with a hotel attached. We wanted to tap into Macau's rich history, not its crass casino culture. Grand Lapa turned out to be the perfect hotel.
We obtained a very good rate by booking well in advance online, but even Grand Lapa's rack rates won't set you back as much as one of the big , new casino hotels will.
Our only regret was having to leave the hotel. We can't wait to return!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Modern 18-story waterfront hotel with elegantly decorated interior, situated near the Outer Harbour seawall. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Lapa, Macau Hotel Macau
- Macau Mandarin Oriental
- Mandarin Macau Peninsula
- Mandarin Oriental Macau Peninsula
- Macau Peninsula Mandarin Oriental