Mar 7, 2010

A Night At The Venetian Macau

The Venetian Macao – one of my few 5 star hotel experiences





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We arrived at the West Lobby of The Venetian at 6-ish PM. The lobby was quite crowded. It was Saturday night in the Chinese New Year holiday season, no wonder.

We came to the high end palace as our usual semi-backpacker selves, still wishing we had warmer coats and probably long-johns on. The lobby was warm enough, but cool breeze would blow in to the room each time people went in and out of the entrance.

The receptionist spoke English fluidly with rather hard to understand accent, so several times we had to ask him to repeat what he was saying.
We queried about the facilities included in the room rate, which was slightly under our expectation because we should get discount for breakfast etc according to our understanding with what was written in the website . But it’d be a hassle to prove anything cos we didn’t have the details printed nor a mobile gadget with internet connection (wifi connection is charged – Vietnam is way ahead and much more tourist-friendly in the wi-fi services compared to all the countries we visited in this trip).

It’s a MOP 3,231 / night Royal Suite (tax inclusive), the cheapest rate available for that particular night which we booked a few days earlier via their website, and we got no breakfast with that, no other frills except the room and the usual amenities in a 5 star hotel room.



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Wow.. this was the first time I’ve ever paid for a 5 star hotel room in my whole life! I’ve stayed in 5 star hotels before, but it was all work related, not a cent coming out of my pocket. And I think the same thing goes for Renny. But this time, these two cats got very curious about all the fuss about this luxurious and highly promoted hotel-resort-casino, and luckily they didn’t get killed by the pricey curiosity.. :D (Thank God for the golden handshake ^_^ )

The Royal Suite – exclusively for royals

Our room was at the very end of a long hallway on the south wing of 6th floor. To get to the elevators of the wing, we went passed by cafes and restaurants at the busy hallways.


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As soon as we went in to the room, oh we were so happy…! Why? Because it was warm in there! I finally could take off my leggings and finally saw my own legs for the first time in 2 days! Isn’t that weird?


We took our time before (and after) washing up and getting ready for dinner. Renny snuggled on the comfy bed and me on the sofa, checked out the room amenities, snacked while watching TV (each person a TV), and exchanged our amazements of staying in that kinda hotel. We didn’t even bother to swap our coupon for a welcome drink at some restaurant on Level 3. Well, I didn’t even know that we had one, but Renny did.

Daylight PM

At about 9ish PM we got out to have dinner – or should I say supper? Judging from the looks of the restaurants, we thought the food would be way out of our budget. With only US $ 5 for each meal in our budget, we directly looked for the food court which was on the Level 3. On the way there, we passed the Grand Canal where the gondola rides are, and the high end shops with some brands that we hadn’t even heard of before.

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The whole floor is under the bright blue sky with white snowy clouds. What? A supper in the daylight? I guess that’s what they want people to feel, like the day is endless and we’ll never run out of time… hence we can gamble in the casino and shop on and on and on… until we’re penniless. Oh that would be terrible, self control is the key, my friend ;)

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Renny explains about the Venetian mall
and Grand Canal in English & Indonesian



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But maybe they just want people to always feel bright and sunny and just have the best time. Having a meal at 10 PM felt like we were having an al fresco luncheon in Venice… how wonderful is that? Kinda pampered my fantasy of Europe, it did.



We went around and into the shops after supper. A lot of shops had ‘sale’ and ‘up to … % off’ signs on their display windows. Of course that attracted us to go in but we often came out empty handedly. Renny managed to get herself a coat, a warm one that’s very suitable for the weather surrounding us in those few days. I forgot how much it was, but I think she got at Bossini and I’m sure that kind coat would cost 3 times more expensive in Jakarta. So Renny got a good deal.
My feet were tired, shops started to close towards midnight, and the bright blue sky turned dim. It was a call to go back to our room and have a pleasant rest…



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A tour of the Royal Suite

The bed and the whole room was super cozy. And we couldn’t not compare it with San Va in which we stayed in the previous night, that we didn’t get out of the room until it was time to check out a little before noon the next day.
You can see the detailed description of our room in these following videos. We speak mostly in Indonesian in these videos, but I think you can get our points from the visuals.


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Honestly, we didn’t feel like checking out

But we had to keep our feet on the ground. Then, after checking out after quite a long queue, we deposited our bags in the bag deposit counter – at the same lobby – for free, then purchased ferry tickets to Hong Kong, also in the lobby. Surprisingly, the woman who sold the ferry tickets was Indonesian! She served us in Indonesian, though she speaks fluent Chinese and English as well. It’s always nice to meet people from our own country abroad. As much as I enjoy my time anywhere in the world, meeting Indonesians – especially if unexpected – gives me a little bit of homey feeling :)
The Cotai Class ferry ticket cost us MOP 154 each, departing from Taipa Ferry Terminal to Hong Kong island. Hey, that’s great. I once found in the internet that it would cost about MOP 200. Alright, so I could splurge the extra MOP 46 on something else… LOL.
Shopping continued

It’s quite a bliss that we came to Macau in the transition from winter to spring, so there were so many coats and jackets on sale, and I finally got one for me.
Some brands are also available in Jakarta’s shopping malls, but the collections are not entirely the same. And I’d have to trust Renny about that ‘cos she knows literally what’s in stores and what’s not.




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Streets of Europe

Besides the gondola ride and the interior/exteriors of the building, the street performances would also take you – or at least your mind and imagination – to Europe, Italy to be more specific.

We saw a group of people circling around something. We thought that must be where we could get the gondola ticket. Turned out, they were looking at something that looked like a statue. But it was actually a human being, painted in smeary silver, standing totally frozen just like a statue.



--> People take pictures with it or of it, and suddenly the statue made a sudden movement and scared the hell out of the people surrounding him…LOL. It was really funny, nobody would expect it would do that. And then Renny and I also took our turns taking pictures with him, fully cautious if the statue would scare us again. We didn’t wanna look stupid.. hahaha.
Still hadn’t found where the gondola counter was, we passed another corner with another kind of attraction. A smiley-faced long-haired Caucasian dude wearing black was performing some kind of comic act on the black and white checkered floor with classic props such as cane, bowler hat, a small crystal ball, etc.



--> Finally, after more carefully reading the map – Venetian Macau maps are provided in many spots in the building, you’re free to take one or as many as you wish – we found the Gondola Boutique, and bought tickets for gondola ride, MOP 108 / pax. Souvenirs are also available in the boutique, mostly in gondola or Venetian theme.

Let's have a ball, shall we?


--> Then we waited for our turn for a while, behind the Grand Canal entrance gate. We chatted shortly with the gondola rowers who were waiting for their turns to row. Turned out, one of them was the one who rowed our gondola for the next 15 minutes, back and forth through the three canals.


--> The dude even sang 2 songs for us! That is after we pleaded him to. The first song was in Italian, “Santa Lucia”, and a romantic song “Smile”. Wow.. “Smile” isn’t really foreign to my ears, but somehow that was the first time I really took notice of the words.. and my gosh, did it touch me and make me kinda sad.. It was sad and sweet at the same time :)
Oh and the rower, name is Vito, part Mexican part Italian, has a great baritone voice! (was it really baritone? Probably.. ^_^ )

"Smile... though your heart is aching...
smile... even though it's breaking....."




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While relaxing in the boat and chatting with Vito, another gondola passed us to the opposite direction, and the rower – looked more Italian than Vito did - was singing some Italian quite loudly and more expressively to everyone at the Grand Canal area. I loved that, I loved every millisecond of the gondola ride. The atmosphere, the rowers, the songs, the voice, the luxury, and obviously the ride.

Boutique Di Gondola, view from the gondola



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I’ve never been to Venice, but some say that it doesn’t actually live up to its sophisticated image because of the smell from the river and the rather dirty environment. Well, all those opinions don’t really hold back my wanting to experience Venice someday, but for now, this Asian Venice is enough to keep me happy with my Europe dreaming.

( "Smile" in one of Charlie Chaplin's silent movies http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ps6ck1ejoAw&feature=player_embedded )

The Casino

In life, you’d have to gamble something sometimes, and so do we. But we are definitely not gamblers when it comes to money. We couldn’t even figure out what to do with that jackpot machine that you’d see old people are playing in Las Vegas–setting Hollywood movies. It’s either the different kind of machine, or that everything on the machine is written in Chinese and left us clueless.

Can you see the tables and boards full of potential riches - and debts -
behind Renny's couture pose?




--> The casino is located in the heart of Level 1. It’s got so many gamble tables and machines, whatever they’re actually called. People bet their thousands and thousands of MOP on the tables, which was sort of a heartbreaking sight for me despite everything, but the quick hand moves of the croupier got us watching them in awe.
Ready to leave Macau

Renny was still enjoying her time in the casino, but I was acting as though I’m the timekeeper ^_^ I didn’t want us to be late for our ferry to Hong Kong, and we still had to get in line to draw our bags in the deposit. So I hurried us to the lobby, we got our bags, Renny went to the toilet while I watched for our bags in the crowded lobby, and went outside to hop on the shuttle bus.
We stood in the wrong queue until someone in uniform told us we’re supposed to change line if we wanted to go to Taipa Ferry Terminal. Funny thing is, we stood there because that’s what the other official told us when we asked where we should line up. *rolling eyes* But hey, I was not complaining, we were probably just.. lost in translation..! LOL



6 comments:

  1. OMG this looks awesome!!! Do you feel posh!? hehe.. it's such a long time ever since i've been to macau!

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  2. oh yes, definitely we felt posh... that is until we realized we couldn't really afford shopping at their mall...! hahaahahahah...

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  3. i'm enjoying this :D

    - ste

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  4. @ste I'm glad (cozy)

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  5. ini hotel yang ada di drama Korea Boys Before Flowers!!

    suka di bagian waktu Tante Renny bilang, "This is a Gondola."

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