For the gambler who likes to hit the high notes, there can be few places in Macau that can rival the Altira Macau, with its towering 160 metres of glass and modernity making this the tallest building in Macau. OK maybe the Four Seasons Macau comes close to or even suprpasses it, but that has more of a traditional feel to it.
The Altira Macau is both a hotel and casino which when it opened, stole a massive market share of the gambling action on the peninsular, but over time this has calmed down. The aftermath of this dominance is this is now an establishment that really mainly caters for the high rollers, unless you love slots, which are in the Mocha Slot Lounge where there are no real dealers, just the latest in gaming tech. These are very affordable and take over a whole floor of this peninsular favourite.
The casino floors in the tower are very high-end and the opulent and eye-catching interiors which give the casino such a distinctive look were designed by the famed Peter Remédios. This smart look reflects the ambience of the casino and gamblers are expected to look smart while on the premises. And let's face it, with competition like the St Regis Macau, the Venetian and the Mandarin Oriental they had to be at the top of their game when they designed this place.
If you want to get into the action it will cost on average $300 and here too many of the casinos floors are given over to top end Baccarat games or Sic Bo, there are 30 gaming tables up for grabs. Where the Altira first opened its doors it had a wider range of table games including my personal favourite roulette, but over time the casino has clearly decided to focus its energies on the games with the highest Asian demand, baccarat and sic bo- just like many other casinos in this former Portuguese territory (read our Starworld Casino review for example).
For kicking back with the best view in town it would be hard to beat the 38 Lounge, which predictably is found at the tower’s 38th floor with its spectacular view of the peninsular. Be prepared to pay through the nose for the view as drinks are definitely on the pricey side but then again, there can’t be a price tag on that incredible view!
For the water lovers amongst you, there is a 16th floor pool which offers stunning views if you fancy a break from the table games but it has to be said, despite its incredible vista the pool itself isn’t the biggest, but it definitely an improvement on the usual view when exercising!
After you’ve worked up an appetite in the casino you can treat yourself to a fine dining extravaganza at one of the four elite restaurants on offer which mainly offer Cantonese or Japanese food. The Aurora restaurant offers something different in the form of Italian cuisine if you’re looking for something more exotic. The standard is right up there with the likes of the Wynn Palace in Macau, even if the decoration isn't quite as gaudy.
Helpfully there is also the Monsoon Café which is open 24/7 which can be handy if you just want to grab a bite to boost you between table games.
On the downside, except for the range of table games which was an issue for me, this modern 5 star icon doesn’t have many hotel rooms- only 216, so if you want to stay and play at the Altira you will need to book ahead at the weekend or at holiday times, this place is very popular.