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I was lucky enough to visit the Galaxy Macau recently- it´s one of those huge casino complexes on the Cotail strip along with the like of the Venetian and Studio City Macau. We stayed at the Banyan Tree, went to an Italian restaurant for dinner, tasted some wine, hit the tables and took in some live music. Have you ever had one of those nights when everything goes right? You know, when you drop your buttered toast and it falls on the floor the right way up? This was one of those nights.
Our Villa at the Banyan Tree, Galaxy Macau. Not Exactly a “Squash and a Squeeze”.
The Galaxy Macau is one of the most impressive casino palaces to open on the Cotai strip in Macau the former Portuguese territory on the southern coast of China. Any resemblance to the Casino Estoril just outside Lisbon in Portugal stops right there!
It’s owners spent almost US$2 billion funding the first phase with its huge casino floor 3 high-class hotels (the Banyan Tree, Hotel Okura, and the Galaxy Hotel), plus restaurants, bars and entertainment venues. Phase II of the casino resort opened in May 2015. It wasn’t quite open when we were there. They are also openng a ‘Broadway at Galaxy Macau’ across the road from the casino complex- the 2 new developments together cost around US$5.5 billion. Big bets on Macau from Galaxy Entertainment Group! It’s all pretty close to the newer Parisian Macao which we have also taken a look at.
We checked in at the Banyan Tree, and frankly we were blown away by the room. Did I say room? More like a roof top condo with its own swimming pool. We must have got an upgrade I guess, as we had to ride a golf cart to get there, passing by the 4,000-square-meter outdoor wave pool (which has its own sandy beach). It certainly didn’t match the description of the room that I had booked on the Internet.
I love Japanese food, so we headed straight to the Okura’s Yamazato restaurant. Unfortunately, this was all booked up, so we opted for Italian instead, and headed for the Terrazza. We were glad the Japanese was fully booked- this turned out to be a great choice. The sommelier was particularly friendly and whisked us into an impressive wine cellar to taste their reds, whites and sparkling wines.
And after dinner, we headed to the Macallan Bar (a world’s first) for a quick digestif. There’s a 1936 Macallan in there. HK$12,500 will buy you a bottle of 30-year-old Macallan if you want to go a bit “younger”. We opted for the 10 year old.
Hitting the Tables
One thing that never ceases to amaze me about Macau is the sheer size of the casino floors. Some of them make Las Vegas look small, and the Galaxy Macau is no exception. You’ll notice straight away that baccarat is very popular in this town. Everyone seem to be playing it- that and sic-bo. But that meant that the roulette tables were fairly relaxed. They had both European and American Roulette tables at various betting limits, plus a lot of video roulette machines scattered here and there with the slot machines.
Once we’d had our fill on the roulette tables- not massively up but I dod walk away with a profit after playing the Fibonacci System on the outside bets (and we had a flutter on baccarat- when in Rome…), we headed into a live music venue just off the casino floor, for a 2 hour live set from a very tight 8 piece band, blasting out numbers from Stevie Wonder to Bob Dylan.
Then it was back to the luxury suite, and off to bed. Followed by a sumptuous buffet breakfast the next morning (always my favourite part of a hotel stay).
OK, so I’ll be the first to admit that this one one of those nights where everything seemed to work out. The traffic lights were all green, we got an excellent table at dinner, I won a bit on the tables. Don’t you just love nights like that? We had a superb evening in Macau.
My only regret? We only stayed for one night. A longer stay will be booked next time!