Holiday Inn Macau
Macau is a former European colony turned cosmopolitan paradise destined to succeed Los Vegas in its aspirations in gambling. Due to its short distance by ferry from Hong Kong, it's also a featured destination in common vacation packages for locals and visitors alike. The Holiday Inn Macau is a centrally located hotel on the peninsula that just happened to be part of a vacation package I purchased for a short layover - ironically, not to gamble but to search for egg tarts (a local delicacy).
This hotel is quick to ensure that guests are taken care of as early as when they arrive at the ferry terminal. There are shuttles to important parts of Macau from the hotel which is a convenient service that removes some stress in trying to find the place. Since the city itself is a relatively small piece of land, and the road signs are organized well in elegant Portuguese names, it adds to the sense of adventure.
The building itself is grand, and a bit old, although the decor inside is quite modern in comparison. The lobby is lofty with plenty of space, and despite the long lineups that form during check-in and check-out, I always felt calm and there was always something interesting outside the glass windows to be curious about.
The room wasn't terribly well lit, while the size and layout was way more comfortable than comparable accommodations in a similar price range in Hong Kong. The bed was firm and just comfortable enough, and the television was set at a comfortable enough angle. Coffee and tea service is integrated near the desk, along with useful items like a sewing kit and broadband connectivity, so you are never too far away from enjoying a brew while becoming frustrated over hemming your slacks, or while using your computer to figure out how to mend slacks since they don't really teach skills like that at school.
The biggest drawback was the fact that I had to buy an "internet card" from them in order to go online at this hotel. Higher end hotels are more likely to charge for internet access, but it seems like a silly policy, especially when other properties are including it in their rates. It was a hassle to walk across to the other side of the hotel on a different floor just to get connected. Think of it this way: you're more likely to use an internet connection than a sewing kit.
Breakfast was majestic, served in a buffet style with a mix of Western and Asian dishes that reflect the cultural mix Macau is quite famous for. The service was exceptionally cordial, and the dining environment felt more like a posh restaurant than a breakfast area a standard hotel usually offers.
With a convenient shuttle system and a location near almost everything Macau is culturally famous for, this property provides for lively experiences in an easily navigable city.
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