Day 10: Macau
The day started with an amazing breakfast at the club lounge. Seriously, it just gets better and better. I’ve had the privilege of staying at some nice hotels around the world, even with top tier status, but the breakfast at the Conrad Macau Club was right up there with the very best. Part of the reason is that I am a huge fan of Chinese breakfasts, so being in Macau helps with that a lot. The experience also made us feel like royalty. Since breakfast spans 4.5 hours, it appeared a lot of guests decided to take it at different times. We were the only ones in the lounge, so all the attendants were working for us. They took our drink orders and got to work on several made to order dishes. There was a great wonton noodle soup and a custom omelette. The buffet selection was also great, especially for a lounge. There was dim sum, western options, congee, and this incredible sea bass which seemed odd for breakfast but I’m glad they had it. Of course they had the usual spread with every type of fresh juice, coffee, tea, and pastry you could want. The quality of every dish was what really stood out. Unlike a regular breakfast buffet (even the one downstairs at this hotel), the food is usually average. Since we were the only guests, every dish was fresh and prepared really well. The service was attentive but not intrusive. We didn’t feel like we were being watched, but whenever we needed anything, there would be someone available immediately. Overall, the food was incredible but the privacy and atmosphere put it over the top and made it such a memorable experience.
After breakfast, we went to the club concierge to book our ferry tickets back to Hong Kong airport for tomorrow. This went smoothly and they said they would deliver the tickets to our room in the afternoon. Since it was purchased through the hotel, I had it as a room charge, which would qualify for bonus Hilton points from my Amex Hilton Card and Diamond status. We then headed out to the old city to see the main sights and sounds of Macau. The old city is on a different peninsula north of Cotai, so we crossed a long bridge to get there. Along the way, I caught a glimpse of Cafe de Coral, my favourite Hong Kong fast food restaurant. I didn’t know they had a Macau branch, so I was very excited to go there for lunch. Once we got to the old town, we walked through the traditional streets and up the hill to the iconic Ruins of St Paul.
After some pictures, we went behind the ruins and found that there was a small underground museum. We had to be very quiet here, but this was a cool find which I didn’t know on my last trip here.
Next, we saw some signs towards a lookout fortress. This was connected to the Museum of Macau, so there was an interesting inside-outside design with the combination structure. The fortress had canons on all sides, giving great 360 degree views of Macau and Zhuhai.
After coming down, we passed through Senado Square, which is built in a Portugese-style from the colonial era.
From there we took the bus back to Taipa for lunch at Café de Coral. I had the baked pork chop and a milk tea. It was so good. We had a pretty late lunch, so by the time we were finishing up, so were most of the chefs and attendants. They cooked their own lunches and ate it family style at the tables, which was interesting to see.
After lunch, we explored the local neighbourhood and supermarket. My dad really wanted some bananas and despite having a lot of fruits in the lounge, bananas were not one of them. From there we walked through Taipa Village, which is a collection of restored colonial buildings. I was trying to look for the park that connected Taipa Village with the Venetian, but it was closed for renovation. That was a shame since this place was usually really beautiful. Eventually, we found a path back to Cotai Strip. My dad went up for a nap so my mom and I went for afternoon tea again. It was fantastic, with this service even including generous slices of foie gras.
This small toast with apricot jam topped with foie gras was incredible. Normally a mega dollar dish, we had literally unlimited amounts. Again, since there was virtually no one else in the lounge and they kept refilling the dishes, we got more than our fair share. After the tea, my dad woke up and we all went down to the pool area. As amazing as everything else has been, the pool and spa facilities was the place that Conrad falls short. While there were four pools, they were all fairly small and in odd shapes. The cabanas were nice, with comfortable and complementary day beds. However, the main spa was reserved for guests with treatments only, unlike the Four Seasons across the street which had a phenomenal spa open to all guests. The locker room did have a jacuzzi, which was nice, but limited compared to other luxury hotels.
We wrapped up the day with another great dinner in the lounge. The attendant even remembered the ferry tickets and asked to make sure we got them in our room. All rested and refreshed, we were ready to head off for our next destination – Dubai.