Of all the hotels and resorts I have had the pleasure of staying at, many make it to the top of my favorites list for various reasons: Service – JW Marriott Marquis, Dubai; Location – Renaissance, La Defense, Paris; Ambience – ITC Gardenia, Bengaluru; Design – Marina Bay Sands, Singapore; View from room – Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas; Lounge – JW Marriott, Bangkok; Breakfast – Renaissance, Hong Kong Harbor, and so on. However, very few stand out in multiple areas, adding them up to make to the very best. The brand spanking new JW Marriott, Macau hits it out of the park in so many areas, that it will be tough to top.
The coolest part of the hotel is actually the location. Yes, getting there is a pain. If you are coming from Hong Kong, which I did, and can’t afford a helicopter ride over, which I could not, you have to take a 40 minute boat ride over in a huge catamaran, loaded to the gills, followed by a bus ride to the new resort area of Macau. But once you get there, you are in resort heaven. The JW Marriott in Macau is not a stand alone hotel but a part of the Galaxy complex which has multiple hotels, a massive casino, a mall, and one of the largest water parks in history to be on a hotel property! All included with the hotel room. And if you run out of things to do in the Galaxy Plaza, you also have regular buses to nearby resorts, like the Venetian, and to downtown Macau with all its casinos and historic sigh seeing areas. Personally I only went over to the Venetian. The Galaxy was too much to cover in the couple of days I had.
Lets start with the room. The reason one books a hotel room is to sleep in it. The JW Macau has larger than average rooms. Our room had a wall-to-wall, ceiling-to-floor window with the view of the water park. Score! The room itself had wonderful beds, a massive bathroom with a cool shower, and a smart glass window. The whole room had smart controls from a touchpad, and the TV embedded in the bathroom mirror even had a welcome message for me.
While I mentioned the room first, because a bad room, makes everything else worthless, the highlight of this hotel is its Lobby. The theme of the decor is that of rainfall. As you entered the massive lobby, with multiple check-in counters, the main attraction was the staircase in the middle, above which was a massive crystal chandelier with crystals in the shape of raindrops falling. Beautiful! Easily one of the best lobby’s I have seen. Gives a good fight to the one at Burj-al-Arab in Dubai.
As mentioned above, the JW Macau is in the Galaxy resort complex that has several other hotels. The JW itself shares the building with a Ritz Carlton. I missed going to the Ritz’s lobby, but we did make it over to the ‘Ruby Lobby’ and ’Diamond Lobby’ of other hotels. The Ruby lobby is beautiful to take some pictures in. The Diamond Lobby however has a whole show with lights, music and a massive ‘diamond’ that comes down from the ceiling, suspended in mid-air. Worth the walk over.
One of my main reasons for loving JW Marriotts’ is their lounge. The one in JW Macau did not disappoint. I was traveling with my family. When at the JW Marriott Hong Kong earlier in the week (I will review that in another post), they had denied entry to my son, stating that he needed to pay to get access. I found that disappointing. The lounge in Macau had no such restriction. In fact they encouraged us to stop by every time were going in and out. They are open 24-hours, and they showed us multiple refrigerated shelves stocked with drinks and snacks which they said were for us to pick up from every time we were coming and going! That’s what I call a good lounge that wants to serve the guests.
The lounge itself was located over the lobby, with a view of the lobby, and another massive chandelier showing clouds and rainbows in the glass widgets it was made up of. The seating was well spaced out, with a separate breakfast area that served made to order breakfast in the mornings.
The area between the hotels in the Galaxy complex is the casino. Above the casino, on its roof, is the water park. Around the casino, connecting all the lobby’s is a mall. That too a massive mall with brand name shops (way more Gold shops than I think they need), a food court with live shows, and a movie theatre! Just walking around the mall can take several hours, even if you don’t stop to shop!
The Water Park:
The highlight of the resort is the waterpark. The JW Marriott has its own pool area with multiple pools, showers, spa and lockers. It is also connected to the Galaxy water park, which as I said before is massive. It can be accessed by any hotel guest. It has faux-beach areas, kiddie pools, water slides, and a long ‘lazy river’ which takes over 20 minutes to go around! The lazy river at one spot passes over the walkway, on a all glass bridge. A short walk away from all this awesomeness is a huge wave pool. And I am not talking one which makes a few ripples, but a real wave pool with sand at one end and deep waves at the other. This had most water parks I had paid to enter to shame.
Add it to your list
If you are visiting Macau, this is the hotel to stay at. Its a complete package, with all the ingredients. The only negative was the wait time at the check-in counter. We were there on the weekend, so there was a big crowd, but they should be prepared for that. I would go back in a heartbeat.