This is a sponsored post by the Macao Government Tourism Office. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are entirely our own.

Macao is a world where east meets west, combining Cantonese culture with Portuguese history. Previously a Portuguese colony when it was discovered in the 15th century, Macao was returned to China in 1999. While the territory is rich in history, the area is quite young in many ways. Ancient Portuguese ruins are juxtaposed with modern skyscrapers and casinos. For anyone visiting the Hong Kong area, Macao is a great place to visit for a weekend of food, history, and fun.

The History

Macao (Macau to the Portuguese) was originally a Portuguese colony starting in 1557. It wasn’t until 1999 that Macao was returned to the Chinese. Its Portuguese history can be seen all around the city. Macao was chosen as a trading post and colony for the Portuguese as a key trade route for the Portuguese. The Portuguese traveled from Portugal, down around Africa, up past India, and onto China (as well as Brazil).

Where to Stay

We split our time in Macao into two different parts of the city, Cotai and Macao. Cotai is the more modern area of Macao, akin to the Las Vegas strip, while Macau is the traditional “old” area of the city. The two hotels we stayed at were the St. Regis Cotai and the Sofitel in Macao.

The St. Regis:

The service at the St. Regis was above and beyond any service we’ve experienced in Asia and that is saying a lot. From the moment we checked into this 5-star deluxe hotel, we were invigorated with its décor, opulence, and elegance. We were greeted by name by every single employee and made to feel like royalty. While at the St. Regis, we indulged in various St. Regis signature treatments such as the 90-minute couples massage, a champagne sabering lesson, and we enjoyed their signature bloody Mary (The “Maria Do Leste”). We also were able to indulge in a 4-course private meal prepared by their in-house chef.

st regis macau

There are many hotel options to choose from when visiting Macao, but the St. Regis went above and beyond in every single facet, making it our favorite hotel in Macao, if not the world. Each St. Regis has signature experiences and the St. Regis Macao was no different. We had a specialized sommelier teach us how to saber champagne properly (and with a bottle of Veuve – yum!). We also were taught how to make the signature Bloody Mary called “Maria Do Leste” inspired by the Portuguese history of the hotel.

st regis macau

The Sofitel:

During our last two days, we had the pleasure of staying at the Sofitel on the Macao side of the city. The Sofitel definitely has the best location of all five star deluxe hotels in Macao. Walking distance to the Ruins of St. Paul and St. Lazarus’ Church, it was the perfect starting off point for touring.

Our hotel room had a stunning view of the old city plus a view of the harbor. The service was completely 5-star and the food was delicious (their brunch is a must). We also indulged in a couple’s spa treatment at their luxury spa, which was delightful after long days of exploring the city.



Macao can be easily accessed by ferry from Hong Kong or Shenzhen. One can also take a helicopter from nearby Chinese territories. There is also a small airport on the territory making it accessible from places around China as well as Japan. We chose to take the fast ferry from Hong Kong to Macao and that only took around one hour and cost ~$20 USD.

The Culture

Macao was a Portuguese colony for hundreds of years, only given back to China in 1999. While the territory is not new, its transition from Portuguese to Chinese is happening quite rapidly. Cantonese is the main language spoken in Macao, with English and Portuguese coming in second and third.

The streets of Macao are akin to the cobblestones of Lisbon, with the Portuguese having brought their signature tiles over from their home country. The country is a contrast of old and new, Portuguese and Chinese, all effortlessly mixed into a beautiful amalgam of divine diversity.

Unlike Las Vegas or nearby Hong Kong, Macao works at a much slower pace, allowing for relaxation and exploration over the hustle and bustle of a big city. When it comes to touring and exploring, you’ll need one to two days in Macao. The absolute musts for exploration are the ruins of St. Paul, the Three Lamp Post district, and the St. Lazarus district. Also take a walk down the colorful street of “Lovers Lane.” With multi-colored houses, it’s an Instagrammers dream.


The Food

With the influence of Portuguese cuisine and Cantonese cuisine, there is no shortage of delectable food in Macau. Some of our favorite meals were at the restaurant, Fado, a Portuguese fine dining experience on the Macao side. Run by a celebrated Portuguese chef, Fado is not to be missed for a fancy night out on the town. Another great restaurant to visit for Portuguese food is the Restaurant Space Lisboa in the Coloane district. Hot tip: Make sure to order the clams!

For Chinese cuisine, head to Beijing Kitchen and the La Chinoise at the Sofitel Hotel.


The Fitness

As fitness junkies, we needed to get our workout fix while we were in Macau. We chose to workout at CrossFit XVI. While they have two locations, we chose to workout at their XVI Macau location. The box had some of the best coaching we’ve ever experienced and their equipment was fantastic.

macau crossfit

The Activities

There are many activities in Macao, but these were our favorite:

  • Macau Tower: Head up to the top of the Macau Tower for the best view in Macau. If you’re feeling daring, you can bungee jump or climb the tower.
  • Cantonese Opera: if it’s in season, Visit the A Ma Temple and see the Cantonese Opera
  • Wynn Palace: The Wynn is one of the most beautiful hotels in all of Macao. It’s definitely worth walking through the casino, taking in some shopping and maybe trying your hand at some gambling.
  • The Venetian: The Venetian Hotel is designed so beautifully, we felt like we were walking through Venice itself. We highly recommend taking a gondola ride through the canals of the hotel. It may sound cheesy, but it is All of the gondola drivers are opera singers first and foremost. Enjoy their melodic voices singing Italian classics as you cruise through the canals.
  • Golden Reel at Studio City: Studio City is an ode to the great movies and movie stars of Hollywood. For a great experience, head up to the Ferris wheel in Studio City, the only figure 8 Ferris wheel in the entire world. Why the number 8? The number eight in Chinese sounds the same as the word “rich” in Chinese.
  • Gambling at the MGM: The MGM had one of the best casinos we encountered (and one of the only craps tables in all of Macao). Take a walk through the hotel and try your hand at some gambling.

The Shows

Just like in Vegas, there are various shows to visit in Macau. Our favorite show as the Dancing Water Show, an incredible show similar to that of Cirque de Soleil. This show will tantalize your senses with its jaw dropping acrobatics and incredible aesthetics.

Another show that is highly recommended is the Monkey King Show at the Sands Resort Macao.