Last week was an exciting time for me, as I was in Macau (Macao) to attend the launch of Sheraton Macau Hotel, at Sands Cotai Central.
Sands China’s Cotai Strip was the place to be, last Thursday evening, as the integrated resort city introduced to Macau its latest additions at SandsCotai Central, led by the launch of Sheraton Macau Hotel.
The Sheraton Macao Hotel, Cotai Central, officially opened Thursday the 20th of September 2012, adding to Las Vegas Sands’ growing resort portfolio in Macau’s Cotai Strip. Before the grand event, we were taken on a tour of the Hotel. The new hotel’s nearly 4,000 rooms make it the largest resort to open worldwide this year. The Sheraton Macau Hotel, Cotai Central, consisting of two sleek towers overlooking the Cotai Strip development and is home to the world’s largest Sheraton Club Lounge, a main ballroom the size of more than 11 basketball courts, more than 160,000 square feet of meeting space, three signature restaurants, and three outdoor pools with poolside cafes!
the massive check in area in the main lobby of Sheraton Macau
a main ballroom the size of more than 11 basketball courts!
The Presidential suite had a private karaoke room! I felt right at home here;)
the world’s largest Sheraton Club Lounge
three outdoor pools and poolside cafes
a state of the art gymnasium
The opening would coincide with the 75th anniversary of the Sheraton brand and widen Starwood’s lead in Asia Pacific, where it is the largest operator of four and five star hotels and on track to reach more than 320 hotels by 2014. Sheraton currently operates 95 hotels in Asia Pacific and expects to reach nearly 150 hotels by 2016. Asia Pacific is Starwood’s fastest-growing, and soon to be its largest global market. Sheraton Macau Hotel, Cotai Central is the second Starwood hotel to open in Macau, a leading destination for leisure, meetings, incentives and entertainment.
a spanking new casino
a lovely chill out and rather “green” lounge by the main lobby
Palm’s Lounge is a Pacific-themed sanctuary flooded with natural light and lush tropical plants. This 160-seat lounge is great for cocktails and kicking back with friends in the evenings.
One of three signature restaurants in Sheraton Macau – Xin serving chinese cuisine and the famous hotpot
Bene – serving Italian cuisine.. and you get to enjoy italian opera while you dine!
and Feast – lively all-day dining that showcases international flavors (notice showgirls in the background!)
On Thursday morning itself, we attended a press conference which gave the media a chance to ask questions of key executives in attendance, including Las Vegas Sands Corp. and Sands China Ltd. Chairman Sheldon G. Adelson and Starwood Hotels & Resorts President and Chief Executive Officer Frits van Paasschen.
Las Vegas Sands Corp. and Sands China Ltd. Chairman Sheldon G. Adelson (middle), Starwood Hotels & Resorts President and Chief Executive Officer Frits van Paasschen (second from right)
In his opening remarks to the gathered media before the Q&A session, Sands China Ltd. President and Chief Executive Officer Edward Tracy said that it was an honour for his team to lead Sands China Ltd. and people would get to witness Mr. Sheldon Adelson’s vision of a fully integrated resort city on the Cotai Strip development. They had come a long way from the muddy swampland that Mr. Adelson first surveyed. And there were plenty along the way who said it couldn’t be done. But today, would mark yet another grand achievement – the opening of the second phase of Sands Cotai Central, featuring Sheraton Macao Hotel – the largest Starwood property in the world, and Macao’s largest hotel!
Mr. van Paasschen also addressed the media, saying, that they’d like to think of Sheraton as the world’s gathering place. Sheraton is the leading hotel brand in this region and an ideal fit for this spectacular new hotel in Macau. And what a great combination – Starwood’s largest brand in the world’s fastest growing hotel market.
Mr. Adelson with the good people of Starwood Hotels & Resorts
After the press conference, we were ushered to the third level of the shopping mall to witness a rather interesting event. The local community, along with some mentally challenged children took part in painting a larger than life mural. This kowhaiwhai pattern mural painting and puzzle-piecing event was held on Level 3 of Shoppes Cotai Central. A traditional art form of the indigenous Maori of New Zealand, the beautiful kowhaiwhai pattern called “kori” and meaning “to flourish”, was painted and assembled as a mural in collaboration with members of the Fuhong Society of Macau, a non-profit organization providing occupational skills training and employment services to the mentally challenged. Symbolising togetherness, the event was also attended by Dr. Miriam Adelson, who helped place the final piece of the pattern, along with Qian Jin, President of Greater China, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
kowhaiwhai pattern mural painting and puzzle-piecing event
Finally evening came around and the rather cool red carpet arrivals began. All the paparazzi were out in full force, taking photos of the glamorous guests. Amongst the at the elite included, Chief Executive of Macau Special Administrative Region Chui Sai On, government officials, company executives from Sands and Sheraton, international film star Zhang Ziyi, and the stars of the hit reality TV show The Voice of China.
international film star Zhang Ziyi
After the red carpet, everyone proceeded to the fourth floor, for the official opening ceremony. Amongst the beautifully lit and decorated pool deck, Maori Haka and Tahitian dancers performed and then this was followed by the seating of the attending dignitaries. A goddess-accompanied heliosphere then delivered a ceremonial flame to a waiting dancer on the stage who then passed the flame to the dignitaries gathered on stage.
the opening ceremony was a spectacular one.. a goddess-accompanied heliosphere delivers a ceremonial flame
a flame runs up the building and lights up the fiery logos of Sands Cotai Central and Sheraton
A line was ignited, carrying the flame up to light fiery logos of Sands Cotai Central and Sheraton, on the facade of Sheraton Macao’s Sky tower, setting off a huge, choreographed pyrotechnic display that included fireworks illuminating all the Sands China properties of the Cotai Strip development – Sands Cotai Central, The Venetian Macau and The Plaza Macau. Then there was a massive fireworks display, I reckon the largest in Cotai ever!
luminaries on stage to witness the grand event
And with that, Sheraton Macau was proclaimed open!
And following this, as a nice gesture to the good people of Macau, the first 5,000 visitors to the property received commemorative gold coins marking the historic occasion, distributed from various locations within Sands Cotai Central. We saw long lines of people queueing up everywhere to get these gold coins. It was an incredible sight!
the insane number of people waiting for the gold coin! I didn’t get one.. because I wasn’t about to queue!
Later that night, there was a poolside party that lasted till midnight with free flow champagne and cocktails and finger food. All in all a rather successful launch. A big WELL DONE to Sheraton Macau for a fantastic opening!
Fatboybakes and moi.. at the poolside party
the media team whom I had a great time hanging out with, throughout the course of this event; Cindy Yoong (third of right) Director of Marketing Communications, Malaysia.
The night ended on a high note!
A big Thank you to Sheraton for the kind invitation to be part of this event!
THAT’S ALL FOLKS!!
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Sheraton Macao Hotel, Cotai Central,
Cotai Strip Taipa
Phone: (853) 2880 2000
Fax: (853) 2880 2111 Website