The Board at VegasTripping

Board @ VT RSS Feed Board Topic RSS Feed!

Airfare, Hotels, Rental Cars, Vacation Packages

Southwest Vacations logo!


MACAU TRIP REPORT - March 17 to 22

Last edit: StudiodeKadent on Friday, 29th March 2013 9:58 pm
Last response by OuijaAble 19th January 12:32am

Okay, recently had a trip to Macau. Great time, won money (about 950 USD) and had plenty of fun.

I was staying at the Wynn Macau (yes!) in a One Bedroom Suite. Ohmyfuckinggod this was the most indulgent, decadent hotel room I've ever been in, and I've stayed in a Grand Deluxe Harbour View suite at The Peninsula in Hong Kong. Seriously, the BATHROOM feels bigger than a standard room at The Mirage (and has a huge shower all in black marble with wand and rain-head and enough space for a seven person orgy inside... that said the water pressure was a little low but hey, minor complaint).

The service was very good.

Gaming conditions at Wynn Macau haven't changed (S17 DA2 DAS RSA ES10 OBO), with one exception: the table mins have been jacked up to 300 HKD. Now, the house edge on the blackjack is 0.1% so I guess this isn't entirely unfair, but with Macau's table game numbers being capped to a small 1% growth rate and the mass market getting bigger and bigger all the time I think this might be the harbinger of future events.

There is only one Craps table left, and it has 100 HKD mins.

I was statistically overcomped, that said the comps are tight as hell by Vegas standards. Luckily I got free drinks at the Wynn, even vodka-redbull was brought to my table. Drink service was inconsistent in speed, but I won't complain since the Wynn is the only place that will liquor me up at 300 HKD per hand.

The comp system at the Wynn is very simple - you earn points on your Red Card that can be transferred to any restaurant (even fine dining like Golden Flower) for discounts (in 50HKD increments). This works for all players whether you're staying or not, and it works at all restaurants. Sure, you have to talk to a host to get the transfer made, but it is relatively easy and transparent. So in other words, the comp system is useful for all players! And the point accumulation isn't TOO frustratingly slow either.

Anyway, the Wynn is in my judgment the best place to stay and play in Macau. However, it isn't cheap and is often booked out well in advance. That said, because of the ease of use of the comp system you can always stay at the MGM instead (which is more my aesthetic taste, less booked out all the time, and has cheaper rooms) and just play/eat at the Wynn!

The Golden Flower Northern Chinese restaurant is fantastic (they even employ a Tea Sommelier to help you pick the best Chinese tea for your meal). Il Teatro is still very good. Cafe Encore is surprisingly good, and it has a great menu of Portuguese and Macanese for those craving authenticity.

If I have to be critical - the junkets really overrun this place and there isn't really that much mass gaming avaliable (hopefully Wynn Cotai will fix this problem). Additionally, the casino is still hard to navigate... far more confusing than the very well-designed MGM. Oh, and Casino Encore is FUCKING HIDEOUS. Seriously, it looks like a bunch of neon-saturated Candy Ravers from the Electric Daisy Carnival just jizzed all over the floor and walls and then Roger Thomas came along and added a huge amount of olive purple tassels and dark orange paint and magenta carpet and gold mosaic and rock-crystal lamps sticking out of the walls (that said, the normal casino looks excellent... I prefer it to Wynn Las Vegas).

Oh, and I bought one of their bathrobes. They're pinstriped :)

+ Free Booze!!!
+ Best BJ rules/conditions in Macau
+ Very useful players club card whether you're staying or not
+ Great restaurants
+ Excellent hotel, truly worthy of its five Forbes stars
+ Excellent, friendly staff and service
+ Sinatra Smashes are half the price that they charge at Wynncore Vegas!

- Not cheap and usually booked out by junkets (that said, its worth the price)
- Confusing, labyrinthe casino design
- Casino Encore is OH MY GOD MY RETINAS THEY BLEED tasteless

1) When Wynn Cotai is up and running, please consider a few lower-limit tables and also moving some of the junkets into private salons at Cotai. Stop letting them clog up the mass-market floor.
2) Consider lessening the chambering of the casino - open it up a little. At present, it is very confusingly laid-out.
3) Does Casino Encore really HAVE to look so fucking abysmal?!?

Now, as for the MGM....

Table mins are now in line with the Wynn, and there's no free booze unless you're playing in either the Platinum or Supreme members areas (which require a Platinum or Supreme membership), OR you're playing in the Las Vegas Room (two BJ tables, the rest Baccarat, and mins from 1000 HKD up). So in other words, the Wynn is better value than the MGM for gambling.

They only have one Craps table as well, 100 HKD mins.

The blackjack rules and house margin are the same as the Wynn.

Their Player's Card has gotten worse too - to get an Elite membership you must gamble 1.7 million HKD within a year at the MGM Macau. Yep. It used to only be 1 million. That said, all player's club members get a flat discount on their food and non-alcoholic drink purchases (5% at the base tier) so it is good value to get the Player's Card. Since I didn't play there I have no idea how to get meal comps so I can't comment on the comp system beyond the flat discount.

Aux Beaux Arts is a competent French bistro with good service and great atmosphere. The MGM Patisserie is very nice too, and the Lions Bar has now become kind of a party hotspot with a great, long cocktail list.

The mass market floor is huge, and the VIP junket rooms are all located on the second floor of the casino in a series of extremely good-looking gambling salons done up in impeccable taste (seriously, I think the junket areas at MGM look better than those at Wynn... the style is kind of a Macanese twist on Bellagio). I just walked through the hallways looking at the many artworks they had - security paid attention but was very polite and let me stroll through when I informed them I was just looking at the art.

Honestly, the MGM has a fantastic physical property - they just have that one critical flaw (NO FREE BOOZE) which stops me from wanting to play there.

+ Beautiful property that's much more my taste than the Wynn
+ Well-designed and well-laid-out
+ Has a more energetic, playful crowd than Wynn
+ Lion's Bar is fun

- NO FREE BOOZE (this is a critical problem)

1) Free booze on the main floor, even if just a limited selection (bottled beer, red/white/sparkling wine, spirit + mixer). I'm sorry but until we get this I won't be playing at the MGM Macau.
2) Transparently post the requirements for meal comps please.

Okay, so I didn't get down to Cotai. I probably will get back to Macau when MGM and Wynn Cotai have both opened. Galaxy doesn't interest me at all.

So yeah, am happy to take questions.

Post Response

Report this topic as inappropriate.

     Add To Itinerary
 detroit1051 responded on Saturday, 30th March 2013

Great report. Your description of Casino Encore is classic! Odd that MGM won't comp drinks in Macau. Although MGM Grand Detroit is obviously not in the same league, MGM has refused to comp drinks there either, so you buy drinks and wine with a comped dinner, and MGM is ahead of the game. Surely, someone at MGM can project the increase of valued players and their play free drinks would provide.

 StudiodeKadent replied on Saturday, 30th March 2013

Thanks for the positive feedbacks :)

MGM doesn't need to comp drinks in Macau. The gamblers there will gamble huge amounts completely sober, and you only really matter there if you're gambling larger sums of money so yeah, I don't matter to them.

I don't matter to Wynn either but they treat me better!

MGM Detroit and MGM Macau are totally different animals. MGM Detroit is working in a market with relatively thin margins compared to Macau, and employing a drink waitress in Michigan would probably be FAR more expensive than a drink waitress in Nevada.

So I'd suspect MGM Macau doesn't comp drinks to low level players because they don't need to, and MGM Detroit doesn't comp drinks because it would be economically unfeasible.

 anawas responded on Saturday, 30th March 2013

Thanks for a great description. I've never been to Asia (need to at some point, though).

Is it crowded outside the casino(s)? Is it easy to navigate the area? Can we foreigners get into "mainland" China?

Are Macau/Cotai similar to the Strip/Downtown Vegas in that most people do one section but not the other on a trip?

You imply that the MGM is a more premium destination resort, which surprises me, based on what I know about their Vegas brands. So I guess it would be kinda ghetto if I brought my own alcohol onto the gaming floor, huh?

 StudiodeKadent replied on Sunday, 31st March 2013

Outside isn't crowded, but inside is usually packed. The navigation isn't too hard... Macau is a small place.

Macau is a Special Administrative Region, it isn't mainland China. Macau is very open for tourism - mainland China requires you get a visa (although that isn't TOO hard but it still is annoying).

Macau and Cotai can easily be travelled between for cheap and there are free shuttle buses between them so you can do both sections.

Sorry for that implication - Wynn is the better product, absolutely. MGM is in fact cheaper and NO FREE BOOZE.

I don't think they'd allow you to bring your own alcohol, though they might. I've never tried.

 LAvegasphile responded on Wednesday, 3rd April 2013

Awesome report! Wish you would have done a guest hotel review for VT, we haven't seen any new features in awhile. Fascinating about how tight they are with alcohol. Like you said they know they are at the top of their game and Asians love to gamble so much, no need for free booze.

I suspect--though perhaps someone who lives in Detroit can enlighten us--that free booze is against some sort of law in Michigan? I think that has something to do with the fact that alcohol is not served for free in California Indian casinos either...though a quick google search interestingly did not give me a clear answer on that either lol.

 StudiodeKadent replied on Thursday, 4th April 2013

Oh, I'd have gladly done a review, but I didn't have a camera on me. If I did, I'd have reviewed the room easily. Lots of Wynn Suite Porn to make the site drool! And I am not a Wynnophile (although Encore Vegas and Wynn Macau are very nice! I still think Steve and Roger's masterpiece is the Bellagio though), but I loved my room at Wynn Macau. JUST ENOUGH red. Otherwise opulent without being an assault on the senses. And yes, plenty of attention to the fine details).

But Wynn Macau is more successful as a casino than MGM Macau. Wynn still does drinks and MGM does not, even though Wynn doesn't need to give out drinks either.

Wynn just has better service.

I prefer MGM's look, but Wynn wins for better service.

 Chuckmonster responded on Thursday, 4th April 2013

Great post. No questions sir. Thank you!

 StudiodeKadent replied on Friday, 5th April 2013


My pleasure! Happy to help out.

 socalduck responded on Saturday, 26th October 2013

Great report, thanks for sharing. I will be spending a few days in Macau early next month, so the craps info is especially interesting. Ended up in Cotai at the Banyan Tree (Galaxy Macau); Wynn showed sold-out the entire time I will be there, which was disappointing. From your comments, I suspect my gaming will most likely be on the peninsula, although I want to see the Venetian just to compare it with the Vegas version. I am also looking forward to spending some time (perhaps a lot of time) at The Macallan bar inside the Galaxy.

I've heard the general atmosphere at the craps tables is pretty subdued compared to Vegas. Any odd local twists to the rules so I should know about beforehand?

 OuijaAble responded on Sunday, 19th January 2014

Nice trip report.
I'm a regular player in Macau, and I'd like to add a few notes. Perhaps readers may find it beneficial.

I've just been to Wynn Macau last week, January 11,2014. And Wynn Macau casino no longer have Craps. It's unbelievable that a big American casino doesn't have craps. Although Wynn has the nicest poker room, in my opinion. Most poker players I've seen were Europeans. Every table is no limit, with blinds as low as 25/50hk$. Wynn also has the best non-smoking section in Macau. Half of the casino floor is for non-smokers. In an everage Macau casinos,including Venetian, the air is unbreatheble for non-smokers.

As for as the Galaxy casino. If there's a reason to visit Galaxy is that they have a Craps table with 5X free odds, which is the best in Macau. City Of Dreams casino also has 5X free odds. Craps at MGM, Venetian, Four Seasons, they're 3X4X5X odds.

The best in Macau has to be Wynn. It's the cleanest, brightest, best free premium drinks, good comps, nice players(no low-lifes), best location within walking distance of historic sights, best hosts, best non-smoking section, best outdoor heated swimming pool, best rooms(especially Encore)finest restaurants, high-end shops(chanel,LV,Hemes). The only downsides are: no craps, no free Wifi.