Hong Kong

Cotai and the Cotai Strip Macau

Joining the islands of Taipa and Coloane is Cotai. This little piece of reclaimed land is home to some of Macau’s newest and most opulent hotel-casino developments. This whole area is a landmark development primarily by the US Las Vegas Sands Corp. who originally planned for seven resort hotels and casinos.

The more than 2 billion dollar Venetian Macau hotel-casino was completed in 2007 and it’s easy to see why it’s the flagship building of the whole development. It’s massive and it’s grand. Apparently, it’s the largest hotel structure in Asia and the second largest building in the world. I’ll let the pictures say more:

Macau Venetian
Main entry to the Venetian
The main hallway at the Venetian 

Also getting in on the action at the Cotai Strip is the part Packer owed Melco-PBL, who have built the City of Dreams multi-hotel, multi casino complex across from the Venetian. The City of Dreams features a Hard Rock Cafe, Hard Rock hotel, and casino, a Conrad casino tailored to high rollers, restaurants, and cafes, along with numerous family-friendly attractions. There are three hotels located in the City of Dreams including the Grand Hyatt, Crown Towers, and Hard Rock Hotel.

City of Dreams
The entry to City of Dreams features an amazing virtual aquarium

Also next to the Venetian is the Four Seasons Hotel which also features a casino. Common to all the casino resort developments is luxury shopping malls featuring all those well known big dollar brands like Louis Vuitton, Armani, Swarovski, Tiffany and many others.

The main shopping mall is the Grand Canal Shops which, even if you don’t intend to buy a thing, just can’t be missed. Inside of the mall mirrors a Venice style city, featuring European architecture, cobblestone footpaths and a canal winding it’s way around the between the shops and cafes. Yes, a canal, you can even go for a gondola ride..

‘The Grand Canal Shoppes’ inside Venetian Macau

The global financial crisis put a hold on many of the uncompleted developments, and there are quite a few half-finished mega structures looking a little abandoned, but they are apparently starting to come back online.

The new Galaxy Mega Resort pictured below.

Update 2018: More new casinos have opened!

Be sure to check out the Parisian

See my updated intro and guide to visiting Macau