When talking about casinos, or even imagining them, it’s difficult not to see the bright lights of the Vegas Strip. Popular culture relentlessly links the idea of casino gaming to Vegas, and Vegas notoriously relies on its ceramic chips to stay relevant.
However, in recent years, MGM and other major casino-resort conglomerates have opened new locations in Macau, a special autonomic region (SAR) in China. Once a Portuguese colony, Macau now looks startingly similar to its Nevadan predecessor.
Though both locations are known for their stunning light shows and extravagant casino floors, there are other attractions popping up in each metropolis. While top Las Vegas sportsbooks serve all North American major sports leagues (and most European leagues, too), Macau is focused on the World Tourism Organization’s ‘Tourism Tech Adventures’ initiative.
Meanwhile, both cities also feature quite a few nature-based adventures too. For instance, Las Vegas is only a short drive from the Grand Canyon, a unique and unforgettable series of rock formations. In Macau, temples and museums preserve the local mix of traditional culture and Portuguese colonial influence.
However, despite the host of attractions, like sports tourism or the natural wonders nearby, both destinations cater to casinos. After all, Las Vegas invented luxury gaming, and Macau has spent the past decade perfecting it.
Ending up in the lap of luxury may be harder than expected in Vegas. Given the city’s notoriety as a gaming capital, it’s also become associated with a few different activities, like stag parties and flashy residencies from top performers who have passed their heyday.
However, extravagance continues to abound in the City of Lights—it’s just cleverly separated from the disorienting Vegas Strip. Hotels like the Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas are hard to compare with any other nearby resort. While standard rooms will cost a pretty penny, this hotel is situated inside the extravagant Mandalay Bay, and even includes a private luxury pool.
Locations like the Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas (Autograph Collection) offer a more boutique experience. A stay at the Four Seasons will put any avid gamer in walking distance of high stakes lounges, but the Waldorf and Cosmopolitan offer other luxury insights into the city.
The Waldorf doesn’t feature a casino, but what it lacks in ceramic chips it makes up for in luxury spa experiences. Plus, staff are more than happy to accommodate guests with recommendations for and transportation to major casinos.
Meanwhile, the Cosmopolitan is renowned for having its finger on the pulse of Vegas nightlife. Not to mention, it’s one of the few Vegas stays that has balconies and a front-row seat to the Bellagio fountain show.
It’s plain to see that Macau’s recent reinvigoration couldn’t have happened without Sin City. Though Grand Bowie, president of Wynn Resorts Macau, says that he and his team are working to reinvent Macau rather than create a new Las Vegas in the east, there’s no denying the close ties between luxury casino resorts in both cities.
Between Macau’s two islands, Taipa and Coloane, there are ample franchises that anyone would recognize from the Vegas Strip, like Wynn Resorts, MGM Resorts, and Las Vegas Sands hotels, such as the Venetian. However, this doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
In terms of landing in the lap of luxury, all three groups have created unforgettable gaming experiences. In fact, each hotel, resort, and casino boast unique features that are designed to inspire awe in visitors that will keep them coming back again and again.
For instance, the Venetian Macau can’t be missed in terms of visual spectacle and gaming—but rather than the classic gondolas, the resort features dragon boats that reflect the local culture.
The Wynn’s venture in Macau may look a lot like its Vegas counterpart, but, like the Venetian, is able to add a flare of something new. In the case of the Wynn Macau, this fresh take comes from a distinct Portuguese-colonial style of architecture that’s mirrored in the surrounding areas of Macau.
Meanwhile, the City of Dreams resort feature a tropical, underwater-themed casino hall that will be equally unforgettable. For those interested in seeing something entirely original (and not borrowed from Vegas), the City of Dreams delivers here. From its architecture to its art collection inside, this luxury gaming stop can’t be found elsewhere and shouldn’t be missed by visitors.