Monday, 30th October 2017

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MGM Cotai: One of the most gorgeous addresses in this part of the world

The hotel in Macao is a luxe lair and also an art lovers’ haven

  • Published 24.06.19, 7:06 PM
  • Updated 24.06.19, 7:07 PM
  • 3 mins read
The facade of MGM Cotai in Macau is shaped like jewellery boxes A Telegraph picture

Looking for more than just a hotel stay experience the next time you are in Macao? Book yourself a few days at the MGM Cotai for a stay that not only promises luxury but also an overall holistic experience. The hotel — the latest addition to the MGM portfolio in China — threw open its plush doors last year and is as much an art lovers’ delight as it is a haven for those who like their holidays to be swank and stylish.

MGM Cotai, regarded as one of the most gorgeous addresses in this part of the world, is no ordinary hotel. That was pretty much evident when I first caught sight of the hotel, nestled between the Venetian Macao and the Parisian Macao on Macao’s famous Cotai Strip, on a trip to the city that could well have ‘luxe’ as its middle name.

The famous MGM Lion at the entrance that’s been made out of 32,000 sheets of 24-carat gold foil
The famous MGM Lion at the entrance that’s been made out of 32,000 sheets of 24-carat gold foil A Telegraph picture

Opulence is the name of the game at MGM Cotai. While the unmistakable MGM Lion — it weighs 38 tons, is 33ft tall and is made from 32,000 sheets of 24-carat gold foil — looms large in front, the hotel facade is a combination of nine glittering boxes stacked like jewellery boxes that make a great backdrop for pictures, especially when illuminated after sundown.

Built over 35 storeys and boasting 1,390 rooms, the MGM Cotai comes with the usual trappings (and then some more) of a super-luxe hotel. Nine plush restaurants serve cuisines from all over the world while an extensive retail section sprawled across several floors houses the choicest global brands. But the biggest differentiator for MGM Cotai from the other casino resorts present on the Cotai Strip is its enviable art collection. Home to a unique collection of over 300 pieces of contemporary art with a theme of bridging the East and West, the hotel has one of the largest permanent art collections in Macao.

‘Harmony’ is one of the eyeball-grabbing art pieces in the hotel’s lobby
‘Harmony’ is one of the eyeball-grabbing art pieces in the hotel’s lobby A Telegraph picture

MGM Cotai may be a casino resort, but the casino only occupies 10 per cent of the hotel premises, with the view to making the hotel a holistic family destination. Connoisseurs of art will be delighted the moment they step into the lobby. Behind the reception desk is the painting called Dancing Light by the Chinese painter Hsiao Chin, said to be a revisitation of his Modern Series from the 1960s. A range of eyeball-grabbing chandeliers — including an orb-shaped Swarovski crystal piece that will make you go ‘wow’ — adorn the high ceiling. But the piece de resistance in the sprawling lobby is ‘The Spectacle’, an array of 25 LED walls. ‘Harmony’ is another work of art you will not be able to tear your eyes away from. A creation by Wang Kaifang, Harmony uses wind power and 3D printing to depict “the movement of silk flowing through air” and has been made with 24 tons of stainless steel and 80,000 sheets of 24-carat gold foil.

It’s this focus on showcasing art that has made MGM Cotai one of the primary destinations for Art Macao, that opened earlier this month and is on till early September. The mega international arts and cultural event will be hosted across Macao, with MGM showcasing a modern artistic ink experience called “A Metamorphosis: No End to End” by Wen Ma, that takes ink to a subliminal level. This specially-created multimedia masterpiece maximises the space at The Spectacle and demonstrates the diversity of ink using natural, sculptural and virtual textures through three installation operas in one act, with “Paradise Interrupted” at the expansive MGM Theatre as the grand finale.

If you are staying at MGM Cotai, then you would do well to earmark a day — or more — to walk around this state-of-the-art address. Nature lovers can browse through the “art garden” that houses more than 10,000 plants of 2,000 species, including some near-extinct varieties. The hotel also boasts a collection of 28 priceless carpets from the Qing Dynasty, and a range of 3D art, including a neon 3D art piece called Flare by Chris Wood, which was my favourite. The other “installation” I absolutely loved: a 23-foot chocolate fountain at Janice Wong MGM, the hotel’s pastry shop that’s positioned bang in the middle of the lobby and will remind you of The Faraway Tree series by Enid Blyton.

The rest of MGM Cotai is no less a fairy tale.