Macau is often described as the Las Vegas of Asia. Like Las Vegas, however, the city is no longer just a gambler’s paradise. Over the years it has developed into quite the family-friendly destination. There’s no shortage of hotels to choose from in Macau, but one property is truly unique, and that’s Banyan Tree Macau.
What makes this all-suite property so different? First, every suite comes with its own swimming pool. Yes, in the room. What kid wouldn’t love that? Second, its spa is a show-stopper. At over 36,000 square feet, its impressive design and lush greenery will transport you into a realm of serious relaxation. Third, the entire property is infused with a sense of serenity that provides a welcome departure from the cacophony of the surrounding casinos and shopping malls—especially if you’re traveling with children.
Walking into Banyan Tree Macau is quite the experience. The lobby is a grand space with soaring ceilings and impressive glass sculptures.
Between the beautiful Thai musician playing the khim and the delicate floral notes of the hotel’s signature fragrance, you’re immediately overcome by a sense of peace.
The check-in area is partially sectioned off from the lobby. One thing I appreciated was the dedicated seating area right near the desk. It was great to have a place to park our kids where they were still within view.
The khim player was so lovely and gracious, smiling and interacting with our girls even while she was performing. Our girls fell in love with her, and of course asked to take a photo as soon as she was done playing!
The level of detail in the decor of the property was truly astonishing. Even the elevator banks and the hallways were meticulously designed to reinforce the Thai- and Japanese-inspired aesthetic.
The Cotai Pool King Suite
Here’s a video tour of our suite:
We stayed in room 2812, a Cotai Pool King Suite. The floor-to-ceiling windows gave us impressive views of the entire Cotai strip. Our girls were completely wowed by the in-room relaxation pool, which spanned the length of the room.
Each end of the pool had a lounge area, stocked with bath towels to dry yourself with after a dip.
The bedroom was spacious, and the bed was incredibly comfortable. One thing to note, however, is that the bedroom isn’t 100% private. There’s a sliding door that separates the bedroom from the living area, but there’s a narrow gap on the other side of the wall that your kids could walk through to get to the bedroom.
The hotel provided robes and slippers in their signature batik-print for us and the girls. They couldn’t wait to get in the pool!
Another cool feature of the property is that they provide different fragrances of incense and essential oils each day of the week. If you’re not a fan of the fragrances available that day, you can call housekeeping and they can customize the incense and oil to the ones you prefer.
The bathroom was simply gorgeous. The double vanity had plenty of storage room for our toiletries. Taking a shower with four shower heads going at the same time—two rain showers in the ceiling, two handhelds attached to the wall—was an absolute luxury. (You can use just one at a time, of course, but I had to try the full experience at least once!)
Our girls particularly enjoyed the wooden, Japanese-style deep soaking tub. And they couldn’t get enough of the high-tech Toto toilet, with its heated seats, automatic flush, self-raising lid and cleansing options.
But of course, their favorite part was getting to swim and splash around in a pool without even leaving the room!
A Sumptuous Breakfast
Here’s a video tour of the breakfast buffet:
The breakfast buffet at Saffron was spectacular. One thing I love about traveling in Asia is that properties there do such a great job of mixing Western and Asian foods in their offerings, and Banyan Tree was no different.
The breads and pastries were delicious, and our girls were delighted to find that they even had Hong Kong-style pineapple buns!
Our oldest loves sushi more than any other food in the world, so getting to eat it for breakfast was heavenly for her.
The omelettes were fantastic, as was the noodle bar right in front of that section.
My personal favorites were the buns and the congee. I love bacon and eggs as much as the next girl, but getting to eat Chinese food for breakfast is always a special treat for me.
Gym and Pool
One feature of Banyan Tree Macau that kids will love is the Grand Resort Deck area. This outdoor facility is shared between the hotels that make up this part of the Galaxy complex. There’s a lazy river, water slides, a wave pool, and several other types of pools and children’s water park features.
Unfortunately it was raining cats and dogs during our stay at The Banyan Tree, so we didn’t get to enjoy the outdoor pool.
We did, however, spend a lovely afternoon at the indoor pool. Our girls had a fantastic time splishing and splashing!
Banyan Tree Macau has an impressive gym. In addition to a large selection of cardio machines, there are a good number of weight machines too.
Dinner at Belon
One highlight of our experience at Banyan Tree Macau was the date night my husband and I had at Belon. This on-property restaurant specializes in seafood and steak, and has a very romantic atmosphere.
When we were there, the restaurant was offering two prix fixe menus, the Signature Set Menu and the Chef’s Flair Menu. We decided to go with the latter, and boy did they ever deliver on the flair!
Each course was crafted with such great care and presented in often creative way. Our first course, for example, was a soy-marinated tuna with avocado, sesame and seaweed, It was presented on top of a vented glass box that contained smoldering wood, which gave off a wonderful aroma.
Several courses were prepared tableside. One of these was a scallop dish that the chef prepared by heating up a big rock of himalayan salt, and searing the scallop on top of the salt.
The scallop absorbed the salt during the cooking process, so very little other seasoning was needed. The presentation in a gleaming shell was beautiful.
Both our server and our sommelier were wonderful hosts, and took great care to make every part of our dining experience special. We got to choose our own steak knives from a box of six different knife handles. We also got to choose what kind of pepper to use on our steaks, from a selection of six different flavors with names like Habanero Heat and Espresso Bravo.
Even the petit fours they brought out at the very end of the meal were presented with extra flair. Sitting on this lighted box, they looked as if they were floating in mid-air.
An incredible kids club
Deciding to have this dinner was a spur-of-the-moment decision, so we scrambled to arrange childcare for our girls.
The hotel was understandably unable to provide us with a babysitter so last-minute. However, they let us know that as guests of Banyan Tree Macau, we received discounted access to the kids club at the neighboring JW Marriott Hotel Macau.
This was definitely one of the most impressive kids clubs I’ve ever seen. Lots of fun amenities for the kids, beautifully designed, and extremely high-tech.
A spa like no other
Banyan Tree as a travel brand is renowned for its spas, but the Banyan Tree Spa Macau is like a whole other resort within the hotel.
The massive size of the spa lobby is a good indication of how expansive the rest of the space is.
What I did not expect was to be walking through bamboo courtyards lit to seem as if we were standing in broad daylight.
Nor was I ready for the incredible rock gardens that lead from one section of the spa to another.
The treatment rooms are truly impressive. Larger than the average Manhattan apartment, the room has a soaring ceiling and is full of natural elements like verdant wall and bamboo groves.
For the ultimate experience, book the Spa Royal Treatment Room. In addition to the impressive main room, it comes with its own hydrotherapy room where you can experience one of the spa’s signature offerings, the Tropical Rainmist experience.
Fantastic Thai food at Saffron
Saffron is the signature restaurant concept at Banyan Tree, and that means that every Banyan Tree property around the world has one.
Hands-down, this was one of the best Thai meals I’ve ever had. And being able to enjoy it in such a beautiful space was a plus.
We started with coconut water and mango juice, both of which were incredibly fresh and tasty. We snacked on rice cakes with a variety of dips.
Then we dove into the appetizer sampler, which included pork satay, fried chicken wrapped in pandan leaves, prawn spring rolls and pomelo salad.
Our girls love noodles, so of course we had to order some chicken pad thai.
We added a beef tenderloin dish, which was absolutely bursting with flavor.
To finish the meal, we went with one of my favorite desserts: sticky rice with mango and coconut milk. This dessert on its own was already delicious, but the coconut ice cream they served it with took it over the top. So good!
We miss you already, Banyan Tree Macau!
Our family trip to Hong Kong and Macau was one of the best we’ve taken so far. Our only regret is that we didn’t have more time in Macau! Staying at Banyan Tree Macau was an amazing experience, and we can’t wait to go back.
The author received complimentary accommodations from Banyan Tree Macau for purposes of this review. All opinions are her own.
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About Carmen Sognonvi
Carmen Sognonvi is the founder and publisher of Top Flight Family, the essential resource on luxury family travel. Her insights on travel have been featured in Wanderlust Travel Magazine, TravelPulse, HOTELS Magazine, Seatrade Cruise News and more. A seasoned media professional in both digital and print media, Carmen Sognonvi began her career at Surface magazine and Town & Country magazine. Carmen lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and two daughters. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
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