One of the legacies of Macau’s melting-pot culture is a calendar full of diverse festivals, and none is bigger than the Chinese Lunar New Year. Over the days surrounding the holiday’s official start on February 10, you’ll find parties, parades, fireworks and temples crowded with locals seeking good fortune in the new year. Macau’s luxury hotels are also celebrating; here are nine properties treating guests to Chinese New Year experiences.
This year’s Chinese New Year celebration at Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Wynn Macau will be as spectacular as ever, with a traditional dragon and lion dance on February 10 that includes an “eye dotting” ceremony — in which Wynn executives dot the creatures’ eyes with red ink — and the lighting of 800,000 firecrackers. Cherry blossoms, kumquat trees, red lanterns and a 35-foot handmade dragon will grace the resort, and both Wing Lei and Golden Flower restaurants will serve Chinese New Year delicacies; select from coconut, turnip, taro and water-chestnut cakes at Wing Lei, and enjoy a new year menu at Golden Flower.
Chinese New Year at the ultra-modern, ultra-luxe Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Altira Macau is a culinary affair. Signature restaurant Ying will offer Lunar New Year puddings and hampers, special prix-fixe dinners — choose from menus like “Joyous New Year” or “Abundance and Prosperity” — and a set lunch or dim-sum meal. Monsoon, Altira’s 24-hour Asian café, also has special items on tap. After your meal, kick back in a waterfront king room with the hotel’s “Five-Star New Year Package;” it includes one night’s accommodations, round-trip limo service and treats from the mini-bar.
As a non-gaming hotel, the waterfront Mandarin Oriental, Macau may buck its city’s gambling persona, but the property fully keeps with tradition when it comes to Chinese New Year celebrations. Expect a dragon and lion dance, martial-arts demonstrations, firecrackers, a “god of fortune” and arts-and-crafts tutorials. Vida Rica Restaurant and Bar will serve Chinese New Year dishes like special dim sum and a “Prosperity Toss” of assorted fish.
The luxurious Crown Towers at the City of Dreams integrated resort is already decked out for Chinese New Year with red and gold décor based on the folk arts of knotting and paper cutting. Peach-blossom trees encircled by tangerine trees fill the hotel’s sleek lobby and public spaces, and in Jade Dragon restaurant, master chef Tam Kwok Fung has prepared lucky dishes and dim sum to celebrate the holiday.
Macau’s Vegas-meets-Venice resort is welcoming the new year at its 13,500-seat Cotai Arena with a February 16 show honoring the Year of the Snake. A corresponding package includes tickets to the show, one night in a suite and breakfast for two at Café Deco or Fogo Samba. Before the show, head to The Venetian’s Canton restaurant for an auspicious Chinese New Year menu, served from February 7 to 24. Additionally, visitors who spend over HK$290 at the Shoppes will receive a card to hang at the wishing tree, and those who spend over HK$8,630 will receive a Year of the Snake gift set.
Grand Hyatt Macau’s Chinese New Year celebration spans a week, beginning with blessings-inscribed charms for Beijing Kitchen diners from February 6 to 8. February 9 brings fireworks at 11:58 p.m., just in time for the stroke of midnight, and February 10 will see a traditional dragon and lion dance winding through the hotel. From February 10 to 12, a “fortune god” will offer guests lai see red envelopes, some of which contain vouchers for accommodations and meals. And from February 9 to 13, Chinese New Year menus will be available at Beijing Kitchen, mezza9 Macau and Lobby Lounge.
The culinary team at Four Seasons Hotel Macau, Cotai Strip is ushering in the Year of the Snake with a special Lunar New Year menu at Zi Yat Heen restaurant from February 10 to 16. In addition to the traditional Cantonese meal, Zi Yat Heen is offering sweet (sugar and coconut juice) and savory (abalone, turnips and conpoy) holiday puddings through February 9.
Though Hotel Okura Macau is steeped in Japanese culture, it’s embracing its location inside the Galaxy Macau complex with tasty treats for Chinese New Year. Several varieties of traditional puddings will be available through February 9; dig into water-chestnut or Chinese-turnip flavors.
Just next door to Hotel Okura in Galaxy Macau, Banyan Tree Macau will celebrate the holiday with a prix-fixe Chinese New Year dinner at Belon. The 31st-floor seafood restaurant will offer the special menu every night in February (excluding Valentine’s Day).
Photos Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Altira Macau and Wynn Resorts Holdings LLC