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Hard Rock Macau hotel

About.com Rating 3.5 Star Rating

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I like Hard Rock cafes – good food and decent music – but I’m not sure I’d like to sleep in one - which is basically what a stay at the Hard Rock Hotel Macau is. The usual garage sale of rock memorabilia is nailed up along the walls, busboys come decked out earrings and leather jackets and you’ll be serenaded on your lift ride by the sounds of the Eagles – the design is more corporate than cool but if you can look past the rock and roll experience babble, there is a lot to like about the Hard Rock.

The Hard Rock Macau is just about a four star hotel – the pool is its claim to an extra star – but the fact that prices are a little cheaper than your average four star payout make a stay here attractive. The value prices are usually part of package deals with tickets to the excellent House of Dancing Water usually included.

City of Dreams casino resort and the pool parties

The Hard Rock Hotel is part of the City of Dreams casino resort, one of the new breed of Vegas style resorts that incorporate not only gambling but entertainment, restaurants and accommodation. The Hard Rock is the cheapest of the three hotels at the City of Dreams. If you’re in Macau for the full casino immersion experience, the Hard Rock is ideal – not only do you have access to the City Of Dreams but the location on the Cotai Strip – Macau’s answer to the Vegas strip – means there are a host of other casinos nearby to choose from, including the gargantuan Venetian just across the road.

The downside of the location is that you’re some distance from the city centre and unless you hit the shuttle buses – which are regular – there is almost nothing to see out on the Cotai Strip.

It’s worth mentioning that isn’t the perfect family friendly hotel, although any hotel set in a casino complex probably isn’t the ideal environment for five year olds. The pool parties here aren’t raucous Vegas affairs but they and the hotel’s trendy theme do attract a younger crowd who can often push the boundaries of R rated.

Shabby chic at the Hard Rock Macau hotel?

While the pool and public areas of the hotel have had money splashed on them, from the stylish silver and glittering Hollywood red carpet lobby to the half-submerged sunchairs at the pool, the rooms themselves are largely forgettable. Aside from cursory tributes to the hotels rock and roll heritage – such as a framed photo of LPs stacked – they feel poorly thought out and cheaply constructed. Chipboard shelves, uncomfortable retro style furniture and a shower head that dribbles water are just some of the budget basics. There are also regular complaints about odd room layouts, especially the fact that the toilet and bathroom are separate, yet the toilet comes sans sink for washing hands.

Better is the service, which in a testament to the American inspired, bend over backwards eagerness of the Hard Rock cafes is excellent. From friendly tips on what to see and how to get there to organising a limo to have you chauffeured around everything is delivered with smile.

With its location out on the Coati Strip your food options are limited to the resort itself but there is enough variety to stay interested for at least a few days. As you’d expect there is a Hard Rock Café inside the hotel, while the City of Dreams resort offers a good choice of bars and restaurants, many of which open late, and a handful of lounge shows to keep you away from the Blackjack table.

If you can ignore the have-a-go rockstar gimmicks, the hotel itself is a solid choice. The location on the Cotai Strip is ideal for those who want to hit the tables while the packages that include tickets to the House of Dancing Water – Macau’s only unmissable shows – are great value.

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