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Cotai Strip review

Casinos, food and shopping at the Cotai Strip in Macau


What is the Cotai Strip?

The Cotai Strip is a slice of reclaimed land on what was Cotai Island (it’s now been joined with the mainland). Since the deregulation of gambling in Macau the strip has been the location for many of the biggest casinos to open their doors on the island and the intention is to develop it into a rival for the famous Las Vegas strip.

So far the project has met with mixed results. The Cotai Strip does host the biggest casino in the world, The Venetian, as well as many of Macau’s other big name casinos, but several blockbuster names in the casino world have also opened in the centre of Macau. Financial struggles also mean several projects on the Cotai Strip have been paused and much of it currently looks like a building site.

Several of the biggest casinos and hotels are already in place and the strip already attracts thousands of punters but until you can actually easily stroll between casinos, staying in Macau city centre remains a more attractive proposition.

Casinos on the Cotai Strip

The flagship casino on the Cotai Strip is the Venetian. This gargantuan casino is the biggest in the world and includes not only an endless parade of poker tables, roulette wheels and slots but a 3000 room hotel and Macau’s biggest shopping mall. There are also a number of shows and the Venetian is host to many of Macau’s biggest events – from tennis opens to rock star concerts - as well as gondola rides around its faux Venetian canals.

Across the road is the slightly smaller but slightly hipper City of Dreams casino. On top of the usual menu of gambling options this mega resort offers three hotels, including the Hard Rock, pool parties and Macau’s best floor show – the Evil Knievel inspired House of Dancing Water. The final big name casino on the Cotai is the Galaxy which has put a premium on its resort options that includes three hotels, a Banyan Tree Spa, Galaxy Cinema and roof top wave pool amongst many other distractions.

Hotels on the Cotai Strip

All the hotels on the Cotai Strip are attached to the casinos listed above. The biggest of the lot is the 3000 rooms at the Venetian Macau. The City of Dreams casino offers three separate hotels; the swanky Crown Towers, the Grand Hyatt and the Hard Rock hotel, the latter often offers very decent deals on packages for Dancing with Water. Finally, the Galaxy has its own hotel, the Hotel Okura and the Banyan Tree Macau with its famous spa.

Shopping on the Cotai Strip

Again, like everything else, shopping on the Cotai Strip revolves round the casinos and while all three of the main casinos offers shopping arcades the 300 shops inside the Venetian are by far the most attractive and their upmarket boutiques pull in punters from all over China.

Cotai Strip restaurants

By now you’ve guessed the theme and yes, all the strips’ restaurants are inside the casinos. There is some good gourmet food on offer and a number of highly regarded restaurants have opened in all three of the major casinos. Some names worth highlighting include the aquatic inspired Belon at the Banyan Tree and its Breton cuisine, the oysters and stellar wine list inside the Tasting Room at the Crown Towers to dozens of decent options, as well as more modest pub grub and a foodcourt, inside the Venetian. For the best Macanese restaurants you will need to head into town.
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