After four years and US$2.7 billion, the spirit of the City of Light has taken up residence on the Cotai Strip in the form of The Parisian Macao. Welistsjust eight of the features that make the city’s newest resort an irresistible attraction.
What an Entrance
Pass through the majestic gilded doors reminiscent of those at the Palais Garnier, the ornate original home of the Paris Opera, and you’ll gape at the sheer size of the main lobby, the Rotunda, a soaring space flanked by hallways of French limestone and marble. Think a circular version of the Cathedral of Saint-Louis des Invalides with a trompl’oeildome at the centre.
Ode to the Sea
A key feature of the lobby is a replica of the Fontaine des Mers, the ornate fountain added to Place de la Concorde in Paris in 1840 to commemorate France’s maritime trade and industry. Large figures of sea gods and mermaids made of cast iron and painted in bronze and gold are seated in the prow of a ship, the symbol of Paris, and are surrounded by fish, dolphins and coral.
The Parisian Macao’s shopping streets offer an array of French labels including brands new to Macau, such as jewellers Isabelle Langlois andGarelParis and fashion label Sonia Rykiel. Antonia, the multibrand Italian luxury fashion house, is definitely worth a visit. The Milan-based retailer’s first store in Asia occupies 33,000 square feet over two storeys with decor that can best be described asspace-agecatwalk. The resort’s shopping areas are named after hallowed haunts of retail therapy—Avenue Montaigne, Avenue des Champs-Élysées, Place Vendôme and Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré.
The reception area, an ambitious recreation of the Apollo Salon at the Palace of Versailles, is a sea of ruby walls and drapery. Parisian art and history are reflected in sumptuous silk, porcelain, crystal chandeliers, murals depicting royalty and reproductions ofrugsfrom the 17th and 18th centuries.
For a night of entertainment away from the tables, check out what’s on at the 1,200seat Parisian Theatre, which is lining up a programme of big name acts and Broadway-style shows. The theatre’s inaugural extravaganza, a six-week run of the hit West End musical Thriller Live, a tribute to the late Michael Jackson, runs until November 13.
Make a Splash
The resort offers plenty for those craving rest and relaxation. Its expansive pool deck boasts five swimming pools, one of which is heated all year round, and three large Jacuzzis. The area overlooks the Versailles-inspired manicured gardens and a windmill like the one at Montmartre. Part of the deck is a water-play area for children called Aqua World. It features a steampunk-themed Jules Verne airship and Marie Antoinette spiral waterslides. Adults can also unwind with luxury treatments at the 12-room Le SPA’tique.
La Chine, the resort’s signature restaurant, is a chic dining spot set within the Eiffel Tower. The wood interiors, leather chairs, mirrors and glass transport guests back to a cafe of the belle époque. The menu is primarily Chinese with a Gallic twist, and specials include roasted duckling al’orangeand a pineapple tarte Tatin.
Just as one couldn’t visit Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower, a trip to The Parisian wouldn’t be complete without a tour of its impressive reproduction, which, at half the size of the original, is said to be the tallest replica in the world and the most realistic in terms of construction. It took workers a year and 2,800 tonnes of steel to recreate Gustave Eiffel’s 1899 masterpiece. Observation decks on the 7th and 37th floors offer panoramic views of the Cotai Strip. Some 6,600 LEDs illuminate the landmark at night, and a light and sound show takes place hourly.
(Text by Emilie Yabut-Razon)