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When bigger is better

The Sheraton Macao is larger enough to get lost in - and guests often do



Ideally situated within Macau's integrated resort, Sands Cotai Central, the Sheraton Macao Hotel is blessed with instant access to all of Cotai's attractions: live entertainment and two casinos, 20 restaurants and cafes and some 100 world-class retails stores.

Towering above the Cotai Strip, the hotel is just five minutes by car from Macau International Airport. It's also within easy travelling distance of all parts of Macao, including cultural and heritage areas, the ferry terminals and the mainland border with the added convenience of complimentary shuttle buses from Sands.

The Sheraton is the largest hotel in Macau - the largest Sheraton in the world, in fact. It's so large that once in the building, it is very easy to get lost. So while it can be irritating when hotel staff ask where you are heading, it's worth remembering that they are just trying to help. People do get confused in the gigantic integrated resort. If you ignore the signs and follow just your instincts to hop into the first elevator you see, you may end up in one of the other two hotels that share the same ground.

The hotel is spreads over two towers, Sky and Earth, and each of the 3,896 rooms has a distinctive fresh look. My room is one of the 1,261 Deluxe rooms located in the Sky Tower and as I leave it for a night on the town, I find myself wishing I will be able to find it again without leaving a trail of breadcrumbs to follow.

Dining at Sheraton Macao Hotel is a real treat, with three signature restaurants offering a choice of Asian and international cuisine. Our first choice is authentic 'as mama makes it' style Italian food at Bene. The tempting aroma of the wood fire oven, with my four-cheese pizza inside, delivers an atmosphere of relaxation and enjoyment. The friendly waiters and waitresses are helpful with food and wine selections. The only regret is we are too full to try Bene's ritual "Caffe Pausa" where freshly brewed coffee is served with freshly baked Italian pastries.

Over the last slices of pizza, we plan our dinner for the next day. My friends vote for Asian hotpot and seafood at Xin, which literally means freshness. We walk down to the restaurant to book our table. Inspired by a vibrant seafood market, the restaurant offers soups, seafood, meats, vegetables and noodles and will also prepare vegetarian hotpots to order.

The night is still young so we cross the street to the Venetian Macau, a famous hotel and casino resort, not to gamble but to test the vibes.

After a long walk in the mall and an even longer walk to the right elevator that will lead to our rooms, a hot bath is a must. The separate shower room and bathtub is very comfortable and I'm pleased to find the floor dry when I've finished.

My room features a working table, Sheraton Sweet Sleeper bed, TV set and cabinet. The spacious living space and comfortable bed is ideal for relaxing but when my friends drop by for a chat, they all have to sit on the bed, as there is no sofa, just one small chair.

The biggest challenge is breakfast and there are so many people in the queue that we almost give up. The trick is to learn how to say your room number in Mandarin and then remember it. My friends give their room number in English but it is a bit hard for the waitress to digest so I say it again in Mandarin. She nods and jots it down and five minutes later, she calls our room number.

And yes, she says it in Mandarin. If you don't understand - or have forgotten - chances are you'll have a very late breakfast or nothing at all.

At a glance

HIGH POINT: Easy access to all parts of Macao with the added convenience of complimentary shuttle buses from Sands.

LOW POINT: No place for those who need solitude.

PAY FOR IT: Visit the website for the best deals and promotions.

FIND IT: Cotai Strip Taipa, Macau, Macau SAR

PHONE IT: (853) 2880 2000

E-MAIL IT: sheraton.macao@sheraton.com

BROWSE IT: http://SheratonMacao.com/en/


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