One thing my husband and I aim to have when traveling is TIME in our hands. We are open to doing some activities but we avoid planned tours as much as possible since that always require leaving early and maximising the day outdoors. Don't get me wrong, we would love to know a place that we would visit for the first time, but we would like it to be at our own pace.
This year, our daughter, Brave, who just turned 6 months, joined us in the annual getaway. This made us excited because it's her first time. But we were preparing ourselves also for more challenging times. As parents, we had to shake our heads "NO" (the more) to a fast paced vacation. We had to choose something that we'll all feel relaxed with. And living in closed small apartments here in Hong Kong was also a factor to reconsider when we choose a location to unwind in. We decided to go somewhere near the nature. All of these demands were met by Grand Coloane Resort in Macau.
|Grand Coloane Resort in Macau|
Yes, it's not your typical hotel in Macau. Why?
Every traveler somewhat relies on reviews about how other people's experience went when they had stayed in a hotel they're eyeing. So I'll start off with how functional this place is.
The Grand Coloane, which was the former Westin Macau, is far from all the hotels that hold the casinos and bars. It is built by the coast surrounded by a walk trail on the north east (facing out the balcony) and on the west side, a golf course that can be accessed thru the top deck of the Grand Coloane extending into a 18-hole, 71 par course of greens. Sharing the excitement with two other families, one with a daughter as well, had made it all much awaited for. Their website says, "Green fees per guest for 18 holes are MOP$ 1,200 on weekdays and MOP $2,400 on weekends and public holidays, plus applicable taxes. Resort guests must book their tee times in advance."
As we reached the reception area to be checked in (Check in: 3pm, Check out: 12nn), we were welcomed warmly by Filipino workers which made me comfortable as they are more than accommodating and are very genuine in giving off service. (I mean come on, some bellboys are just really after the tip sometimes!) They conversed in English fluently and confidently and they had made sure that all of our luggages are secured. My friend from Portland, USA was amazed with how much space the receiving area had and how it smelled good as we entered. I was amazed with the refreshing treats, our daughters were amazed with the live fishes that reside on a pool nested on each side of the bridge way from the entrance leading to the reception area and our husbands felt lucky getting upgraded to a sea view as the resort is facing the South China Sea (which I know costed a lot than what we booked for which was the Garden View). In consideration of the golfing fees plus the accommodation, we planned to go for the weekdays but when we got there, we got more of what we paid for to start off.
In reaching our room, I noticed that the hotel maybe a little old in style but it surely was high tech in everything. The lights, air conditioning and temperature has access buttons from the bedside table and the balcony extended to a good sea view which also makes the playground, the garden and the outdoor pool so tempting. The picture above, showcasing the view from our balcony, was taken from our room and the only waterloo was the "bed" weather. The room was huge with a spacious toilet, bedroom, receiving area and balcony. Again, it was beyond my husband's and my expectation.
|An elevated King Size Bed which is the best representation|
of this hotel's "East Meets West" Imagery
|My baby had reserved this chaise lounge for her|
pleasure of indulging in a nice view
|The bathroom are comprised of a shower which is separated from the|
bathtub with a marble floor extension.
The "bed weather" didn't stop us from exploring around the resort. The first night, the gentlemen had hit the gym and the ladies had hit the Pilates class. The gang had a dip in the pool and it was rejuvenating. I didn't go for a swim so, I was basically awake by 5am. Paid for a MOP120 for a 24hour internet access and just fell asleep around 6am again. Like I said, the internet access was high tech in a way that no slip with the time may happen since it will give out a signage on your phone upon connecting the exact time you had availed of it, complete with milli seconds. In addition, a counter is there for your own consult of how much time you still have left for your paid usage.
I had a good rest but my baby had quite noticed we were not at home so she may have needed to adjust by no challenges to defy our comfort. She was alright by the morning. And so by then, the breakfast buffet was ready for us. Perhaps, it wasn't peak season yet, (hence the upgrade) it was basically just us indulging on a wide healthy array of breakfast.
We trekked the walk trail to the golf course. With our walk talkies at hand, some were able to explore beyond the trails. It was fun even though I had to walk on my black flats over the wet grass. Fortunately, the gym was offering rubber shoes for hire FOR THE ENTIRE DAY that costed just MOP$40, a little over HK$40 basically. Of course I had checked the shoes, they felt and smelled new. What a good hotel, right!?
|Renting the shoes and paying for the driving range experience|
|Behind us was the golf course that was perfectly trimmed|
yet it was drizzling so we just had to end up in the driving range
for a 30-minute golfing experience.
You know what else? The rental for all shoes (including the golf shoes) is MOP40 right? Well, the driving range for 30 minutes was just MOP120 with golf balls and clubs provided. I'm not that much of a golfer but that was really worth every penny for such good experience already. I'm not that much of a professional to go for the full on whole day's game. Plus with these folks, the trip got heightened up to one of the most fun vacations I've had. In the afternoon, before our friends Harry and Phoebe went to see the "House of Dancing Waters", they played a fun game of Soccer. I looked after Brave and I was thinking while watching them that I've never felt so happy and complete. Good times.
Another thrilling treat were the Portuguese restaurants that surrounded the resort. It was beyond delicious and the serving were pretty overboard that we have some food to take to the hotel. My husband is a fan of guest service though so he had to give it to himself twice during the entire trip. There's something about it that he finds fulfilling. He ordered a burger, I was able to taste the Nasigoreng and he went for another fish and ships.
We noticed as we walked to the Portuguese restaurants for dinner that the ambiance of the hotel changes during the night. They put up candles to make the sitting room more than appealing. It made it relaxing and soothing as different lavender and vanilla scents blend altogether. The piano wasn't just a display for the record. Well, a lot of Filipinos work there so, as expected, it was a Filipino musician. I felt proud.
The next day, we hit the driving range again after breakfast right before checking out. Some of our friends had to go back to Hong Kong earlier. But it was on the 3rd day that the sun came out and we thought of passing by the ruins as I've never been there. When we were done, all of our luggages were safely guarded even if we have checked out already. Lastly, their shuttle bus was on time and were prompt enough to cater our intention of taking the 630pm bus out of Macau.
All in all, it was truly a very good choice that we made. I'd rate Grand Coloane Resort Macau 3.5 stars out of 5 as a luxury hotel. All our expectations were met and more. I have to admit that their hotel needed some repainting and the chairs out the balcony are not the same as how they featured it in the website but it's understandable. They had to maintain it and it's impossible to do so with an upholstered furniture.
|Lamb and Seafood Stew with side dishes and Hogan's fruit punch. Hahaha!|
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3. BUCKET LIST - you might consider having one