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5 ways to celebrate the holidays in Macau this month

You’re likely to be inundated with Christmas happenings in Hong Kong by now — from Christmas dinners to holiday fairs, festive shows and art exhibitions — but what’s happening over in our sister SAR? If a trip to Macau in on your agenda this month, there are plenty more opportunities to get into the spirit of the season, whether through great gastronomy or a relaxing and much-needed spa sesh. For those planning to jump on a ferry before the year is up — here are five ways to relax, restore and reap the best of the holidays in Macau before closing out 2018 with a bang.


Dazzle at the Macau Light Festival

When: Daily through 31 December, 7–10pm

Price: Free

One of the big events in our sister SAR this month is the Macau Light Festival, which runs through 31 December (7–10pm nightly). Themed “Time Travel in Macau”, the festival aims to combine local elements ranging from gastronomy to culture, arts and architecture in a unique city-wide event paying homage to the area’s multi-cultural character and heritage. Projection mapping brings the city alive in dazzling lights as five shows are staged at three main locations, taking spectators on an intriguing journey across time and space.

In addition to projection mapping in major attractions such as the Ruins of St. Paul, the 4th annual festival includes a number of interactive games and light installations showcasing the unique gastronomic facets of Macau, with the “Food Truck x Light” and Gastronomy Night Market initiatives serving as highlights of the festival. Meanwhile, those who grew up in Macau will find plenty of nostalgic stories to reminisce on their childhoods, in addition to iconic buildings transformed into works of art, and a series of new activities this year such as the Outdoor Movie event and Light Dinner. 

For more information, visit here


Indulge in Christmas dinner at Galaxy Macau

When: 24–25 December

Price: Varies by restaurant

At the end of 2017, Macau was officially designated as an UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy, and rightly so: With a total of 30 Michelin stars in this year’s red book, the city’s unique culinary DNA ranges from world-class fine dining to abundant street food stalls and home-style restaurants serving up the beloved Portuguese and Macanese cuisine evolved from the city’s heritage and history. With the local government having deemed this the 2018 Macau Year of Gastronomy, there’s no better time than now to head across the waters and sample the culinary melting pot.

For an all-in-one F&B destination, head to Galaxy Macau, which boasts a total of 8 Michelin stars under one roof across Chinese, French and Italian cuisines. The most luxurious Christmas dinner has to be at Robuchon au Dôme, the late Joël Robuchon‘s 3-Michelin-starred Asia flagship which is serving up special Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners. Available as a 7-course (MOP2,988) or 10-course (MOP3,888) degustation, you can enjoy the exquisite French creations paired with exceptional wines from within the spectacular, Swarovski crystal-bathed dining room of the Grand Lisboa Hotel. Meanwhile, those after a more casual yet equally festive dinner can head to pizzeria Casa Don Alfonso for a 4-course set menu (MOP850 plus 10%, through 31 December); or savour an 8-course menu at all-day diner, The Kitchen, which also boasts its own Michelin star (24–25 Dec, MOP1,500 plus 10% ). 

Robuchon au Dôme, 43/F, Grand Lisboa Hotel, Avenida de Lisboa, Macau, +853 8803 7878


A Winter Wonderland at The Parisian Macao

When: Daily through 6 January 2019, 4–10pm

Price: MOD50 for 30 minutes on the ice

A white Christmas doesn’t come often to this part of the world, but The Parisian Macao isn’t letting that stop visitors from experiencing a true winter wonderland this Christmas. Whether you’re on a romantic date with your SO or have gathered the whole family for a night out with the kids, up on the Level 7 observation deck of the Paris-themed landmark an enchanting evening awaits with a spectacular outdoor ice skating rink set up underneath the towering Eiffel Tower. Lace up your skates and go out for a spin while taking in the Christmas lights and a special edition of the hotel’s light show performance, based on the songs “Jingle Bell Rock” and “All I Want for Christmas Is You” this year. Looking for last-minute Christmas gifts? Mosey on over afterwards to the Place Vendôme at Shoppes at Parisian, where a light and sound spectacular, La Magie De Noël 3D projects festive images across the ceiling of the shopping atrium, providing a dazzling backdrop for spirited Christmas shoppers (every 30 minutes between 12–9pm).

Winter Wonderland at The Parisian Macao, 7/F, Observation Deck, Eiffel Tower, The Parisian Macao, Estrada do Istmo, Lote 3, Cotai, Macau, +852 8118 3640


Relax at Morpheus Spa

Holiday parties are all well and good, but chances are you’re feeling ready for a little alone time right about now. If a few hours to rest and relax sounds like heaven in the whirlwind social calendar of December, we’ve got the solution for you: a revitalising massage or facial treatment at the newly opened Morpheus Spa inside the freshly minted Zaha Hadid-designed casino-resort. Capped off with a real “snow garden” evocative of a Nordic landscape, state-of-the-art wet facilities and two relaxation lounges — the treatments here are just what you’ll need to wind down and recharge before the new year hits.

While reviewing the hotel’s F&B facilities, we had a chance to check out this spa back in October and found it to be easily one of the most luxurious spas we’ve visited yet in both Macau and Hong Kong. The urban retreat may have been created with a Scandinavian, minimalist aesthetic in mind, but there’s no denying the stately grandeur that exudes from the majestic suite rooms and spa facilities spread across two storeys, complete with a glass elevator and private butlers to take you between floors and treatment rooms. Inside your individual spa suite, you’ll find a Jacuzzi and personal steam room — ideal for relaxing pre-treatment and stretching out your visit. Expert therapists deliver ultimate relaxation, be it an energy-point massage with the Morpheus Deep Sleep treatment in collaboration with Subtle Energies, or a rejuvenating facial using Margy’s Monte Carlo face masks. Follow it up with a dip in the vitality pool, Finnish sauna or steam room, before nibbling on refreshments in the relaxation lounge.

Morpheus Spa, Morpheus, City of Dreams, Estrada do Istmo, Cotai, Macau, +853 8868 6688


NYE Fireworks Extravaganza

When: 20 & 31 December, 9pm and 12am shows

Price: Free

Finally, it’s not New Year’s in Hong Kong or Macau without an epic fireworks display: This year, there’s set to be not one but two pyrotechnics display above Nam Van Lake, celebrating both the start of the new year (31 December) and the 19th anniversary of the establishment of the Macau SAR (20 December). With two shows at 9pm and 12am, the night skies of the casino town will be lit up in a mesmerising fireworks display accompanied by a lively soundtrack. Set off from the Macau Tower, you can find a prime viewing spot for catching the kid-friendly show from popular spots such as the top of Penha Hill, on the waterfront of Nam Van Lake, or along the Avenida Da Praia Grande. Afterwards, head to one of Macau’s world-class bars or New Year’s Eve parties to dance the night away!

For more information call +853 2831 5566. 

Leslie Yeh
Editor in Chief
Having worked as a lifestyle editor for almost 10 years, Leslie is thrilled to be writing about the topic she loves most: wining and dining. When she's not out pounding the pavement for the latest new restaurant opening or tracking food trends, Leslie can be found at home whipping up a plate of rigatoni vodka and binge-watching Netflix with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc in hand.
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