Date
13 December 2017
Fireworks explode over Parisian Macau, part of the Las Vegas Sands development, during its opening in 2016. Photo: Reuters
Fireworks explode over Parisian Macau, part of the Las Vegas Sands development, during its opening in 2016. Photo: Reuters

Parisian Macau is too big for tourists

You don’t know how big a hotel is until you cannot locate its check-in counter.

Yes, it took me quite a while to figure out where I should get the room key in Parisian Macau, where I stayed last weekend.

That is because I could not find the express check-in counter until the third try. The unclear instructions did not help.

To compare my experience to a treasure hunt is probably a bit exaggerated. But when I tried to look for the express counter in the North Lobby, a receptionist told me that I should go to the South Lobby. When I went there, a lady told me I should go to the second floor.

When I got there, I found the line was longer than at the two previous counters.

To their credit, the experience was not too annoying because the front office staff (whom I can tell were of different nationalities) were helpful.

In fact, I thought I was treated like a VIP when I received an invitation of a priority express check-in a week before my journey. It was a thoughtful note, but unfortunately I found the effort somehow wasted because of the poor navigation.

Just like the Venetian Macau and Sands Cotai Central (which is made up of Sheraton, Conrad and Holiday Inn), the Parisian Macau is a 3,000-room hotel-casino complex. I figured that one could spend more than eight years living there if they were to try every room.

Sands Macau, the biggest Macau casino operator, manages around 13,000 rooms with MICE facilities.

To put it in perspective, it is roughly equal to what tycoon Li Ka-shing operates in Hong Kong. His flagship Cheung Kong Holdings runs a portfolio of 16,000 rooms in 15 hotels and serviced suites in Hong Kong, China (four hotels) and The Bahamas (one hotel).

Still Sands Macau is more dominating because it takes over one-third of the Macau hotel market (36,300 rooms as of May this year). By comparison, Hong Kong has nearly 80,000 hotel rooms, according to Statista 2017.

It is doubtful how these rooms in Macau can be filled other than on holidays and weekends.

Contrast that to the imbalance of supply and demand for Hong Kong housing, with many Hongkongers desperate for a roof over their heads in a place where prices are way beyond what they can afford.

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BK/RA

EJ Insight writer

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