Located 64km west of Hong Kong over the Pearl River Delta, Macau is a bustling city of countless tourists and visitors all year round. It is a popular destination for travellers to stopover before transiting to Hong Kong or other parts of Mainland China.
Many of the hotels in Macau play to the city’s reputation as the Las Vegas of Asia and often feature in-house casinos in addition to luxurious accommodation. One such hotel is the Rio Hotel (officially known as the Rio Hotel & Casino) located on the corner of Rua Luis Gonzaga Gomes (name of the street) in one of the busiest regions of the city.
Lavish interior design and laudable service
Established in 2006, the Rio Hotel is easy to spot with its huge, dazzling neon sign reading ‘Rio Casino’ brightening up the otherwise average looking exterior of the hotel building. But don’t let the building’s outward appearance fool you! Step inside and you will be greeted by a lavish, Italianesque interior well-decorated with elegant chandeliers and tasteful marble.
However, it is obviously not just style over substance at the Rio Hotel because the staff at the establishment epitomises the phrase ‘putting the guest first’.
Apart from 24-hour reception and room service, the Rio Hotel offers currency exchange services and free shuttle buses for hotel guests to and from the Hong Kong - Macau Ferry Terminal. In addition, tour packages and airport transfers can also be made at the front desk through the helpful and friendly staff.
Rooms that are designed for comfort
Although rare, there are times when one would enter a hotel and be dazzled by an impressive reception area only to be disappointed by subpar guestrooms. Fret not for there is no risk of that happening with the Rio Hotel.
Even the most standard rooms are very spacious and feature an LED flat-screen television airing shows and programmes from local and Hong Kong television stations, a comfortable bed with clean linen, an en-suite bathroom and air-conditioning. Most rooms will offer the guest a view of the city but do not expect a breathtaking view.
On its own, a standard room would cost a little less than 950 HKD (122.58 USD) per night while a buffet breakfast (served daily from 7a.m. onwards in the 24-hour in-house café) package would set you back a further 100 HKD (12.90 USD). Do note that when checking in, guests will be required to pay a 500 HKD (64.51 USD) deposit, which will be refunded to the guest upon checkout.
The Rio Hotel offers promotional packages from time to time (which sometimes include tickets to theatrical shows and performances) so it is worth paying a visit to the hotel website before making a reservation as to ensure that you get the best deals and value for money.
In tune with Macau's vibe as a city of entertainment
As mentioned earlier, the Rio Hotel includes an in-house casino for guests who may be feeling lucky during their stay at the establishment. But that is not the only entertainment value of the hotel.
On the top floor, guests may utilise the indoor swimming pool (designed after an ancient Roman bath) and fitness centre for free. However, it must be said that the equipment at the fitness centre is somewhat limited and is far from being a fully-equipped gym.
The hotel bar on the ground floor opens daily from 4p.m. and serves up a selection of house draughts and some imported beer along with some non-alcoholic drinks. Prices typically range from 20 - 40 HKD (2.58 USD - 5.16 USD) but it must be said that the selection of drinks is slightly limited due to the bar’s (currently) limited space.
The 5th floor of the hotel is home to the (in)famous Rio Spa. However, although the in-house spa does offer some legitimate services, it mostly caters to more adult-oriented services and entertainment. Therefore, if one wishes to visit the spa, it is best to do so with discretion.
More importantly, what adds value to the Rio Hotel is its strategic location. It is a mere 15 minutes’ walk away from Senado Square and the Ruins of St. Paul, two of Macau’s most iconic tourist hotspots and a 10 minutes’ walk from Guia Hill, another one of Macau’s main tourist attractions while Fisherman’s Wharf, Macau’s most famous theme park, is only 10 minutes away from the hotel.
There are also several convenience stores and eateries located on the same street as the Rio Hotel so not only is it close to the city’s most famous landmarks, it is also located in a very convenient location.
In addition, the Rio Hotel is close to several bus stops from which guests may ride a bus to different locations, which may be more difficult to access on foot. Even at its most expensive, commuting on public buses Macau would usually not cost more than 7 HKD (0.90 USD).
However, do take note that it is not possible to get change when paying for the bus fares so it is advisable to exchange some paper notes for coins at the front desk in the Rio Hotel before departing.
A service-oriented establishment
All in all, while the comfort of the guestrooms and lavish design of the Rio Hotel is essential to its billing as one of the most esteemed four-star hotels in Macau, the true charm of the Rio lies with the ever-readiness of its service-oriented team. If you’re looking for an unforgettable stay in a majestic hotel which prioritises its guest, the Rio Hotel is an accommodation choice that is surely not to be missed!