They don’t do things by halves in Macao. When the MGM Grand opened on the Cotai strip last year, it boasted 1,390 rooms and suites, including 27 mansion villas, nearly 3,000 sq m of event and meeting spaces, nine new dining concepts, including four celebrity chef restaurants, and Asia’s first dynamic theatre with a seating capacity of up to 2,000 and more than 10 different seating configurations (not to mention a giant 900 sq m 4K LED screen, the largest such permanent indoor screen anywhere and effectively the size of three tennis courts combined). It is also home to over 300 pieces of contemporary art with a theme of bridging the East and West, tradition and technology, and is also one of the largest permanent art collections in Macao. There is so much artwork, in fact, that they actually offer a tour of it, the stars of the collection being 28 Chinese imperial carpets, dating from the Qing Dynasty, which once adorned the Forbidden City in Beijing. Over 240 types of stones were used in the construction and, for more than two years, MGM’s dedicated team travelled across the world to source them.
But the first thing you’ll notice on arriving in the lobby is the Spectacle, the world’s largest—yes, you hear that a lot here—area of permanent indoor LED screens, showcasing an exclusive array of digital art collected from around the globe. To create the experience, MGM spent months capturing the natural wonders of Asia with the latest filming technologies to produce over seven hours of exclusive content under six themes. The footage runs on Spectacle’s 25 LED screens to create unparalleled immersive experiences at a previously unimaginable scale.
Spectacle is over four stories high, spanning the length of a football field, and makes the atrium come alive, continually evolving and responding to changing conditions such as visitor behaviour, weather, time of day and season. Complementing it is the world’s largest indoor art garden, dubbed Nature’s Art, which makes use of over 100,000 plants.
The guest rooms are spacious and serene, with best-in-class facilities, and have a comfortable and functional layout. The minibar is complimentary. There are a range of retail offerings, which claim to focus on affordable luxury. Being Macao, attached to the hotel is a 500,000 sq ft casino with 1,500 gaming machines and 175 table games.
Four world-renowned celebrity chef restaurants lead the culinary offerings here: Grill 58, with its menu designed by Chef Mauro Colagreco, a Michelin three-star award-winning chef, is the must-go restaurant for exceptional meat and wine; Aji, the first authentic Nikkei restaurant in Macao by Chef Mitsuharu Tsumura; Coast, helmed by Chef Graham Elliot, a celebrity chef and television personality from Top Chef, offers dishes that capture the spirit of California and neighbouring West Coast flavours; and Janice Wong MGM, a modern pastry shop offering a full sweets experience and one of the biggest chocolate fountains in the world (but, of course).
A Golden Lion—iconic emblem of MGM—11m high and weighing 38 tonnes guards the property, and is the first MGM lion statue to be gilded in 24-karat gold (in case you’re interested, it required approximately 32,000 sheets of gold foil to do the job). Indians remain fond of the Grand Venetian but they really need to give funky new kids-on-the-block like the MGM Cotai a chance.
Accomodation: 1,390 rooms and suites: 1,248 resort rooms, 99 suites, 16 skylofts and 27 mansion villas.