Casino review / L'Arc Macao
SJM Holdings Limited
20 Sep 2009
The Arc is an elegant casino hotel that opened on September 20, 2009, and is located about 5 minutes away from the Hong Kong ferry terminal, in the heart of the most lively area of Macau. The establishment is surrounded by three giants of the island: the MGM on the left, to the right the Starworld, and the Wynn opposite from it.
This large Neoclassical structure is based mainly in the architecture of the Paris landmark the Arc de Triomphe. However, you can find a mix of French and Italian styles, with balconies, large arched windows and white pillars that are very beautiful and create a very nice atmosphere.
A very red casino
The Arc casino is stretched over two floors and it is not as big as you might think, compared to the size of the building. The interior design can be described in one word: red. In fact, everything is red here: the carpets, the walls, the tables, and even the staff and croupiers are dressed in red. Everything is simply sublime.
The slot machines
They are around 150 devices in the Arc casino. Most slots offer minimum wagers from 5 - 20 cents, but there are also some slots from $1. Although the casino has no video poker games, it still offers electronic roulette and sic bo games from $10.
The table games
As for the traditional games, you can find 67 tables with :
- sic bo.
There are a few tables from $100, but not very many. You can expect to find most tables have a rather high minimum stake with $200 or $300. High rollers can play at a space reserved for VIP players where the minimum bets range from between $500 and $2,000.
Most players will probably spend most of the time in the Arc casino, but you should still know that the establishment has several other services aside from gambling. You can find an international 5-star hotel, lots of restaurants and entertainment.
I wish you good luck getting a room at the Arc if you do not book well in advance! In fact, the hotel is regularly fully booked, due to numerous agreements with travel agencies. Most of the 301 rooms or suites are usually reserved. The hotel claims to have only 20 or 30 rooms available for the general public every day.
Because of this success, the rates are very high as well. You can book :
- the deluxe room for $2.875,
- the executive deluxe room for $3.335,
- the suite with one room for $6.095,
- the suite with two rooms for $8.970,
- the villa with one room for $8.870,
- the villa with two rooms for $13.517,
- the presidential suite for $43.000.
Although the different rooms are very spacious, nicely decorated and pleasant, I do not think they are worth spending that much money. There are better hotels elsewhere for this price, especially if you take into account the little amount of available hotel amenities, as you can see a little further below in the review.
The restaurants and the bar
I would like to say this right away: fans of Western cuisine will be disappointed with the selection of restaurants at the Arc, as they all are dedicated to Asian cuisine. However, the prices for food are very reasonable, especially for a hotel of this quality in Macao. You can expect a great value for money, and you can eat at :
- a Chinese Restaurant that specialises in Cantonese cuisine,
- a Coffee Shop offering an all you can eat self service buffet with Asian food,
- the Full House that specialises in traditional Chinese cuisine,
- the Old Shanghai Restaurant that pays a tribute to Shanghai and Canton specialties,
- the Shiki Hot Pot & Seafood Restaurant that offers a great selection of sea food dishes.
There is also a bar: the Lounge is an ideal place for a drink of a dessert.
Not many leisure services
Besides playing casino games, eating and sleeping, you can also be entertained at the Arc, although the range of activities is relatively thin. The resort only offers :
- a good sized swimming pool with nice decorations, but it is not heated and closed in February and March,
- a sauna and a hammam,
- a fitness centre that is absolutely disappointing for a 5-star hotel, as it has only 6 machines and some weights,
- a recreational space for children (Adventure Land) that has video games,
- a nightclub (Club de 9 Night Club & Karaoke) with Japanese karaoke,
- three shops where you can find jewellery, watches, alcohol, tobacco and Portuguese pastries.
In conclusion we can say that, although everything is nice, the Arc cannot be taken as a reference for Macao. It is already very difficult to get a room, and even then they are very expensive. It is better to look elsewhere on the island rather than to stay there, especially as the range of entertainment activities is also very low.
So, what about the games? Well, the casino is very nice with the beautiful red decoration. However, the games room is relatively small, and the variety of the games is not particularly attractive.
In short, it is not a bad hotel-casino, not at all! It is a rather a nice place (although a bit expensive). But then, there are not many reasons to go there. There are much better places to enjoy in Macau.