Review written by Sophie Couard, December 4, 2015.
Every time I visit the Ponte 16 in Macau, it is the same. I am always surprised to see the condition of the neighbourhood where it is located, and I wonder why they decided to build it there. In fact, the establishment also has the Sofitel hotel, which is just emerging as one of the most luxurious hotels in the city, while the surrounding buildings are rather bleak at best, and seem generally to be in ruins or completely abandoned. Seriously, what a great idea to build it there!
Additionally, the Ponte 16 stands out as the only casino on the island, which is not anywhere near the famous Avenue D'Amizade. It is built north in the city, at the intersection of two very important streets, the Rua do Visconde Paco de Arcos and the Avenue D'Almeida Ribiero. Fortunately, as Macao is not very large, you are never far from everything else. For example, a twenty minute walk is enough to reach the Grand Lisboa.
However, I still do not understand what had been going through the heads of the operator to build the casino there.
A particularly stylish and elegant casino
In any case, the location is not necessarily the most important to be considered. I will not waste any more time on this, and look immediately at the casino, which itself is of average size for Macao. it offers:
- a large ground floor for the general public, offering tables with relatively low minimum bets usually at $100 and sometimes even just $50, and slot machines with much lower denominations starting from 20 cents,
- second and third floors that are smaller and reserved exclusively for VIP players with a few slots and tables with high minimum bets between $500 and $10,000.
The casino is nicely decorated and is also as elegant and sophisticated as the Sofitel, which really means something. It includes many traditional Chinese motifs, such as long vertical dragons that descend from the ceiling, stunning chandeliers and beautiful classic wooden accessories called feng ping, which are supposed to ward off evil spirits. A truly splendid and refined atmosphere.
The slot machines
The Ponte 16 casino offers nearly 300 slot machines in total, that are distributed across the three floors. You can find:
- a single video poker machine for $5 offering the possibility to choose between 5 different variations (jacks or better, bonus poker, double bonus, deuces wild and joker poker),
- electronic versions of baccarat, sic bo and of roulette.
The table games
Regarding traditional games, the casino offers 109 tables with:
- 3 card baccarat,
- caribbean stud poker,
- fan tan,
- pai gow,
- American roulette,
- sic bo.
Various other services of the casino
Obviously, the activities at the Ponte 16 in Macau are not exclusively limited to gambling. The establishment also has a splendid luxury hotel, restaurants, bars and other entertainment offers.
The Sofitel Macau
I love this hotel, as it is not content - unlike many other establishments - with only devoting all its efforts into decorating the lobby. Everything here is incredibly beautiful. The hotel is a real beauty, no matter where you are, also in the bedrooms or upstairs. There are 408 rooms that are also luxuriously equipped with fantastic bedding and high quality appliances.
In addition to this exceptional hotel, you can also find 5 restaurants. These are:
- the Mistral, a large international all you can eat buffet, which is open from 7 am to 10 pm,
- the 68 Restaurant, that offers good Chinese fast food gastronomy dedicated to traditional Cantonese and Shanghai cuisine and is open 24/7,
- the Privé French Restaurant, an upscale gourmet restaurant that offers splendid views over the old town,
- the Chinois Cantonese Restaurant, an authentic Cantonese restaurant in an elegant French-inspired environment,
- the MJ Café, an Italian restaurant with a wide selection of pizzas and pasta dishes.
For a drink or party, you can also choose from 4 different bars:
- the Rendez-vous, a wine bar with inexpensive bottles from around the world, including New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina, Chile and of course France and Italy,
- the Green Wine Bar, a prestigious wine bar,
- the St. Tropez Bar, a cocktail bar with a feverish atmosphere,
- the Pool Bar, a café that serves juices and smoothies from the pool.
Some additional attractions
Once you have eaten, had a drink and played some games, you can also enjoy:
- a superb heated outdoor swimming pool in the winter that also has a large terrace,
- a spa using the L'Occitane products,
- a small gym room, which is very disappointing and only has a few machines and dumbbells,
- a single shop Abiste selling watches, jewellery and many smaller inexpensive accessories,
- a theatre,
- a nice collection of personal items that belonged to Michael Jackson.
In conclusion, I can say that the Ponte 16 has two big advantages: a beautiful hotel which is surely emerging as one of the most luxurious in the city, and a nice casino with a very nice decoration, which offers many tables with a great range of possible bets.
Unfortunately, the rest is not really very special. The location is not great, the bars and restaurants are relatively average, and the gym will disappoint many guests. There are not many other attractions, unless you are fan of the king of pop, of course.
For a long time I had a very high opinion of this complex. But we must recognise that these flaws really spoil the whole image, especially when taking into account that the hotel charges very high rates for their rooms. In the end, it is a decent place, very good even, but not fantastic.