Posted by James K.
Jun 11, 2011

INTRODUCTION

In contrast to their arch rival, the family oriented Venetian, City of Dreams wants to let their hair down and rock. Clearly marketed for singles and young couples, the mega resort is a motley mix of brash furnishings and bold contemporary design, like being on an MTV set. Every part of the property screams action, from the bustling boutique driven Boulevard to the frantic lobby of the Hard Rock, from the packed foyer of the Dancing Water theatre to the scrum of humanity awaiting a glimpse of a mermaid at the Vquarium. Truly one of a kind, there's no other place in Macau that moves quite like the City of Dreams.

Almost three years old now, Melco Crown Entertainment's flagship property opened on June 1st, 2009.

 

LOCATION

City of Dreams is located right beside the Venetian Macao and the soon to opened Sands Cotai. The Wynn Cotai is scheduled to be built right behind it.

 

Image gallery

CITY OF DREAMS CASINO

Without a doubt the loudest casino in Macau belongs to the City of Dreams, and I'm not talking about the background music. I'm talking about the sensory overload that hits you full force from the frenetic flashing floor. It's not so much that the place is packed with people, but that it's packed with lights, lights and more lights and a slew of decoration so abstract I don't even know what half the stuff is supposed to be. It's just there, on the ceiling, on the walls and even by the tables, collectively trying to acclerate the concepts of "hip" and "cutting edge" and make them move so fast that they're always one step ahead of the here and now. That's a little bit of what it feels like to be in the City of Dreams casino. The action never steps, the lights never fade, nothing and no one ever grows old.

Tables in the very large first floor casino number 143 in all, not including the 91 found in three high limit areas, all of which are are still considered mass gaming and not VIP. High Limit East holds 30 tables, the Li Ying Room 25, and High Limit West another 23. Minimums in these three quarters range from $1000 to $5000, while most tables on the main floor are $200, $300, $500, $800, $1000 or $2000. If you look long enough, you should be able to find a couple $100 tables for some of the games, but not all.

Slots are mostly concentrated on the perimeter of the room and might number around 1200 in all. (I don't know, I never counted.) Just take my word for it, there are a lot and their minimums range from 0.02 to $5. City of Dreams also did a smart thing and arranged all of their electronic games together in one section, named the E City Lounge. Baccarat, Big Wheel, Blackjack, Craps, Roulette and Sic Bo are all available there, with lows that don't exceed $30, depending on the game.

City of Dreams doesn't have a performance stage or any bars, but they do have 3 restaurants — Ji Xiang Yuan, Golden Pavilion and Ru Yi Noodles. Drink service is a definite plus and would be the best on the Cotai Strip (if not for the Plaza). There are always a ton of waitresses walking around carrying trays of free non alcoholic drinks like soda, water and tea. Over by the City Club membership desk they have a nice resting area for players called the City Lounge. Full of big couches and chairs, gamers can take a break, relax and also help themselves to some bowls of rice or congee, in exchange for 20 city points from their player card.

 

HARD ROCK CASINO

Still a part of the same City of Dreams casino, the second floor Hard Rock casino is more low key than the first floor, but it still moves. I've chosen to split the two up because they feel like two distinct places to me. First off, the Hard Rock is much smaller, about half the size of the main casino floor. For another, while the first floor is a dizzying spectacle of lights and action, using a lot of purple and brown, the Hard Rock is overwhelmingly red, and looks a lot like one of their restaurants, with a lot of framed rock memorabilia on display.

Staff is different too. There are no sexier cocktail waitresses in Macau than the ones working the Hard Rock floor. Tall, foreign, and very curvy the outfits they wear are very revealing. They reveal enough to know that these girls could double as Playboy Bunnies at the Bellini Lounge at night if they wanted to, because they are just that hot. Some Hard Rock female dealers really bring it too. I don't think any are older than 25 and their standard work uniform consists of red psychadelic shirts and low cut fishnet stockings. In the winter they change to jeans which in my mind is totally uncalled for.

I personally like the vibe a lot more upstairs at the Hard Rock too. They got great rock music blaring in the background, bad ass bartenders juggling bottles and everything is real up tempo, with a lot to look at (as I mentioned). They also seem to draw an above average percentage of foreign players, which is good for a change sometimes.

Tables total 21 in all, with Baccarat, Commission Free Baccarat, Blackjack, Caribbean Stud Poker, Three Card Poker and Roulette all available for play. Minimums at most tables are either $200 or $300, with only a couple of really high$1000 or $2000 Baccarat tables. Slots number around 165 with lows of $0.02 to $1, along with five or six $5 Game King video poker machines. At one point in the summer they also had $10 Blackjack slot machines, but I don't recall seeing them the last time I was there in January.

 

MY OWN GAMBLING

Sometime in mid August I passed by the Caribbean Stud Poker table at the Hard Rock and noticed the jackpot was well over 6 million, which stirred my fancy. I thought if it were still that high the next time I was in town that I would sit down and take my shot at a life altering experience. Hey, you can't win the lottery if you never play. Or to put it another way, nothing wagered, nothing gained.

About three weeks later I put that plan into action, sitting down one Friday afternoon at the $200 table. I probably played for about four hours, and during that time two dealers alternated. One of them I actually started to like and another one who spent most of her time chatting with her friend. She basically showed no interest in the players whatsover preferring to carry on with her conversation, but it didn't really affect the game. There's a lot of down time in Caribbean Stud Poker as some players take about five years to examine all their cards, and then sometimes even longer to decide whether to fold or to raise. In other words, she knew how to pick her spots. Neither dealer knew much English even though they were both pretty young.

Play for me went, well, as it usually does. I get more pairs playing Three Card Poker than Caribbean Stud Poker, which makes no sense, but is true. After an hour and a half I was down $5000 but I kept trucking on, chasing that once in a lifetime hand. At about the three hour mark the cards were starting to turn a little when a mid 40's well dressed Hong Kong man joined the table. I've gambled at the Hard Rock a few times but he's the reason why I chose this to be My Own Gambling story. Now as I said, I was three hours in, and all that time had been sucking down a lot of free Sprite. I couldn't hold it any longer so I decided to finally take a bathroom break. When I came back to the table what did I get hit with? This Hong Kong clown decides to tell me, "When you were gone, the dealer hit a full house - that's supposed to be your hand! I had two pair and lost because of it!"

At this time I'd like to remind everyone what the first rule of the casino is. Maybe some players over here don't get it because they've been under Chinese rule for so long, but the first rule of the casino is that it's a free casino. People can bet how they want, stick when they want, hit when they want, and yes, even go to the bathroom when they want. If you got a problem with the way anyone at the table is playing, then the problem is yours and you should find somewhere else to sit if you don't like it. I immediately shot back with the truth, "Yeah, and I was winning before you sat down too, so what's the difference?" He didn't say too much after that and left after a few hands.

I ended my pathetic afternoon playing Caribbean down an even $10,000 then chased losses at the Baccarat table by making one $5000 dollar bet which I lost. Dealer had an 8, and I had a freaking 9 for my first card, and then I couldn't pull a face on the second. I remember walking around the casino in a bit of daze after that wondering how it all went wrong. I figured what the hell I might as well salvage some of the afternoon by asking that cute dealer for her number, and if I got it, then maybe it all would have been worth something. When I saw her working at a full table though I flat out chickened out. I didn't want to embarrass her or myself in front of so many people. I thought the next time I was at Hard Rock I'd have a chance. Of course, going on six months now, I haven't seen her since.

 

GAMES

Excellent variety of games at the City of Dreams. They had Texas Hold Em before at the Hard Rock, but that area is now taken up by a private junket.

Baccarat — Some tables also have the 40-1 Dragon 7 side bet. Player wins if the Banker has a 3 card total of 7 AND beats the Player.

All tables also have a light indicator which glows yellow after 3 consecutive Player or Banker wins, orange after 4, and red after 5 plus. I guess that's for Baccarat players who like to scope out tables currently on runs.

Big Wheel — Game only available in machine format. The game seems quite the hit with players. I always see a lot of people playing it at both the City of Dreams and Venetian.

Commission Free Baccarat — Won Banker bets totalling 6 pay 50%.

Three Card Baccarat

Blackjack — Tables have an Over/Under 13 side bet. (Take the over if you bet it.) Hard Rock tables also have a pair side bet that pays according to the suit of the cards. 25-1 for a perfect pair (identical, like two 8 of clubs), 12-1 for a colored pair (ie 10 diamonds, 10 of hearts) and 5-1 for a mix (ie 3 of clubs, 3 of diamonds.)

Caribbean Stud Poker — Payout is a proper 100-1 for a Royal Flush.

Craps — 5-5-5 odds, minimum $50 pass line bet.

Fan Tan

Roulette

Sic Bo — 7 different bets.

Slot Machines — 1200 plus machines, minimums from 0.02 to $5.

Three Card Poker

Video Poker — Hard Rock casino has $5 Jacks or Better, Bonus Poker, Double Bonus Poker, Double Double Bonus Poker and Jokers Wild machines.

War

 

PROMOTIONS

The City of Dreams Membership desk always has a lot of things on the go.

 

Player Card — The only casino in Macau with a 4 tiered player card system. Players begin with the City Club Blue card then move up the ranks by acquiring 80 points for City Club Gold, 800 for Signature Club Red, and 8,000 for Signature Club Green. Be aware that to move up one tier, the required points need to be accumulated within six months.

Benefits at the Blue level are pretty much limited to 5% off at certain F&B outlets, 10% off House of Dancing Water tickets and 20% off at Kid City. Free parking is also thrown in as well. At the Gold level, members start to get priority service, invitations to exclusive events as well as a bump up to 10% discounts in the F&B outlets and 30% at Kid's City. Red cardholders begin seeing more exclusive perks, such as access to the Signature Club Lounge, free limo and city car service, VIP check in at the hotel as well as complimentary room upgrades and first class ferry tickets. F&B, Dancing Water tickets and Kids City discounts are 10%, 15% and 30% respectively. Green members get all of the above in addition to event planning service, private gaming arrangements and private dining at gaming tables. For F&B, Dancing Water and Kids City deals, rates are slashed by 20%, 20% and 70% accordingly.

All four cardholders are eligible for complimentary hotel accommodation, dining and show tickets but it's only awarded at the casino's discretion, decided on the amount of rated play.

Points accumulated on the cards can be redeemed for a slew of prizes. Staff couldn't tell me the exact rate of accumulation, only that it was about 1 point after every $2000 bet at the tables while slot players amass 1 point for every $400 to $800 bet. When I asked why there was a discrepancy in the slot amounts I was told it's because different machines have different rates.

Some of the prizes available for redemption include:

Bottles:

  • Louis XIII — 16,000 pts
  • Hennessy Paradis — 3,600 pts
  • Johnny Walker Blue — 880 pts
  • Remy Martin Club — 500 pts

Electronics:

  • Apple IPhone 4 — 5,380 pts
  • Apple IPad 2 — 4,380 pts
  • Sony Ericsson — 3,880 pts
  • Apple IPod Nano — 1,280 pts

Lifestyle Accessories:

  • Wallet — 1,648 pts
  • Ralph Lauren Shirt — 1.125 pts
  • Perfume — 908 pts
  • 24K Golden Ornament — 750 pts

Non-VIP Dead Chip Buy in Program — For those who can't afford to roll $300,000 a month, City of Dreams has a promotional program that begins at $75,000. Gamers play in High Limit East on the main casino floor using non-negotiable chips.

 

City of Dreams Dead Chip Program — Non-VIP
Buy in Cash back Comp allowance
$75,000 0.50% 0.10%
$100,000 0.55% 0.10%
$200,000 0.65% 0.15%

 

Most private junkets can beat these rates, even with the low buy in.

VIP Promotional Program — Here's City of Dreams main deal for whales. It's the same deal you'll find at Altira.

 

City of Dreams Dead Chip Program — VIP
Buy in Cash back Comp allowance
$300,000 0.70% 0.10%
$500,000 0.70% 0.15%
$1,000,000 0.75% 0.15%
$4,000,000 0.80% 0.10%
$8,000,000 0.85% 0.15%
$20,000,000 1.05% 0.15%

 

Players game in the private 2nd floor Li Ying club, which is absolutely huge.

Current Promotions

Lucky Streak — A bit of a complicated promotion here. 1 Lucky Card can be had by playing gaming machines in the E table zone, by redeeming 1 City point, or by making sucker and/or side bets in 10 different table games. Examples include betting on a Tie in Casino War, the Pair Plus in Three Card Poker or the 0 to win in Roulette, with most minimum bets $100 or $200. If your Lucky Card matches all three lucky Poker Cards announced at 1 pm, 3 pm or 6 pm, then you can take part in the Lucky Streak challenge. If you pass by all 8 stages in that card game you can take a Lucky Spin to win $1,000,000 HKD.

Anyone who participated in the Lucky Streak challenge is eligible to join the Grand Draw, where the top winner walks away with $1,000,000 HKD. 2nd and 3rd place winners have to settle for $38,000 cash prizes.

The Signature Dragon — New promotion that just started the past week or so. I'm not too clear on the details, only that the grand prize is $380,000 HKD.

Slot Personal Progressive — Interesting idea here with this promotion. An individual bonus grows in proportion to the amount of slots you play. The more slots played the higher your personal jackpot increases, and you're the only person who can win it. Winners will be chosen at random during the promotion period and and take home cash prizes between $248 and $988 HK dollars.

Welcome Rewards — New City Club members have 24 hours to amass enough points to win the following prizes:

  • Golden Pavilion Set Meal — 8 points
  • CTS Macau Bus Coupon — 10 points
  • HK-Macau Ferry Ticket — 15 points
  • Golden Souvenir — 18 points
  • $50 Kou Kei Bakery Voucher — 38 points
  • $500 Match Play Voucher — 38 points
  • City Dollars — 250 points (not specified how many $$)
  • House of Dancing Water Tickets — 340 points

VIP GAMING

Just like at the Venetian and the Galaxy, VIP and mass gaming areas are clearly divided at the City of Dreams. Apart from the Lucky Junket on floor 1 which has 6 tables near the Grand Hyatt exit, all the VIP tables are located upstairs in the 2nd floor Li Ying club, accessible via the Hard Rock floor. When I first walked into Li Ying I thought the place wasn't much, maybe only 7 or 8 rooms in total each named after a different river. After I turned left at the entry doors though instead of right, Li Ying suddenly opened up and didn't seem to end. It just kept getting bigger and bigger. I probably passed by 30 rooms before I reached the back exit.

Here are some of the junket operators and their rates:

 

  • Century Oriental: 1.2% cash back
  • Meng Mun Club: 1.18% cash back + 0.05% comp allowance. 0.90% immediately.
  • Lucky Star: 1%
  • Hou Hou VIP Club: 1.2%
  • Wa Sing VIP Club: 1.2%
  • Ka Li VIP Club: 1.15%
  • Lucky Junket: 1.15% (found on City of Dreams main floor)

CITY OF DREAMS OVERVIEW

City of Dreams is composed of the Crown, Hard Rock and Grand Hyatt hotels. Grand Hyatt is by far the largest hotel, made up of two towers holding almost 800 rooms. The other two hotels are half the size and neither exceed 330 rooms. In terms of facilities though, the three hotels are more similar than dissimilar. There's not much to choose between the three outdoor pools, for example, but it should be noted that the one at the Hard Rock is usually a lot busier, since they let outsiders use it in exchange for paying a fee.

All three hotels have spas which guests must pay to use, offering a full range of standard treatments at comparable prices, with most services $1000 to $1500. Hard Rock's spa is a little cheaper than the other two, with most massage and body treatments $750 to $1000. For hair procedures, the Spa at Crown offers a lot of services and Grand Hyatt's Private I Salon is comprehensive as well.

If you're looking for free spa facilities, each hotel has a jacuzzi outside beside their pools, while Grand Hyatt also offers a steam room and an ice shower in their change rooms while Crown answers with free steam room and sauna. Guests at the Hard Rock will have to go without, and they're on the short end of the stick with the gym too. While it's perfectly adequate it's a little inferior to the ones at Grand Hyatt and Crown, with Crown's fitness centre the best of the three.

You won't have any problem getting around City of Dreams. Signage is clearly marked and The Boulevard is the resort's main throughfare linking the hotels as well as providing access to all the property's entertainment and a lot of its restaurants and shops. Entertainment is headlined by their signature House of Dancing Water show and may be the best thing going on in the whole city.

 

CROWN HOTEL

The nicest of the three hotels is the "six star" Crown Towers, but it's hardly ever available to the public. Rooms are dominated by the junket operators and tour groups, leaving everybody else scrambling for Premier King Rooms, which can only be had Sundays through Thursdays. On Fridays and Saturdays, you can forget about it.

Rate in Hong Kong Dollars, including all tax and service fees:

 

Crown Hotel Room Rates
Room Type Sundays-Thursdays
Premier King Room $2171

 

For Deluxe Rooms, Deluxe Suites, Premier Suites and Villas, try a travel agency!

Rooms and suites at Crown are found on floors 5 to 22, while villas occupy 28 to 33.

Crown Restaurants

Only one restaurant at Crown, but it comes highly recommended from yours truly.

Horizons — I ain't gonna lie to you. Sometimes I can have a bad attitude. Sometimes I'm not the nicest person to be around, especially when I'm told to do things I don't want to do. Or conversely, when I'm not allowed to do something I want to do. It's led to dismissals from schools, disciplinary proceedings, final warnings, and in some extreme cases, all out banishments from certain countries. My sweet cousin so nicely puts it "having personality and knowing how to use it." God knows, she could call it a lot worse.

Anyway I tell you all of this because had the fine people at Horizons sent me packing from their restaurant for being dressed like a bum (which I was), then I wouldn't have flashed any of the attitude that I'm so famously known for, instead I probably would have agreed with them and apologized. Here I was, an unshaven unkept bum in shorts and a T-shirt walking around their fine dining establishment like I owned the place, asking questions, wanting to see menus, and not only did they not have words with me, they were amazingly polite! I couldn't believe it. The manager even came over to ask if I needed assistance. It was by far the best service I've had in a Macau restaurant, and I wasn't even fit to be in the place! I'd go to Horizons just for the staff, while their food looks pretty good too.

Serving steak and seafood Horizons also has a huge wine menu that's over 30 pages long. Dress code is smart casual, with no shorts or sandals allowed. Meals are not excessively expensive, with appetizers $118 to $358, seafood $278 to $438 and meat dishes $288 to $428. A set lunch, meanwhile, goes for $155 or $188 while dessert is $78 to $98. Most glasses of wine from the 30 page menu are between $80 and $188.

Horizons is located on level 3 and opens daily from 12 pm to 3 pm in the afternoon and again from 6 pm to 11 pm at night.

Crown Bars

Lan is one of the nicest looking lobby bars in Macau.

Lan — Lan has an absolutely huge beverage list covering all your favorites. Drinks are priced between $38 and $128 while coffee and cake is $68. Cigars finally are $90 to $370.

Lan's current special is a good one. From 6 pm to 9 pm, patrons get free flow wine along with pata negra and Portuguese tapas for a mere $188 a head.

Hours are from 11 am to midnight.

Crystal Lounge — VIP haunt on the 25th and 26th floors is inaccessible to people like me. Reserved for Villa guests and Li Ying Club Gold members, the lounge is said to have spectacular views of the Cotai Strip.

Crown Hotel Quick facts

 

  • Crown Towers
  • Estrada Do Istmo, Cotai
  • Tel: (853) 8868 6888
  • Fax: (853) 8867 6888
  • Email: contactcentre "at" cod-macau.com
  • Website: www.cityofdreamsmacau.com
  • No of Rooms and Suites: 290

HARD ROCK HOTEL

Rates often flactuate at the Hard Rock, with rooms cheapest on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. While the prices I've listed may not be exact, they shouldn't be off by more than $100 or $200.

Prices are in Hong Kong dollars minus the 15% for tax and service fees.

 

Hard Rock Room Rates
Room Type Sun - Thurs Friday Saturday
Standard Room $1288-$1788 $1788-$1888 $2388-$2688
Corner Suite $1888-$2388 $2388-$2488 $2988-$3288

 

Guest quarters at the Hard Rock are located from floors 8 to 28.

Hard Rock Restaurants

A Hard Rock restaurant has been in the works for a good six months now, but there's still no sign of it, leaving the Wave Pool Bar as the hotel's only dining establishment.

Wave Pool Bar and Grill - I've eaten at Wave lots of times, mostly going for one of the pizzas followed by a brownie and walked away happy everytime. A good looking waitress always recognizes me too so I always feel good about that.

 

  • Salad/Soup: $68-$78
  • Soft Drinks: $35
  • Main Dish Int'l Fare: $78-$128
  • Juice: $40/$45
  • Pizzas: $98
  • Beers: $48
  • Snacks: $58
  • Hard fare: $48
  • Cocktails: $68/$98

A barbecue buffet happens three times on the weekend and goes for $276 a person. Kids under 6 eat for free while 6 to 12 year olds enjoy 30% off. The buffet is open for Saturday and Sunday brunch as well as for Saturday dinner.

 

Wave is located on the 3rd floor by the pool. Winter hours Monday to Thursday are from 11 am to 7 pm while closing time on Friday and Saturdays is 10 pm.

Hard Rock Bars

The best bars at the City of Dreams belong to the Hard Rock. They're always playing great tunes too.

R Bar — Lobby bar gets things started on the right foot with four specials.

 

  1. A la carte selections are slashed 30% from 5 pm to 8 pm Monday to Thursday.
  2. Buy 1 beer get 1 free from 6 pm to 9 pm Friday to Sunday.
  3. Cocktail Wednesdays offers 50% off all cocktails from 9 pm to 11 pm.
  4. Daily afternoon tea set only $128 from 3 pm to 6 pm every afternoon.
  • Salad: $68-$88
  • Beer: $35-$40
  • Pizza: $88
  • Hard fare: $58-$68
  • Sandwiches/burgers: $68-$108
  • Cocktails: $68
  • Main meat dishes: $125-$158
  • Non-alcoholic drinks: $35-$45
  • Bar snacks: $38-$68

R Bar is open Sunday to Thursday from 7 am to midnight, and from 7 am to 2 am on Fridays and Saturdays.

Flame Bar - Located on the Hard Rock casino, Flame Bar has some well schooled bartenders who flip drinks in the air like seasoned pros.

  • Beers: $38-$48
  • Champagne: $65-$140 (glass)
  • Shots: $58
  • Cocktails: $68
  • Martinis: $68

Flame Bar also serves food too, from the same menu used at Wave.

Hours are from 1 pm to 5 am daily.

Hard Rock Hotel Quick Facts

  • Hard Rock Hotel
  • Estrada Do Istmo, Cotai
  • Tel: (853) 8868 3338
  • Fax: (853) 8867 3338
  • Email: contactcentre "at" cod-macau.com
  • Website: www.cityofdreamsmacau.com
  • No of Rooms and Suites: 322

GRAND HYATT HOTEL

Grand Hyatt recently took home the 2011 Best Business Hotel in Macau honours at the Asia Pacific Awards. From walking around the hotel, I'm not surprised by it at all. For the prices they charge the spa facilities, pool, gym and lobby are all above average.

I've included two rates for each room. The first one is the standard price, while the second one is their Awaken package, which includes free buffet breakfast for two and late 2 pm checkout.

Book rooms well in advance if you want the lowest rate though. If you book less than two weeks prior, you'll probably have to pay around $200 more.

Add another 15% for taxes and service charges.

 

Grand Hyatt Room Mates
Room Type Sun-Thu Friday Saturday
Grand Deluxe Twin $1630/$2138 $3088/$3238 $3188/$3338
Grand Suite King $1730/$2238 $3268/$3438 $3388/$3538
Grand Suite Twin $1930/$2438 $3088/$3238 $3588/$3738
Club Deluxe King $1830/$2338 $3288/$3438 $3388/$3538
Club Deluxe Twin $2030/$2538 $4188/$4338 $3588/$3738
Grand Executive Suite $2630/$3138 $4488/$4638 $4788/$4938

 

Rooms in Tower 1 are located on floors 7 to 25, while Tower 2 has guest quarters between floors 7 and 35.

Grand Hyatt Restaurants

Grand Hyatt has one Chinese and one Western restaurant.

Beijing Kitchen — Small menu at Beijing Kitchen. While the majority of it is northeastern cuisine, they also offer some Cantonese fare.

 

  • Appetizers: $40-$110
  • Vegetables: $58-$78
  • Soup: $68-$560
  • Dumplings: $50-$98
  • Noodles: $75-$85
  • Shark's fin, abalone, bird's nest: $468-$2680
  • Meat: $80-$228
  • Seafood: dependent on market rates.

Beijing Kitchen located in the Grand Hyatt lobby, and opens daily from 10:30 am to midnight.

Mezza 9 Macau — Mezza 9 servers all manner of World cuisine.

  • Set meal (2): $880
  • Seafood: $140-$240
  • Set meal (4): $1680
  • Sushi: $50-$480
  • Sunday lunch buffet: $488
  • Macaunese: $60-$280
  • Soup/salad: $60-$140
  • Steaks, burgers: $150-$780

Mezza 9 is located on the 3rd floor and opens daily from 6:30 am to 10:30 am in the morning, and from 5:30 pm to 11 pm Tuesdays to Sundays at night. Sunday lunch buffet goes from noon to 3 pm.

 

Grand Hyatt Bars

Grand Hyatt has one bar in the lobby with piano performances in the evening as well as on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

Lobby Lounge — The Lobby Lounge recently joined forces with the Patisserie to make one comprehensive eating and drinking establishment.

 

  • Chinese fare: $45-$90
  • Beer: $45-$55
  • Western fare: $75-$145
  • Wine: $70-$115 (glass)
  • Afternoon tea: $288
  • Dessert: $12-$80

Lobby Lounge is open everyday from 8 am to 1 am.

 

Grand Hyatt Quick Facts

 

  • Grand Hyatt Hotel
  • Estrada Do Istmo, Cotai
  • Tel: (853) 8868 1234
  • Fax: (853) 8867 1234
  • Email: contactcentre "at" cod-macau.com
  • Website: www.macau.grand.hyatt.com
  • No of Rooms: 503
  • No of Suites: 288

CITY OF DREAMS RESTAURANTS

The Boulevard and the casino have a bunch of restaurants as well.

Signature Restaurants

EDO Japanese Restaurant - My favorite restaurant to review because prices are the same in every one across the city.

 

  • Sashami and sushi: $35-$300
  • Hot pot: $420
  • Salad: $80-$150
  • Ramen: $98-$138
  • Grilled fare: $90-$160
  • Teppanayaki: $190-$430
  • Rice with soup: $230-$480
  • Teppanayaki set meal: $780/$880Location: Level 1,

Edo Japanese Restaurant is located in the Boulevard, and keeps hours Sundays to Thursdays from 11:30 am to 11:30 pm. On Fridays, Saturdays and public holidays, they stay open an hour later until 12:30 am.

 

Treasure Palace — All Cantonese, all the time at Treasure Palace (with a little Sichuan thrown in as well.)

 

  • Classic specialities: $78-$138
  • Pork, beef, poultry, lamb: $68-$168
  • Sichuan: $68-$118
  • Congee, noodles, rice: $78-$128
  • Hot pot: $68-$168
  • Vegetables: $58-$78

Be sure to ask staff about the daily specials as they all look pretty good. Beijing duck for only $138 on Wednesdays? Yes please!

 

Treasure Palace can be found on Level 1 of the Boulevard, and is open Monday to Friday from 11 am to 2:30 pm in the afternoon and again at night from 6 pm to 10:30 pm. On Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays, evening hours are the same, while afternoon hours are from 10 am to 4 pm.

The Hotness — I think this place is also known as The Hauteness. They serve spicy Sichuan cuisine.

 

  • Vegetables: $49-$79
  • Bird's nest, shark's fin, abalone: $499-$895
  • Cold dishes: $39-$169
  • Hotpot: $300/$500/$800
  • Hot dishes: $99-$299
  • Smaller snacks: $59-$69
  • Soup: $69-$89

Located on the second level of the Boulevard, daily hours are from 11 am to 11 pm.

 

Casual dining

Pacific Coffee — Famous Hong Kong cafe chain offers coffee and irresistable sweets. They also provide free internet service.

 

  • Coffee: $30-$37
  • Doughnut: $16
  • Iced drinks: $30-$37
  • Cake: $27-$32
  • Juice: $23
  • Croissant: $24

Pacific Coffee is located on the Boulevard, very close to the Grand Hyatt. Hours are from 8 am to 11:30 pm daily.

 

City Cafe — Similar to Pacific Coffee, but City Cafe has more selection.

 

  • Doughnuts: $15
  • Cookie: $15
  • Cake: $12-$28
  • Sandwich: $28
  • Full cake: $188
  • Juice: 22
  • Danish: $18
  • Iced Drinks: $24-$35
  • Caesar Salad: $48
  • Ice Cream: $18/scoop (8 different flavors)

City Cafe can be found on Level 1 of the Boulevard, and opens from 10 am to 10 pm Sundays to Thursdays, and from 10 am to 12 pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

 

Food Paradise — Food Paradise is the City of Dreams food court, serving food in a multitude of styles, which include Cantonese, Japanese, Portuguese, Italian and Southeast Asian. Most of the small fast food type meals are from $48 to $65.

Food Paradise is on the level 2 of the Boulevard and keeps hours daily from 11 am to 10:30 pm.

Golden Pavilion — Located on the casino floor, Golden Pavilion has a small menu, consisting of appetizers ($48-$68), main course Cantonese ($58-$88), and dessert ($32-$68). Beers go for $45 while water, juice and soft drinks are $35 or $40. Golden Pavilion is open 24/7.

Ji Xiang Yuan - Another casino restaurant, Ji Xiang Yuan has a larger menu than Golden Pavilion.

 

  • Dim Sum: $28/$32
  • Vegetarian: $48/$58
  • Congee, noodle soup: $28-$58
  • Fried noodles, rice: $58-$88
  • Soup: $38-$188
  • Sandwiches: $22-$48
  • Northern specialties: $58-$108
  • Iced drinks: $29/$34
  • Barbecue: $68-$98
  • Beer: $45/$50

Ji Xiang Yuan is open from 11 am to 11 pm Monday to Friday and from 9 am to 11 pm on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.

 

Ru Yi Noodles — Japansese, Korean and Taiwanese staples are available at Ru Yi Noodles.

 

  • Appetizers: $38-$68
  • Hot Japanese dishes: $48-$88
  • Korean: $48-$98
  • Korean hot dishes: $58-$98
  • Sashami: $78-$98
  • Rice: $68-$98
  • Sushi: $28-$78
  • Noodles: $48-$98

Ru Yi Noodles is accessible via the casino floor and is open all day and all night.

CITY OF DREAMS ENTERTAINMENT

They don't have as much entertainment to the Venetian, but their signature House of Dancing Water show sure brings the people in. Personally I just like hanging around the Vquarium most.

 

The House of Dancing Water — It took 5 years and a stage pool that can hold 3.7 million gallons of water (enough to fill 5 Olympic sized swimming pools) to bring you City of Dreams main attraction, the House of Dancing Water. A simple love story at heart, the play utilizes a lot of dance, acrobatics and cutting edge special effects to drive the point home. Prices range from $1380 for VIP tickets to $480 to sit in Section C. Cheapest children tickets are $340.

Dragon's Treasure — 10 minute multimedia performance is ideal for children, as they get whisked away to the Kingdom of the Dragon Kings. The show has some decent re-watch value too because if you stand in different corners of the Bubble Theatre, you see completely different things. From 12 pm to 6 pm Dragon's Treasure takes place every 30 minutes and from 7 pm to 10 pm, it's on once an hour. Tickets for children 3 to 12 are $25, while for 12 and up, the price is $50. Vquarium — Now here's something I enjoy looking at. These mermaids are hot. The Wizard tells it like it is, so I'll turn it over to him.

[Vquarium] is an enormous video screen showing lots of fish and mermaids. It looks like water pours over the screen, to give it an aquatic look. The mermaids are actually quite erotic, with the top half in just body paint. I think real women were used, as it seemed extremely realistic. As my sophomore-year college roommate would have said, some of the mermaids clearly had their high beams on. Lots of kids were watching too, something that would never fly in the prudish USA.

Kid's City — Maybe those kids should have been at Kid City instead? With arcade games, astro slides, swinging bridges, tunnels, costumes and craftwork, Kid's City is the perfect choice for children aged 2 to 12.

I don't know how much it costs on the weekend but a sign outside the front desk said it was $80 for two hours on Monday to Thursday. Adults can accompany their children too for free if they wish. I kind of suspect that might not be a very good idea though. I know some grown ups (yeah me), who would still take no prisoners and be all over that astro slide and swinging bridge.

Hours are from 10:30 am to 9:30 pm on Level 2 of the Boulevard near the Hard Rock casino entrance.

 

CITY OF DREAMS BARS

Club Cubic is apparently one of the hottest nightclubs in town, but you wouldn't know it from the pics on their website. Most of the ones I saw from recent Ladies Nights are very disappointing. Girls, come on, it's a club. Start dressing like it. Some of my college students have more going on and show more skin at 9 am on a Tuesday morning. The guys are no better either, dressed down in T-shirts and other assorted ass wear.

To get in, Club Cubic's door pass is $200, but on special nights with famous DJs the price gets bumped up to $350. Ladies get free entry and drinks on Wednesdays while Models are afforded the same privileges on Thursday nights. While I'm not quite sure what their model criteria is, I was told I don't meet it.

Open nightly from 10 pm to 6 am, Club Cubic is located on Level 2 of the Boulevard.

CITY OF DREAMS SHOPPING

The Cotai Strip is just as much about shopping as anything else. Every hotel but the Grand Waldo brings the goods in this area and the City of Dreams is no exception. Level 1 of the Boulevard is full of high end fashion shops while Level 2 has a slew of famous watch and jewellery makers.

SUMMARY

The battle for best Cotai Strip mega resort currently comes down to the City of Dreams or the Venetian. I don't think you can go wrong at either place, it just depends on what you're looking for. If you care more about having a nice room then take the Venetian and their low priced suites. If you prefer free spa facilities, then try the City of Dreams' Crown or Grand Hyatt hotels.

While I can't say that all of the other things (shopping, dining. entertainment etc) are interchangeable, what I can say is that they're all free and open to the public, so it doesn't matter where you live. That's why it's not important if the Venetian has better restaurants than the City of Dreams or the City of Dreams has a club and the Venetian doesn't. As a guest at either property you'll have the best that both places have to offer, since they're right beside each other.

As for the casinos I kind of prefer the gaming at the City of Dreams. While the Venetian has more selection, the City of Dreams is more alive and in tune with the youth, especially upstairs at the Hard Rock. They also provide better drink service and more promotions as well.

 

QUICK FACTS

  • City of Dreams Macau
  • Address Cotai Strip, Cotai Macau
  • Zhu Kuan Building
  • Estrada do Istmo, Cotai
  • Phone: (853) 8868 6688
  • Website: www.cityofdreamsmacau.com/en
  • City of Dreams Casino (including Hard Rock Casino)
  • Number of Tables: 255 (mass gaming only)
  • Number of Slot Machines: over 1200
  • A Melco Crown Entertainment Resort.

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