Posted by James K.
Jan 07, 2011

INTRODUCTION

For years I'd walk by the base President signboard and think it's had to have been there for years. It's a cheap tawdry looking thing featuring a Sic Bo board, some dice and stacks of chips. The other one on the side of the hotel displaying a Baccarat board may even be a little worse. They both look completely out of place, like a back alley establishment would doing business in the middle of an uptown borough, or like parts of Havana might look in Rome.

Not that I ever really blamed the President though. I knew it opened years before Macau gaming opened up to foreign investors and the scene on Avenue D'Amizade changed forever. The fact that it predates every other casino and mega property in the area (Lisboa excluded) stood for something with me. That's why I always tended to cut the signboard a little slack. As base as it might be, you could almost consider it a living piece of history.

Or so I thought until I wrote this review. It turns out that while the President hotel opened up in 1982, it's only had a casino since 2006. That means the signboard that I always took to be over thirty years old is in fact only five!

Now everytime I walk by the President Hotel I just feel cheated.

 

LOCATION

The President is on the main Avenida D'Amizade strip, between Pharoah's Palace and Fortuna. Starworld is directly opposite it.

 

Image gallery

PRESIDENT CASINO

The President's casino is downright tiny, composed of 14 baccarat tables, one sic bo table and one blackjack table. It used to be take up two floors but a recent remodel reduced the gaming to a single floor.

The table minimums are among the lowest you'll find in Macau. Sic Bo goes for a mere $20 HKD/MOP, while a Blackjack bet is $50 HKD/MOP. Baccarat tables are all $100 HKD/MOP. Macau patacas are accepted at the casino but bets cannot be composed of both HKD and MOP chips. It has to be one or the other. I learned that the hard way trying to double down on a Hong Kong dollar bet with only patacas in my pocket.

The only entertainment available in the casino is the Chinese pop music that plays over the PA system. Compared to Macau's other casinos, the vibe at the President is very low key. There are no flashing lights or dancing shows or throngs of people to navigate through. It's just simple, relaxed, at your own pace gambling.

Next to the cashier counter is a small bar where drinks can be ordered. No part of the casino is smoke free.

 

PRESIDENT GAMES

I hope you like Baccarat, because that's basically all they have.

Unless otherwise indicated, normal Macau rules and payouts apply to all games.

 

  • Baccarat
  • No Tax Baccarat — A little more than half the tables are no tax Baccarat. Players don't pay the 5% commission in exchange for only getting paid 50% on a won 6 dealer bet.
  • Blackjack — Dealers offer the surrender bet to all of the players prior to the player on first base playing his hand. That is the only time players can invoke the surrender rule, before the first player begins. I played for about an hour and found the pace of the dealer to be noticeably slower than in larger casinos, which I liked. It made gambling feel more like the leisurely pursuit it's supposed to be.
  • Sic Bo — Five different bets are available.

PROMOTIONS

From what I saw, there are no promotions in the hotel of any kind, and definitely no player card.

 

HOTEL

The 21 floor Hotel President has 264 rooms. Advance booking online guarantees the cheapest prices. Here are standard room rates for the winter season:

 

President Room Prices
Room Sun-Thur Friday Saturday
Standard Lower Floor $650 $750 $850
Standard Higher Floor $750 $850 $950
Super Lower Floor $800 $900 $1,000
Super Higher Floor $900 $1,000 $1,200
Deluxe Lower Floor $1,000 $1,120 $1,320
Deluxe Higher Floor $1,125 $1,320 $1,680
Executive Suite $2,000 $3,000 $3,800
Presidential Suite $3,500 $4,000 $5,000

 

Even after 10% service charge and 5% tourism tax, it's hard to beat those rates on the Amizade strip.

 

POOL

The President has no pool facilities.

 

RESTAURANTS

There's one very basically decorated restaurant at the President, on Level C. Simply named "Chinese Restaurant" it has very cheap dishes with many under $50. Deserted when I was there, some of the tables overlook the lobby. Open from 7 am to 10:30 pm.

 

HEALTH CLUB/SPA

Nope, nothing doing either way.

 

ENTERTAINMENT

The President has no venue for shows or singing acts, with both its casino and bar too small to accomodate any kind of performance stage.

 

BAR

The Lobby Bar is located on one corner of the hotel lobby, surrounded by glass windows. Prices are very low, probably the lowest in Macau. Beers start at $22 while cocktails and other shots go from $30 to $70.

The night I was there the bar had four older prostitutes discussing where to go that evening to drum up action. For what it's worth one felt the Sands area was hopeless while another one didn't want to go down to the Cotai strip because it was too far away. Wherever they ended up, it sure wasn't the President bar.

 

SHOPPING

Aside from the women in the bar, nothing else is for sale at the President.

 

SUMMARY

Hotels under $1,000 on the Amizade strip are hard to find. If you're travelling on a budget but still want to be in the action, then the President and its low rate rooms may be for you. Basically all your paying for is a great location though, because the President is an old hotel with no modern facilites.

As for its casino, its only appeal is to low limit Baccarat players who don't like big casinos. All other people need not apply.

 

QUICK FACTS

  • Name — Hotel President
  • Address — Avenida D'Amizade
  • Phone — (853) 2855 9988
  • www.hotelpresident.com.mo
  • No of tables — 16
  • No of Slots — 0
  • No of rooms — 264

 

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