Since March 2005 Grandview Hotel has been controlled by Golden Resorts Group, a gaming and hotel based company operating out of Hong Kong. It is one of two four star hotels they own, the other being Macau island's Casa Real. In my view, Golden Resorts exercised pretty good judgement when acquiring both of these properties. In terms of older four star casino hotels in Macau, Grandview and Casa Real certainly rank as two of the best kept.
Grandview's casino is also known as the "Jockey club" casino, given its close proximity to Macau's horsetrack. Run by SJM, it's only one of two casinos the massive conglomerate has on Taipa Island, the other being Greek Mythology. SJM is also conspiciously absent from the Cotai Strip, having failed to acquire any land down there whatsoever upon which to build. There's still hope however, as a couple of plots are still up for grabs.
It's easy to pinpoint Grandview Hotel's location seeing as it's right across the street from the Macau Jockey Club. Another well known landmark, the statue of the Four Faced Buddha, is just outside the hotel doors.
If you ever want to get there by cab, just say the Chinese for horsetrack, "sigh mah chong." Say "chong" like it rhymes with "long". Believe me, you'll get a lot further saying that than saying 142 Estrada Governador Albano de Oliveira, (no matter if you use English, Chinese, or Portuguese.)
Grandview takes the honors of being Taipa island's smallest casino in terms of table numbers, offering only 19 in all. All the tables are found on the ground floor while slots are located on floor 1. As expected, the vast majority of tables are Baccarat while Sic Bo ($50) and Blackjack ($100) make appearances as well. With Baccarat minimums of $50 to $300, they tie for the lowest on Taipa island.
The casino is classicly styled, featuring a standard mix of pillars, chandeliers and intricate wall designs. Gold and brown are the dominant colors, and while it looks a little dated, I can't rip the place too much after seeing its next door neighbour Taipa Square. If Taipa Square looks like a 70's basement, then the inside of Grandview is a 70's penthouse. Besides that, Grandview has a certain kind of vibe that Taipa Square doesn't possess. Every time I'm in there, it's always busy, always moving. Taipa Square, on the other hand, is always so sedate.
For slot players, slot machines in the 1st floor slots hall number around 100 in all, with lows between .02 and .20 cents. They're joined by another 120 recently added Live Baccarat machines, with rock low minimums of $20. While there is no video poker available, the slots hall does have electronic versions of Sic Bo and Roulette for $5 and $20 respectively.
The rest of the first floor is VIP gaming, headed up by the private Golden Times junket. With only 4 Baccarat tables in all, featuring minimums of $500, $1,000 and $10,000, it's one of the smallest clubs in Macau. I was distracted big time the first time I was in there by a chip girl with the hottest legs I'd ever seen. It won't be long before she gets snapped up by some high roller, and I say all the more power to him when that happens because she is sensational stuff.
As for the club, it requires a buy in of $50000, and returns 1.1% cash back and 0.05% comp allowance. A nice part of the program is that it does not require gamers to roll a minimum amount each month. Whatever amount they roll they roll and they'll get the 1.15% return.
Almost every casino in Macau has the three games offered at Grandview, in addition to slot machines.
There are no general gaming promotions at Grandview, nor any player card tied to mass gaming at the tables. Slot players and VIP whales have options though.
Slot Card — Every $1 bet on the slot machines amasses 1 point on the slot card. In addition, for every dollar won, another point is earned. Points can be redeemed for the following prizes:
|Grandview Prizes for Points|
|$100 Grandview Voucher||100,000|
|$200 Grandview Voucher||200,000|
|$400 Grandview Voucher||400,000|
|Spa + Body massage||680,000|
|Grandview Hotel Room (Sun-Thu)||1,300,000|
|Grandview Hotel Room (Friday)||1,500,000|
|Grandview Room (Saturday)||2,000,000|
VIP card — Promotional chip customers receive the following deals:
You can't really argue with any of these deals. Getting 0.8% immediately for a small buy in of only $1,000 may be of interest to a lot of gamers who otherwise would never buy dead chips. Free rooms on the weekends meanwhile return a huge 8.4% on a $10400 investment. From Sunday to Thursday the return isn't as high, but you still can't complain about 5.8% either.
Grandview's 425 rooms look like they've been around for 20 years (because they have), but don't let that dissuade you. For a four star hotel they're still pretty good, and you can't argue with the price. Premier and Premier Deluxe Rooms go quick and early, so reserve well ahead of time if you want to book one.
Premium guest rooms are located on floors 5 to 14, Executive rooms on 15 and 16, and Deluxe Executive on 17 and 18. Unfortunately The Club Lounge for Executive Room guests is no longer available.
Rates in Macau patacas including all taxes and fees are as follows:
|Grandview Room Rates|
|Premier Deluxe Room||$700||$1023|
|Premier Deluxe Suite||$1009||$1459|
Please note that the rates for The Premier Room are the lowest in town by a fair margin.
Grandview's outdoor swimming pool has a decent sized deck and a rows of shrubs doing their best to break up the white and grey monotony. At seven by 14 meters, the pool is a little larger than most found in other four star hotels. Keep in mind though that the pool is unheated so it closes every year between November 1st and March 31st.
The pool is located on the 2nd floor and keeps hours daily between 8 am and 8 pm.
Both of the restaurants have the same decoration scheme as the lobby and casino.
Kuan I Hin — Also known as "Grandview Chinese Restaurant", Kuan I Hin serves Cantonese fare, with barbecue meat $32 to $45, rice and noodles $38 to $80 and dim sum $18 to $30. Seafood ($68-$168) dominates the small a la carte menu, with a lot of it termed "seasonal specialities", meaning you can't get it all the time. There's also soup for $55 to $108 and hot pot for $45 to $65. Set evening meals are popular with customers, with 4 being able to dine for $438 and 8 for $1088.
Kuan I Hin is located on the 2nd floor in the South Wing and keeps hours from 11 am to 3 pm and 6 pm to 11 pm. On Saturdays and Sundays it opens an hour earlier in the morning.
Valencia — Staff told me they have some of the lowest prices in Macau and they weren't wrong. This Western restaurant does main course meals like chicken, pork chop and lamb chop for only $50 to $85 while fish and seafood are $60 to $148. Soup ($28 to $38), salads ($30 to $50) and vegetarian faves ($50 to $60) are also very reasonably priced. If buffet dining is your thing, breakfast runs $80 a head, lunch $68 and dinner $75. A Portuguese set meal for two, finally, is $328.
Valencia can be also be found on the second floor and is open daily from 7 am to 10:30 pm.
Grandview's gym doesn't look like much, but they have the right weight machines to get the job done. There's also a treadmill, a couple of steppers and some free weights. Located on the 2nd floor, the gym is open daily from 9 am to 11 pm.
Right beside the gym is the Lavender Spa, which is a bit of a misnomer. It's more a small massage centre that had all of 1 masseuse on duty when I went there on a Friday afternoon. There was also another younger assistant whose job was to just basically hang out with the lone masseuse so she wasn't alone all the time. Needless to say, I don't think they get many visitors and both of them seemed pretty pleased to have anyone drop in at all, let alone a foreigner with a camera and a bunch of questions, speaking some messed up Chinese.
The services at Lavender Spa begin with foot massages for $140 for 45 minutes or $190 if you want to have it done in the VIP room. The VIP room is a joke, basically a carbon copy of the common area. Another massage that works the foot and lower leg up to the knee is $180 for 45 minutes or $230 in the VIP room. If you prefer full body treatment instead that massage costs $198 for 45 minutes and $368 for an hour and a half. That massage is done in one of the two spa rooms, which both feature a shower, jacuzzi and a bed. If you want to stay in the spa room for a half hour to use the jacuzzi after the massage, that runs $488 total.
Lavender Spa opens for business from 3 pm to 12 am daily.
Finally it should be noted that both the men's and women's changing rooms in the gym have a sauna available for all guests to use free of charge.
You're SOL in this department, but Grandview is the closest casino to the Cotai Strip, so that might help. A cab ride will cost around $20 while walking it will take about a half hour. I fully recommend the walk since you'll pass through Taipa Village first, a must see for anyone who wants to see old Macau. Crammed into narrow streets are all manners of well kept and well, let's just say, slightly less maintained yellow, red, blue and green buildings. The Taipa Houses Museum next to Our Lady of Carmel Church is worth checking out as well, as are the two or three temples. See if you can't squeeze two hours into your time, it'll be well worth it.
Grandview's Lobby Lounge has a pretty large food and drink menu.
Cherrie's Corner — Beers start at $25 while harder fare is around $32 to $42. Cocktails stay in that range too, only $40, while brandy is a little pricier, $45 to $85. Fruit juice, coffee and tea are also available for $18 to $35. The food menu consists of fast food, like chicken wings, deep fried shrimp, french fries and fish, for $40 to $48. Cherrie's Corner is open 24/7.
Grandview's shopping amounts to one little kiosk in the lobby, that sells anything and everything. With artwork, sweets, watches, mirrors, key chains, portable putting greens and even small replica slot machines, there's a little something for everyone. Prices range from $10 for the cheapest stuff to $880 for the gold figurines.
I'm a sucker for low rates. I'm even more of a sucker for low rates when the hotel also has a nice pool and good restaurants. You'll lose a bit with the rooms at Grandview, but who cares? At the very least, they're clean, quiet and you should only be using them as a place to sleep anyway. During the day you should be out and about, not lying down in a bed flipping channels wishing you were in a better looking room.
I don't share the same enthusiasm for the Grandview casino however. There aren't enough games and no real effort to attract non VIP players. Of course, the Cotai Strip is right in the neighbourhood, which I think makes Grandview the perfect choice for people who want everything the Cotai Strip has to offer in terms of gaming, dining and entertainment, but don't want to pay Cotai Strip rates, which are about double. In other words, Grandview can be quite useful as a base to see all that Macau and Taipa have to offer.