Holiday Inn Sands Cotai Central Macau Review

Monday, May 25, 2015

Its a good idea to book an expensive hotel in Macau after you win big money in a Macau casino or when you get the expensive hotel at a discount. The later happened with me when a discount offer on advance purchase from an Indian travel site made me do a booking for Holiday Inn at Sands Cotai Central. The hotel is in four star category and honestly I do not know what that means but what was important to me was the location of the hotel. Sands Cotai Central has three other major casino resorts in its vicinity: The Venetian, City of Dreams, and Galaxy Macau. Another big advantage fo this location is  connectivity because free shuttle buses and Macau public buses are available from here to almost any part of Macau. On top of that, Macau International Airport and Taipa Ferry Terminal are very close by. Still, let us know that its an expensive hotel and even after a big discount it will cost more than a budget hotel like London Hotel on the city side. For a couple travelling along with kids, Holiday Inn Cotai Central has a lot to offer but for others, its just plain expensive. Read on for details...

Holiday Inn Cotai Central Macau

Room Cost

My standard room cost me roughly 800 HKD a night without breakfast. The only inclusion in the price apart from the room was free WiFi in the room. Hotel guests can use free WiFi in the public areas but to get it free in the room they need to be members of IHG Rewards program. I joined that program just to get free WiFi in the room and let me tell you, apart from that benefit the rewards program is useless. They did not even give me credits or points for staying in the hotel for 5 nights.

Standard Room

Standard Room in Holiday Inn Cotai Central Macau

Standard Room of Holiday Inn Cotai Central Macau

The standard room I got was big and clean, well furnished, and well decorated. The bathroom was big too with a full sized bath tub. Amenities in the room included a large and comfy bed with both soft and firm pillows, a large TV in the front, a mini bar, a cabinet with electronic locker, iron & ironing board, and a writing desk & chair. I got four mini water bottles in the room everyday. These were like the mini water bottles provided by the casinos in Macau. A tea/coffee maker and adequate daily supplies and the essential bathroom supplies like shampoo & bath gel, etc. were there too. Air-conditioning worked well and I had perfect sleep for five nights.

Standard Room Bath in Holiday Inn Cotai Central Macau

Problems in the Room

This standard room was not totally free from problems, though. The bathroom fittings behaved in a funny way because the shower mixer would rotate only in the 'Cold' direction but would give almost hot water always. It was a cold March in Macau so I did not mind the hot water but in later months that would be a problem. The bath tub closing mechanism was faulty and it was impossible to fill the tub. I did not complain about that to the hotel because anyway I did not have time for leisurely baths.

Apart from that the room was OK but a major issue for guests travelling along with kids could be the paid movie channels on the in-room TV. While surfing the menu I suddenly came across an option for paid adult movies. The option could of course be locked by the guests but it would be only after a kid accidentally sees it.

Problems in the Hotel

Holiday Inn Cotai Central Macau Hotel Lobby

Both check-in and check-out in my case were tardy. At the time of check-in they told me that they did not have confirmation for my stay for the first night but had it for the last four nights. I got the room key after waiting at the front office for over 15 minutes. At the check-out time again the staff got lost in their computer for 5 minutes. God knows what they were doing but it sure looked like some racist thing, doing additional checks on a guest based on racial profiling. Their misconduct helped me decide to stay away from Holiday Inn hotels in the future.

The Resort

Dreamworks Meet & Greet Sands Cotai Central Macau

Dreamworks Parade in Sands Cotai Central Macau

Because I did not get free breakfast and did not order food in the room, I would not be able to comment on that. But I have read in many places that their buffet breakfast is quite good. Sands Cotai Central is the newest (March 2015) integrated casino resort in Macau and is built for family entertainment. There are Dreamworks characters, Shrek, Giant Panda, etc.,  everywhere offering meet & greet on the ground floor or doing parades on the first floor. Guests can even have breakfast with them (called Shrekfast) which I think is a big draw. But I must tell you that all the Dreamworks experience including the daily parade, the meet & greet, and the Shrekfast is available to non-hotels guests too. The resort has a nice food court and a beautiful and huge retail shopping area. Sands Cotai Central has a total of three hotels and two casinos in its premises.

Shuttle Services

Free shuttle buses to the airport and the two ferry terminals are available 24/7 from the front side of the resort. Free shuttles buses to Sands Macau, Border Gate, etc., are operated from the back side.


Its a family friendly resort for sure because they take utmost care for security of the guests and also keep undesirable activities in total check. There are always a couple of policemen at the entrance to the resort and a hotel security person is always present in front of the lifts going to the rooms.

Overall, like I said before, Holiday Inn and Sands Cotai Central are both good for families provided the hotel staff do not harass the guests at the time of check-in / check-out.
Holiday Inn Cotai Central Booking Site

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I left my day job in October 2013 and became a full time blogger. I love travel and hence a travel blog was the obvious place to start from. The result is I currently live in Bengaluru, India. - Narinder Singh.


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