The newly-rebranded Macau casino resort the Londoner Macao opened bookings on Tuesday (December 15) for stays starting on January 22 next year at its freshly-themed Londoner Hotel, according to the resort’s official account on social media application Instagram.
The resort’s promoter, Sands China Ltd, a unit of United States-based Las Vegas Sands Corp, said separately in a Tuesday press release that an “official ceremony” for what it termed “phase one” of The Londoner Macao, would be held in “early February 2021″.
Chinese New Year, a major holiday season for Chinese consumers, falls on February 12.
China’s State Council has designated the coming Chinese New Year holiday period as running from February 11 to 17 inclusive, providing a week-long break for people living in mainland China, the main source of tourists to Macau.
On the Londoner Macao’s property website, the official hotel booking engine calendar indicated that as of Tuesday afternoon, the dates February 12 to 18 were not available for booking.
“The Londoner Macao will offer our guests another new and exciting experience while further illustrating our commitment to Macao and the expansion of its tourism offerings,” Robert Goldstein, president and chief operating officer of Las Vegas Sands, was quoted as saying in the follow-up press release.
Sands China, in common with Macau’s other five casino licensees, faces a public retender process for its gaming rights, associated with the June 2022 expiry of the current permits.
Wilfred Wong Ying Wai, president of Sands China, was quoted in the press release as saying the company had a “successful track record of creating themed properties in Macau,” and The Londoner Macao complemented the group’s other themed Macau resorts – the Venetian Macao and the Parisian Macao – as a “top” regional destination for “the leisure and MICE [meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions] markets.”
Three British-themed food outlets at the revamped resort – The Mews; Churchill’s Table and Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill – are still classified as “coming soon” according to the resort website.
The Londoner Macao’s Instagram account mentioned one accommodation package that included the chance to use a facility in the resort called The Residence (pictured), and said to be modelled on a London private-member club, and to be “inspired” by the lifestyle of “Prime Minister Winston Churchill,” a reference to the United Kingdom’s political leader during most of the Second World War.
The tower containing the Londoner Hotel previously housed a Holiday Inn-branded property. The Londoner Hotel has been described by its promoters as an all-suite facility with 600 units for guests.
In late November, Mr Wong had said the Londoner Hotel was “tentatively” scheduled to open in February, with some new shops and food outlets in the mall to launch at about the same time.
As of Sunday, construction work was still going around the newly-fashioned main entrance to the property, which has a façade resembling the 19th-century gothic architecture of the Palace of Westminster, the home of the U.K.’s parliament.
The work on remodelling the Londoner Macao – previously known as Sands Cotai Central – and the recently-opened Four Seasons Suites across the road in Cotai, are part of the casino group’s declared US$2.2-billion additional investment in the Macau market.
It was announced on Monday that hotel rooms at the Sheraton Grand Macao hotel, also at the Londoner Macao, were again been allocated – starting on December 20 – for Macau government use amid the city’s response to the Covid-19 emergency. A novelty is that the Sheraton Grand Macao can now decide how much it will charge to those inbound to Macau and choosing to stay at the property under a compulsory 14-day medical observation period before being allowed into the community.
The Macau government said it would review on January 20, 2021 the scheme involving the use of the Sheraton Grand Macao for medical observation.
The local authorities did not specify how many rooms at the Sheraton Grand Macao would be used for the 14-day quarantine protocol. Half of Sheraton Grand Macao’s 4,000 hotel rooms had been used for the same purpose between late March and late April. The property was again used for Covid-19 quarantine purposes by the Macau government in June.
(Updated 7.45pm, Dec 15)
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”Our own consensus is that any newcomers to this [junket] sector should be corporatised, and should be financially sound and able to commit a higher guarantee deposit”
Kwok Chi Chung
President of junket trade body, the Macau Association of Gaming and Entertainment Promoters