Macao’s latest integrated-resort – MOP 15.2-billion (US$1.9 billion) The Londoner Macao – threw open its doors officially today on the Cotai Strip.
The Brit-themed resort – part of the reimagined Sands Cotai Central – is scheduled to expand rapidly over the coming year to include more accommodation, a revamped shopping mall, the Big Ben replica set to be 96 metres tall, the 6,000-seat arena and the luxury residential-style all-suite Londoner Court.
At the opening ceremony held at the Crystal Palace, President of Sands China Ltd. Wilfred Wong expressed how bittersweet the moment was: “Right alongside my feelings of pride and excitement for this opening is the sadness that still lingers from the recent passing of our dearly loved and admired chairman and CEO, Mr. Sheldon Adelson.”
“Beginning with Mr. Adelson himself, vision and faith have driven our company’s efforts to develop the Cotai Strip over the past 17 years. Transforming dreams into reality has been the business of Sands China ever since Mr. Adelson surveyed an empty expanse of land and water all those years ago, and imagined the wonders that we see before us today.”
The President of Sands China continued: “The first realisation of that dream was in bringing the feeling of Venice to Macao and creating the first and still most iconic landmark on the Cotai skyline with The Venetian Macao in 2007. The unmitigated success of that first themed property opened the way for bringing a taste of Paris to Macao with The Parisian and its impressive half-scale Eiffel Tower in 2016. And now, we bring to you a piece of London with the best of British history and culture, and a hospitality experience that expertly fuses the traditional and contemporary, starting with this spectacular Crystal Palace and its classic Victorian design, as well as the all-suite The Londoner Hotel.”
Edmund Ho Hau Wah, the Vice-Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and former Macao Chief Executive; Yan Zhichan, Deputy Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in Macao and Lei Wai Nong, Macao’s Secretary for Economy and Finance were among those that officiated the ceremony.
Wilfred Wong revealed to the press after the event that the property had its soft opening during the Christmas and New Year. Wong said that the retail business – especially the luxury sector – has done very well in the fourth quarter.
The Conrad Macao and the Sheraton Grand Macao, alongside the new Londoner Macao, are part of a larger connected integrated resort network.
With a façade designed after the Houses of Parliament and a 33-metre-high atrium dubbed Crystal Palace, the property’s Londoner Hotel also features 600 luxury suites and its exclusive club The Residence.
New dining options are also available, with one restaurant named Churchill’s Table and another under the aegis of celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. Chinese cuisine is offered at the North Palace and Thai cuisine at The Mews. The Chiado is also set to reopen.
The resort’s Londoner Theatre will be able to seat 1,700, while an additional 370,000 square feet of meeting space should be a definite lure for meetings and conventions – once the current pandemic has been laid to rest.
Coinciding with Chinese New Year celebrations, the Londoner will stage magic shows, choir recitals and similar events to celebrate the luxury property’s new persona.
Other European-themed integrated-resorts under the Sands umbrella include the Venetian Macao, completed in August 2007, and The Parisian Macao, completed in September 2016.