As themed casino resorts go, the likes of Las Vegas and Macau have been inspired by everything from the Parisian Eiffel Tower to ancient Rome. One theme that has slipped through the net through the decades has been a resort dedicated to dear old Blighty. Sands China have been planning the launch of The Londoner Macau, which will be the first British-themed resort “evoking the charm of the Victorian era”.
The resort was previously known as the Sands Cotai Central. It has cost approximately $2.2 billion to remodel the resort in true Victorian style. Plans are afoot for the resort’s hotel rooms and facilities to be available during Q3 2020, but the soft launch in September looks set to be put back a month or two. The President of Sands China, Wilfred Wong, pointed to the “low” occupancy rates across Macau at present, suggesting that the corporation is keen to hold fire until more people start to travel and Individual Visit Scheme (IVS) visas formally return this month.
All you need to know about The Londoner Macau
The resort has had some interesting collaborations when fitting out the new British-themed resort. Former England international soccer star David Beckham has been enlisted to support the interior designers with furnishing the top-floor suites, which will be named after Beckham himself. Other iconic Brits, such as Gordon Ramsay, also look set to be involved heavily in The Londoner Hotel. Ramsay is due to open his own branded gastropub within the resort, serving traditional British fare, namely fish and chips, bangers and mash and shepherd’s pie.
The complex itself also looks set to pay homage to some of the most historic landmarks in the English capital of London. Plans are afoot to construct a 96-metre Big Ben Tower and life-like clock face to act as the centrepiece of the resort. The resort’s entrance will be inspired by the historic Crystal Palace from the Victorian era, with a magnificent atrium flooded with abundant natural light acting as the first port of call for guests. Within the Crystal Palace entrance, the resort will have a daily “Changing of the Guards” that is designed to replicate the pomp and ceremony of Buckingham Palace.
The proposals for The Londoner’s casino floor are understandably exciting too. It will provide over 450 tables for card gaming, with baccarat continuing to be the most popular among tourists from mainland China and beyond. The popularity of baccarat in the Far East is undeniable, with the game generating most the city’s table gaming revenues. It’s also growing in popularity elsewhere around the world, which has sparked the launch of live dealer baccarat casino games. These tables, managed by professionally trained dealers in state-of-the-art studios, aim to replicate the drama and authenticity of playing in a Macanese casino floor.
For those less interested in casino gaming, there are plenty of other forms of entertainment on offer. There is the small matter of three spas and a quartet of health clubs to choose from, for those who prefer being pampered. Fanatical foodies will also have over 20 eateries to consider – including Gordon Ramsay’s gastropub. Finally, the Shoppes at The Londoner will be designed to recreate a retail experience on London’s most decadent streets, notably Mayfair, Bond Street and Savile Row. Within the Shoppes at The Londoner – which will operate in much the same way as the Shoppes at Venetian – guests will be able to experience a string of heritage brands from the British Isles that are as yet unconfirmed.
Once large crowds are welcomed back to Macau, the resort will also house The Londoner Macau Arena – a new state-of-the-art facility capable of hosting live music and sporting events, as well as corporate conferences and exhibitions. The 6,000-capacity venue could help cement Macau as a potential venue for major music bands as well as headline sports such as heavyweight boxing and MMA. All in all, it is yet another ambitious offering from the Cotai Strip, which continues to surprise and impress with its commitment to becoming a resort destination unlike no other on the planet.