These hotels are your best bets for an affordable place to stay in dazzling Macau, a former Portuguese trading post an hour ferry ride from Hong Kong and the only place in China with legal gambling.
Near Macau's Grand Lisboa, Hotel Sintra is within walking distance of several of the city's famous casinos, plus offers free shuttle service to Macau Maritime Ferry Terminal. Its 240 homey rooms start at 280 square feet, and feature comfortable beds, wooden desks, and armoires. Decor can feel a bit tired, especially in some rooms with dated carpeting and louvered oak furniture, and there is an abundance of patterns on display, from the rugs to curtains to bed runners. That said, rooms are pleasant enough, especially given the hotel's reasonable rates, and all have electric kettles, flat-screen TVs, air-conditioning, mini-fridges, and free Wi-Fi. The hotel has a 24-hour coffee shop and a Chinese restaurant on-site with weekend buffets and dim sum breakfasts. There’s no pool or fitness center.
Macau has plenty of massive hotels catering to everyone looking to gamble and party into the night's wee hours, but the mid-range Ole Tai Sum Un Hotel is a tranquil, compact alternative. Housed in a five-story building located on a narrow street, this hotel won't inspire any long rhapsodies on style, but the simple and straightforward ambiance creates a fine, low-key home base for exploring the city. The property has 40 simple, small rooms with flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi. There are no mini-fridfes, like at Hotel Sintra, but electric kettles, tea bags, and free bottled water are provided, as well as slippers and generous amenity kits with combs, shaving kits, and toothbrushes. There is a restaurant and bar on-site, plus the area is filled with inexpensive dining options. The hotel's great central location is near the iconic Ruins of St. Paul's and the historic Rua da Felicidade.
What was once a Best Western has been given a facelift and the current incarnation of this hotel -- the Inn Hotel Macau -- is a fresh and modern property in tourist-friendly Taipa. The hotel has a fresh feel throughout, including a colorful, funky restaurant. Rooms are minimalistic and sharp, with muted color schemes and sleek bathrooms. All rooms have flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, electric kettles, and free Wi-Fi. Also standard are safes, bottled water, slippers, and toiletry kits are also standard in all rooms. Some guests find it takes a while to hail a cab outside the hotel, but a free shuttle is provided to Grand Emperor Hotel, Macau Ferry Terminal, and other key destinations. In addition to free shuttle service, the hotel provides free hot breakfast and free parking, but we still gave Ole Tam Sam Un Hotel the edge for its mainland Macau location, close to the picturesque Rua de Felicidade.
Built in 1983, the 11-floor Regency Art Hotel is geared toward budget-minded travelers seeking a quiet vacation and willing to overlook the property’s rough edges. The sprawling property was once a grand Hyatt Regency, but now it needs revamping and paint touch-ups. However, lush landscaping around the lagoon pool creates a secluded vibe and there are ample outdoor lounge areas. Additionally, there are tennis, basketball, and squash courts, plus a large gym and a full-service spa. Two restaurants serve Chinese, Portuguese, and Macanese fare, and the hotel also has a bakery and a bar. The 326 classically designed rooms -- some dated and others remodeled -- feature Chinese-style furnishings and Suites have balconies. Unlike our first three picks, though, Wi-Fi is only free in the lobby.
The 90-room Guia Hotel is a mid-range, small-scale alternative to the many mega-hotels in the area. Guests looking for entertainment won't have to go far -- there's a gentleman's club in the basement, casinos are within a 15-minute walk, and the Guia Fort is next door. There is also free shuttle service to the casino district and ferry terminal. A decent on-site Chinese restaurant, rooftop terrace, and free cookies all earn the hotel points, but note that the hotel doesn't have a pool or fitness center, like Regency Art Hotel. Another drawback is that rooms here are on the small side, but they're still stylish, with flat-screen TVs, minibars, and free Wi-Fi.