By Jonathan Evens
As the Christmas and New Year party season looms ever closer, the thoughts of many revellers will be turning to nightspots in Macau where they can let their hair down and celebrate the festive period and the countdown to 2019. Fortunately, party-goers will not have to travel to Hong Kong to catch the hedonistic action, as Macau is well equipped with its own selection of homegrown nightclubs and party dens – some commanding a respected position as among the best independent clubs in Asia, while others are prominent elements of the city’s big-name integrated resorts.
For almost three years in Macau from late 2015, clubbing was dominated by Pacha – the glamorous, Ibiza-born import that enlivened Studio City on the Cotai Strip, with its lavish design, state-of-the-art sound system and cutting-edge DJs. In recent months, Pacha has closed, with a replacement club concept promised to open next year – which leaves the nightclub mantle to be passed to one of Macau’s longest-standing nightspots, Club Cubic, also located on the Strip, within City of Dreams.
Photography: (top) Pacha Macau Website, ( Bottom) Club Cubic Facebook
This two-storey stalwart, opened in April 2011, sprawls over 30,000 square feet live entertainment space, and sets the standard for luxurious clubbing in the city with its performance stage, laser beam-lit dance pool, black Gothic-style bar and champagne bar. Beyond merely providing a place to dance, the emphasis at Cubic is on a multi-sensory experience tailored to discerning nightlife mavens. Five VIP rooms on the first floor are designed to an individual theme, each with top-quality karaoke and sound facilities, as well as a private balcony overlooking the action below.
Photography: Sky 21
Channelling a similarly exclusive vibe, Sky 21 Bar & Restaurant at the top of AIA Tower wows its clientele with some of the finest views in the city, but it’s the party atmosphere that many guests come for. Live music on selected nights comes courtesy of international DJs and bands; theme nights such as Halloween specials or Japanese soirées are dotted around its calendar; and the East-meets-West décor makes Sky 21 a place where clubbers from around the globe are made to feel welcome.
Photography: D2 Facebook
Another former inhabitant of AIA Tower, now located along Fisherman’s Wharf, D2 Club & Lounge dials down the glam/luxe factor to offer pure, unabashed good times – and that’s never a bad thing. International guest DJs help to bring in a party crowd seven days a week, but in this independent space, away from the more conservative offerings of Cotai and its big-name resorts, what sets D2 apart is its free-spirited, somewhat risqué attitude, embodied by the dancers and acrobatic performers onstage (as well as the patrons). If the photographs from last year’s event are anything to go by, their New Year’s Eve party should be one to remember.
Photography: 38 Lounge
At the rooftop of Altira Macau hotel – the tallest building in Taipa – 38 Lounge’s plush interior, where live entertainment is on show every night except Tuesday, is complemented by an outside terrace with views across the peninsula. Meanwhile at The Ritz-Carlton Bar & Lounge, on the 51st floor of this Galaxy Macau hotel, live music and vivid contemporary design form the perfect backdrop to one of the city’s classiest watering holes.
Photography: The Ritz-Carlton Bar & Lounge
Elsewhere in Galaxy Macau, the China Rouge entertainment lounge is a distinctively opulent affair that serves up a heady brew with its bold and sumptuous décor, nightly music, exotic stage acts, signature cocktails and lengthy list of specialist wines. The avant-garde designs, contortionist and envelope-pushing cocktails combine for an overall aura of glamour fused with an inescapable decadence – a fitting look for a hi-so nightspot that was apparently modelled on the drinking dens of old Shanghai.
Photography: China Rouge
Right at the heart of Cotai’s resort-world, The Venetian Macao – the largest single-structure hotel building in Asia – traditionally pulls out all the stops for the New Year countdown with live musical entertainment, huge-scale illuminations and fireworks.
Photography: The Venetian Macao
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