Sofitel Ponte 16 : The MacauTripping Review 2016
Inner Harbor And The Superior King
Sofitel Ponte 16 is a deluxe waterfront hotel located directly on Macau's Inner Harbor, within walking distance of UNESCO World Heritage sites and the peninsula's casino district. The Ponte 16 property's majority owner is SJM, Macau's longest running casino operator, and their minority partner Success Universe Group Limited. The Sofitel hotel at Ponte 16 (translates to 'Pier 16') is operated by French hospitality group AccorHotels.
Sofitel Ponte 16 is most definitely not in the thick of Macau's casino corridor. Should you wish to see the outrageousness of Avenue Da Amazade's casino row, it is only a 10 minute walk away. Depending on the weather, nearly everything on the Macau peninsula is within reasonable walking distance. In addition to casino gaming and affordable luxury hotel accommodations, Sofitel Ponte 16 offers visitors instant access to the history and wonder of Macanese and culture, only a few steps away.
Sofitel Ponte 16's reach extends beyond baccarat, bars and bedspreads and deep into the wondrous magic of Macau.
Walking Macau's sidestreets, alleyways and praças is a truly exhilarating experience. The stone sidewalks of Macau ooze history in every step. The steady stream of faces and places tell tentative stories of today, reverberate wisdom from ancients, frame the workaday, welcome the curious, and obfuscate the mysterious or mask the forbidden.
Daylight reveals a mix of high gloss modernity and threadbare wonder of old. Streaming through all of it is a dense, vibrant and endlessly fascinating cross pollinated culture. When the sun sets, the lights turn on - casting Macau's charming ancient funk into the shadows of a high-contrast neon wonderland. Wander, wonder, wow.
I arrived at Sofitel Ponte 16 by foot, dragging a large piece of luggage up Avenida Infante D. Henrique from Grand Lisboa during the height of the afternoon. Entry to Sofitel Ponte 16 lobby is on the third floor, accessed by via an escalator in the hotel's porte cochere.
Upon arrival in the lobby, I was greeted by a truly lovely employee who offered water, local maps and lovely conversation as I waited to check in. I bumped into her three times during my stay and every time we engaged in longer, smarter and more detailed discussions about travel, what it is like growing up in Macau, how much things have changed in the last few years and the zillion pataca question - how do locals deal with humidity! Answer: "we stay inside."
It took only a few moments to check into the hotel. Unfortunately, Ponte 16 has a firm "no early check-in rule" and I had arrived quite early. The receptionist directed me to the bell desk where I could store my bags until 3pm, when I could return to pick up my keys. I checked my bags and set out to explore the rest or the hotel.
Sofitel Ponte 16's has a multi-floored casino that caters primarily to mass market visitors. In addition to an exclusive hotel-within-a-hotel - The Mansion at Sofitel - Ponte 16 offers a VIP casino salon on the top floor of the casino as well. The Ponte 16 casino games include baccarat, sic bo and blackjack. Slot machines, primarily Chinese themed games, dot the outskirts of the casino floor.
The casino floor - while luxuriously appointed - feels dim, low contrast and slightly unexciting. The upper floors of the casino, including the VIP rooms, had more personnel than players, lending a feeling of austerity to the games.
Away from the casino, stairways led to empty floors, hallways connected nothing to nowhere and gorgeous grand staircases spilled out into abandoned parking lot vestibules.
Giant couches wait for no one and doors that access unactivated rooftop piazzas are bolted shut, ignoring stunning views of the Macau peninsula, the inner harbor and mainland China.
A small giftshop/museum called MJ contains the white glove Michael wore on TV that the hotel bought at auction.
That this "museum" is jammed into a broom closet in the corner of an elevator landing confirms my suspicions that this attraction is a bootleg.
It is hard to tell if this building was poorly conceived, is being badly managed or the market can't support what Ponte 16 could offer.
After a few hours of exploration, I returned to the lobby, got my keys and headed up to my room.
Before we head upstairs, I'd like to take a quick moment to mention that our hotel reviews are rather long and this one contains approximately 50 high resolution photos of every corner of this room. In addition to the photos, there are detailed descriptions, analysis and jokes. You can jump from page to page below.
On the last page of this review you will find our often imitated but never duplicated Room Rundown video walkthrough. We've got tons more of room rundown videos on our YouTube channel.
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It's time for Sofitel Ponte 16 #1238!