Studio City Macau - The MacauTripping Review 2016
The Star Tower King
I arrived at Studio City via a shuttle bus from City of Dreams. I retrieved my bag from the underside of the bus and rode a short escalator up to the podium level. There are no wheelchair access ramps here or anywhere in Macau. The bus entrance spills out into a bustling food court at intersection of two of Studio City's shopping promenades.
To the right is a mid-market mall, full of New York style neon signs and shops from Western brands. A massive line snakes through a rope rodeo outside of Studio City's loyalty club desk. New members are genuinely excited to take a free spin of the prize wheel. Just beyond this is a more restrained and upscale shopping promenade filled with slightly higher end retailers.
I have no idea where I'm going.
I arrive at the Celebrity Tower lobby.... and stand there for a moment trying my damnedest to remember which hotel tower I reserved four months ago. Did I book this one or the other one? I flipped in imaginary coin and kept walking, wheeling my luggage through the massive lobby between the porte cochere and the casino.
Eventually I arrive at the Star Tower lobby where an employee approaches me. "Checking in sir?" I tell him that I have no idea which hotel lobby I should check into. He smiles and calmly assures me that everything will be taken care of and escorts me to the front desk. My semi-concern - exacerbated by being foreigner to these parts - vanishes instantly, and all it took was a smile, some attention and a few comforting words. It is amazing how something so simple that requires almost no effort can make such a huge difference, particularly at the nexus of travel stress.
This simple interaction dazzled me, and made me instantly feel relaxed and re-energized. I can't help but think about the hundreds of times I've checked into hotels in Las Vegas - from hip chateaus to bonafide hell holes - where hotel representatives made me feel like an imposition, not a welcomed guest. What causes this? Bad training? Management's lack of global hospitality experience? A cultural chasm that lays bare America's dedication to being minimally excellent? There are a lot of marbles to chew on here.
Moments later, a very friendly front desk agent invites me to join her at reception. Her English isn't very good but her ear-to-ear, non stop smile and subtle giggle makes up for it. I get the feeling that she's relishing this challenging and approaching it with positivity. After exchanging passports and credit cards for hotel room keys, she waves me towards the bank of elevators nearby.