An old Portuguese colony, Macau’s claim to fame is undoubtedly its status as the world’s biggest gambling hub, but it is also a hugely diverse destination experience. In recent times it has morphed into a fully-inclusive modern playground and has become a true mecca for magical family-friendly attractions of every description, from adrenaline rides to fabulous interactive museums and awesome kid-friendly live entertainment.
Fortunately, it is also a breeze getting there from international gateway Hong Kong, one of the world’s best-connected air hubs. Hong Kong International Airport operates flights via low-cost carriers and full-service airlines, flying to and from most major cities around the world. After touching down in Hong Kong, Macau’s bright lights are no more than one hour away. From one historic colony to another, we have uncovered two seamless, fuss-free ways to get to Macau by both sea and air.
Macau’s swanky mega-hotels are a hotbed of kid-friendly fun and activity, from world-class family entertainment to action-packed mini theme parks on site. With over 300 million visitors per year to HotelsCombined, we’ve also done our research on the best family-friendly hotels in Macau for the ultimate East meets West family holiday.
How to get to Macau from Hong Kong
Getting to Macau by Ferry
Taking into consideration practicality and cost, a fast ferry from Hong Kong to Macau is by far the most efficient mode of transportation for families. There are three main departure points in Hong Kong serving two arrival ports in Macau. The Macau Maritime Ferry Terminal, otherwise known as the Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal, is the most convenient jumping off point for downtown Macau hotels and the historic district. Boats arrive here from the HK-Macau Ferry Terminal in Hong Kong Central and the China Ferry Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui.
If staying at one of the mega-resorts located on the Cotai Strip, be sure to book a Macau ferry or jetfoil service to Taipa Ferry Terminal. Exiting this terminal on arrival, keep a look out for the various complimentary shuttle buses operated by most of the main Cotai hotels. The two leading operators plying Hong Kong-Macau sea routes are TurboJET and Cotai Water Jet. Both serve the two Macau ferry terminals and offer a choice of comfortable seats, ranging from standard to swanky VIP class. Due to ticket, luggage and immigration checks, it is advisable to turn up at least one hour ahead of departure time.
Getting to Macau by Helicopter
A preferred choice for high rollers aiming to hit the jackpot in Macau, a helicopter ride from Hong Kong lasts a mere 15 minutes. While more expensive compared to other transport options, families can enjoy dazzling bird’s-eye views of Hong Kong and Macau, two of the world’s most iconic skylines. The experience promises to be an exciting introduction to any Macau holiday.
The Sky Shuttle service operates 12-seater choppers with leather upholstery and large windows to soak up the astounding aerial views. Running every 30 minutes, passengers climb aboard at the dedicated heliport located at the HK-Macau Ferry Terminal in Hong Kong for the speedy flight across the Pearl River, landing at Macau Maritime Terminal. The Sky Shuttle places visitors right in the heart of the downtown area and historic core, while the glitzy mega hotels on the Cotai Strip are just a short drive away.
The Best 4-star Family-friendly Hotels in Macau
Holiday Inn Macao Cotai Centrals’ stylish Asian-focused comforts and a host of fun amenities make for a great family-friendly haven. The tropical island-inspired lobby is filled with lush greenery that immediately catches the eye. An inviting outdoor pool complex is expansive and fringed by tranquil gardens where supervised kids’ activities take place throughout the day. It is all part of the integrated Sands Cotai Central development, so top-notch entertainment, shopping and big-screen movies are just moments away.
The 1,224 rooms and suites all exude a cool contemporary vibe, adorned with vibrant modern artwork. Families can mingle and munch on delicious snacks in the Lobby Lounge or soak up the afternoon rays at the Pool Café with a casual lunch. Getting out and about with the family is a breeze by making full use of the hotel’s free shuttle service.
Although constructed just a decade ago, Rio Hotel Macau exudes an air of timeless heritage, notably the fancy marble-clad lobby topped off with an enormous sparkling chandelier. It houses the popular Art Deco-inspired Rio Casino, yet retains a relaxed ambience that is an ideal alternative to the mega-resorts of the Cotai Strip.
Previous HotelsCombined guests rave about the family-sized rooms and thoughtful layout, while clean marble bathrooms come with a huge walk-in shower and separate bathtub. Guests can make full use of the well-stocked in-room mini bar, on-demand movies on the flat-screen TV and attentive room service. The hotel’s top floor contains an indoor swimming pool designed to represent ancient Roman baths. There is also a gym and beauty salon to stay fit and fabulous.
Star Rating: 4*
Price: US$64 – US$510
Guest Rating: 8.2
Address: Rua Luis Gonzaga Gomes, Macau
The Best 5-star Family-friendly Hotels in Macau
With an astounding 4,001 rooms, everything about Sheraton Grand Macao Hotel Cotai Central is on an epic scale. There is an extensive range of accommodation options, all bathed in a splash of vibrant colour with eye-catching views to match. The signature two-room family suites feature a separate haven for kids with enchanting bunk beds and Xbox console.
There’s no chance of boredom setting in with three inviting pools and a comprehensive kids’ programme including the magical DreamWorks Experience daily parade. There’s even a dedicated kids’ hair salon located in the luxurious Shine Spa. Every conceivable palate is sure to be satisfied at the hotel’s various restaurants, from poolside bites, sumptuous Asian seafood or the authentic charm of an Italian trattoria. Special children’s menus are available at all dining venues.
Star Rating: 5*
Price: US$62 – US$1020
Guest Rating: 8.5
Address: No.5 Cotai Strip, Macau
A perennial favourite with HotelsCombined customers for its comprehensive family-focused amenities, Galaxy Hotel Macau offers a multi-faceted resort destination experience. The integrated Grand Resort Deck water park is an obvious lure for families. It houses a huge sandy beach, slides, white-water rapids and surf pool for all-day tropical fun.
Rooms and suites come in a range of spacious configurations catering to families of all sizes. There is a choice of super sleek contemporary deluxe rooms to regal multi-room suites with a touch of timeless glamour. Whatever the price point, floor-to-ceiling windows provide sublime views. A stay at Galaxy puts guests right in the heart of the Cotai Strip’s glittering and seemingly unlimited entertainment and shopping.
Star Rating: 5*
Price: US$123 – US$920
Guest Rating: 9
Address: Estrada da Baía de Nossa Senhora da Esperança, Macau
Perhaps nowhere else embodies the exuberance and sheer scale of Macau quite like The Venetian. It delights kids at every turn from the indoor canals complete with singing gondoliers to the whimsical Renaissance ceiling art. The Venetian’s luxury suites exude elegant Italianate style with lavish soft furnishings, together with kid-pleasing perks such as video gaming and in-room movies in the dedicated family suites.
The hotel houses one of Macau’s biggest kids’ clubs along with minigolf, four inviting outdoor pools with luxury cabanas and a wealth of live entertainment. The Venetian’s prime location unlocks duty-free shopping sprees with 400 stores just a stroll away. The hotel also operates a catamaran ferry service from Hong Kong.
Star Rating: 5*
Price: US$133 – US$715
Guest Rating: 8.9
Address: Estrada De Baia De N Senhora Da Esperanca S/N Taipa, Macau
What Makes Macau so Magical for Families?
Macau is where dreams are meant to come true. That is undoubtedly true for the lucky few who strike gold in the casinos, but for families looking for fun and excitement, the odds are certainly stacked in their favour. Macau’s glitz and glamour rub off on its visitors, providing entertainment for all members of the family, right down to the very smallest wide-eyed child. It is a fabulous place to introduce young kids to new cultures and quirky contrasts, without all the boring bits.
With more than 300 million visitors to HotelsCombined annually, we’ve showcased the most popular hotels for that perfect family break in Macau. Many are full-service hotels, featuring expansive outdoor pools, supervised kids’ clubs, luxury spas and a wealth of dining options located all under one roof. For a different atmosphere, smaller downtown properties exude local character and are just a stroll away from Macau’s captivating historic landmarks.
Macau is a compact city, which means there are no long distances between sights or activities. This convenient access is particularly the case within the integrated mega resorts in Macau where everything a family could need is nearby, from shopping, spa pampering, thrill rides and epic family-friendly shows.
What magical Macau family adventure do you recommend? Leave a comment below.