Macau—one of China’s ‘special administrative zones’—can be a bit too special.
Just a ferry’s ride from Hong Kong International Airport and from Hong Kong itself, this former Portuguese colony has found its modern incarnation as a garish Las Vegas of the Orient. All that follows upon a region or a city selling itself to gaming interests is on unapologetic display under Macau’s neon glare.
By contrast, on the relatively rural island of Coloane, the good folk of the Pousada de Coloane welcome guests to a less complicated space. Overlooking the water between Macau’s sectors from its hillside perch, the Pousada offers attentive service, quiet air-conditioned rooms, and excellent food.
The staff—a mixture of Filipinos, Macanese Chinese, and mainline Chinese—are informal and ever helpful.
This is a great place for meetings or a quiet getaway. Taxi and bus service to the Strip in downtown Macau is available. But you may find you’d rather stay at the Pousada and get away from things just a bit longer. My only complaint—iffy Internet service—may be charitably viewed as aid to the isolation you’ve been craving.
The incomparable urban charms of Hong Kong are a short distance away over the water and served by frequent ferry departures.
The price is right at this rustic but not inelegant get-away.