Gaming insights Gaming Cover features

It’s here!

Written by Andrew W Scott

This article first appeared in the May/Jun 2011 issue of World Gaming Magazine

Galaxy Macau is a HK$14.9 billion, 6 million square foot integrated mega-resort at Cotai directly opposite the Grand Waldo, with a staff of approximately 7,600 employees. Become an instant expert on Macau’s hottest property with our guide to everything you need to know.



Banyan Tree: The award winning and ultra-exclusive Singaporean brand offers 245 suites and 10 floating villas ranging from 1,000 to 10,000 square feet, all with in-suite relaxation pools; and a split-level 7,500 square foot Presidential Suite on the 30th and 31st floor, which includes a dining room, gourmet kitchen, in-suite relaxation pool, panoramic views of the Cotai skyline and its own private gaming room.

One of the beautiful Banyan Tree Suites

One of the beautiful Banyan Tree Suites


Hotel Okura: The legendary Japanese brand moves into Macau for the first time, offering 488 rooms and suites ranging from 500 to 2,200 square feet.

Galaxy Hotel: 1,500 rooms ranging from 500 to 1,300 square feet

All three hotels operational from the opening day, May 15.


  • 420,000 square feet of gaming floor.
  • More than 600 table games.
  • More than 1,500 electronic gaming machines.
  • Eight VIP gaming rooms.
  • Jinmen premium players club.
  • Specially designed high limit slot area.
  • Players program: Galaxy Privilege Club.
Mr Francis Lui, Vice Chairman of Galaxy Entetainment Group, on the floor of Galaxy Macau the day he was interviewed by World Gaming magazine

Mr Francis Lui, Vice Chairman of Galaxy Entetainment Group, on the floor of Galaxy Macau the day he was interviewed by World Gaming magazine


  • Signature dining:
    • Belon Oyster Bar and Grill (at Banyan Tree)
    • Yamazato (at Hotel Okura)
    • Terrazza Mediterranean Dining (at Galaxy hotel)
  • Speciality dining:
    • Gosto (Portuguese)
    • Laurel (southern Chinese)
    • Myung Ga (Korean specialties and premium BBQ)
    • Pak Loh (Chiu Chow)
    • Spice Garden (Indian and Middle Eastern)
  • Casual dining:
    • Banyan Café (pan-Asian cuisine at the Banyan Tree)
    • Festiva (all-day Asian buffet and international cuisine)
    • Lugang café (modern Taiwanese)
    • McDonalds (fast food)
    • Oasis (alfresco poolside dining by the Grand Resort deck)
    • Oishii Ichiban (Japanese ramen)
    • Pacific Coffee (coffee and pastries)
    • Starbucks (coffee and pastries)
    • Terrace Restaurant (all-day western dining at Hotel Okura)
    • The Spaghetti House (pasta and pizza)
    • Tsui Wah (Hong Kong style café)
    • Xia Mian Guan (Shanghainese cuisine)
  • Fast and tasty dining at the ‘Tastes of Asia’ gourmet food plaza:
    • A One Spicy & Sour Noodles (Yunnan)
    • Al Pasha Express (Xinjiang)
    • Beverage Corner (Beverages)
    • Chilli ‘N Spice (Thai)
    • Da Ge Cantonese BBQ (Cantonese)
    • Hok Kee – Noodle (Cantonese)
    • Hok Kee – Congee (Cantonese)
    • Steamed and Double boiled (Cantonese)
    • Lugang Express (Taiwanese Dessert)
    • New York Fries (Western)
    • Pepper Lunch (Japanese sizzling steak)
    • Pho 24 (Vietnamese)
    • Prima Taste Express (Malaysian and Singaporean)
    • Wing’s Chicken (Cantonese)

More outlets are yet to be announced, making more than 50 dining outlets in total.

More than half of all dining outlets serve Asian cuisine.

Bars and lounges

  • Open to the general public:
    • Banyan lobby lounge at Banyan Tree.
    • Sakazuki sake bar at Hotel Okura.
    • The Crystal Piano jazz music lounge at Hotel Okura.
    • Nagomi lobby lounge and bar at Hotel Okura.
    • Cascades lobby lounge and bar at Galaxy Hotel.
    • The Macallan whisky bar and cigar lounge at Galaxy Hotel.
    • Pearl Lounge casino stage bar (Asian-oriented high-energy performances).
  • Not open to the general public:
    • China Rouge (private members club with performance).
    • Surf Bar (swim-up bar on the Grand Resort Deck).
    • Cabana pool bar (Banyan Tree pool).
    • Executive lounge and business centre (at Hotel Okura).
    • G Lounge Club (concierge lounge at Galaxy Hotel executive Club, opening date to be finalised).
    • Jinmen Lounge (premium casino players bar).


  • China Rouge: a 17,000 square foot ultra-exclusive hybrid private membership club, performance theatre, bar, lounge and restaurant with art deco design conceptualised by renowned Hong Kong designer Alan Chan to evoke a modern vision of 1930s Shanghai.
  • The Crystal Piano jazz music lounge (at Hotel Okura).
  • Pearl Bar (stage bar in the main casino) with Asianoriented high-energy performances.
  • Poolside parties and exclusive invitation-only events will be held in the cabana area of the Grand Resort Deck.

Grand Resort Deck

  • 560,000 square feet of luxury relaxation.
  • A 350 ton, 22,000 square foot white sand beach with 150 metres of shoreline.
  • The beach is able to accommodate more than 1,000 guests.
  • The world’s largest sky wave pool, covering 43,000 square feet and generating waves up to 1.5 metres, including a protected swim-up bar.
  • Five individually designed additional pools.
  • A tropical oasis and Japanese gardens.
  • A traditional Japanese Tea pavilion.
  • Private cabanas and special areas for private and corporate functions.
  • The Banyan Tree features eight furnished and air-conditioned luxury private cabanas with sliding glass doors opening to the ultra luxury Banyan Tree pool.
  • The 30,000 square foot Banyan Tree spa will include 21 treatment rooms and a private spa floor.


  • Total retail area 375,000 square feet with two retail promenades.
  • West Retail Promenade offers Asian and international luxury retail brands.
  • East Retail Promenade offers convenience and souvenir shopping.
  • Over 30 Asian and internationally branded boutiques and stores.


  • A 9-screen, 3D, multi-function cinema is scheduled to open in the fourth quarter of 2011.


  • A state of the art gymnasium and indoor pool on the 31st floor of the Banyan Tree hotel.

MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events)

  • The Banyan Tree, Hotel Okura and Galaxy Hotel combined offer more than a dozen function rooms and a grand ballroom, with sizes ranging from 900 to 14,000 square feet.
Fun facts
  • Galaxy Macau will maintain a master wine list under its Master of Wine Ms Jeannie Cho Lee, who in 2008 became the first Asian to pass the notoriously difficult Master of Wine Examination.
  • In total six gold cupolas sit atop Galaxy Macau: one at each end and one in the middle of both towers.
  • The six cupolas are covered in 770,000 pieces of 24-carat gold leaf, enough to cover 87 football pitches.
  • There are over 100 different species of plants at Galaxy Macau.
  • The Banyan Tree Gallery is a lifestyle gallery showcasing indigenous arts and crafts from community projects around the world.


5 Questions for Mr Dennis Andreaci…

Dennis Andreaci is Senior Vice President of Gaming Operations at Galaxy Macau. He has over 25 years experience of casino operations development and management in various countries including the USA, Macau, Singapore, the Philippines, Cambodia and Laos.

Our CEO Andrew W Scott asked him five questions about the gaming experience we can expect from Galaxy Macau.

Andrew W Scott: Gaming is mostly homogenous from casino to casino, but there are points of difference. For example, L’Arc offers 10 times odds on craps, and the Hard Rock casino has 25 to 1 on perfect pairs at blackjack. Will Galaxy Macau be offering the players anything in terms of better odds, better value or perhaps a wider choice of bets on any of the games?

Dennis Andreaci: I think what you’re saying is absolutely true around the city. Most of the games are pretty much the same. We’re basically set up like the other operators in Cotai, with our game types. We’re going to try to offer a larger variety of minimums and maximums, but the differentiator for us is the highly personalised individual service here at Galaxy Macau, which we call ‘Asian Heart’. Our people are being trained more than those in any other casino in personalised customer service. There are a lot of food and beverage offerings we will do that other casinos don’t do. We’ll have customised personal cocktail service in the casino, which doesn’t exist in town and several other things, which will differentiate us on the gaming floor. Although I say we may not have some kind of special bet, maybe we do, but I don’t want to talk about that at this point in time (laughs)! Basically, we’re going to compete by being the best customer service property in Macau.

AWS: What will the gaming mix be at Galaxy Macau? What percentage of the tables will be games other than baccarat and what games will you be offering?

DA: Similar to what the other operators in the Cotai Strip will offer. Our mix is pretty much the same. Obviously everyone knows what works and doesn’t work, whether it is in the Peninsula, which would be slightly different, as it is basically a day trip market, as opposed to Cotai, where you have longer stays. So the games will be similar with the other operators on the Cotai Strip. Obviously, baccarat is the main game around the city. About 65 per cent of the tables of our competitors on the Cotai Strip are baccarat, and we’re in that same area so most of our tables are baccarat, but we also offer a large variety of all the other kinds of games, for instance, Caribbean stud, blackjack, craps, fan tan, sic bo, things like that. So a wide variety of games, a wide variety of table minimums and maximums, and also slot machines as well – we have a beautiful high limit slot area and a tremendous variety of different kinds of slot games and slot minimums and maximums also.

AWS: Poker is slowly but steadily growing in Macau. There are now poker rooms at Grand Lisboa, Wynn, StarWorld, Venetian and CoD. Are there plans for a poker room at Galaxy Macau?

DA: I’m not putting any poker in at Galaxy Macau. Obviously StarWorld, our sister property, is one of the leaders in poker in Macau. They’re strong in that, they’re famous for that, so we’re going to let them specialise in poker.

AWS: How many VIP gaming rooms are at Galaxy Macau? Will there be a direct VIP room similar to the Jinmen Premium Club at StarWorld?

DA: At Galaxy Macau we have eight VIP rooms, the finest fitted out VIP rooms the world has ever seen. I think we are going to shock the world with what they see. Yes, we do have a Jinmen Club. Jinmen at Galaxy Macau will be much bigger in scope than at StarWorld. Obviously, with a product like Galaxy Macau, an integrated resort with all the restaurants, all the hotels, all the services that exist, we cater to a larger market and so we are going to be able to expand our customer database for our premium direct business and reach into southeast Asia and other parts of the far east. So we expect our Jinmen business at Galaxy Macau to be quite large.

AWS: Details may not have been finalised yet, but can you tell me about your players club, the Galaxy Privilege Club? What kind of gaming promotions will be offered at Galaxy Macau?

DA: Our players club will actually have the widest variety of benefits, events and promotions of any of the concessionaires in Macau. There will be a lot of surprises for everyone to come and see. I think we are going to really surprise everybody with some very new things in Macau, in the player’s club, events and promotions.


5 Questions for Ms Gillian Murphy…

Gillian Murphy is Senior Vice President of Non-Gaming Operations at Galaxy Macau. She has over 28 years’ experience in hotel and resort operations, previously holding senior executive positions with a number of prestigious gaming and hotel companies in the United States, from Las Vegas to the enormous Connecticut Indian reservation casinos.

Our CEO Andrew W Scott asked her five questions about what we can expect from Galaxy Macau away from the felt.

Andrew W Scott: Please tell us a little about Galaxy Macau’s three hotels and the differences between them.

Gillian Murphy: They’re really quite distinct properties. We have, as you’ve mentioned, three. The Galaxy Hotel, which is the largest with 1,500 rooms, complemented by the Okura and Banyan Tree. Our Okura property is about 500 rooms and really brings a traditional, authentic Japanese experience, complemented by its food and beverage, its décor and its touch points that will really make customers feel nurtured in a traditional Japanese style. The Okura brand does this very well. Banyan Tree, which is sitting next door, has 250 rooms and brings a sense of serenity and sanctuary in this urban setting, which I think is very well received. The spa treatments, the pools, the 1,000 square foot guest rooms, the restaurants, wonderful Thai fusion cuisine, really brings something to the market that I think is not in place at the moment. So at the three hotels, we really have something for everybody.

AWS: Of all the restaurants that will be coming to Galaxy Macau, which do you think is the most exciting and why?

GM: That’s really a difficult question when you have over 50 restaurants. To pick your favourite would be challenging. I think the best answer is it would depend on what I was coming to Galaxy Macau to do. If I am coming with my family, I think the Oasis Restaurant, which is adjacent to the pool, is something ideal. It has a very broad and more casual spectrum of food, and a barbecue on Sunday with a lively outdoor dining area. If I’m looking for a specialty, either the Laurel or our Indian restaurant Spice Garden would offer some special foods for that occasion. And if I’m looking for a romantic evening with my partner, I would say Terrazza would be a favourite with its Mediterranean medley cuisine, or also the Belon Bar and Grill, which will be quite spectacular. Not forgetting Yamazato in Okura. So there is really something for everybody. And if I’m wanting a coffee in between my gaming, I can pick Starbucks or Pacific Coffee. There’s such an array, it’s really hard to say which would be a favourite.

AWS: There has been much talk about the wave pool at Galaxy Macau. What can you tell us about it and how will it compare to the beach at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas?

GM: Well, firstly, it’s on a higher floor, so you’re not at ground level, which makes it something quite remarkable with its view and vistas of the two hotel towers that encompass it. There’s a full service restaurant close by. There are other dining terraces. There’s a Japanese garden. So we have a wave pool sitting in this amazing resort setting that really is quite distinct from Mandalay in bringing a sense of tranquility in southeast Asia. However, once you’re on the resort deck wave pool and on the sand, it really is a luxury environment. Whether it’s chilled fruit juices in a lollipop, the cold towels, the menu on the beach, sand castle making or Tai Chi early in the morning, there is some careful programming and also an opportunity to just enjoy the waters three stories up.

AWS: Over the years people have come to know and love the tall and beautiful Galaxy Ambassadors through seeing them in the StarWorld lobby and throughout the StarWorld property. Will we be seeing the ambassadors at Galaxy Macau?

GM: It is definitely a signature of Galaxy, both at StarWorld and it will be at Galaxy Macau, and they will fill a similar role. They will be at our points of arrival, so they can assist and direct customers, making them feel warm, valued and welcomed. They will be at other touch points, whether it is in our lounges or at special events. They are truly a signature, and as you point out, quite stunning.

AWS: Once visitors have had their gaming fix, what entertainment options will be available to them in terms of bars, clubs, shows and so forth?

GM: As you exit the gaming floor, which is very well positioned and centralised, on either side there are two promenades featuring some luxury shopping on the one side and some convenience and souvenir shopping on the other, so an option would be a little shopping with some entertainment along the way. There are some bars that you can sit outside at and enjoy Macau or you can be inside at the Macallan whisky bar. You can take a little more nightlife as the day goes on, enjoy China Rouge which is nightlife entertainment with a special membership program or you can move on to the Oasis, which is more of a music and entertainment place. So many of our restaurants and bars have different offerings and are complementary. Whether it’s a little jazz, a little Cantopop, you can move around and find something that suits an individual’s taste at that time. Once again, there’s something for everybody and it’s just going to be super.