Macao opens US$2 billion resort with giant copy of London's Big Ben
Macao opens US$2 billion resort with giant copy of London's Big Ben

Tourists in Asia no longer need to take long-haul flights to visit the UK’s Big Ben or to snap a photo of London’s iconic red double-decker bus. Now they can do it in Macao, the so-called “Asian Las Vegas”.

‘The Londoner Macao’, a British-themed luxury casino resort in the heart of Chinese gaming, held its grand opening ceremony on Thursday. English football celebrity David Beckham was in attendance at the event.

The Chinese city has added yet another luxury casino resort along the Cotai Strip, a term Las Vegas Sands uses to refer to an alley lined with casinos, hotels, shopping malls and theaters.

“You can’t get a better hotel room than what we put in the Londoner. You couldn’t have a better spa or even dining experience,” Las Vegas Sands CEO Robert Goldstein said in an interview with CNBC. He said the hotel’s opening “exemplifies our commitment to quality” and added, “The rooms are as good as anywhere in the world.”

The resort has been in operation for two years, but its opening has been delayed due to strict Covid-19 restrictions and travel rules.

The $2 billion resort is home to replicas of iconic UK buildings. They include the Palace of Westminster, the British Prime Minister’s official residence at 10 Downing Street and the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain, among other monuments in London.

Macau opens US$ 2 billion resort with giant copy of London's Big Ben
Credits: Eduardo Leal / AFP

Las Vegas Sands owns ‘The Londoner Macao’, along with ‘The Venetian Macao’, ‘The Parisian Macao’, ‘Sands Maco’, ‘The Plaza Macau’ and ‘Four Seasons Hotel Macao’, all located along the Cotai Strip, according to the company’s website.

Replicas of famous European landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and Venice’s grand canal can be seen at other hotels. Goldstein is proud that the luxury resort developer has brought Italy, France and England to Macao, a Chinese special administrative region.

“Who doesn’t love Paris? It felt like a natural fit to finish the Italian, French and then English ‘triumvirate’,” said Goldstein.

The biggest highlight for visitors to ‘The Londoner Macau’ is undoubtedly the “Changing of the Guard entertainment extravaganza” – one of the biggest highlights for visitors to the casino resort.

Taking as a reference the Changing of the Guard ceremony that takes place at Buckingham Palace, the performance at the resort will take place six days a week and will involve more than 20 dancers and musicians.

Visitors can also get a taste of London by indulging in an Alice in Wonderland-inspired afternoon tea, or hop into the classic black cab for a virtual experience where Beckham drives around his favorite spots in the city.