We’ve been excitedly anticipating the reopening of The St. Regis Bar Macao and finally, the remodeled watering hole is ready to take guests into its hospitable arms again! While the previous The St. Regis Bar was an elegant lounge, the new one takes it to the next level of the classiest of establishments for its design, concept, and what they offer to guests. In fact, it is more like a whole new spot on the Cotai Strip rather than an update. So as you walk from the elevator lobby towards the bar’s entrance, get ready for an astonishing surprise.
“Wow,” as the bar managers claim, is the most common reaction for those who see the stylish space for the first time. Hands down, it was worth the wait. The new bar represents the unmistakable sophistication and iconic opulence of The St. Regis brand perfectly. The studio responsible for the design project is Steve Leung Design Group, a Hong Kong bureau and ranked number 20 in the Top 100 Giants list, a rating by Interior Design Magazine. Steve Leung created a space that is cozy and harmonious yet trendy and luxurious. Soft lights, leather sofas, the combination of rich timber, supple fabrics, and art deco prints set the vibes of New York’s Prohibition-era establishments.
The bar’s concept is inspired by the House of Astor, the first-ever luxury hotel in NYC, also owned by the Astor family. Through details, decor, and art, the designers managed to simultaneously pay homage to Macau’s heritage, the rich history of The St. Regis, and the House of Astor.
For guests who wish to celebrate a special occasion or prefer some intimacy, there are two identical private rooms available. But the one that stole our hearts is the “Decanter” room that resembles an elegant salon with a stunning 3D ceramic sculpture on the wall and a cabinet with a collection of curvy decanters, whisky, and cognac. Yet another sign of exceptional care for guests is the “Bottle Keep” service. If you wish to order a bottle but can’t finish it within a night, the St. Regis staff will save it for your next visit with a personalized card in a leather case attached to it.
All that Jazz
Another vital element contributing to the sophisticated atmosphere of a gentlemen’s club or a speakeasy is a live duo that entertains guests with piano tunes and the Frank Sinatra-like baritone of Aaron Lo and the soothing voice of Jandira Silva. The band will be playing jazz every Wednesday to Sunday, from bossa nova to swing. The genre choice is yet another nod to The St. Regis’ New York roots, a city that became the epicenter of the jazz performances and the stage of many stars such as Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong in the 1920s. To reincarnate the Jazz Age setting in Macau, the designers created a stunning art deco stage with a monumental black piano and retro microphone. Needless to say, you won’t find a more majestic jazz venue in town!
Art and heritage
As The St. Regis always pays tribute to the cultures and traditions of its hosting cities, Macau’s influence can be traced with some of the artworks. The crown jewel of the art collection is the mural rising above the bar counter. The tradition of placing original murals in every bar of the chain started with the first-ever establishment at the first-ever St. Regis Bar in New York, The King Kole Bar. For the new one in Macau, the artists painted an enchanting landscape where the city’s icons and symbols intertwine with the lush greenery, lotus flowers, and golden sunset light. The warm tones of this stunning mural spread a beautiful golden glow over the bar counter, making it the centerpiece of the establishment.
New York and Macau-inspired mixology
As the bar counter is the focal point of the whole place, the drinks are obviously what we mainly come here for. Especially at The St. Regis Bar, a spot with a history of mixology that goes back to 1904, and where the recipe of the iconic Bloody Mary was created. To this day, every hotel bar of the chain crafts an interpretation of a classic recipe with ingredients that represent the local culture. In Macau, it is Maria do Leste, a Bloody Mary with flavors of Portuguese chourico, Brazilian pink peppercorns and limes, spices from Africa and South-East Asia. Maria do Leste comes with the iconic egg tart, the unmistakable gastronomy symbol of Macau.
The cocktail menu is not confined to just the Bloody Mary and features an array of signature, innovative, and classic cocktails with a twist. Inspired by the Big Apple and the aristocratic Astor family members, they taste as great as they sound. John Jacob’s Gold & Glitter is a cognac-based drink with artichoke honey wine and fresh notes of kaffir lime. If you are fond of berry and fruity flavors, try The 5th Avenue with lemon leaf-infused vodka and St. Germain elderflower liqueur. From light and fizzy cocktails to strong, bold concoctions, you won’t struggle to pick something that appeals to you.
Should you wish to indulge yourself with a gin and tonic, you came to the right place. The St. Regis Bar offers numerous gins home-infused with lavender, saffron, grapefruit, and more. Choose one and tell the bartender what flavors you prefer, so they can work some magic with the spices, herbs, and mixers from the trolley.
The Astor Hour
But what kind of bar would it be without a special happy hour offer? At The St. Regis Bar, they call it The Astor Hour, after the founder John Jacob Astor IV. Enjoy fruity punches or opt for wines, spirits, and selected cocktails. The timeframe is from 6:30pm to 8:30pm. However, we recommend arriving at the hotel a bit earlier to witness one of The St. Regis’ long-standing traditions, the art of Champagne Sabrage. Although it only takes mere seconds, this celebratory ritual that marks the transition from day to night is nothing but astounding. Head to the hotel lobby to witness the champagne sabering and follow to the second floor, where the bar is for a few The Astor Hour drinks.
Elevated bar dining
Many modern bars offer patrons something to munch on while they are sipping on their cocktails. Yet again, The St. Regis Bar didn’t settle for something ordinary on this front. It will make you come back again and again, not just for your favorite drinks, but for the food menu carefully crafted by Sous Chef Ben Hu. Be it half a dozen freshly shucked Daniel Sorlut oysters paired with a glass of fine champagne or something more substantial. Classic bar and pub dishes here are elevated to the refined level. Want a burger? Try the juicy chicken and seared foie gras burger with comté cheese and black truffle mayo. Craving a humble hot dog? How about an Haute dog with bacon-wrapped polish krauker? Feeling like spring rolls? Make it fancy prawn and sea urchin spring rolls.
If you are coming with friends, check out the bigger dishes, especially the combination platter served in a large extravagant dish decorated with a golden octopus. The platter features a scrumptious dry-aged beef burger, half Boston lobster, crunchy fried baby calamari, and some green leaf salad and fries on the side.
From madame Caroline with love
Another essential ritual of The St. Regis Bar is the afternoon tea, a tradition that pays homage to Caroline Astor, the mother of John Jacob Astor IV. Moreover, madame Astor was a socialite and an influential figure of the 19th century Manhattan elite. Her sophisticated afternoon tea sessions hosted the most prominent New Yorkers at the time. So when crafting the afternoon tea for the new St. Regis Bar, the culinary team kept that bar high. Exquisite savory and sweet treats with carefully selected ingredients paired with fine teas are served in famed fine bone china brand, Royal Albert, a renowned brand from Great Britain that was founded in 1904, the same year as The St. Regis Hotel in New York.
Opening hours: Monday–Thursday, 5:00pm–1:00am; Friday–Sunday, 2:00pm–1:00am
Afternoon Tea: Friday-Sunday, 2:00pm–5:30pm (Classic Afternoon Tea will be served at The Manor from Monday to Thursday)
The Astor Hour: Daily, 6:30pm–8:30pm
Photo credit: Ksenia Kuzmina