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Macau nightlife: The city's 3 top clubs face off
The world's priciest cocktail, the most lavish dance floor or an exclusive Chinoiserie club. Here's how to stay out late in Macau
Partyers in Macau can be split into three groups: those who travel there for big name DJs at Club Cubic; the local well-heeled crowd who compete for attention at China Rouge; and a mix of tourists and locals looking for a big night at Lion’s Bar till the small hours.
We've pitted the three stalwarts of Macau nightlife against each other and stacked up their best assets.
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Macau’s biggest club in both hype and space, Club Cubic is a 2,800-square-meter monster of curved walls, colored light projections and champagne-peddling.
The HK$100 million ($13 million) interior was designed by Bosco Lam and includes a bar area with Gothic styling, a two-tier performance stage and five VIP rooms, each in a different theme.
Asia’s only Perrier-Jouët champagne bar is found within, dispensing rare PJ vintages.
Wow factor: 5/5
Club Cubic is a fully functioning performance venue hosting some of the biggest names in the industry.
Since opening in April 2011 with headlining act Flo Rida, the club has brought to its stage PSY, LMFAO, Steve Aoki and DJ Jazzy Jeff.
The latest draw is TABOO, a limited-run cabaret concept by Franco Dragone of Saltimbanco and House of Dancing Water fame, which presents world-class circus skills with a sexy tone (lots of leather).
Write home about: 3/5
“I was dancing next to [insert name of party circuit celeb famous for being famous, eg. Paris Hilton]!”
Club Cubic, Hard Rock Hotel complex, City of Dreams, Cotai, Macau; +852 6638 4999. Advance ticket booking required for TABOO.
Total score: 8/10
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A nightlife venue that attempts to do it all, China Rouge combines an art gallery, chill lounge, cabaret stage and raucous club all in one.
At half the size of Club Cubic, China Rouge packs a punch in a relatively modest space.
It's billed as an exclusive members-only club, but non-members who arrive looking like a million bucks will be considered for entrance (no flip flops, shorts or sleeveless shirts allowed for men).
Many performers take the stage for short sets throughout the night at China Rouge, ranging from singers to contortionists.
A quiet lounge area offers competently made classic cocktails.
Wow factor: 5/5
Alan Chan, one of Asia’s most respected designers, did the interiors at China Rouge and his passion for this project is evident.
Chan strikes a difficult-to-achieve balance between attention-grabbing stunts (lots of depictions of nipples) and pure glamor.
Taking cues from art deco and 1920s Shanghai, Chan has filled the space with deep shades of red and plenty of lattice screens framing stunning works of art by leading contemporary artists, commissioned for the club.
Photographer Chen Man’s interpretation of “The Heavenly Kings” is installed near the entrance, greeting guests with powerful depictions of nude goddesses.
Chinese-Kiwi artist Deng Xinli painted a surreal “Goddess in Cloudy Ship” that fills an entire wall.
One of the cocktail bars is decked out in illustrations by famed Hong Kong comic artist Ma Wing-shing, using stained glass.
Write home about: 3.5/5
Whether you like it or not, you’ll be gaping at the risque art in China Rouge and a chat with the knowledegable staff helps you take home an informed decision on whether it was any good or not.
Total score: 8.5/10
China Rouge, Galaxy Macau, Estrada da Baía de Nossa Senhora da Esperança, COTAI, Macau; +853 2888 0888
The MGM’s signature bar and Macau’s unofficial after-party venue, Lion’s Bar is a gaudy party hall with a live stage and well-stocked bar that serves the “Winston,” the Guinness World Record holder for the most expensive cocktail at MOP 94,880 ($11,880), made with Croizet 1858.
Wow factor: 3/5
Lion’s Bar is known for its amazing cover band and its crowd on the dance floor, manes loose and hands waving like they just don’t care.
It’s where you go to down Long Island Iced Tea and sing along with the band because they'll keep playing hits that everybody knows and loves.
Write home about: 5/5
You'll wake up remorseful over drinking too much and using that pickup line/doing that dance move you swore you'd never repeat after some infamous incident in 1989.
Total score: 8/10
Lion’s Bar in MGM Macau, Avenida Dr. Sun Yat Sen, Nape, Macau; +853 8802 2375
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