The Luxe List 2009, China: Four Seasons Hotel Macao, Cotai Strip, Macau

Although linked to the behemoth Venetian Macao casino resort via a shopping arcade, this 360-room Four Seasons offers a more sophisticated ambience than its glitzy neighbor. The decor is classic yet cozy, with nods to Macau’s colonial past. There’s an open fireplace in the marble-domed lobby, an impressive blue-and-white mosaic at reception, and lush silks and brocades in the guest rooms, recalling a time when the enclave was a Portuguese outpost. While guests can also get a taste of Macanese heritage at the Belcanção restaurant, the finest cuisine is the Cantonese on offer at Zi Yat Heen. After a turn on the gaming tables, celebrate your winnings (or forget your losses) in a vitality pool at the hotel’s 1,858-square-meter spa (Estrada da Baía de N. Senhora da Esperança, Taipa; 853/2881-8888;; doubles from US$348).

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