Last month, I received an invitation to attend the grand opening of the newest ultra-luxury hotel in Macau : Morpheus.
MELCO Resorts & Entertainment Limited, the developer, owner and operator of casino gaming and entertainment resort facilities in this side of the world, pulled out all the stops for this much-awaited unveiling of their most expensive property to date : this Zaha-Hadid architectural wonder worth 1.1 billion USD!
Morpheus is the world’s first ever free-form exoskeleton high-rise architectural structure! I mean, just look at that magnificent exterior… and that’s just the beginning! 🙂
But before I tell you what happened on the big launch, allow me to share with you first some behind-the-scenes!
I, together with 9 other guests (select media personalities) from the Philippines checked in at Morpheus the day before its grand opening. Each one of us was billeted in the Premier King Room, where everything about the room just spells L-U-X-U-R-Y!
Just look at these :
The whole room is fully-automated and every feature inside (music, lighting, temperature) is controlled by a tablet. The luxe, over-sized king bed is covered with 1,000 thread count satin bed sheets, and the customised bathtub is fit for a king and queen! So yes, you can say that Morpheus is definitely not your usual 5-star hotel — it sure is more than all that! 🙂
I made a 360 degree room tour for you to better see that every nook and cranny in this bedroom is truly luxurious!
Here’s the rest of the Philippine delegation… and here’s a funny tidbit, we now call ourselves the MORPHEUS 10!
Raul Manzano of Metro Society, Arnel Patawaran of Manila Bulletin Lifestyle, Lai Reyes of Philippine Star, Raoul Chee Kee of Philippine Daily Inquirer, Paolo de la Cruz of People Asia, Chit Lijauco of Philippine Tatler, Alicia Sy of Town and Country, Pepper Teehankee of Philippine Star and Charisse Chuidian of City of Dreams Manila.
So if you noticed, I am the only “blogger” in this group… each one of them has either a magazine or newspaper under their names! This is why I am truly humbled and honoured to be in this company of such highly-esteemed journalists! Thank you Charisse, for the trust!
Before Morpheus officially opened to the public, we the media guests, were given the opportunity to tour inside and have a closer look at what this hotel has to offer :
A state-of-the-art luxury spa with its own “Snow Garden”
Chinese Restaurant Yi which offers regional Chinese cuisine served omakase-style
A gallery featuring original contemporary art by internationally renowned artists like KAWS, Jean Michel Othoniel and Thilo Heinzmann
A sky pool situated 130 meters above ground
6 fully-furnished Duplex Suites in the hotel and this is one of them :
On our first night here, the international media was also invited to a cocktail reception in legendary French chef Alain Ducasse’s two restaurants!
In Morpheus, Alain Ducasse has not just one — but TWO restaurants! One is fine dining, called Alain Ducasse at Morpheus and the other is for more casual dining, called Voyages, and this is inspired by his many travels.
In this cocktail party, I was also able to spot the King of Modern Patisserie, Pierre Herme!
Not to be outdone by his French contemporary, Pierre Herme has also created a sleek lounge in the ground floor of Morpheus, serving the finest breads, pastries and desserts never seen before in Asia.
On this night,we were served the finest black truffles, black caviar and Dom Perignon 2009!
Here’s Alain Ducasse and his culinary team, toasting to their new beginnings in Morpheus!
On our second day in Morpheus, we, the Philippine media delegation, started off with one-on-one interviews with two very important people, both very integral to the hotel.
First, it was with world-renowned interior designer, Peter Remedios — the man responsible for the overall look and design of the interiors!
As he explained in this short clip, he designed the rooms in Morpheus with the premium guest experience in mind. Attention to detail was very obvious, as anyone can see that the interiors are all intricately crafted, with each furniture and fixture customised for the space given.
*In Morpheus, there are a total of 772 guest rooms, suites and villas that offer guests world-class experiences that exceed 5-star hotel standards.
That interview was then followed by another one-on-one, with no less than Alain Ducasse himself! (Yes, we meet again!)
In this short video, we asked him about his inspirations, the challenges he faces with having two restaurants in one big hotel, future plans of expanding to the rest of Asia, and the possibility of a Filipino dish or ingredient that will make it to any of his restaurants…
Up next for the international media delegation was the Press Conference that was held in another MELCO property, the Grand Hyatt.
On stage with the female host are 4 of the biggest names behind Morpheus : Interior designer Peter Remedios, MELCO Resorts & Entertainment Chairman and CEO, Lawrence Ho, Chef Alain Ducasse and Chef Pierre Herme.
This short video reveals Chairman and CEO Lawrence Ho’s sentiments about building a new icon in the city of Macau :
I highlighted some of my favorite parts in his speech :
“We’re not just opening a new hotel today, we’re opening a whole new chapter. For Macau, we’ve built a landmark for the city, and an icon for Asia… so guests who come here will experience a whole new level of hospitality, culture and entertainment.”
“I’ve always encouraged a culture of collaboration… and Morpheus is a perfect example of how this produces extraordinary results… Every aspect of what we’ve designed and delivered has been pushed to the max. Our guests will experience something not just unique to Macau, but unique to the world. “
“And as I mentioned earlier, Morpheus is just one part of the transformation of the City of Dreams. I’ve always believed that everyone deserves better and that’s why we’re continually reinventing, pushing and developing — never satisfied and never just repeating what we did yesterday.”
Spoken like a true leader and visionary!
After the Press Conference in Grand Hyatt, we the media guests were then led back to Morpheus to witness this grand unveiling of Macau’s newest landmark!
Lawrence Ho, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Melco Resorts & Entertainment (fourth from left), toasting the launch of Morpheus at the Opening Ceremony with Mr. Chui Sai On, Chief Executive of the Macao SAR (center), Mr. Ho Hau Wah, Vice-Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (fourth from right), Mr. Yao Jian, Deputy Director-General of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Macao SAR (third from right), Mrs. Sharen Ho (third from left), Ms. Wang Dong, Deputy Commissioner of the Commissioners’ Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in the Macao SAR (second from right), Mr. Leong Vai Tac, Secretary for Economy and Finance of Macao SAR Government (second from left), Mr. Alexis Tam, Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government (right), and Mr. David Sisk, Property President of City of Dreams Macau (left).
Of course, the hotel opened with a big bang! There was a big production number starting with live DJ music, electronic lights and musicians standing in each elevator — each one of them playing their instrument while overlooking the crowd below them through their glass doors!
And as expected, there were also a lot of distinguished guests and celebrities seen in this grand party :
Right after that, the guests were then led back to the Grand Hyatt for the dinner reception.
And it was a dinner reception like no other! We were served only the best of the best in food and wine, coupled with elegant decor, excellent service and entertainment on stage. It was truly a warm welcome for all the guests, one that bears the true mark of luxury and style!
The good news is, with the opening of this ultra luxury hotel Morpheus, sophisticated travelers can now expect a whole new level of experience in Macau — one that goes beyond gaming and one that raises the bar in global luxury hospitality.
And the one thing I learned out of all this? Morpheus was built not only to impress its guests, but more importantly, to leave an imprint in the world for the future.
With this new icon, Morpheus is indeed the new standard of Asian luxury!
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to a whole new city… welcome to the new Macau!