Opened on the 16th of September 2010 at City of Dreams, Macau’s premier entertainment resort, The House of Dancing Water is the world’s largest and most spectacular water extravaganza. Costing over a staggering HKD2 BILLION (USD250 MILLION), this permanent world-class production represents the iconic entertainment centrepiece of City of Dreams leisure and entertainment offering. The show, which was personally created and directed by one of the world’s greatest show maker in the entertainment business Mr. Franco Dragone, offers a sophisticated, highly contemporary and aspiring show that keeps the visitors engaged with the show for approximately 85 minutes. It is officially the world’s first water-based show launched in Asia. As a member in the crowd, you can feel the energy that is being projected by the actors It’s almost as if you can smell the fear, feel the love, share the sadness, and savour the joy that the cast portrays in the show.
The story begins in the coast of Coloane with a Fisherman who is travelling on his boat. Suddenly, a mysterious energy from the water creates a terrible whirlpool grabbing and pulling the Fisherman to a place and time of legends...he cannot understand what is happening. He observes, lost and intrigued...when a storm brings a survivor from a shipwreck, a Stranger to this magical kingdom. The young brave Stranger encounters and falls in love with a beautiful Princess who was thrown into a cage by her evil stepmother, the Dark Queen. Without hesitation, the fisherman helps the Stranger fight against the Dark Queen and rescues the Princess. With his help the Stranger and the Princess defeats the Dark Queen and the Fisherman obtains an unexpected reward. Effectively, it’s a spectacular love story that transcends time and space
In a press conference on it’s opening day in September 2010, Mr. Lawrence Ho, Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Melco Crown Entertainment Limited, said: “The House of Dancing Water puts together the best of the best in the entertainment world, which is truly a gift we tailor-made for Macau”. Indeed, he is right because this show definitely provides a reason for people to visit Macau, apart from the casinos and shopping. It took Mr. Dragone five years to plan and create the show, and 2 years to choose and train over 80 chosen artists to perform for the show. It truly is a multi-cultural production team with international performance artists and crew from over 25 countries.
It is the first water-based show in Asia set in a 270-degree 2,000-seat ‘Dancing Water Theater’ that has around 239 automated fountains providing water fountain effects up to approximately 18 meters in height. Then there are the 11 hydraulic lifts weighing over 15 tons making it possible to convert an aquatic stage that can hold over 3.7 million gallons of water (larger than FIVE Olympic-sized swimming pools), to a solid dry floor stage.
The House of Dancing Water provides the splendour of human performance with amazing scenes of beautiful romantic dance routines on and in water, a chandelier in the roof created by a set of actors (they make it look ever so easy), and the “Russian swings” sequence which involves high-performance diving and gymnastic artistry.
Now, with all this water in the theatre one is left wondering how the vast majority of performing artists can swim, dive, and act without wearing their swimming costumes because they are wearing heavy clothes. Well, the answer is that all the costumes worn by the cast in The House of Dancing Water are made with a special material known as neoprene, a fabric that withstands the effect of water (normally used in Hollywood movies) and makes the dress comfortable to wear while swimming or diving. The theater contains the world’s largest commercial pool measuring approximately 50 meters in diameter and approximately 7 meters deep. It’s the kind of stuff that would make Olympics swimmers dribble with envy.
Another incredible show of feat by Wabo, the Wiseman, is that he can bend his legs and arms, and walk while turning himself into a shape of a crab. His ability has effectively turned him into a sought after personality in the show business arena.
Towards the conclusion of the show seven ‘riders’, comprising of highly trained motorcycle stuntman ride from one part of the area to other side while ‘flying’ their motorbikes up to 15 metres in height and jump 20 metres in length. Hard to believe but some of them even do somersaults or ‘fly’ while waving to the crowd (without touching/steering the bike). Due to the special use of motorbikes in the show, the average lifetime of the motorbikes is about 6 months. The show really brings out the best of the world’s best artists. When a show like this is being presented live in front of millions of people there is no room for failure and for a perfect magical show to happen all systems of communication and moves have to be perfectly timed. It is very easy to sit here and applaud the efforts of everyone but the, of course, it’s the people who are performing this day in day out that really know how much hard work they have put into this show.
It’s the kind of show where you may end up thinking, “Hmmm, I wish I could do that” and it may even inspire you to go to the gym or your local swimming pool. However, at the same time it’s also the kind of show where you may end up having to politely remind your kids (or even adults in some cases) to ‘don’t try this at home’.
The show is a spectacle itself. The location is perfect and the facilities are first class. You can go to all the shows in the West End or the Broadway, and you will probably never come across something like this because the demographics of how the show is designed are completely different. I have never seen a show where the actors are performing acts while they are dining and swimming. Now, that is not easy to do and it is very dangerous. But the cast and crew, all well trained that they are, do a fantastic job and make the whole stuff look so damn easy. It really is sensational stuff.
In June 2009, the City of Dreams, an integrated entertainment resort, was opened at the Cotai Strip. Located right in the heart of Cotai in Macau, the rather newly opened City of Dreams combines electrifying entertainment, an amazing array of accommodations (Grand Hyatt, Crown Towers and the Hard Rock Hotel), regional and international dining (over 20 restaurants and bars), designer brand shopping (Gucci, Armani and so on), together with a spacious 420,000-square-foot casino that has over 400 gaming tables.
Ideally located at the City of Dreams is the Grand Hyatt Macau. This luxurious 791-room 5-star hotel is made up of two 36-storey, wave-inspired towers and only around 5 minutes away from the Macau International Airport and around a 10-minute drive to the Macau ferry terminal. The best thing is that a complimentary shuttle service operates all day, everyday and every 20 minutes to take hotel guests to all the territory’s major transport terminals, as well as the city centre where they can explore the true Macanese and Portuguese heritage and culture as well as other historic elements of the Unesco-listed World Heritage site.
Macau is tiny but on this minute piece of land there are some amazing wonders to see and experience. It’s almost as if Macau has become Asia’s new Dubai, a playground for the wealthy. But don’t be deceived by my words as you are highly unlikely to find any James Bond characters here (especially not in the casinos!). The vast majority of the visitors that come to Macau and those that stay at the Grand Hyatt Macau everyday are from mainland China, Taiwan or Hong Kong.
The Grand Hyatt Macau is set to become the leading venue in Macau for hosting M.I.C.E. (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) events because of its excellent conference facilities. The entire second floor is dedicated to hosting event space. The massive pillar-less Grand Ballroom has over 2,000 square meters of space and can host around 2,500 people. With the ease of travelling to Hong Kong, mainland China and even flying in from overseas, the Grand Hyatt Macau is the ideal place to host M.I.C.E. events.
The key feature that the Grand Hyatt Macau offers for the M.I.C.E. facility has to be the Salao do Teatro (‘show theatre’ in Portuguese) which is the only ballroom in Macau that offers natural daylight. There is a massive open space kitchen that can accommodate upto 50 chefs and on full capacity the ballroom can host upto 500 people.
The first thing that strikes the eye of the guest is the vast amount of space available throughout the hotel. This stems from the reception right the way through to the rooms. The roof of the exceedingly beautiful lobby reaches an amazing 22 meters. Water cascades over a giant stainless steel hemisphere, while above it, curved ribbons of stainless steel shower down from an illuminated cloud motif in the ceiling. From the ground it looks like a large set of paint droplets are falling down. The architecture of the hotel is strikingly rich both in terms of the powerful colours that are projected and by the overlapping geometric wall panels. Everything is amazingly symmetrical and matched to the micro-scale, including all the tiles and slabs on the floors and the walls. It’s not just a hotel but a piece of giant art that probably deserves the highest award possible.
Its here in the lobby that you’ll find the beautiful, yet very simple coffee bar and patisserie that specialises in Portuguese egg tarts, as well as various pastries, cakes and homemade chocolates.
The hotel has two dedicated check-in desks, one for each of the towers. The Grand Tower houses 424 rooms and suites while the premier Grand Club Tower houses 367 rooms and suites. In the Grand Tower the standard rooms are spacious with a 64 square meters and feature an entirely separate living area that has a sofa, separate TV, complimentary wireless internet connection. The living area is separated by a sliding door. All the rooms are equipped with the latest technology to anticipate the guest’s needs, including bedside lighting, curtain controls and an AV control panel transmitting iPod, camera and laptop data through two 40-inch LCD TVs.
Rooms in the Grand Club Tower feature such extra freestanding elliptical bath looking out over the Pearl River or the Cotai Strip, and an exclusive capsule-based Nespresso machines from Switzerland. The beauty of staying in the Grand Club rooms is that you get to use the Grand Club Lounge, and no is no better time to use the Grand Club Lounge that at breakfast time. An approximately 250-seater restaurant with a bar and open kitchen offers complimentary full buffet breakfast, all day light refreshments (you’ve got to try that fresh orange juice!) and evening drinks and canapés. There is also the option of dining on a private outdoor terrace. The Club Lounge is not just your typical gentleman’s club type lounge where you can just while away with the beautiful wine but also doubles as a library and a place to hold a meeting should the MICE facilities at the conference level be occupied.
But the key advantage of residing at the Grand Hyatt Macau is that the location is perfect because the hotel is right in the middle of all the action. Within a stone throw away you can go shopping right next door at the shopping complex, you can go and watch a show at the theatre (The House of Dancing Water) or you can go to the casino and try your luck at winning loads of money. Well, if you prefer to stay indoors, then why not wine and dine at Beijing Kitchen at level 1 or mezza9 Macau at level 3. Beijing Kitchen is an inspiration from the “Made in China” from Grand Hyatt Beijing and provides perhaps the best Beijing duck in the whole of Macau; while the mezza9 Macau has nine different culinary experiences that you can try.
Food aside, the other most exquisite feature of the hotel has to be the spa treatment that it offers. After a day of intense meetings or walking around the city, what better way to relax and unwind than have a signature massage at the Isala Spa located on level 3. Highly recommended is the signature massage where you can just close your eyes and relax and pamper yourself in one of the 15 capacious spa suites that come complete with a shower, changing room and a rest area where you can relax after the treatment and drink some Chinese tea to cool down after the treatment. Lush boutique toiletries are provided by MOR cosmetics.
The mezza9 Macau is a Located on the 3rd floor of the splendid Grand Hyatt Hotel in Macau’s City of Dreams resort. The eye-catching restaurant has been inspired by the mezza9 Macau at Grand Hyatt Singapore. Beautifully designed and created by the cutting edge Japanese interior design firm SuperPotato, the space is defined by giant roughly-hewn granite blocks creating counters and lining walls, as well as an array of lattice-patterned, rusted metal screens.
The aim of the 292-seater mezza9 Macau is to stimulate not just the taste buds, but also the senses of sight, smell, sound and touch by blending the gastronomic experience with elaborate counter displays and theatrical show kitchens. The restaurant’s name essentially means that it provides nine different dining experiences under one roof. These include Macanese, the grill, the sushi and sashimi, the wok, the delicatessen, the steam basket, the patisserie and the bar and cellar. For those who wish to dine with their family, friends or colleagues in private then there are three 10-seater private rooms, one of which looks rather like a small cosy wine caller because its got various wines displayed on the shelves surrounding the room.
While the vast majority of the food is from around Asia (Japan, Thailand, Taiwan and Malaysia), some of the more precious items, such as the huge Lobsters, are all the way from Boston. To get the right quality and the smoothness of the food in Macau the key idea of the culinary experience is to present the freshest food that you can. An example of this in the starter dish called ‘Seafood on ice’. Generous and healthy portions of fresh lobster meat, mussels, king sized prawns and various shell fish are on offer.
Should you wish to go for the local Macanese option, then a wonderful dish to tuck into would be the African Chicken, which isn’t really African but a very traditional Macanese dish. Why? Well, if you go back to the roots of Macau’s culture you would be amazed to know that when the Portuguese first arrived in Macau they bought along with them various foods from around the world. The first Portuguese settlers in Macau had travelled from various far away lands such as Africa (namely places such as Angola) and India (namely Goa) from where they bought along with them the foods and flavour from those countries. Though history tells us that it was the natives from Madeira (island of Portugal) that had first introduced spicy food to India and Asia, otherwise India and other Asian countries would never had any spicy food in their cuisine.
African Chicken, which tastes a bit classier then your average fried chicken meat is not so spicy, yet it tastes exceedingly good with a hint of chilli sauce. The key difference is the crunchiness of the fried skin that melts as you take a bite. African Chicken would splendidly fine with a glass of lovely Shiraz.
The highlight of the meal at the mezza9 Macau has to be the choice of the desserts on offer. The Raspberry Pavlova at the mezza9 Macau is a must to try for dish if you want to spoil yourself. A lovely layering of dried egg white blended in neatly with whipped cream and fresh raspberries makes up the cover of this fabulous dish. Breaking the solidified egg white layer is like cutting into a slab of iceberg that is about to melt, and inside of it you will find the most amazing raspberry sorbet ever. This inspirational dish is like an igloo applied with a reverse analogy because the outside is warm and solid, but the inside is cold and soft.
The mezz9 Macau presents a pleasant setting to dine in that caters for all kinds of people and tastes. No matter you are on a honeymoon, on a business trip or just simply relaxing with your family, you can be rest assured that genuine Macanese hospitality can be guaranteed with a smile at the mezz9 Macau. In actual fact, it would be perfect place to go for a meal before heading off to see Macau in the evening or even “The House of Dancing Water” show.
Showcased at The Bubble, a dome-shaped theatre and one of the iconic landmarks featured at Macau’s “City of Dreams” entertainment resort, the Dragon’s Treasure is a 10-minute visual extravaganza that tells the story of the mystical Dragon Pearl and its mysterious powers.
Visitors embark into an oval shaped room where they stand for the 10-minute show (no need to sit down for such a short show anyways, really!) to witness this fascinating visual extravaganza. The journey takes visitors on a magical journey set in a fictional land situated beneath the City of Dreams resort. So, the first thing that visitors see is the landmark buildings that make up the City of Dreams. From here on the visual effects take the visitors to a fictional kingdom that is full of various weird and wonderful characters and beings.
The show commences with a Chinese astrological circle that features all the animals in the Chinese zodiac calendar. Since the year 2011 is the year of the Rabbit, so a large beautiful Rabbit emerges from the calendar and goes around the room greetings everyone.
Some parts of the show seem very realistic, such as when the visual effect of the sea, complete with swimming sharks and fish, are shown. You’ll easily be fooled into thinking that you were standing in an underwater aquarium. All in all there are the sensory adventure to each of the respective aquatic kingdoms of ice, tropics, volcanic and solar entities.
As visitors are taken on this 360-degree visual voyage, it’s almost like watching a 3-D video game but on a larger scale. For computer game addicts, or those who expect this to be something like a PC game on a large scale, the Dragon’s Treasure may seem a bit of a disappointment because the only non fun part of the whole experience is that you (i.e. the visitor) do not get to touch or control any part of the show.
Nevertheless it is exciting, adventurous and very pleasing to the eye if you want to treat yourself or your loved ones to something unique and artistic. It’s the kind of stuff that children or young adults would love to have plastered onto their bedroom ceiling to gaze at every time they go to sleep.
The show is concluded with around a million visualised golden coins dropping from the ceiling to give the visitors a golden coin shower, which is a symbol of giving a blessing for good luck, fortune and prosperity in the coming year.
The Dragon’s Treasure was designed and produced by Falcon’s Treehouse LLC who have used a combination of high definition video content, an amazing set for their background music and over 29,000 theatrical LED lights to create a stirring multi-media extravaganza.
Get in Touch:
Here I share my thoughts
and experiences during
my travels, and how some things have affected my life as an expat and world traveller. Travelling is about capturing that moment in life. Every word, view and opinion on this page is that of Navjot Singh - except where indicated. The most recent is at the top. Scroll down to read the archive. Or search using CTRL+F (COMMAND + F) and enter a keyword to search the page. Just some of the stories you never heard before.
The NAVJOT-SINGH.COM web blog is separate to this web site....Click blog, which may
not be visible in some
countries due to local
so in those cases this
weblog may be read. The weblog also includes some of my press trip reports- most of which are not published on the official blog because of copyright issues. The weblog also contains articles that may be associated directly with a PR trip for a country, airline or a hotel. These are PR reviews done in relations with various companies.
If you are an investor or a trend watcher then you may find this website useful as investing has a lot to do with personal observations and finding the ideal trend or next big thing. The average human on the street frequently knows far more about the state of the economy than politicians, university professors, subject matter experts, and financial analysts who seldom travel, or if they do so, only from one hotel to another hotel! The pulse and vibrancy of an economy is nowhere more visible than on a country's streets.
All photos and words
are © Navjot Singh unless stated. Photos taken by others or by agencies are appropriately copyrighted under the respective name. No photo or word/s may be taken without the prior written permission by the author (i.e. Navjot Singh). All Rights Reserved.