Chinese billionaires with a taste for gambling will soon have a regal pied-à-terre to call their own.
This past weekend saw the official groundbreaking in Macau for the Louis XIII boutique casino and hotel.
Sited south of the Cotai Strip near the tony One Oasis residential complex, the Louis XIII will be so exclusive that, with the top suite going for $130,000 a night, it’s doubtful the hotel’s namesake monarch could have managed more than a weekend stay.
Slated to open in late 2014 or first quarter 2015, the boutique complex will include 230 or more rooms, as many as 66 gaming tables, and an outpost of Michelin three-star restaurant L’Ambroisie. The developers have announced Graff Diamonds as the first retailer in the complex’s invitation-only, appointment-only shopping atelier, in which no bauble will go for less than $1 million.
Stephen Hung, chairman of the Louis XIII development company (formerly Paul Y Engineering), promises an “unprecedented, über-luxury experience” for guests. There is little doubt as to who those guests are likely to be: in an April 29, 2013 article in the Financial Times, Hung commented that “The willingness of mainland Chinese to spend money on the very best is unprecedented.” It may be no coincidence that Louis XIII is also the name of one of China’s premium cognacs, carrying the kind of price tag – $2,500 a bottle – that would fit right into an ultra-luxe mini-bar.
By the time Louis XIII opens its doors, it may well have a waiting list. According to the Financial Times article, visitor numbers to Macau have swelled by 20 per cent annually, with gross gaming receipts topping $38 billion in 2012. And as Jing Daily reported in February, after sluggish fourth-quarter traffic last year, China’s “big whale” high-stakes gamblers have begun returning to Macau.
The last word, however, belongs to Macau’s gaming regulators, who have yet to grant formal approval to the project.
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