This is pink month, honouring those involved with breast cancer support. Luxury hotels worldwide have got into the commendable act. The Peninsula New York hung, over 55th Street, a 41-foot high pink art installation, Pink Lotus by Peruvian artist Grimanesa Amorós, one of TEDGlobal 2014’s speakers – her subject was ancient culture and 21st century technology. In Hawaii, Elite Travel International CEO Stacy Small, whose mother died from breast cancer, organised a pink golf weekend, working with Montage Kapalua Bay and a host of other sponsors. In Macau, Conrad Macao Cotai Strip led its sibling Sands Macau hotels into turning pink. The gal loved her night-time amenity, a pair of pink animals made from sugar, which came in a plastic box tied with hotel ribbon, pink of course.
It had been pink from arrival on. Neighbouring buildings, and the walkway across to The Venetian, were swathed in pink light. In suite 3725 – somewhat refreshingly cream and caramel, with some hints of purple – a make your own martini awaited, with instructions. I filled a glass shaker with 50ml almond milk, 50ml apple juice, 40ml strawberry purée, 20ml grenadine and 15ml raspberry syrup, plus a scoop of ice. I topped the whole with a tin shaker and shook for 15 seconds, then strained and poured into a martini glass already garnished with blueberry and strawberry. Then it was time to unpack.
Later I wandered, first 75 yards along the 609-room hotel’s straight corridor to the elevator and down to the fourth floor gym, and caught GM Bede Barry as he was finishing an hour-long session. Even later, once I had finished, I caught him again – in front of the main lobby’s stunning pink flower display. We headed over that pink bridge to the Venetian, to its highly popular Portofino. Should we drink Aussie, for Bede Barry, or Italian, for the ambience? The maitre d’ held two bottles behind his back, I chose the right hand so we went Italian, a fabulous Ripessa Valpolicello Superiore 2010 Zenato. We had cream cloths, orange napkins, red-yellow-green tomatoes with the caprese, and spinach with the ribeye.
But back to pink. I heard about a luncheon for 200 local ladies, to benefit Hong Kong’s Breast Cancer Charity, and about initiatives led by team members. We moved on to environment and philanthropy. The luxury hotel recycles all leftover soaps and toiletries, in my case Shanghai Tang, and packages them as hygiene packs, rushed to disaster areas (so far Sands Macau produces 75,000 packs a year). Left over food is pulverised and diluted to liquid waste. And a lot of the pink items will be packed away, like Christmas decorations to be brought out next year. This whole Sands Macau thing is huge with 6,000 hotel rooms in a cluster this side of the road – and St Regis opens shortly – and 3,000 hotel rooms the other. This entire complex is seventh largest in the world. No wonder I got lost a couple of times, always ending up in the Hawaiian-themed casino, but of course that is the point. They offer great rooms, gym and spa, and lots of eating and literally hundreds of stunning retail boutiques, but the nitty-gritty, which makes the whole thing work, is the gaming element.