Title: Sintra Hotel. 58–62 Av. D Joao IV, Macau


©richard mark dobson

The Sintra! 70’s chic. Flowery motif aside, from Joburg to Bangkok, there are other hotels just like it. Kind of manky on the outside, and usually pretty shabby on the inside too. It has something to do with their vintage. Built in an era when it was cool to just throw shit up. Didn’t really matter what it looked like. Not a rounded or voluptuous curve in sight. Well that would be a lie. Because at the not so salubrious Sintra, sin is in, and there’s a lot of curvature draped around the lobby. It’s pussy galores here for all those staggering in from the Grand Emperor Hotel and Casino across the road. Yes, for those who can afford to lose on the Grand tables, but can’t afford the rack rates, the Sintra offers a reasonable bed, and choice pickings of an H-grade harlot on the way across the lobby to the elevator.

The Sintra management have been trying to keep up appearances. Giving the place a bit of a face lift. Having the formica tables removed and fag scarred carpets replaced. But just like the tarts downstairs puffing on their Double Happiness golden virginia’s, as with cosmetic surgery, cracks soon begin to appear. Best not to look too closely at the finish.

Not that the Sintra guests do. They inhabit a pretty cloistered environment. Sort of shifting from one low light zone, to another. Leaving the hotel in the dark, and returning usually just before first light. The curtains at the Sintra are usually always drawn. What goes on in the rooms between the long periods of alcohol induced sleep is anyone’s guess. But the anemic looking room attendants gossip amongst themselves about the things they find smeared into the bed sheets. Banana is common. Mango souffle too. Ash smudges are routine. And there’s often blood. That’s much harder for house keeping to clean off. With cigarette burns, things just get thrown in the refuse.

Over at the Sinta, it’s all a bit of a shit shoot…..down the laundry shoot.

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