Tuesday, 2 February 2016

First World Hotel, Genting Highlands

Drove up to Genting Highlands with a friend last Saturday to watch Ed Alonzo's show (who's doing a short residency stint) in the Genting International Show Room and there was a room package option which included tickets to the show plus a night's stay in First World Hotel, Genting's equivalent of Tune Hotel (small rooms, bare furnishings, etc). While I'm glad I didn't go alone, but I probably would've been fine if no one wanted to go with me - I could always just got a ticket to the matinee show, find my own way up and down and would still be sleeping in my own bed at the end of the night. But that's not the point of the story. 

I had not driven all the way to the top of Genting Highlands since I first got my driver's license while under parental supervision (in the years since, I had gotten by with just driving to the cable car station at Gohtong Jaya and taking the cable car up). Long story short, survived the drive up and down lah

Parking at First World is (at least) free (whether you're a hotel guest or just day tripping), but the signage at the parking lot is atrocious: there's no way to tell which way to go up, down, left or right. Unless you're really familiar with the parking structure, do not rush. 

As it turned out, we parked closer to Tower Three of First World, but it was a short walk over to the Main Lobby in Tower One from there. So that was fine. 

If you wanted to check in before the official check-in time of 3 p.m., it was a RM5 charge which we both decided to go with even though we got there around 2 p.m., because we needed some time to unload the bags/refresh self, get to Genting Grand (where the Show Room is) as it was going to be quite the walk.

There's a bunch of automated check in kiosks in the lobby (if you decide to kacau the counter people, there was another charge), and there's always a person standing around to help you check in at the kiosk. For locals, all you need is like your IC and/or your Genting membership card and just follow the instructions on the screen. Luckily you could choose whether you want twin bedding or otherwise at no charge, or else I would've thrown a fit. Each booking by default only gets one key card, so the only way you get a second key card is if you slot in another IC into the machine so that it could issue another one. 

So we got a room on the 24th floor of Tower One, the highest floor. 

Seems clean enough - at least we got two pillows each.
Room: Beds were firm and comfy, but if you're over 5' 5", the beds would be too short for you.

There's also no coffee and tea making "facilities" in Standard rooms, but if you want those, it's available in a vending machine downstairs for RM5. Like that just bring your instant coffee, tea lah, no need so susah. (FWIW, I did pack some apples, packets of Swiss Miss, Nescafe 3-in-1 and also my KeepCup for this purpose)

Because it's First World, there's also no Wi-Fi in the rooms unless you're willing to be gouged downstairs at the lobby. If you have a data plan, the signal is pretty spotty, depending on your telco. 

If anyone was wondering, there are a couple of power sockets, but only at the desk; there wasn't any way to charge the devices bed side. Have to like how they're so confident about the temperature outside, they only installed ceiling fans and no air conditioning. To be fair, even at the lowest setting, it was already pretty liang (cool), any higher we would've been really, really cold. 

The shower is right behind the door...
Bathroom: There was a 3-in-1 (shampoo, conditioner and body wash) dispenser both at the sink and in the shower. It's not 3 different liquids, it's ONE liquid that they deem safe enough for you to use top-to-toe. I only used it for the hands, and as I have travel sized most things, I don't know how it was on the head or body.

Before I forget, towels are also provided (which I have to mention because there's no mention of it on Tripadvisor, etc), and also an individually wrapped shower cap, but you would have to BYO hair dryer.

Plastic drinkware
At least there's an in-room safe
What's available - Local free-to-air channels, and Vision Four
The hot and cold water dispenser: the hot was really hot (as in can masak instant noodles hot);
but the cold was basically room temp water at best.
While we were quite a distance from the elevator, but the hot and cold water dispenser was only around the corner, so it depends on your priorities: do you want to be closer to the elevator or the water dispenser?

I didn't sleep so great despite the cool weather at that altitude: the ceiling fan was squeaky, there was the noise of people moving the furniture around and I was feeling overheated for some reason. 

There was also no breakfast included; found that out when we went to check out the First World Cafe on the third floor and it was RM30 for adults for buffet breakfast. Erm, no thanks.

What they have: Towels, extra pillow each (some might find it too soft), head to toe soap, in-room safe, single USB charger on the wall. stationery (pad and pencil), packet tissue paper (not the pocket sized, but the slightly larger one), shower cap. 

What they don't have: Complimentary Wi-Fi, hair dryer, thicker walls... 

Mostly took things like the shower cap, sanitary bag, tissue and stationery, but not the toilet paper; though I know some people who would've grabbed the toilet paper. 

Now that I know what the Standard Room is like, I'd probably wouldn't go again.