Rants and raves about stuff happening in and around my life in Singapore

Thursday, March 24, 2022

First World Hotel Genting?

4:32 PM By Barry Smyth , , No comments

I had a recent trip to Genting, described as an integrated resort development comprising hotels, casinos, shopping malls and a theme park in Pahang, to gather with some friends and escape the heat of the city for the cooler climate of this destination perched on the peak of Gunung Ulu Kali at 1,800 meters high. 

My friends booked the First World Hotel so although the website wasn't inspiring I thought what the hell it's just for one night. The room looked decent, and it was a fairly well sized room. But that's about as many positive things as I can say about this destination. The hotel prides itself on its Guinness book of records entry as the Hotel in the world with the most rooms (7,351 of them), and you will see signs all around the foyer proclaiming this fact. That said, it really needs to change that to the hotel in the world with the most basic rooms which would be far more accurate.

In the foyer as well they have these wonderful trees/lighting effect to give you the jungle experience full of the sound of tweeting birds. At first its novel but slowly becomes irritating to the extreme. Some gentle piped music would have been better since after a few hours I (along with the people I was travelling with) was ready to rip those continually annoying tweeting bird speakers from the wall.

The check in process was painful. Although almost fully automated, the machines themselves looked antiquated and proved to pretty much useless. I had to try 5 different machines before I could get one to read my passport and with a lack of people standing by to help you were pretty much on your own throughout the process. The response times on pressing a menu option was pathetically slow too so half the time you were left waiting and wondering if you had indeed pressed the right button before the machine did it's thing. There's also limited options for room selection, you can select a room with a view or your limited floor offering (all for more money of course). I selected a mountain view, which was a complete waste of time in the end as the view was obstructed by cloud the whole time (something that happens a lot I was told).  And of course if after trying 5 different machines you give up and decide to join the queue for a more personal service, then out of the 30 front desks available only 2 were staffed when we checked in. So, you can imagine that's not a queue you really want to join to begin with.

Of course once you get your key spat out of the machine together with your floor/room allocation, you head to the lifts (which can be walk away given how big the hotel is). The first thing you discover is that there's no real security, key cards are not required for the lift meaning anyone can go to pretty much any floor they want, paying guests and members of the public alike, a little scary on the whole.

Alighting on the floor for my room I almost tripped over the bubbles in the carpet making my way to it. The first thing I looked for when entering the room was the aircon control to get the room to a temperature I like, only to discover there was no aircon. Nope, none. Just a ceiling fan which if you turned on high meant you were not going to sleep given how noisy it was. And the beds, well they were as hard as rock, it was like trying to get comfortable on a slap of concrete. So needless to say I didn't sleep at ALL and was grateful I had only booked one night in the place. There's also no restaurant, so don't expect breakfast either by the way, although that said there are a lot of food options available. 

All in all I would NEVER visit this hotel again. Apart from the above there was no wifi at least in the room I was in (of the 3 rooms we had only one had wife available) and in this day and age that alone is a show stopper all by itself.

So while the room is basic (really basic) and clean, it's really got NOTHING else going for it at all and my advice is, while the price might look attractive, you pay for what you get, and in this case what you get isn't worth paying for.

First world hotel ..... but a third wold experience, don't say you weren't warned.

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