First World Hotel in Genting Highlands was touted as the largest hotel in the world (by number of rooms) from 2006 to 2008. That definitely came as a surprise to me as I’ve never noticed how huge it was until my Editor and I went back to the hotel late last week (26th – 27th August) and stayed there for a night.
A symbol of innovation excellence for Resorts World Genting, the 3-star hotel recently reclaimed the Guinness World Records title as the world’s largest hotel again. After a refurbishment, the 2 colourful tower blocks now consist of 7,351 rooms altogether.
The refurbishment has indeed made a huge difference because there’s now an extension to First World Hotel Tower 2. Opened in June 2015, Tower 2 Annex is a new tower block consisting of 1,286 brand new rooms that are stylishly named as “XYZ Deluxe” and “XYZ Triple”.
The whole establishment is not as big as we thought it’d be, but it’s surprisingly decent as it has taken some contemporary design cues from the well-established chic hotel scene. While it’s not a luxury accommodation, the hoteliers have definitely fashioned it into a youthful and modern living space.
In First World Hotel, almost everything is available within walking distance as it sits right above a 500,000-square-foot plaza called the First World Plaza, which houses the Genting Indoor Theme Park, casino, dining outlets, shopping malls, and arcades. Gone are those days where you have to wait at the hotel lobby for hours just to check into the hotel because First World Hotel has launched the E-Kiosks or Express Check-in and Check-out kiosks.
It’s the first hotel in South East Asia to introduce such user-friendly kiosks, allowing hotel guests to check into the hotel at ease by using membership cards, MyKad, or Passport for prepaid advanced bookings. As the hotel is extremely popular among visitors by virtue of having the cheapest rates, these kiosks help mitigate the swell of guests, especially during the weekends or peak seasons.
Upon arriving at the Tower 2 Annex, you’ll notice that there’s a small dining area located near the lobby and it’s called “Terminal 2”.
With big sash windows overlooking the mountains, the cafe looks absolutely pleasant as it’s bright, well-lit, and comfortable. From freshly baked pastries to warm soups to snacks and beverages, you can choose to dine in and grab these delicious food on the go. For those who choose to dine in, they can enjoy the complimentary Wi-Fi service at the cafe that is available for from 7:30am to 12am.
The establishment also has a lovely balcony which has yet to be opened (at the time of writing), but it’ll allow hotel guests to be swept away by the beautiful mountain view.
A hotel is more than the sum of its parts, but the Tower 2 Annex certainly did not fall short of our expectations.
We are arranged to stay at XYZ Deluxe Room, which offers either 2 single beds or one queen bed. The average size of the rooms is 179.70 square feet, which means they are only suitable for 2 or 3 people to stay in. Our rooms are undeniably small and basic, but the colour of the room gravitates to warmer shades, giving us an intimate and welcoming feeling. There’s also a small wardrobe right beside the bed, making the room seem more spacious.
While we are impressed by how the hotel made us feel instantly at home, not everything that we needed was provided. For example, there’s no work desk and no Internet access. However, we were told that Internet access will be provided in the future and the hotel will charge reprehensible rates for Wi-Fi service.
Forgive us for nitpicking, but the XYZ Deluxe Room can get kind of dark too and we have no choice but to close the curtains because the windows are not tinted for privacy and protection.
But that’s a different story for people who choose to stay at XYZ Triple Room though. The room is more spacious as it offers one single bed and one queen bed and the rooms, making it ideal for family or a group of 3. It is slighter brighter than the XYZ Deluxe Room too because the XYZ Triple room is facing the beautiful mountains, allowing natural sunlight to stream into it.
Fresh and funky, the XYZ rooms in Tower 2 Annex are obviously better than the old rooms in Tower 1 and Tower 2. The noise level is significantly lower too, allowing us to rest in our rooms undisturbed.
What we absolutely love about the XYZ rooms is that the shower room, the wash stand, and the toilet bowl are separated into 3 sections in a room. Not only is it convenient, it, offers efficiency with flair as it save lots of time.
In every XYZ room, there’s a mini fridge and an in-room safe, as well as a 32″ Flat Screen TV on the wall. There’s also an electric kettle and condiments for hotel guests to make coffee or tea.
But perhaps the most interesting part about the XYZ room is that every room has this handy USB wall socket that saves the hassle of having to pack bulky chargers or universal travel adapters.
XYZ Deluxe Room
- Low – RM228
- Shoulder – RM278
- Peak – RM351
- S/Peak – RM461
XYZ Deluxe Triple Room
- Low – RM270
- Shoulder – RM329
- Peak – RM410
- S/Peak – RM507
Though the Tower 2 Annex is rated 3 stars, we definitely had a satisfying stay in the XYZ Deluxe Room. Not to mention, the rooms are priced at reasonable rates too. If I were to be a backpack traveller, I’ll never say no to this kind of luxury.
The refurbished First World Hotel definitely wins high marks for its cheerful feel and it is perfect for those who are looking for a quick getaway from the city. Overall, the physical makeover seems a resounding success.
But for now, we will eagerly anticipate for the 20th Century Fox World Theme Park, Genting Premium Outlet, brand new shopping mall Sky Avenue, and a new cable system to be unveiled by 2016 as they will complete the transformation that beckons Malaysia’s premier holiday resort to the next phase.
For more information about the Tower 2 Annex, call +60327181118 or visit their website.