Comfort in the hills
This new property in Genting Highlands brings hotel service and hospitality to an apartment-like setting.
THE swimming pool at the Best Western Premier Ion Delemen hotel in Genting Highlands is Instagram heaven. A funky spaceship-like ceiling and glittering waters that extend to a windowed edge overlooking lush greenery all spell the making of a great photo that will generate lots of “likes”. Not to worry, there’s complimentary WiFi (fast and stable too) in the lobby and rooms to post those pics that will up your hipster cred.
And to top things off, the pool is heated. How extra is that?
Well, if anything, “extra” might as well be the middle name of this new hotel that is located up in the hills of Pahang. The property comprises 246 resort-inspired deluxe rooms and one-, two-, and three-bedroom suites.
“It’s the first of its kind here in Genting Highlands. If you want an apartment-like accommodation with resort style hospitality and service, this is the place to be,” a friendly hotel representative offers, as she takes me on a tour around the property.
That distinction of being a first-of-itskind only dawns on me when I check into my one-bedroom suite. Pushing open the heavy door reveals a generous open plan living area with a separate sleeping space.
This hybrid style that straddles resort and apartment is a beguiling concept. After all, Genting Highlands is largely known for offering either themed hotels or no-frills apartments.
Warm, natural hues in the living area accentuate the views of rolling hills that can be seen through the floor-to-ceiling windows. Furnishing is kept minimal but very comfortable. The suite also comes with a dining area that comfortably sits four and a kitchenette. Granted, the kitchen cabinets are empty, but you have the option of stocking up snacks and beverages from the convenience retail chain store located just outside the hotel’s lobby.
The stylish bedroom houses a king-size bed dressed in luxurious linens, a generously-sized work desk, and a bathroom that features a rain shower.
There’s also a private furnished balcony to take in the stunning views of the tropical rainforest. Of course, the cool climate of the highlands is best enjoyed outside the confines of your room.
Located at over 1,800m above sea level and spread across pristine greenery, the property offers plenty of amenities to love. There’s an adventure course with a flying fox line, 24-hour fitness centre, wellness spa, and meeting rooms for those on business stays.
Above all, the hotel’s design deserves a special mention. Over at the thoughtfully landscaped sky garden, water features cascade to create a peaceful ambiance. I’m later told that feng shui elements have actually been incorporated into the hotel’s design philosophy.
The property’s design features, including the colour schemes for each area within the building, drew inspiration from the five natural elements: water, earth, wood, metal, and fire.
It’s a pity that the Chinese philosophical system doesn’t translate to better luck when it comes to navigating the hotel’s rather complex layout. Looking for my room the first time was tricky, thanks largely to a numbering system that doesn’t follow the convention of matching a room’s first number to the floor its on.
During my visit in late April, construction work can be seen taking place at some wings of the property. But I have been assured that works will complete next year.
On another note, you really don’t have to venture far for some entertainment and sightseeing during your stay here. The hotel is just a stone’s throw from Sky Avenue Mall, casinos and the upcoming world’s first 20th Century Fox World theme park. Complimentary shuttle service is provided from the property to First World Hotel, which is about 10 minutes away.
There is an abundance of eateries at the entertainment hub. But if you prefer to unwind at the hotel instead, Kembali Kitchen offers a wide variety of items for buffet breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Meanwhile, Hugo’s In The Sky serves Mediterranean food in a more intimate setting.
I opted for the Kembali Homemade Burger during one of my meals at Kembali Kitchen. The well-seasoned burger is just the right meal to have before another swim in the hotel’s gorgeous pool. There are, of course, many more items on the menu, including steamboat for dinner on those cool evenings in the highlands.
With its funky ceiling and wide views of the highlands, the swimming pool is definitely one of the property’s highlights. — Photos: Best Western Premier Ion Delemen
The stylish bedroom in the one-bedroom suite offers a king size bed dressed in luxe linens.
The one-bedroom suite the writer stayed in offers ample space in the living area.
Kembali Kitchen, the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant celebrates local favourites and international flavours in a modern setting.
What a view to wake up to! — CHESTER CHIN/The Star