Ever wondered what is inside this building at Genting Highlands? For someone who has always stayed in First World Hotel, all I knew about it is that there are some shops and restaurants, a casino and a much classier hotel. And little did I expect I would get a night’s stay at the said hotel, moreover, courtesy of Genting.
I was there recently to help promote their participating restaurants‘ MIGF menu and a premier room in Maxims Genting Hotel was provided during my short stay. Needless to say I am more than happy about the arrangement, as Genting has always struck me as a company that treats its guests well, true if based on my personal experience dealing with them so far.
Reception and lobby area.
Many hotels and resorts claim to be eco-friendly and often use it as a selling point. But how eco-friendly are they actually? Would the acts of harvesting rainwater, installing energy-efficient bulbs, use less washing chemicals and encourage re-use of towel and sheets be enough to categorize them as eco-friendly? Some would proudly claim so but the people at Eight Acres are not only doing a lot more than that, they are continuously improvising.
For the uninitiated, Eight Acres is a boutique lodge located in a valley among the fruit orchards, oil palm and rubber plantations in Raub. Like the name implies, Eight Acres is indeed 8 acres in size and was previously a basically a jungle consisting of oil palm and durian trees.
After a few years of careful planning and execution, the resort has finally finished its major constructions, which includes the Brick House (a bungalow consisting of six different themed rooms), a hydro system to power up the resort, a five-step water filtration system as well as some camping tents for the more adventurous.
Durian trees are aplenty at Eight Acres and if you are here during the durian season, you would even get to pick and eat them as soon as they fall off for a minimal fee. Two main varieties of durians could be found here: the highly popular and in my opinion the best – Musang King and D24.
And if there’s one thing Eight Acres is proud of their durians, it would be fact that they are grown without any use of pesticides. So even though the fruits don’t look as perfect as those you could buy on the streets, they taste better. The same for the water too – which is sourced from the stream hence cooling and more refreshing. Plus, it does not taste as ‘strong’ as what we get back in the city since it is void of chlorine.
Besides guests and staff, farm animals roam freely in the resort too. The idea is to rehabilitate the land back to its original condition with hopes of attracting the inhabitants of the wild that used to make their home here. Hornbills are one of them.
Among the six available rooms (Renewal, Contemplation, Discovery, Exploration, Surreality and Culture) we were given the Discovery room which can accomodate three @ RM660/night (no toiletries included so bring your own). The room has two single beds and is entirely surrounded by walls of book shelves filled with donated books.
If you look closely at the room’s finishing you will find that they do not look new although the Brick House had just been completed not long ago. This is because most of the building materials for the Brick House are from reclaimed sources. For example, the wooden flooring are recycled from old buildings, while the walls are constructed using blocks of compressed wood chips.
Last weekend was a magical one because I got to spend it with my dear wife in Hong Kong Disneyland. It was our second visit together to Hong Kong and I think it is incredible that we had entered Disneyland three times – all in the span of less than a year. This time, we had the opportunity to visit the new Toy Story Land (more on the upcoming post) as well as catching the Flights of Fantasy Parade which we missed during our last visit.
That being said, we still have not thoroughly explored Hong Kong Disneyland, get on all the rides and watch all the shows they have. So you can imagine how huge the theme park is and there are just too many things to see and do. I will recommend at least a two days tour if you are serious to fully enjoy Hong Kong Disneyland.
As soon as we reached Chek Lap Kok International Airport, we took a taxi to Disneyland’s Hollywood Hotel where we were staying to meet up with our personal tour guides. The taxi ride (~HKD137) was recommended by the airport staff as the cheapest and fastest way to Disneyland, as compared to taking the MRT and Airport Express or bus.
To celebrate the recent New Year, we checked into The Villas for a short stay. First time visitors will be surprised to find this private sanctuary within the lush tropical garden of Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa, which is only minutes’ walking distance away from Sunway Pyramid via some ‘hidden’ paths. This would be the perfect place for couples who seek to celebrate special occassions with utmost privacy – no babies, no families so no noisy kids running around. And with only 17 villas around, there would only be a maximum of 34 guests at anytime.
Just to be clear, I am not ‘invited’ to stay here and then write this post to promote them whatsoever. We actually own a SIVC (Sunway International Vacation Club) membership that we signed up with when we just started to work. Yeah we were young and stupid. Frankly speaking if not for the membership, I don’t think I would even consider staying here. But it is good to experience nice things once in a while, we gotta enjoy life sometime.
Anyway, this building behind the small pond is actually a restaurant-cum-reception of The Villas called the Pavillion. You can also think of it as your very own private restaurant, where you will be having most of your meals – breakfast, evening cocktails and romantic set-dinner (if you booked one).
Since The Villas is pretty much off limits to everyone except the guests and staff, you have to be driven in by the butlers. The best spot to park your car would be at The Duplex‘s car park. There are plenty of parking space here and it is free of charge as well. If you are not familiar with Sunway and could not locate The Duplex (it’s pretty tricky to find this place) you can also park your vehicles at Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa. Then from the hotel lobby, you can take the hotel’s swimming pool, walk across it and follow this staircase which will lead you to The Villas.
If that is still very confusing, then the easiest way would be to tell Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa’s reception that you are checking into The Villas. They will know what to do and send someone to pick you up. Don’t worry about the parking ticket, you will given another one that looks like a room card that will let you get out for free later.