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"Are you even Singaporean?" was how my travel companions reacted when I said that it was my first time in Genting. What I’ve heard is much has changed over the years, with even more transformation to come.
Whether it's glitzy hotels and casinos, charming nature trails, a vibrant food scene or pulse-pounding entertainment, Resorts World Genting certainly has plenty to offer. And what better way to experience it all through a set of fresh eyes?
Here are six highlights not to be missed at Resorts World Genting, which you can fit nicely into a weekend getaway.
Craving something to warm you up in Genting’s chilly weather? Hotpot lovers can head to Awana Garden, whose unique farm-to-table concept ensures that only the freshest food is served. Other than vegetables that are lovingly cultivated and sourced from an adjoining greenhouse, the pork-free restaurant also uses ingredients gleaned from its surrounding forest trails.
Diners will be spoiled for choice with eight different soup bases and over 20 dipping sauces at your fingertips. The Collagen Essence soup base, made by simmering chicken for six hours before adding sturgeon fish bones, hits just the spot on a cold day. Meanwhile, the flavourful laksa broth is a great complement to Awana Garden's generous seafood platters and noodle varieties.
This is a meal you will want to savour while taking in picturesque views of lush rainforest and fresh mountain air. Talk about an elevated steamboat experience indeed. P.S. The greenhouse is a sight to behold and worth stopping by too.
The natural wonders of Genting Highlands tend to get overlooked for their flashier counterparts, but are no less remarkable. To fully soak up Genting's 130-million-year-old rainforest and its hidden gems, take a guided hike. There are many scenic trails of varying difficulty levels to choose from, all of which let you get up close and personal with the region's unfiltered beauty.
On a morning hike along Awana Trail, our guide pointed out to us a wealth of plants and herbs that we would have otherwise missed. These include pepper, prickly rattan spines that unsuspecting trekkers might walk into and even a sugar palm tree (pictured below), nicknamed 'Bob Marley' because of its iconic appearance.
Do also keep an eye out for local residents such as gibbons, tropical birds, butterflies and other wildlife. If you are lucky, you might even spot Charlie, the forest's elusive black panther.
Forget fine dining. Instead, try vibe dining at FUHU (which translates to 'lucky tiger' in Mandarin) for an eclectic gastronomical adventure. The restaurant adds a fun twist to its vibrant menu of exquisite dim sum, mouthwatering mains, delectable desserts and more.
Don't miss FUHU's signature wasabi prawns, coated in a scrumptious and well-balanced marinade. Equally satisfying is the crab omelette, aromatic and fried to golden perfection. The show-stealer though, is the beet root fried rice. Besides being a striking red colour, every mouthful brings about a subtle yet unforgettable hint of sweetness.
No trip to Malaysia is complete without a taste of its national dish. Head on to Crockfords Cafe at Crockfords Hotel for its signature Supreme Nasi Lemak with Lobster, paired with anchovies, peanut, egg, cucumber and a crispy cracker. The sambal chilli, prepared in-house, is fragrant but not too spicy.
The Seafood Fried Nissin Noodles is not to be outdone either. It comes with indulgent helpings of scallop, prawn, egg, beansprout, sesame seed and a spicy chicken cutlet that packs quite the punch.
Diners can also help themselves to a delicious spread of pastries, cheese and other breakfast foods at the buffet bar. Pro tip: I overlooked the corn cob, but a fellow writer tells me it is a-maize-ing. Said writer then spent the remainder of our trip looking for local corn at the supermarket, but to no avail.
I'll be honest – I'm no adrenaline junkie. In fact, the idea of being flipped around in a rollercoaster freaks me out. At the entrance of every ride, I would ask my travel companions: "Is this scary?"
They, and our guides, were quick to set my mind at ease and promised to warn me of anything that might be too much, though I also found out that we have very different opinions on what is considered scary. Let's just say that there might have been one or two attractions during which I closed my eyes...
But that's precisely the magic and charm of Genting SkyWorlds Theme Park – there’s something for everyone. Whether you are a daredevil looking to get all pumped up, prefer a milder itinerary or are a pop culture fan, an Epic adventure awaits in each of the theme park’s nine captivating worlds (Studio Plaza, Eagle Mountain, Rio, Epic, Ice Age, Andromeda Base, Liberty Lane, Robots Rivet Town, and Central Park).
Like its name suggests, Genting SkyWorlds is an immersive and thrilling multiverse that will take you to cloud nine.
Set on the rooftop of SkyAvenue, High Line takes alfresco dining to new heights. From juicy burgers and succulent seafood to grilled meats and skewers, the wide array of food options here makes this an ideal hangout spot for larger groups. Can't decide what to order? Go for the iconic High Line Platter for a bit of everything.
A must-try is the Wok Fried Seafood Bucket, available in three flavours of kam heong, butter cream and spicy sambal. Each pail comes with prawns, clams, mussels, squid, corn and broccoli doused in a mouth-watering gravy. To put it simply – it's finger licking good! Plastic gloves are provided, so eat to your heart's content without worrying about getting your hands dirty.
Families, nature lovers and the budget-conscious will love Resort World Awana, located just 35 minutes from the Kuala Lumpur city centre. The tranquil golf resort is a great respite from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Rooms come with a balcony, allowing you to enjoy sweeping views of the landscape. Shopaholics can also rejoice as the Genting Highlands Premium Outlets are only a two-minute drive away, with free shuttle service available at regular intervals.
Bonus feature: The Gym
I know, I know. Working out is probably the last thing on your mind when you are on holiday and your to-do list is already packed to the brim. But the newly-renovated gym at Resorts World Awana is definitely worth a visit.
Equipped with state-of-the-art fitness equipment, the swanky gym is the ultimate place to unwind and enjoy some quiet time after enjoying all that Genting has to offer. I loved having the whole space to myself and posing with the cheeky (or inspiring, depending on how you look at it) decals.
For a splash of luxury and round-the-clock pampering, check into Crockfords Hotel. It's easy to see why this is the first and only hotel in Malaysia to receive the Forbes Travel Guide’s distinguished 5-star rating four years in a row.
The opulent rooms and impeccable service will make you wish you could stay forever. There are also elaborate themed suites fitted with a massage chair, a mahjong table, a Tatami tea set and an Italian gym system for those feeling lavish.
Bonus feature: A 24-hour butler service attends to your every need. I was thoroughly impressed by the swift response when I asked for assistance at close to midnight by scanning a QR code and staff promptly showed up at my door, ready to help.
Resorts World Genting promises a world for everyone and at 6,000 feet above sea level, it truly feels like the sky's the limit.
View more photos in the gallery.