September 29, 2018

iCity Leisure Park, Selangor

Spread over 72 acres, i-City in Shah Alam comprises of corporate spaces, residential apartments, shopping malls, hotels and leisure parks. Though it is mainly a technology park, it is often referred as the City of Digital Lights due to the numerous man made trees that get illuminated by LED lights as the sun sets. The leisure park with fountains, Snow Walk, Water World, Red Carpet, Trick Art museum, House of Horror and Itsy Bitsy is a major attraction for kids and families.

Dancing waters is a spectacular show in the evening with water jets and lasers blending to the tunes of music. There is a Mist Fountain which creates thick fog to give a beautiful blurry view of the colourful lights.

The theme park has rides such as Superswing, Spacewalk, 2- Tier Carousel etc. which are a favourite with both kids and young adults.

The Water theme park with its rides, splashes and pools offers great thrills and aquatic adventures to visitors. The popular rides are Giant Jacuzzi, Children’s Aladdin Adventure pool, Wave pool, River Adventure through LED lit grottoes and Spiral rides. The Tornado ride is another popular ride which offers immense adrenaline rush.

Itsy Bitsy is an edutainment place for kids and also allows parents to spend time with them. It also has a few rides such as Mini Pirate Ship, Rocking Chaise Car and Fitness JR which tests the stamina of kids.

Most of the entertainment parks these days have one area designated to horror and spooky experiences and iCity too has one- House of Horror. Spread over more than 15,000 sq ft, and with the help of machines and electronics, they have created ghostly characters and nightmarish experiences. With spine chilling moments and spooky encounters, the house is sure to give every visitor an eerie feel.

Trick Art museum spread over two floors offers an interesting experience with optical illusions. It also features art themes based on Egyptian, Animals, Marine life, Masterpieces and Modern Classics.

Red Carpet is one of the major highlights of this entertainment iCity Leisure park as it is Malaysia’s first home grown wax museum. Opened in 2013, the museum has a huge collection of wax statues of celebrities from world over. From Political leaders to film actors to sports stars to legends from other fields, the museum has more than 60 statues.

Snow in Malaysia? This might be a question that might pop up in your mind as you walk into Snow Walk. It is one of the earliest of its kind in South East Asia and has 50,000 sq ft of area controlled at below 5 degree celsius. It also has 100 tonnes of ice sculptures and a play zone such as ice sliding, snowman making etc. Snow Walk creates a polar like experience with snow falls. Jackets and boots are provided to every visitor before entering the snow area.

The leisure park at iCity is a fun place for kids and families to enjoy some memorable moments amidst the rides, snow, statues and the colourful lights. The place also has restaurants and shopping avenues to keep the elders occupied while the kids have fun.

P.S.: I was in iCity on an invitation from Malaysia Tourism board, but opinions are completely mine.

September 28, 2018

A’Famosa Resort, Melaka- Stay and Experiences

Away from the skyline of Kuala Lumpur and less than two hour’s drive takes you to A’Famosa resort in Melaka. Spread over 500 acres, the resort is set amidst lush greenery with hotels, condominiums, restaurants, wildlife  areas, water theme park, golf course, entertainment parks, recreational facilities and brand outlets. A’Famosa resort is an ideal place to spend your weekend or take a break from the city of Kuala Lumpur with family and children.

The resort has a hotel with more than 200 units of standard room, superior room, executive suite and VIP suite. Their Condotel has almost 400 rooms classified as family studio, low rise 2 room apartments, 2 rooms condotel and 3 rooms condotel. They also have 100 villas (3 & 4 bedrooms) which have private swimming pools. All the rooms come with modern facilities such as television, mini bar, coffee/ tea making facility, wifi etc. I stayed in a superior room in the hotel which had a comfortable twin bed, was well furnished and had a balcony overlooking the greenery. They have a couple of restaurants and the one in the entertainment park which has a spooky theme served Indian cuisine with a spread of rice, sea food, curries and chicken dishes. Along with dinner, there were also dance performances.

The club house with a beautiful architecture has a nice setting amidst a well laid out garden.The large club house too has a F & B outlet- Green View restaurant apart from guest service counter, prayer rooms, golf counter, banquet halls, meeting rooms, business centres, VIP rooms etc. This also makes the resort an ideal place for corporates to have their business meetings and product launches.

The resort also offers numerous recreational facilities such as flying fox, archery, shooting, go-karting and paintball. With nine holes, the golf course at AFamosa is beautifully created with palm trees and rocky terrain amidst it. The golf course has also won numerous awards over the years.

Old West is an entertainment park that has the theme of old Western America with cow boys, apaches on horseback and an old town setting. The Red Indian show and the colourful Carnival are the highlights here. While I got a chance to see a bit of the Red Indian show with fire blowing acts, I missed out on the rest due to a sudden shower. It also has a fun fair for children and a 4D theatre. The 4D theatre offers two shows- Haunted Office and Under Water adventure. The Haunted Office was quite an enjoyable one. There is also a display of fireworks lighting up the sky every night.

The water theme park here is one of the largest in the country and has a host of rides, pools, slides and a beach. Be it families or kids, this is one of the favourite areas in A’Famosa resort. The park also has retail outlets, souvenir shops and restaurants.

Safari Wonderland was personally the biggest attraction during my stay at A’Famosa resort.  Elephant encounter which is a small skit showcasing how human beings and elephants co-exist was an entertaining one. The walk through area has numerous animals and birds such as camels, orangutans, emus, storks etc. However, the highlight is definitely the safari tour where the visitors are taken around in a caged van to see the animals roam freely. I feel this is what all zoos should be converted to across the world. It was an interesting ride sighting lions, tigers, hippos, crocodiles, giraffes, deer and many more. There was also a session for feeding the animals. The boat ride cross the water body to Monkey Island was another animal interaction in the safari world. The bird show was quite an impressive one with exotic birds from world over displaying their skills. The safari park is also equipped with dining spaces, food courts and retail outlets.

My stay at the resort ended with a visit to Freeport A’Famosa Outlet, beautifully done up with the theme of Dutch Heritage and features parks, lawns, a lake and a windmill. The outlet has more than 80 international brands and has great offers and discounts of up to 80%. The categories of outlets include children’s store, sports apparel, accessories, apparels, opticals, food & beverages and home ware.

A’Famosa resort stands true to its tagline-‘There is Something for Everyone’.

P.S.: I was hosted by A'Famosa resort on an invitation from Malaysia Tourism board, but the opinions are completely mine.

September 27, 2018

Grand Seasons Hotel, Kuala Lumpur- Review

Located in the centre of all action in Kula Lumpur and within a short distance from Putra World trade centre, Grand Seasons is a premier hotel ideal for both business and leisure travellers. Its strategic location along Jalan Pahang makes it easy to reach LRT, Monorail and City Bus stations. Most of the major commercial and business avenues such as Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, National library, Pavilion and Bukit Bintang are a short drive away. As a result of its location, Grand Seasons hotel turns out to be an ideal place to stay for both business travellers and tourists while visiting Kuala Lumpur.

The beautiful entrance lobby with its plush setting and double ceiling height definitely is the cynosure of all eyes as you step in. The hotel is equipped with all the modern amenities and facilities to cater to the requirements of its guests. There are in total 800 rooms which are tastefully furnished and all of them come with tea/ coffee making facility, mini bar, toiletries, work station, television, bath tub with shower etc. The rooms have been classified as Seasons Crest, Deluxe room, Junior suite and Bridal suite. Seasons crest are ideal for business travellers and these rooms are available with both king size beds and twin beds. Deluxe rooms too have both type of beds available and are suited for small families. Both junior suite and bridal suite offer more facilities and come with a separate living area apart from the bedroom. Most of the rooms offer magnificent views of the city skyline which is absolutely breathtaking at night.

Grand Seasons Hotel offers recreational facilities such as a fully equipped gymnasium, an outdoor pool, a steam room etc. The hotel also allows conducting private parties and dinners near the pool area. It also offers other facilities such as  wifi, laundry service, free breakfast and parking to all its guests. Catering to the needs of business travellers, they also have a business centre and meeting rooms apart from banquet halls.

For the guests from world over, Grand Seasons hotel has two restaurants- Seasons Coffee House and O'las Indian restaurant. It also houses Avenue café and Kasbah bar & lounge. While Seasons Coffee House is known for its continental delights and buffets, O’las restaurant serves Indian cuisine and has a colourful setting. Avenue Café is ideal for a quick business talk with a cup of coffee and pastries or cakes. After a tiring day of meetings or walks around the city, Kasbah bar & lounge with its Mediterranean setting is perfect to unwind yourself.

My Experience:

As I walked into this tall storeyed hotel, what garnered my attention was its lobby which has a grand and elegant ambiance. I stayed in a spacious Seasons Crest room which was furnished with a king size comfortable bed and all the facilities such as television, mini bar, iron board etc. The breathtaking view of the tall skyscrapers of the city including the Petronas Twin towers and KL Tower was absolutely spellbinding. The view of the glittering cityscape at night from the room was a sight to behold. The roof top swimming pool is a well designed one and their gymnasium comes with all the equipment. Though I couldn’t experience Avenue Café and Kasbah bar & lounge, I did dine at their O’las Indian restaurant. While the main course was mostly Indian with Pulau, chicken and mutton dishes, Kuih Muih which is a Malay appetizer was very delicious and equally colourful. The chef also made sure that he served a Malay specialty in the form of Rojak, a street food. As much as the night skyline view was gorgeous, the sunrise over the cityscape too was a pretty one next morning. Breakfast at Seasons Coffee House had a huge spread of both continental and South Indian cuisine. The bread pudding was absolutely yum.

P.S.: I was hosted by Grand Seasons Hotel, Kuala Lumpur on an invitation from Malaysia Tourism board, but opinions are completely mine.
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