[ SPONSORED TRIP ]
Greetings! I’m happy to see familiar faces again as we head to Genting Highlands to have a FIRST LOOK at its latest attractions – mainly the opening of SKY AVENUE which I’ll elaborate in a bit. We traveled on a very comfortable and spacious coach with The One Travel & Tours from Singapore to Genting Highlands. A quick recap of my previous visits featuring the other great attractions of Genting Highlands can be found in the links below.
Genting Highlands 2015 – First World Hotel, Coffee Terrace Restaurant, Chin Swee Caves Temple, Ed Alonzo’s Psycho Circus of Magic & Mayhem, Resort Seafood Steamboat, ITALGELato
Genting Highlands 2016 – First World Hotel, Snow World, Aaron Crow Fearless Award Winning Mystician, Bubbles & Bites, ITALGELato, The Food Factory
Genting Highlands 2016 – First World Hotel, Ice Age Collision Course, The Food Factory, Power Rangers, Awana Rajawali, Hou Mei
Genting Highlands 2016 – Awana Hotel, Fashion Forest, Golf Terrace, Skyride Forest, Rajawali Restaurant, Night Herping, Bird Watching
Genting Highlands 2016 – First World Hotel, Hou Mei, Self Check-In Kiosk, First World Hotel Laundry, English Garden Pitcher Plants, Ultraman Show, Awana Hotel, Rajawali Restaurant, Night Herping, Fashion Forest, Bird Watching
Now, let’s get the ball rolling for the highlights of this weekend getaway!
No matter how many times I revisit First World Hotel, I will still get excited because as long as I’m out of Singapore, I get excited. This round is a little more special, because the thoughtful sponsors arranged a double bed room for my partner and myself. Thank you Resorts World Genting for having me with you!
I just want to make special mention to the separate toilet facilities inside the room. How convenient it is because you can do your big business with the toilet bowl while your partner can bathe slowly and comfortably with the standing shower. No need to snatch for one bathroom!!!!!!!!
FIRST LOOK AT SKY AVENUE
Sky Avenue is the new lifestyle mall in Genting Highlands with an unprecedented variety of dining and shopping options.
Our first itinerary for the day was to experience the Awana Skyway glass door gondola ride at the “Sky Avenue Station.”
I still remember that I rode my very first glass door cable car in Taiwan’s Maokong gondola, and I’m super pleased that I can now find this similar experience just in GENTING HIGHLANDS!!!!!!!!! My cravings for a glass door gondola ride can now be easily satisfied with a simple weekend getaway! Hooray!
The Awana SkyWay is the fourth cable car system at Resorts World Genting and is located at the new Awana Transportation Hub. The 99 cable cars can each carry 10 passengers and a total of 3,000 passengers every hour on the 620-metre ascent from Awana station to the final stop, SkyAvenue station. With a top speed of six metres per second, this 2.8-kilometre journey takes a mere 10 minutes!
The thrilling ride up the mountain begins at Awana station. Passengers have the option of disembarking at two stops to explore the attractions around Resorts World Genting. They can alight at Chin Swee station to enjoy the panoramic views or they can remain in their gondola until the final stop at SkyAvenue station which connects directly to the SkyAvenue shopping mall.
It takes approximately six minutes for the cable cars to travel from the Awana station to the Chin Swee Temple station which is located at an altitude of 1,514 meters. Passengers that disembark at the latter can proceed to the temple via a descending covered walkway equipped with escalators. The station also has its own car park, washrooms, and automated ticketing kiosks for the convenience of visitors. Passengers wishing to continue their journey on the Awana SkyWay from Chin Swee station can expect an additional four minutes to reach the landing at the SkyAvenue station.
The maximum capacity for the glass door gondola ride would be capped at 6 pax per cabin. Out of 99 gondolas, only 10 of them are fitted with glass floors, allowing for unobstructed views of the surroundings. One very interesting feature implemented is that every gondola is also fitted with two USB ports allowing visitors to charge their mobile phones!
How did I feel about the ride? Initially, I screamed because I looked down at the glass floor and saw the transparency and a super high height. I scared myself more when I realised there’s no turning back because I’m already trapped inside the cabin!!!!!!!!!!!
So, the only way is to learn to relax and enjoy the ride. IT IS SAFE. DEFINITELY. One tip is that if you’re scared, you can actually look straight and far, and it’ll feel like any other normal cable car ride. Otherwise, you can just hold tight to the railings and wait for the passing moments of mist and clouds, where you’ll not notice you’re being surrounded by transparent glass and even stepping on it! So fear not, you’ll end up praising yourself for surviving the ride for breathtaking view of the 130-million-year-old rainforest surrounding Resorts World Genting.
Behold the beautiful waterfall that your eyes will get to feast on during the ride!
With the launch of Awana SkyWay, we can all get easier access to the peak while travelling at a leisurely pace. Think about parking your cars further down the mountain, and simply sit back and relax while enjoying a bird’s eye view as these new gondolas make their way to the top!
Compared to the old Genting Skyway of 3.4 kilometres long and can only transport 1,600 people per hour, Awana SkyWay can carry almost double the number of people per hour and a slightly shorter ride overall.
Mr Thomas Ng, Senior Vice President of Theme Park & Tenancy said, ‘The Genting SkyWay was open to the public from 1997 and was South East Asia’s longest and fastest cable car system at that time, and was a great attraction for the Resort. We are proud to say that we have since ferried 109 million people.’
‘Genting SkyWay will be temporary closed while Awana SkyWay is in operation. Both systems will take turns to service our customers.’ added Thomas.
Visitors to Resorts World Genting can take cabin-sized luggage on board the gondola, while larger luggage can be stored at the new Awana Bus Terminal for RM5 for 24 hours.
Attraction: Awana SkyWay
Location: Awana Station / Chin Swee Station / Sky Avenue Station
Ticketing Prices: Standard Gondola RM8 for individuals or 5GP per trip for Genting Rewards Card Members / Express Boarding Pass RM40 / Glass Floor Gondola RM50 for individuals or 40GP for Genting Rewards Card Members
Operation Hours: Daily from 7.00am until midnight
Lunch was served at Burger & Lobster which specialises in premium 650-700g fresh lobsters from Nova Scotia, Canada, which are delivered weekly to the hilltop via KLIA. Due to the volumes the group buys on a weekly basis, they become very affordable and saleable.
Burger & Lobster is the first in Asia with a focus on decorative lighting. “Keeping to the Burger & Lobster’s interior and concept, lighting needed to be very mellow to set the mood and ambience. It will be the border between club and fun dining,” shares Dato’ Edward Holloway, Senior Vice President of Hotel Operations at Resorts World Genting.
The burgers at Burger & Lobster are made purely with 100 percent Australian beef, with no fillers. The patties are served in a custom baked sesame seed brioche bun, and will be topped with beef bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, the restaurant’s own, in-house pickles, and Burger & Lobster’s secret sauce.
The Mayfair, at 168 grams, is their entry-level burger, served with chips.
The Original is 224 grams of beefy goodness, also served with chips.
The B&L brings the best of both worlds together, with a 224 gram burger with lobster meat served with chips and salad.
Being a small eater, I would recommend the rolls which feature chunks of fresh lobster. The variants are all served chilled in a signature toasted brioche roll, accompanied by chips and salad to complete the meal. Alternatively, the B&L burger would be a great pick as it is a mini burger topped with lobster meat.
The wild live lobsters are steamed or grilled with clarified butter or the restaurant’s famed lemon and garlic butter. Served with chips and salad, the lobsters are available in three signature styles, namely The Original, The Big Boy and Chili Lobster. In fact, the chili lobster sauce is actually very Singaporean style and taste!
Don’t belittle the drinks that are available at Burger & Lobster, especially their interesting soft shells such as ginger soda, six pack, grapefruit soda and time keeper. You’ll be captivated by its specialty taste. A safe and refreshing drink to order would be the one that I had. And that’s none other than the mango coriander lassi which consists of yogurt, mango and coriander that would leave a lasting impression on your tongues and down your throats.
I felt a major sense of completeness after a lobster-filled lunch and I will definitely want to come back over and over again. JUICY GIANT LOBSTERS ARE NOW AVAILABLE IN GENTING HIGHLANDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Our happy smiles simply showed that these lobsters have satisfied our stomachs very well and they are definitely worth all the wait!
F & B: Burger & Lobster
Location: Level 1, Sky Avenue
Operation Hours: 11am to 10pm daily (weekday) and 11am to 11.30pm (weekend)
What I enjoyed the most throughout the entire trip is none other than the relaxing high tea session at Cafes Richard, a traditional French-style coffee paradise that also encompasses Parisian-style high tea and french food.
Shying away from some of the more conventional coffees, Cafés Richard carefully selects beans from around the world to give customers a sense of exploration and discovery.
Top of the list is Perle Noir, or black pearl, an exclusive Cafés Richard 100% Arabica brewed in a French-style espresso iconic of the Parisian Brasseries. Massaya, also served as an espresso, hails from Mexico and is organically cultivated.
Customers who prefer slow coffee methods such as French press, chemex, syphon or cold drip can choose from Ethiopian Moka Yirgacheffe cultivated in the birthplace of coffee, Costa Rica Tarrazu cultivated on volcanic plateaus, Sumatra “Orang Utan” whose proceeds partly go towards helping the endangered orangutans of Indonesia, as well as the rare and premium Jamaican Blue Mountain.
Coffee lovers who like a twist to their caffeine intake have a choice of mocktails at Cafés Richard. Their recommendations include Flower Coffee Soda which is mixture of cold extracted coffee and sparkling soda with a bouquet of rose, hibiscus and elderflower. Spicy Monkey is another unique mocktail where coffee and tea are infused with cold extracted Sumatra Orang Utan spiced rooibos and chili syrup.
A few were specially concocted for Resorts World Genting include French Genting, a combination of French orange liqueur, espresso and local Bentong ginger.
Cafés Richard’s Master Roaster Michael McCauley had in August 2016 personally trained 14 local baristas at its SkyAvenue outlet in the art of making and serving coffee. Michael is a barista trainer and certifier, as well as a judge at international barista competitions.
The training provided for the baristas have enabled each staff to have their own specialty such as coffee cocktails, espresso, mocktails and slow coffee. To complete the French experience, the local staff at the café were taught basic French phrases such as “bonjour monsieur” and “merci madame’ to welcome the customers.
I particularly enjoyed the genuine French art of living including the classic black-and-white mosaic floor tiles, the cloth awnings and raffia wicker chairs. It is very relaxing to drink coffee and sip tea under this kind of classy French atmosphere.
The cafe experience is made perfect with a great company of friends! ❤
Cafés Richard has meticulously recreated the quintessential Parisian café at SkyAvenue. It is divided into four zones – intimate booths for tête-à-tête conversations, alfresco for cool mountain air, wicker chairs facing out to the walkway for people-watching and banquette seating for groups of friends. The most coveted seats will undoubtedly be the ones nestled within a stylized fiberglass and steel Frangipani ‘flower’ which can seat up to 34. My heart was stolen by the high tea elegance!
F & B: Cafes Richard
Location: Level 1, Sky Avenue
Seating Capacity: Can sit more than 120 customers (263 sqm)
While I had some own time after the high tea, I explored the Malaysian Food Street, a new, multi-sensory food hall at Level 4 of Sky Avenue. It is similar to a Singapore food court concept selling a lot of local Malaysian food. There are quite a few nice photo spots too!
“Malaysian Food Street is handpicked from the best of hawker stalls in Malaysia. It is a version of a really cool glutton’s square or medan selera. Not only will it serve the best
representations of some very popular foods, it will also introduce visitors to the many kinds of cuisine Malaysia offers. So not only will people get to try char kuey teow, they will also be able to explore the intricacies of Malaccan Portuguese cuisine, and learn about what has influenced that method of food preparation,” said the Senior Vice President, Dato’ Edward Holloway, who has been with Resorts World for over a decade.
Far from being an industrial mass feeding zone, Malaysian Food Street was conceptualized by a London-based Malaysian interior designer who brought to life elements of a bygone era of Malaysians. Look at us, how nice it is, to have someone to enjoy the ride together for the rest of your time!
“Malaysian Food Street is not a restaurant, but a food hall type of avenue with five distinct zones: Little India, Malacca, Teluk Intan, Kuching and Chinatown. Each zone is distinguished by replicas of things or places pertinent to the location, hence colourful arches, the Stadthuys, the Leaning Tower of Teluk Intan, Kuching’s iconic cat roundabout and Chinatown’s red lanterns. It is full of nooks and corners with Facebook-worthy settings, including sinks made to look like a traditional Indian barber shop and tray-collecting trolleys painted to look like old mini buses. The goal was to immerse guests in a cultural and history lesson without boring lectures,” enthused Holloway.
After a short glimpse of the Malaysian Food Street, it’s time for dinner at Motorino – a Brooklyn and East Village pizza place which has New York Times food writers hailing it as the best authentic Neopolitan Italian pizza restaurant in New York. Owned and operated by Belgian-Italian born chef Mathieu Palombino who makes Neapolitan-style pizza in wood ovens imported from Italy, Motorino has multiple outlets in New York, two in Hong Kong and Manila, one in Singapore, and when it is unveiled in December, its first restaurant in Malaysia.
Motorino exhibits the look and feel of an old space which has been refurbished, but with very little intervention. “Think about an old American 1920s grocer or pharmacy. It’s a place which isn’t posh, but which isn’t exactly a hole in a wall, either. In Brooklyn it would be a place where aspiring singers who do double shifts come to grab a good pizza. They are the kind of people who aren’t happy with main stream brands but who are looking for too trendy artisanal food,” fleshes out Dato Edward Holloway, Senior Vice President of Hotel Operations at Resorts World Genting.
The most eye-catching feature of the restaurant will be two large pizza ovens which were shipped in from Naples in Italy. Customised pizza spades from Napoli were also fabricated to be used as decorations. These oar-shaped paddles traditionally made from one single piece of wood will also be used in the making of the pizzas.
With patrons being able to watch the entire process of the making of the famed Motorino pizzas, the design team made sure that spot cooling was employed around the ovens to amplify the air conditioning and thus ensure a comfortable dining experience. With Sixties-style lighting and Pantone glo-balls, Motorino is set to be a time capsule of an area where the pizza pie reigned supreme.
The Motorino at Sky Avenue has a façade featuring gold-bordered Italian windows. Compared to the space-constrained Hong Kong and Singapore outlets, this will be the biggest Motorino yet. Keeping to the original design ethic of the American outlets, seating will not be plush or opulent. Instead, there will be 1920s metal chairs in burgundy.
“Brooklyn was an Irish area during that time, so there will also be shades of green used to reference that, as well as to lend an element of surprise to the burgundy tones. There will also be white marble topped tables which are a continuation of the white marble topped pizza counters,” Holloway shares.
The Motorino experience is dedicated to pizza and solely pizza. Apart from a selection of antipasti, pizza reigns supreme. However, in true Italian fashion, antipasti are not just about quelling hunger pangs before the main event. Italians know that antipasti set the tone for a meal.
As such, Motorino’s antipasti selection gives diners a glimpse into the quality of the ingredients that will appear on their pizzas. As evidence, the mixed greens salad and arugula and bresaola salad will always burst with crispness, freshness and flavour, while the roasted peppers will delight with their natural sweetness. The buffalo mozzarella with tomato, extra virgin olive oil and fresh basil will combine richness with tangy juiciness, while the Octopus salad will bring together sensation and succulence, with clever use of capers, potatoes, chili oil, red onion and parsley. No self-respecting pizzeria is without chicken wings, and so Motorino offers up its roasted variety flavoured with lemon, mint and chili flakes. Purists will also be able to delight in Motorino’s meatballs braised in tomato sauce, pecorino and basil. A little bit of New York Italian culture thrown in!
How would I rate the pizzas?! Very chewy and best eaten while it’s hot. It’s also soft and fluffy with generous servings of ingredients. Motorino offers over 20 toppings that can be added on to existing pizzas!!!!!!! These include Brussel sprouts, two kinds of anchovies, fresh arugula, buffalo mozzarella and fior de latte (fresh mozzarella made with cow’s milk as opposed to buffalo milk), along with other more conventional ingredients such as turkey, pepperoni and clams.
Patrons can take their pick from ten stellar favourites, which range from the stripped (marinara, margherita and pepperoni) to the supremely Italian (stracchiatella with basil, sea salt and extra virgin olive oil; cremini mushrooms, and colatura di alici featuring cow’s milk mozzarella, red onions, grape tomatoes, white anchovies and sea salt). Also on offer is a Brussel sprout pizza with fior de latte, garlic, pecorino and smoked turkey bacon; cherry stone clam pizza and an egg, turkey chili variation.
F & B: Motorino
Location: Level 1, Sky Avenue
Seating Capacity: 4,000 sq ft space
Price: Pizzas range from RM45 to RM67 for a whole pie
Operation Hours: 10am to 10pm (Sunday to Thursday) and 10am to 12midnight (Friday, Saturday, Public Holiday & Eve of Public Holiday)
And with the above three satisfying meals (Burger & Lobster, Cafes Richard & Motorino), it’s finally my personal time for shopping at the Sky Avenue!!!!!!!!!!!!!
“Designing SkyAvenue was not at all like designing a mall. A shopping centre is designed with a certain demographic in mind, and that target market will influence the kind of stores found at those malls. Genting sees a very diverse visitor profile – our guests come from all over the world, and from all over Malaysia. They are very young, as well as elderly; traditional and Millennial, hipster and Gen X. That was why so much thought was put into ensuring that SkyAvenue gave each market segment something that would interest and excite them,” shared Dato’ Edward Holloway, Senior Vice President, Hotel Operations.
I’m so loving my Amori black shoes that’s on 50% discount from the Sky Avenue! And my new light blue feathers long sleeved cooling material dress for RM89…….. SHOPPING IS THE CURE TO EVERYTHING IN MY LIFE!
I had a deep sleep and woke up afresh with a buffet breakfast spread at The Food Factory. You can choose from an array of West Asian, East Asian, and Western breakfast delights over there. You’ll be in for freshly made goodies, ranging from bread, local buns, Danishes, pancakes and cereals to dim sum, nasi lemak, congee, prata, curry, and so much more!
Special mention to Irene, the capable lady in green beside me, for putting it all together for this yummy food trail weekend getaway! ❤
F & B: The Food Factory
Location: 3rd floor of First World Plaza
Operation Hours: 6am to 11am daily
And of course, I have to thank my partner for being with me and taking care of me throughout the trip!
Thanks for reading!
WHO’S EXCITED FOR A WEEKEND GETAWAY TO GENTING NOW?!