Malaysia’s ‘City of Entertainment’ sees 20 million visitors each year. It’s a self-contained hilltop resort an hour's drive away from Kuala Lumpur. Championed for its comfortable climate and booming entertainment scene, this is a popular weekend retreat. The hilltop can be reached via Asia’s longest cable-car ride.
All of the hotels in Genting Highlands are operated by the same company, with more than 10,000 rooms between them. First World Hotel has gotten the most attention since the Guinness Book of Records named it the world’s largest hotel in 2006. Things pick up during the coolest months of November and December, when international tourists join weekenders from Malaysia and Singapore for an all-inclusive getaway.
At the heart of the Genting complex is Casino Genting, the only casino in Malaysia. Table games and slot machines are in action 24 hours, daily. The Vegas-like atmosphere is festive both in and out of the casino.
Guests of hotels in Genting Highlands get around on foot and by moving walkways. It’s possible to visit an area restaurant, take a seat at a baccarat table and retire to the hotel room without ever setting foot outside. Even separate buildings are linked by sheltered walkways.
The First World Indoor Theme Park is also indoors. It features roller coasters, ski slopes, carnival-like exhibits and a sky-diving simulator. It joins an outdoor theme park to boost Genting Highland’s family image to attract Malaysians with more conservative values.
Genting Highlands is a wildly popular destination for regional visitors. There’s nothing quite like this in Southeast Asia, and the scene is especially busy on holiday weekends.