Oct 3, 2012

Best Of Malaysia Awards 2012: Of Luxury, Of Indulgence

"Bom sama dia!" was playing vividly in my head when I first heard of BOM in the event. No doubt, I have too much of Nandonism but rest assured, it was not purely of the funky tagline. What could BOM probably mean? Being the event by Expatriate Lifestyle magazine, it is a petty guess that it must be something to do with luxury and indulgence. After all, it is expatriate's lifestyle we are talking about.


Namely the Best of Malaysia Awards 2012 ("BOM 2012"), it is priceless recognition and almost costless public relations for 250 top names in the Travel and Hospitality Industry. After 10 weeks of voting in 16 categories, with a total of more than 70,000 votes cast, the expatriate community of Malaysia have chosen their best of the best in each category for BOM 2012. Nope I am not part of the community, not in the least.

The air of joy wafted in every corner in Stage, Avenue K. Suited and dressed up for the big night, all the big names in Travel and Hospitality Industry were certain that they would be bringing back some of these awards and personally, I have no doubt about it. In fact, I shared the most joy when I heard the names of familiar hotels which I visited.



The biggest winner for the night was none other than Shangri-La, bagging Best City Hotel (KL), Best Family Stay (Golden Sands Resort, Penang), Best Beach Resort (Tanjung Aru), Excellent Business Hotel (KL), Excellent Beach Resort (Rasa Sayang, Penang), Excellent Romantic Stay (Rasa Sayang, Penang) Excellent Hotel Bar (KL) and Excellent Hotel Restaurant (KL).

The familiarity of name has a long story back then when I was young. I was told about this high class hotel with the name of Shangri-La. Naive I was, any hotel back then was beyond decent to me. As I grew older, never have I had any chance to be associated with Shangri-La. Boyfriend used to hype about trying out this French restaurant with the name of Lafite in Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur but it did not materialise. At least Lafite managed to grab an excellent award for hotel restaurant category this year, so we shall consider to pay a visit as soon as we find ourselves comfortable and able to enjoy French fine dining.


SkyBar, Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur

As I was compiling photos for Shangri-La, I found out that Traders Hotels are actually related to Shangri-La. It would be a lie if I said "I am not surprised!". Amusing. The recognition of Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur in Best Hotel Bar and Excellent Business Hotel categories reaffirmed my belief that Traders Hotels are in good hands.

Personally, I probably wouldn't pay to stay in a 5-star hotel for holiday. Reason being, I am not an expatriate :p (It is a joke, no offence!) However, if you were to ask me, "Have I stayed in a 5-star hotel?", I would gladly reply you a "Yes" with a big grin and the joy of mine is wholly attributable to brilliance of my boyfriend whom has a Starwood Privilege Guest membership where he gets to dine with awesome discounts and stay with extra discounts apart from the usual promotion rate offered to public.


Prego, The Westin Kuala Lumpur 

Westins, Sheratons, and Le Meridiens are all under the big umbrella of Starwood Group where boyfriend and I get to splurge on a little at times. I believe it is quite a luck to begin with that the Italian restaurant we frequent, namely Prego, is voted as the Best Hotel Restaurant by the expatriate community.

To be fair, every restaurant has its merits and demerits. What I liked about Prego was their Goat’s Cheese Pasta with thyme, raisins and pine-nuts; what I disliked about Prego were the badly done saffron risotto with braised lamb shank and calzone. At times, service was quite slow and we had to wait for the salsa dressing for the bread until the bread turned cold. Perhaps it was just me but I am sure there are always rooms for improvement.


Splash Pool Bar, The Westin Langkawi Resort and Spa

Food aside, The Westin Kuala Lumpur and The Westin Langkawi Resort and Spa both bagged two awards each, namely Excellent City Hotel and Excellent Business Hotel, and, Best Weekend Hotel and Excellent Spa Resort, respectively. So much of Westin-Langkawiness and now I am itching for some, I think boyfriend does have some vouchers for that :D *rub hands*

Judging by the aura of Westin, I trusted that Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur and Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur woudn't leave the award empty handed. As predicted, Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur bagged itself an Excellent Business Hotel award, while Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur was voted as the Best Service with a Smile. I am sure they can do better next year!



2 days after Best of Awards 2012 marked the starting of the month of October. It reminds me of the happening season of Oktoberfest; it also reminds me of my company trip to Pangkor Island Beach Resort, ex-college mates trip to Genting Highlands, and diving trip at the end of November. Yes, beach, highland, beach, I am so excited right now!

Oops, back to the Best of Malaysia Awards, Four Seasons Resort Langkawi pride itself with the Best Romantic Stay Resort, Excellent Beach Resort, and Excellent Spa Resort awards. For some reasons, I am always confused between Four Points and Four Seasons. My curiosity was bubbling as I heard the name of Four Seasons again and again from the emcee of the event. The next thing I knew, my fingers were busy tapping away to locate the room rate for Four Seasons Langkawi. Oh gosh, RM2000 for a night at Lower Melaleuca Pavillion with partial sea view! *faint and regain consciousness and faint again*


Pangkor Laut Resort

I guess I would never get tired with beaches. Now that I am an Open Water Diver, I would hit the beach and sea at least once a year. *big grin* As much as I believe holiday should be a getaway, it shouldn't be a taxing thing at all. So I shall say "No" to Four Seasons Langkawi for many years to come, and perhaps say "KIV" to Pangkor Laut Resort, the winner of Excellent Weekend Break Resort and Excellent Spa Resort, as the room rate starts from less than a thousand.

One thing about me is I wouldn't stop planning holidays after holidays but to afford any, I have to work hard to earn my fair share of income before I can indulge in any of these. Perhaps exceptions to Starwood Hotels :p *hint hint to my boyfriend*

For more information on the winning hotels, you can hit this link : http://www.expatriatelifestyle.com/fromthemagazine/article/Announcements/Best-of-Malaysia-2012-Award-Winners-in-full 

I shall sign my night off and embrace any holiday that comes my way.

Love,
Hitomi Ng

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