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First World Hotel – a colourful dream or blot on the landscape?

11 October 2011 No Comment

Depending on your point of view, this magnificent hotel in Pahang, Malaysia, either looks like someone let the kids loose with the Crayolas or a visionary team of architects from AIB Associates had the foresight to bring some colour to what could otherwise be a rather drab place to stay.


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Because what you’re looking at here is the First World Hotel, actually the fourth-largest hotel in the world by number of rooms. At one stage, it was the largest hotel in the world, until the Palazzo opened in Las Vegas in 2008.


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Dazzling rainbow exterior

Not only is it a very, very bright place to stay (pack your sunglasses) it has an incredible 6,118 rooms. Something so big and imposing could have been very grey and boring – with the need to fit so much accommodation in one place, it was never going to be the most subtle of projects – but this was taken a step further with its dazzling, rainbow exterior.

Kaleidoscopic complex


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It has a toy-town, almost ‘Lego’ quality to it. It’s the way a kid would draw and colour in a hotel. It even has a giant Coca Cola can as a neighbour and just to make a kid’s dream really come true, its own theme park within the complex!

Along with a cinema, bowling alley…basically, any activity you might want to do, you’ll probably be able to do it here – even skiing. And you can bet grown-ups have fun here too – it’s the only place in Malaysia you’re legally able to gamble.

Explosion of colour

And the way you arrive at this kaleidoscopic complex is something you can only dream of – you can travel to it on the Genting Skyway, the world’s fastest cable car which moves at six metres a second. Imagine what it must be like taking in the view over the valley, to then be greeted by such an explosion of colour on the horizon.

A blot on the lush Malaysian landscape?


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Read the reviews and to some, First World Hotel may be bright, but it’s still a blot on the lush Malaysian landscape. But then, you have to remember what this is meant to do. It’s part of a giant tourist resort, their answer to Las Vegas – it even has similar replicas of American landmarks in the complex. And Las Vegas is big, bright, bold and very much OTT. Very much then, like First World Hotel Malaysia.


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Whether it’s thumbs up or thumbs down you have to admit … it made you smile

And despite what your initial impressions may be, admit it…when you looked at these photos, this place made you smile. It’s cheery, it’s fun, it’s different. Not in its basic design, but by simple use of colour. Just be glad you’re not the one who has to give it a fresh lick of paint every now and then.

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