Stay and Splash At Best Western i-City Shah Alam
As a family traveler, I dread the year-end school holidays for it evokes horror images of long-lines at the airport, heavy traffic on major highways and tourist sites packed to the brim. Instead of a saunter, I will be suffocating at every point of the journey.
So, rather than going through all this hassle (holidays should be relaxing, not stress-inducing), I would be on the lookout for all-inclusive city staycations and one place that fits the bill is Best Western i-City in Shah Alam, the state capital of Selangor.
This 18-storey, 214 room hotel is part of the i-City Theme Park and is walkable to all the park’s six main attractions. We had a speedy check-in just after lunchtime and while the whole place was decked out in Christmas decorations, our little one was more fascinated by the jars of Betta Fish at one corner of the lobby. We bought some snacks at the reception so he could feed the ravenous fighting fishes.
We got a Deluxe Room high-up the 16th floor which worked well for us because we’re on a level far away from all the noise down below.
Best Western is well-known for catering to business travelers but our room feels cozy and comfortable. Our queen-sized bed was surprisingly plush and the three of us spent almost a good hour just lazing on it while channel surfing. The huge windows opened up facing Shah Alam where we could see the iconic blue-dome of the Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Mosque in the yonder.
I love the sleek and modern design of the room. The subtle touches like pastel blue paint on one side of the wall and the hourglass bedside tables changed a rather drab-looking space into a room that has character and style. Even the bathroom is lit up by the deep red color of the sink slab. The furniture is also smartly arranged to make the room feel spacious and easily navigable.
Tea Watch: What is it with American hotel chains and Lipton Tea? Surely they can come up with a bit more variety.
Unlimited Water World Access
Best Western i-City does not have a swimming pool but why fret when you can gain unlimited access to a whole water park?
Hotel guests automatically receive complimentary unlimited access for two adults meaning they can come in and out of the water park at any time throughout their stay. All we had to do was to download the i-City app and get our QR code validated at the reception. We only then needed to purchase kiddo’s ticket via the app and we’re ready to go!
Once the evening sun cooled down, we changed to our swimming gear and made a leisurely 5 minute walk to i-City’s WaterWorld. Kiddo naturally zipped towards the Aladdin Adventure Pool where he would run past the water jet tunnel, hop on a slide and wait for the big bucket to dump its load of water so that he could avoid it. I would then take turns with my wife to try out the Spiral and Rainbow Slides.
Once everyone was done with the adrenaline rush, we took it down a notch by grabbing a giant float and lazed our way around the River Adventure through LED-lit grottoes. We ended the day wading in the Wave Pool, occasionally getting splashed by the man-made waves while checking out an enthusiastic crowd moving their hips to the instructions of a Zumba coach.
QR Code Room Service
We returned to our room all hungry and tired so room service was the most logical thing to do.
I am not sure about other hotels but Best Western i-City is living in the year 2019 by providing a QR code to order room service. All I had to do was to scan the QR code by the work desk and I was brought to the online menu. I selected the meals we fancied, add in a note (“no chili or spice for the aglio olio; pasta is for child”) and we got ourselves ready while the food was being prepared.
Within 30 minutes, the door bell rang and service staff gleefully delivered our dinner and it was a real feast! I started off with a bowl of creamy Wild Mushroom Soup while the little one targeted the steak fries of the Signature Burger before moving on to his Tiger Prawn Aglio Olio. The missus was happily sampling the View Cafe Fried Rice’s chicken satay, squid sambal and chicken wing before switching to the burger. A satisfying meal to a satisfying day.
Go Beyond Signature
For the next day’s lunch, we decided to be adventurous and tried out the Go Beyond Signature menu, recently introduced in July 2019. I have to give a tip of the hat to the culinary minds of Best Western i-City’s kitchen for coming up with a fusion menu that hits all the right notes because not many chefs can come up with East-meets-West dishes with rightly balanced flavors.
The meat-eater in me went for the Coffee Lamb, two grilled lamb racks with mashed cassava and greens. The lamb is eaten with the special coffee sauce, a bittersweet glaze that only a coffee-lover like me would appreciate. Mrs Meat Eater ordered Cincalok Beef, sliced tenderloin topped with garlic floss dipped in fermented krill sauce. The cincalok had a strong and generous shrimp flavor giving a zing to the beef and rice.
Other than stealing his mom’s rice, the little one was happily slurping his Salmon Noodles.
Although he needed help in extracting flesh from the salmon head, our son really loved the vermicelli and the broth. He’s a fan of miso soup in general so it was not a surprise for him to like this bowl since the special salmon broth has strong hints of miso in it. To top off our lunch, each one of us sampled their coolers of the watermelon and lime Slushy Mania, the strong and soury Lime Ginger Nojito and the tangy and bubbly Pineapple Cooler.
We were fortunate to stay over the weekend so after another trip to WaterWorld, we extended our stay until the evening and checked out the hi-tea.
The spread is a healthy mix of all your Sunday afternoon favorites from the Malaysian classic Roti Jala with Chicken Curry to the hearty scoop of Shepherd’s Pie. Other notable munchies include Roti John, Pisang Goreng and Deep-Fried Squid. Daddy and kiddo also had so much fun at the dessert section where we piled on delectable cakes, puddings, puffs followed by the main attraction: chocolate fondue fountain!
One thing I like about Best Western i-City’s dining area is the dedicated Kid’s Corner where children can have their meals at the kid’s table while watching television. This Sunday Hi-Tea is also graced with the presence of a clown to entertain everyone with his deft skills in crafting balloon sculptures. The little was excited to get a balloon pistol and rifle, he was “shooting up” the whole place until we left!
We continued rolling on the bed after hi-tea and only checked out around 6:30 in the evening since I took the “My Stay Is My Way” package where for a small fee, we got flexible check-out and a minibar pack of canned drinks and chocolate.
A short staycation at Best Western i-City was one of my most relaxing stays: QR code technology made us easier to access the water park and to order room service while the creative tinkering on the food ensured we weren’t bored of the same old coffee house menu.
So if you’re looking for a quick family getaway or a last-minute deal without all the hassle associated with a vacation, do try Best Western i-City Shah Alam!
– If you order your meal via QR code, you can get a 20% off for room service and 10% off for dine-in at The View Cafe.
– Sunday Hi-Tea runs from 12:30 – 4:00 p.m. and is only RM45 per adult while children and seniors enjoy half price.
– “My Stay Is My Way” only costs RM60 on top of your room rate and you can enjoy flexible check-in and check-out, 24 hours stay and a minibar pack.
Best Western i-City Shah Alam
A-GF-01, No. 6, Persiaran Multimedia
Seksyen 7, 40000 Shah Alam, Selangor
Website: Best Western i-City
My utmost appreciation to Ms Phyllis and Best Western crew for arranging our stay, splash and meals throughout. All opinions and thoughts are my own.