Flights, booked. Room, booked. Dinner, booked. Malaysia's Biggest Blogger Meet-up since the creation of PPS, here I come baby.
I'm really looking forward to this trip. I don't know what I was thinking making this a 5 day trip because that's a little too long even by KL's standards. I actually contemplated taking a coach up north to Penang or down south to Singapore for a little visit. But I'm not sure yet. I'll see how things go.
I'll be staying at the Dorsett Regency Hotel compliments of the SEDC Lifestyle Plus cards, which is the subject of my review today. I could have saved up the vouchers and share a hotel room with HB, another blogger from Kuching also attending the meet-up. But the last time I talked to him on mirc, he flattered me with so much praises I got scared and wore double underwear when I met up with him (jk). :) Guess I'm a little more comfortable staying alone.
SEDC stands for Sarawak Economic Development Corporation. Its a state garblement-owned commercial entity that has a hand in the state's tourism industry. Their Lifestyle Plus privilege card is a program designed for simple Average Joes, like me, to sample the lifestyle of the rich and famous Atas Club (elitist) people, like those Datuks whose name will turn into road signs within the next ten years.
I want to ask you to go to SEDC's website, but its filled with so much out-of-date content, broken links, bad sound effects and UGLY animated GIFs I decide to save you the horror. The funny thing is, that website was voted one of Malaysia's Top 20 Best Government Websites, as shown by that cute little award they proudly display on their front page.
That just goes to show how low their standards are.
Anyway I got to know about the Lifestyle Plus Cards when one of their telemarketers mysteriously got my phone number and phoned me twice to pester me into joining their program. I was having lunch with my workmates when they called. One word to describe our conversation: annoying. He spoke so damn fast I could only capture 20% of what he's saying. It went a little like this.
Annoying Telemarketer: "hello mr sia this is SEDC calling i'd like to invite you to join our lifestyle plus card program it is very good you can stay two free nights at holiday inn kuching got discount at damai beach resort can go there play golf see bird go swimming then got free dinner at five star restaurants at crowne plaza and holiday inn wah very nice and then i give you two free nights staying at nice hotel when you go kl and on your birthday we give you cake ok what is your credit card number?"
Confused Kenny: "Hold it, hold it, hold it. What's going on here? How much is this? What do you want my credit card number for?"
Annoying Telemarketer: "Mr Sia its only RM538. It is very good deal. You use up your free hotel room vouchers you can get your money back already! What is your credit card number?"
Confused Kenny: "Yes I know but I'm not gonna commit to something like this over the phone so quickly. I want to read the terms and conditions first. Do you have an internet website, or a brochure that I can look at?"
Annoying Telemarketer: "No sorry sir, this is a telephone only deal. If you call us back you won't get this sort of package anymore. So can I have your credit card number?"
I was skeptical about this. But after enquiring the names of the complimentary hotels in KL and them convincing me that it is no scam, I too thought that it was a pretty good deal and proceeded with the transaction.
Fast forward three days later, I was sent the membership package by courier mail. COURIER MAIL LEH! None of those Pos Malaysia bullshit. Man, I feel 'atas' already.
Since none of these information is available on the internet, here's a brief summary of the benefits Lifestyle Plus members get to enjoy.
* 1x 1-night accomodation at Kuching Holiday Inn/Crowne Plaza. Normally RM200. (no use to me)
* 2x 75% off 2-night accomodation in Damai Beach/Damai Lagoon. Normally RM150. But its not valid Friday and Saturday. KNNCCB then how to use? (no use to me)
* 2x 1-night accomodation at either Dorsett Regency KL, Royale Bintang KL, Eastin Hotel PJ, Sheraton Hotel Penang, Century Mahkota Malacca or City Bayview Langkawi. Normally RM200. (most useful)
* 40% to 60% off rack rates of the above hotels plus Pacific Regency KL, Avillion Hotel PD, Lake House Cameron Highlands and Promenade Hotel KK.
* 2x buffet dinner for two at one of Crown Plaza's 5 star restaurants.
* 2x 50% discount on a la carte menu at one of Holiday Inn's restaurants.
* 10% discount at Coffee Bean, Kenny Rogers and some other 'atas' restaurants and cafes around Kuching.
* And finally, one bloody cake for you on your birthday.
Not exactly all that attractive for something that made me RM538 poorer. Its a good initiative by SEDC but I think they could do better. To their credit, their customer service is prompt and fantastic. That's coming from me considering I had a run-in with bad customer service at other garblement-run entities.
In my books, the only thing that made the Lifestyle Plus card worthy is the two night accomodation at Dorsett Regency. And the birthday cake. Yeah baby.
Everything else is not worth the money.
See you guys at the PPS party. I can't wait. Its gonna be bigger than my coconuts. ;)