Hotel Perdana Kota Bharu is a wholly-owned property under Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) and has undergone a major transformation with a brand new image. “Prior to this, it was a 3-star hotel and now we have upgraded it to a 5-star establishment since August 2013. Our vision is to be the premier hotel in Kota Bharu,” said Muhammad Taha Zainal, General Manager of Hotel Perdana Kota Bharu.
“Following the refurbishment and rebranding, we have made a great impression among the people who were used to the older image of Hotel Perdana. Now we are taking the newer and edgier approach to our property.”
“Speaking of the architecture and interior design, Taha said, Hotel Perdana is the portrayal of Kelantan itself which is known for its people, culture, history, food and many more. Such elements are incorporated in the building and can be identified in every inch of the interior. As contemporary as the 5-star city hotel is, it still displays cultural touches such as the usage of wood carvings, batik, songket, wau and gasing which are close to the hearts of Kelantanese.
Another appeal to the hotel’s décor is the collection of paintings produced by Kelantanese artists. “We have close to 500 paintings all over the hotel; at the lobby, along the corridors, in the rooms and also in the function area. We called the artists in and they showed us some of their artworks. We chose some of them ourselves especially the ones at the function area. Each of the painting emphasizes the essence of Kelantan. You can spot some that are so realistic, many people adore them,” Taha added.
On top of that, Hotel Perdana is a unique Syariah-compliant hotel which offers many benefits to the guests, both Muslims and non-Muslims. By receiving Halal certification, hotel guests are guaranteed to clean and safe practices of food preparation as well as the establishment as a whole. At the same time, the hotel is the perfect place for family travels and businesswomen.
There are 272 guest rooms and suites that spread across two wings namely the Classic and the Executive Wing offering a choice of Deluxe Classic room to Royal Suites. Prices range from RM220 onwards; Hotel Perdana Kota Bharu has become an instant favourite among locals and government agencies making up to 40 percent of its clientele. Taha envisions the hotel to attract more corporate clients through MICE tourism (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions). “With more corporate clients, not only the hotel will benefit, the state of Kelantan will too. I’m a strong believer of whatever that we do, we must always think of bringing revenue and development to the state,” explains Taha.
KELANTAN: OF REALITY AND FALLACY
For many people who hail from the big cities and far away from Kelantan, perhaps a vacation to the East Coast is not too high on their list. With the media reports focusing too much on its religious stand, many people have been misled about the reality of Kelantan.
Women often wonder if they will be able to enjoy a trip to Kelantan due to the hijab issue, they need not to worry after all. Hijab is made compulsory for those who are working in Kelantan. One has the option to wear it or not when not working. Of course, it is always best to address the differences of culture and norms of any society by respecting them. A woman may cover her head with a simple shawl when visiting places in Kelantan.
Such cultural differences are the main attractions to visit Kelantan and experience everything yourselves. You would be surprised by the warmth and friendliness of the people everywhere you go. Especially when you travel in a group, the Kelantanese people will be glad to recommend you to the places of interests where tourists enjoy visiting.
However, we do recommend that you bring a native Kelantanese along as the language barrier might be quite overwhelming to some. The distinguished differences between Kecek Klate (Kelantanese dialect) and standard Bahasa Melayu can be confusing.
Don’t be alarmed or offended by some terms and phrases that they use. Although Kecek Klate may sound rude, the Kelantanese are only expressing themselves with great regards. Phrase such as ‘Oghe Tino’ (Orang betina) is actually an affectionate term for ‘wife’.
A word of advice, never try to Kelantanize everything when you speak, you may either sound Thai-Malay or just wrong! Remember when going to the market, in Kelantan people do not sell ‘buah mempelam’ (mango), they sell ‘buah pauh’. Only a true Kelantanese can explain this joke best, so, visit Kelantan and stay at Hotel Perdana Kota Bharu for the eye- opening experience.