I spent 3 nights at a luxurious golf resort in a $100 billion Malaysian ghost city. I can see why it is fashionable with golfers – however I nonetheless would not return.

Me at Forest City Golf Hotel.

Me at Forest Metropolis Golf Lodge.Marielle Descalsota/Insider

  • I spent three nights at Forest Metropolis Golf Lodge, a luxurious resort in Malaysia.

  • A deluxe suite with wraparound balcony, jacuzzi, and en-suite bed room prices $104 an evening.

  • I can see why the resort would name on the golf set – however as a non-golfer there was no motive to be there.

Forest Metropolis is a luxurious improvement in South Malaysia. Specialists say the realm is a ghost city.

Forest City, Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

Forest Metropolis, Johor Bahru, Malaysia.Marielle Descalsota/Insider

The nation backyard is the the biggest actual property developer in China, and Forest Metropolis is its greatest improvement. It is usually one of the controversial developments in Malaysian historical past.

Development web site on the $100 billion mission began in 2015 and is expected to be accomplished in 14 years. He has rented itself a “residing paradise” and a “inexperienced and futuristic metropolis”. However some pundits consider Forest Metropolis is a “time bomb,” as its fast development has destroy environmental devastation on the coasts of Johor Bahru.

Right this moment, improvement is extensively seen as a ghost townwith as little as 500 inhabitants in 2019. Once I visited Forest Metropolis earlier this month, an knowledgeable, who declined to be named for safety causes, informed me that a number of thousand folks at present reside on the property. The knowledgeable estimated that the town is at lower than 5% of its capability.

Whereas the pandemic slow motion tourism and actual property gross sales within the improvement, development has not stopped. three of eight steps of its improvement have been accomplished.

Once I visited the town, there was a gross sales gallery, a shopping mall, a global college and two resorts, however only a few companies have been in operation. Plots of land have been put aside for improvement, however it’s unclear whether or not these initiatives will proceed.

“Forest Metropolis was not constructed solely as a residential improvement,” Nation Backyard informed me in an electronic mail.

“Forest Metropolis carries out complete city planning and development in accordance with the idea of industry-city integration to make sure future enterprise worth and sustainable improvement,” the corporate added.

There are two resorts in Forest Metropolis, solely certainly one of which was open throughout my journey.

Forest City Golf Hotel.

Forest Metropolis Golf Lodge.Marielle Descalsota/Insider

Forest Metropolis Golf Resort was built by Nation Backyard in 2019 and continues to be managed by the developer.

Earlier than my journey, it was tough to seek out up-to-date details about the resort. Once I tried to name the telephone numbers on the resort’s web site, I acquired no response, however managed to e-book my keep on-line.

I took a rideshare service from the airport to the resort and unintentionally ended up on the solely different lodge within the improvement, Forest City Marina Hotel. The lodge’s tinted doorways have been locked and the one different particular person in sight was a safety guard. The streets have been eerily quiet. A neighborhood who labored at a close-by condominium advanced informed me that the advanced had been closed for 2 years and ought to be reopening within the subsequent few months.

The stations have been 10 minutes aside so I referred to as one other automotive to the station.

At first look, the resort was grand and splendid.

The lobby of the Forest City Golf Hotel.

The foyer of the Forest Metropolis Golf Lodge.Marielle Descalsota/Insider

I booked one luxury suite for 3 nights, which prices 458 Malaysian ringgits ($104) per evening.

The insider paid for my keep in full, as is the case with our report journeys.

A visitor I met on the lodge stated he likes to remain there to play golf as a result of it is “good worth”. He stated he visited the resort with a number of mates from Singapore.

The resort additionally has nice evaluations on-line, with a 4.4 stars on Google – one consumer stated it supplied the “greatest {golfing} expertise”, whereas one other stated they discovered the resort’s views “excellent”.

The resort was the busiest place on the complete property, and its major draw was its golf course.

The hotel's golf course.

The lodge’s golf course.Marielle Descalsota/Insider

The advanced has two programs, which span 69 and 74 hectares every. The programs have been designed by an American golfer Jack Nicklaus. Nation Backyard stated the resort wanted to construct a 3rd golf course and was receiving 100 to 200 company every single day.

Probably the most of Forest City Golf Hotel’s The clientele have been golf lovers from Singapore, lodge workers stated.

Whereas the resort was busy with golfers from all around the space, the remainder of the property was empty.

Overlooking the golf course was an enormous swimming pool.

The hotel swimming pool.

The lodge swimming pool.Marielle Descalsota/Insider

I noticed only a few folks utilizing the pool throughout my keep.

In my room, the balcony was so huge that initially I questioned if I used to be in the correct room.

The panoramic balcony of the luxury suite.

The panoramic balcony of the luxurious suite.Marielle Descalsota/Insider

My 169 sq. meter (1,819 sq. foot) deluxe suite had a wrap-around balcony. From there, I might see the principle residential space of ​​Forest Metropolis stretching out in entrance of me.

The suite had a big front room with a settee mattress.

The living room of the luxury suite.

The lounge of the luxurious suite.Marielle Descalsota/Insider

The area, furnished with wooden and marble, appeared luxurious.

The room was sparsely furnished however snug.

Bedroom en suite in the luxury suite.

Bed room en suite within the luxurious suite.Marielle Descalsota/Insider

I slept properly all three nights and it was quiet all day.

The lavatory had a spacious bathe and a bathroom with a bidet.


Toilet.Marielle Descalsota/Insider

The water heater and stress labored properly. The soaps have been generic however for the worth I can not complain.

There was additionally a big jacuzzi within the rest room, which was initially my favourite a part of the suite.

Jacuzzi in the bathroom.

Jacuzzi within the rest room.Marielle Descalsota/Insider

The recent tub was enormous. I took a shower one night and felt relaxed after a protracted day of picture shoots.

However the nearer I appeared, the extra a distinct actuality started to emerge. Grime and rust, for instance, had begun to construct up on the partitions of the recent tub.

Dirty jacuzzi pipes.

Soiled jacuzzi pipes.Marielle Descalsota/Insider

I referred to as reception twice to ask if somebody might come and repair the jacuzzi and was informed they might name me again. Once I requested the resort for touch upon my story, a rep informed me {that a} technician was dispatched to my room and a receptionist referred to as me a couple of minutes later.

I used to be unaware of both of those actions by the advanced.

For 3 days, I ate nearly each meal within the resort eating room, however not by selection. It was simply too tough to depart the station with out private transport.

Tee-Off Restaurant, the hotel's only dining option.

Tee-Off Restaurant, the lodge’s solely eating possibility.Marielle Descalsota/Insider

There have been no comfort shops in Forest Metropolis, or meals supply service – I waited two hours for my order to be processed to no avail. There was solely grocery storeand it was exhausting to get there.

On my final day, a rat walked via the eating room. A visitor screamed when she noticed him and a member of workers ran after him.

Nation Backyard informed me “an incident like this has by no means occurred earlier than” and that it’ll enhance pest management a few times per week.

On the second day of my keep on the lodge, there was an influence outage. There was no energy to the station for about 5 hours.

Blackout in the hotel.

Blackout within the lodge.Marielle Descalsota/Insider

A lodge workers member informed me that this was the primary time in three years of employment on the resort that he had had an influence outage. The lodge supplied me a free lunch as compensation.

Nation Backyard later informed me that its electrical energy provider, Tenaga Nationwide Berhad, had carried out upgrades on the day of the outage.

The lodge wifi connection was poor in every single place within the lodge, from the suite to the foyer.

Once I tried to depart the resort, I could not discover a route. I referred to as 5 native taxi firms, all of which stated that they had no drivers prepared to return to the resort. A number of ride-sharing providers weren’t even working within the metropolis.

Lastly, a workers member kindly supplied to drive me for 50 Malaysian ringgits ($11.30).

The resort appeared like nice worth at first look, however by the tip of my third day I understood why the worth was so low.

Me at Forest City Golf Hotel.

One of many few instances I smiled on the lodge.Marielle Descalsota/Insider

The workers was pleasant and the suite was inexpensive, and I can see why it might attraction to golfers.

However for me, as a vacationer not attempting to spend all day on the golf course, there was no motive to be on the lodge. It’s doable that the resort will enhance over time, particularly as tourism begins to choose up. However for now, it is not a spot I need to return to.

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