What was "good" about this place:
(1) Big on room space. The room was spacious, had a "walk in" bathroom that has a wooden slide window that opens to the bed. Everything in the room was in working order, water pressure is good, heater works well even at night, when everyone is back in hotel.
(2) Furnishing was pretty good. Carpeted floor, bedroom with headboard, a lounge chair with leg rest, a writing desk with free wifi in the room, a TV console. I find TV was a little too small for a big room like this. Perhaps it's the difference in scale, but I find larger screen in other hotels of this class.
(3) Location was pretty good, just about 200-300 metres stroll to the Pavilion shopping centre. Although it was further than the Novotel, I felt the space provided was pretty large. I don't like small room, and Chulan provided me with the amount of space I preferred.
What was "ok" about this place:
(1) Breakfast was pretty alright, although it was nothing to shout about. I loved the omelette here. Spread wise, was alright, not modest, but not a huge spread too. A nice touch was Japanese corner serving sushi and cold noodles (sushi was a little dry though). Coffee and tea was flat and a little tasteless. If you like coffee, ask for cappucino/latte from the espresso machine; I find these more acceptable.
What was "not ok" about this place:
(1) Mosquitoes in my room. I had red marks on my body when I was there for 3 nights. I searched high and low for bed bugs, but found none, so I figured it wasn't bed bugs. So the next culprit is probably mosquitoes. So beware if you had mosquitoes in the room. The hotel should provide some mosquito spray for guests.
(2) Air-conditioning system was working well, but it was noisy - even at the lowest setting (low-med-high). The sound from the air-conditioning system was pretty loud. And I mean a constant humming type of sound that could potentially affect your sleep if you are a light sleeper. The hotel should really look into silencing the fans or the air-conditioner's parts.
(3) Bed was pretty hard (my friends' had pretty firm and hard bed), mine was ok, since I am a backache sufferer, firmer beds are ok for me. They complained of backache after sleeping on the hotel bed, so be warned.
(4) Visiting the gym, all 3 treadmills were squeaking when I ran on it. Also, the track on the treadmill actually slipped forward a little, before it ran in the normal direction every time I stepped or land my front feet on the track. This is very, very annoying. I ended up on the elliptical runner/trainer instead of the treadmill. The gym folks should look at the treadmill machine and tune it up. Water was provided though, which was a nice thing.
(5) The cock-tail drinks in the lobby were not up to par. I had better drinks in the Novotel hotel 300 metres away. The bartender really need to taste his own cocktail before serving to the customers. The lobby also had mosquitoes, although there were a couple of fly insects traps, not all mosquitoes were eliminated, so wear long e.g. pants if you want to be safe from the mosquitoes.
You may see more "no good" than "good" here, but overall experience was still alright to me because of the price I paid for. We had 2+1 night free, which was a pretty good offer. The hotel's infrastructure is probably still a 5-star, but edging on 4.5 stars. 1 card reader was not working in the lift. Burnt out bulbs on the walkways were not replaced in good time. I see some maintenance gaps here.
Service wise, it was a hit & miss thing. I felt the service staff need to smile more and greet more. This is a 5-star hotel after all. The extra star needs to be found in service quality, staff attitudes, and attention to details. Hence, I found the service/processes/attention to details was only a 4-star. I have been to business-class Courtyard Marriott, and believe me, the service was a notch higher than this so called 5 star hotel. So, I believe Royale Chulan needs to pull up the socks on this front.
In conclusion, will I stay here again? Maybe, for the room space. Will I recommend to friends? Unlikely, because of the lapses and shortcoming stated here. In the world of 5-star hotels, this does not match up in my opinion, but bearing in mind the lower price I paid, it was still reasonable place to stay if you want a near 5-star experience at lower prices.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Royale Chulan Kuala Lumpur incorporates contemporary services and facilities and features Malaysia's unique architecture. Guests have the opportunity to relax in one of the 402 rooms and suites or in any of the well-appointed serviced apartments and studio apartments. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Royale Chulan Kuala Lumpur Hotel Kuala Lumpur