Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur

This is a very accessible hotel using public transport. I travelled by bus from Melaka Sentral –> TBS (KLIA Transit)–> KL Sentral (Monorail) –> Sheraton (the Medan Tunku station). I had a moment of anxiety about choosing to use a private vehicle like Grab or public transport. I chose the latter. At least I don’t have to make small conversation with the Grab or taxi driver cause they like to ask questions like ‘where do you come from or ‘why are you here?’, ‘do you work’ or anything along those lines?

The fares:

Bus from Melaka Sentral RM14.40 + 0.70

KLIA Transit from TBS to KL Sentral RM6.90

MONORAIL from KL Sentral to Medan Tunku station RM3.40

I departed from Melaka at 1130AM. Reached the hotel (with lunch in between) just after 3 PM. Quill Mall may look like it’s just the opposite of the hotel. The thing is it is not as easy to go to the opposite side by going through the monorail station. There’s just no road passing through. Instead, you’d have to use the pedestrian traffic lights on a very busy road. So, do not be fooled. Plus, apart from the LG level where the food’s at, there isn’t really much to see in the mall. The boutiques are on the meh side. There are the Eco shop and Mr DIY but that’s just it.

The room was very comfortable though. Oh, man.. I really loved the space, the bathroom and the mini closet. It’s really relaxing. I had a workshop on Friday and I had planned earlier to bring my Minci family. Unfortunately, Mr Husband was not up for the idea which means that the kids are not going either. So, I have the room all to myself. I drank my coffee, and my tea, soaked in the bathtub, got naked and donned just the bathrobe instead since I forgot to bring my kaftan. My Deluxe Room with City view rate on Agoda totalled up to RM893.20 for a 3D2N stay. It is on the non-smoking floor with Free WIFI and breakfast.

The pre-conference workshop was great. After that, I was in a dilemma of whether to go to the Spa or enjoy my night at KL. I decided to brave the drizzling rain, in the monorail and head over to the hippest place in Kuala Lumpur, Bukit Bintang. Bukit Bintang is where they have the Pavillion, Sephora, Fahrenheit, Lot 10, Sungei Wang Plaza and the viral wagyu sate. Of course, there are loads of places to eat once you get there. It is a very happening and touristy place. It’s where influencers go to show the urban lifestyle. Well.. something like that.

This monorail is an intercity link. Basically, if say I am not keen to shop at Bukit Bintang, I can stop at Imbi station to go to Berjaya Times Square, Hang Tuah station to Lalaport Bukit Bintang City Centre. Or just head to Nu Sentral.

At Bukit Bintang, I went window shopping at Pavillion. Made a short stop at Book Excess in Fahrenheit. Wanted to get a steak but the restaurants are full (Friday night), so I ate Kyonchon instead. I tapau-ed Krispy Kreme doughnuts so I could bring them back to my Minci family in Melaka.

I checked out on a Saturday and the journey back to Melaka was equally smooth.

Kuching 2022: Food Glorious Food

I had this intense craving for Bing. Especially their chicken panini and coffee latte. Perhaps it’s the sauce, the mustard? Or the right amount of crunch to it. We don’t have Bing in Melaka but we do have Bing in Kuching. I missed it so much that as soon as we landed, I ordered it via Grabfood and had it delivered to the hotel. We devoured it straight up after checking into our room. In a way, this was to give my husband a glimpse of what I liked during housemanship, during my lunch ‘dates’ or weekend ‘dates’ with Stella. The taste, amazingly even after more than a decade is still the same.

Of course, it is not a visit to Kuching if you don’t go to Topspot. How can you skip Topspot?

TOPSPOT

As usual, it is Shop No 25. The evergreen menu is midin belacan, ambal kari, udang (shrimp) Nestum, bawal 3 rasa, oyster egg and salted egg crabs. We ordered a bit too much fruit juice. If you order a large jug, it is actually enough for 10 adults to have at least 2-3 standard glasses each. It is that much.

THE REEF

This is my first time coming here. My dad loved it so much. He ordered at least 10 dishes from mixed vegetables, prawns, squids, crabs, chicken and all. We were so full.

GULA APONG ICE CREAM

It doesn’t matter which shop you want to get it from. Just try it. It is no longer a Sarawak delicacy though cause we’ve got brands sprouting in Semenanjung. I particularly enjoyed the ice cream Mokti which is available in Melaka.

EAT AT THE WATERFRONT

I had the nasi goreng dabai and ‘sirap’ which is a different cordial from the ones you get in Semenanjung. In Kuching they use the Grenadine cordial.

MOM’S LAKSA

I used to enjoy Madam Tang’s Laksa at Spring Mall. I haven’t been there for a while so I am not quite sure if it still exists. Mom’s Laksa is not bad either. The broth is kids friendly meaning it is not that spicy or too herbal. Foreign tourists would enjoy it I think. Here, you not only can order Laksa Sarawak but you could also order Mee Kolok.

KOPI O KORNER

The breakfast here is great. Of course it is the usual Laksa Sarawak, Mee Kolok, Mi POk, Mee Jawa! In the afternoon they have nasi campur. At night, they are open for the goreng2 dishes.

Special mentions

Lok Thian (thai restaurant), Rumah Hijau and Singapore Chicken rice. I mean there’s probably more but I’d have to stay in Kuching to be able to sample it all. Ha ha ha.

Kuching 2022: The Lime Tree Hotel

I wrote about our stay here in 2016. I guess we came back hoping that the delicious Laksa Sarawak and Banana Fritters is still around at the breakfast buffet. Indeed, it is still there and boy, the place still looks brand new with added facilities. Having a water dispenser in the lobby was a good additional touch.

I made several bookings through Agoda and also through their own website. Upon checking in, there will be an RM50 deposit which will be returned upon checkout.

For myself, I chose the Family Room option from their own website. It can fit four adults so it was spacious for us. There was a King size bed and 2 single beds, a bathtub (my daughter loves it), a microwave and a mini fridge. My booking for this room was for 5D4N at RM 275.50/night. I got 5% off as I was staying for more than 3 nights.

I booked for my sister 1 Executive Suit King + 1 Standard room. This one was done through Agoda. To be honest, I should have just done the booking through the hotel’s website but I did my sister’s booking first. Hence, Agoda. The Executive Suite has 1 King size bed, a mini sofa and a mini fridge. That sets them apart from the standard room. The total for her for both rooms during the 5D4N stay amounted to RM 1080 (exec) + RM603.50 (std).

My dad had a longer stay in Kuching, about 7 days. Hence, his Standard Room total was RM 1106.

We had FREE WIFI, free breakfast, and the parking lot at the site (but very limited). They had this very aromatic in-house lime soap too. The air conditioning was very cool and the housekeeping was superb. This hotel is within walking distance of Padungan Chinatown, Main Bazaar, The Hills shopping complex, and the waterfront (to me, it is possible to walk there) with so many eatery outlets to choose from. Kuching has Grabfood and Food Panda too which is great.

the laksa station – they even have the ‘how to’ on the wall

The breakfast selection was adequate. The layout is such that we felt like we are going to someone’s house to eat. It was very homey. It is not disappointing and most importantly their kitchen is certified as HALAL. I noticed that most visitors to this hotel are overseas tourists from Europe of all ages. There seemed to be a tour package service there but I did not explore any further. I fully recommend staying at this hotel again and again for its wonderful hospitality.

Kuching 2022: Onboard MAS

The last time we returned to Kuching, Sarawak was before the covid19 pandemic. It used to be an annual trip. I have recorded my anecdotes on those old trips in the travelogue tab.

I submitted my WPUA application for the trip two months in advance as it has to go through the main office. I also booked in the group’s ‘leave diary’ as a heads-up to my colleagues. Once the application had gone through, I submitted my leave to my boss for approval.

It’s been a while using Malaysia Airlines but I am very delighted that all members of my family get a 40kg baggage allowance to and fro. We left Melaka as early as 730am and drove to Salak Tinggi. Again, for the Park and Ride services. The overnight parking rate is RM5. The daytime-only parking rate is RM3 (certain hours apply). There, we took the KLIA transit train to KLIA. I checked in online the night before. Therefore, I only had to print out our baggage tags at the airport and drop them off. Even then, there was still a queue we had to follow.

My plane was the one with inflight entertainment on board. The kids really loved their headsets and they were excited to choose their own movie. The meal was weird though. It was a choice between chicken gochujang and fish sweet sour. I chose the fish because I was not familiar with the gochujang dish. I did not want to end up finishing my kids’ meals if they do not like them. The options were better on our way back as they had garlic fish and chicken rendang. The flight was about 1h 40 mins from KLIA to Kuching.

We rented a Bezza upon arrival at the airport. It was a pre-arranged thing and the car was new. Husband knew the way around Kuching because well… he used to work here. So, driving around isn’t really a problem for us.

As for accommodation, this year we stayed at Lime Tree Hotel (again) and that is another entry.

Pulse Grande Hotel, Putrajaya

I wish I could say I enjoyed my stay. Unfortunately, I didn’t.

I was prepared that the place wouldn’t be as gah as it would have been before the pandemic, but I wasn’t prepared for what ensued. The only commendable thing about the whole experience was the staff. The communication skills were superb, but the service and the facilities/layout, whatever you call it, are slowly going down the drain. It would be pretty sad for all these young skilled staff to go just because the place is unable to serve as an exclusive abode for travellers.

So, what could be improved?

Check-in ritual

Taking into account that the lady could be new, I just feel that there is certain information that must be conveyed automatically to the guest. Which should be included as part of the training if you are to man the check-in counter. Such as the WIFI password, breakfast time, breakfast area and highlights of the hotel such as access to the garden park, pool, and directions to the kids club room. I felt that the lady failed to recognize that I actually booked extra service from the hotel which included the birthday room decor and kids package. It would be helpful to advise guests early regarding payment and such activities.

The rooms

My room is on the ground floor because I chose the garden view. Plus point is that it is near the breakfast cafe. The minus points are that you will be walking through the hallway that has public toilets. If they are cleaned regularly, they will not smell. Otherwise, merasalah kau bau hancing sepanjang jalan menapak ke bilik. You could also feel this damp, musty feeling as you walk through the hallway and also as I entered our room. Macam bilik yang tak pernah dapat cahaya matahari sort of thing. Lembap semacam. It is honestly very uncomfortable. The room lighting is also so malap with the switches macam haywire. Like, OMG.. porque? porque?

Not only that, my room is directly beside an open hall area where activities are held. So, be prepared to have people standing outside your hotel room door during the day. It’s like dah kenapa ko bersidai tepi pintu aku.

I was also very disappointed with the gifts that my kids get from the extra room package thing. I mean, how is a puzzle that has a tank at a dataran picture spells out cute for kids? Even if you give a standard, white embroidered towel with cute animals or flowers, the type that they can bring to the pool pun budak akan suka. But puzzle? Who’s great idea is that?

Thankfully, the birthday room decor was ACCEPTABLE although I was like, why is the Happy Birthday balloon decor in black? What happened to happier colours? I would suggest the fruits to be cut up though. Guest bukannya bawak pisau nak potong epal, oren bagai untuk kongsi dengan semua. Please don’t say something like, boleh gigit kan epal tu.. haih.. hempuk jugak lah.

Husband’s 37th birthday – yep, he is younger than me

Housekeeping

As of most 4 or 5 star hotels, you wouldn’t see a water dispenser anywhere. Hence, you would depend on the complimentary mineral water and kettle in the room for drinks. Can you imagine the horror when you realize that in the room tetiba no remote control for the TV, no kettle and there is only ONE cup to drink your hot beverage. Itu pun, bila tengok supplies tu macam, kau ikhlas ke nak terima aku as guest ni? Seriouslah.. I have never been so pissed. So we called room services and had these problems sorted out.

sedihnya housekeeping macam ni

Room service

Room service is supposed to be convenient. People order room service because they do not want the hassle to leave the room to eat. They are willing to pay extra just so they could attend to their matters in the room while having a nice, hot meal. This hotel does not have the usual hard copy menu in the room. Instead, we have to scan a QR code. Only, they did not tell where the QR code is. Jenuhlah aku mencari dlm laci, at the check in card and all for this QR code. Only later did they say they will send the QR code to the room and to call 0 to place an order.

Eh.

Might as well you give me the physical menu and take my order at the door, kan? Tapi takpe.. I will take that QR code, call O and place the order before 930pm. Now, a wait of 30 to 40 mins to me is acceptable but to wait for nearly an hour – is just ridiculous. Lebih me-ridiculouskan is that the staff said they are still busy with the buffet. Well lady, I don’t give a shit. I have kids who is having trouble to stay awake but hungry at the same time.

The food finally came. My initial order was a set of chicken briyani, honey bbq club sandwich, tomato arabiatta from the kids menu, 2 cans of Sprite and 2 additional bottled mineral water. They did not provide me with the mineral water, reason being, there’s already water in the room (masalahnya aku nak extra, and I am paying for it, part mana yg tak faham tu?) My problem with the meal was the spaghetti. They should put a chilli picture next to the menu to indicate the level of spiciness. Since it was under the kids menu, mestilah kita tak expect it wouldn’t be THAT spicy kan? Well no, it was damn spicy. Thankfully, the briyani saved the day.

Final verdict

This hotel has a really nice location. The garden park is wonderful. Cuma tuhlah.

I can imagine it’s majestic reputation at one point in time. I believe it could be what it was once again with time and a bit of improvement to the facility and service. You’ve already got the people. Until it buckles up, I have to say, it is not an option for my hotel stay in the future.

We checked in at 8pm, after hadap terrible traffic on the highway for hours, and I had imagined a night where everything is in place. I imagined a night where I could take my hot shower, hair in a turban, sipping hot coffee at the desk while eating my hot meal and watching TV. I’d imagined the kids be sleeping restfully after the meal while my husband and I have a chat. But no, it did not happen. Room service was so lambat that the kids were already asleep.

ntah berapa kali aku angkat tepon, call for this, call for that.. haih.. stress sangat. I am not paying for 280 per night taw.

I am paying RM360/night with an additional RM120 for decor (&cake) and RM125 for room service meals. Can you sense the disappointment?

In short, don’t waste your money here until you read a better review this year.