We used to read about how workers had to pretend someone they’re not, in order to look good in front of bosses and clients. This is called the Imposter Syndrome and guess what? Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel is suffering from that.
According to Marriot’s official website, it was a 5-star hotel; when we stepped into the room, we found it hard to convince ourselves it was worth the 5-star rating…
The view? Oh, we asked for the Petronas Twin Tower view and we got it. At level 11, it was hard to see the towers without straining my neck.
The space? It was huge, since it was built to the standards of the 80s. And know what else in the room was in the 80s? The furniture. The walls were so abused, they looked like some pontianak would spring out from it any time.
Other hints of the 80s included a chunky white in-room safe that could hardly fit my 14-inch laptop; I had to do some creative twist and turn before it could go in! The complimentary bathrobe was like… throwback to the 80s yukata style.
The sheets? I found stains on the sheets. They didn’t look fresh; they were more like hardy stains left by customers some generations ago, so I thought I could give them a break (and crossed my fingers that no bed bugs crawl out while I’m typing this review).
In addition to the stains on the sheets, I also found the ironing board provided to be in a very sorry state. Other than stains, the cover was barely attached to the board itself. The whole thing looked like it was there to meet the requirement of having ironing services provided and not meant to be used!
The corridor was definitely set in the 80s, heavily carpeted from floor to ceiling, with small green patterned prints against a beige/brown background. Did I mention the musky smell? Add on the fact that our room was just right beside where they cordoned off the corridor, perhaps they were renovating the place, with a white curtain – doesn’t that remind you of Resident Evil?
The control of the lights were so old-school, they reminded me of game consoles of yester-years. It was nice to be able to control all lights in the room (including the bathroom) from one location, but the programming seemed wacky. Once, I pressed the button “Vestibule” to turn off the lights at the minibar and one of the bedside lamps got turned off (??!). Most of the times, the lights just didn’t respond.
The bathroom was the most horrific of the experience.
The style of the 80s was kept – shower in the bathtub, which require someone with good finesse to get in and out. If you can do it without accident after wetting the floor, you are a survivor!
The water could not get drained fast enough while I was showering. By the time I finished my 10-minute shower, the water level was ankle deep. That level of water took some 2 minutes to drain. And while it was doing that, water was leaking from the side of the bathtub (presumably from the access window to fix plumbing issues) and wet the floor.
As if mysterious water streaking across the bathroom floor was not freaky enough, the lights flickered like a scene from a horror movie during shower time. (To be fair, the lights in the room also flickered here and there)
Perhaps the only thing that I found interesting was the flushing of the toilet bowl. You had to hold the handle in order for the flush to kick in after 2 seconds; and then the water will swirl around the toilet bowl like Alice in Wonderland and it would swirl for a good 10 seconds before it started to go down the drain, swirling.
That was therapeutic and I gave it thumbs up.
Especially when you get to see expired chunks of your dinner last night got churned into muddy milo before being swallowed by the toilet bowl monster. Darn therapeutic!
The service of the staff was half-past-six.
There were 2 towers in the hotel, with the West wing being the refurbished one. We went there to check in, only to find out that our room was in the East wing and we had to go over to the other side, ourselves. Why am I raising this? While waiting for the others to check in, I noticed that the staff escorted other people from the West wing to check in at the East. “Other people” were people of a lighter skin and hair colour, if you get what I mean.
But I guess Singaporeans were cheapo and went for lower rates and thus didn’t deserve to be treated like full-paying customers. *shrugz*
When we sensed there was something amiss after stepping into the room, N went to ask for a room change, but we were told that could only be done after 4pm, which was 3 hours after our check in. We had other plans with the folks, so we couldn’t be around to change rooms until nightfall, so we gave that up, since that might mean we would only be able to settle down after midnight.
Giving alternative options that were not good alternatives at all just reminded me of my experience at Copthorne King’s Hotel.
And then, of course, another throwback to Copthorne King’s Hotel was the refusal to allow us to check out later than 12pm.
I told N it was because he wasn’t a valued customer after all the nights clocked with Marriott.
I am typing this review fresh from my first night at the hotel room, hopefully I can survive the night without any mishaps. My hopes are pinned on the breakfast at TEMPtations, which looked pretty decent when we walked past it in the lobby.
I am writing this after my trip, which meant that I got to try out TEMPTations mentioned earlier in this post.
The place was spacious and had plenty of seating, which was good because when the crowd came in after 9am, I noticed that there were still vacant seats (though I could not stop the rowdy tourists from being… err… rowdy).
There were 3 main areas for food: Indian food, Chinese/Southeast Asian food and Western selections.
The Western selections were the most pathetic, as they consisted mainly of pastries, cereals and fruits (I was debating whether I should include fruits, which by right is an international selection, but well, the Western food options were seriously lacking in choices!).
The Asian (Chinese/Malay) food selection was also restricted mainly to Nasi Lemak (1 receptacle for rice, 1 for chilli and 1 for anchovies; to be frank, the selection at The Saujana Resort was better), some fried rice and fried noodles, and a noodle station.
There were 2 egg stations, although one of it was joined with the Chapati counter, so the staff was attending to Chapati requests more than eggs.
The widest selection could be found for Indian / South Asian food, which I was not interested in, as I would prefer non-spicy food for breakfast.
The noodles from the noodle bar barely made the mark; the soup was tasty, but the staff merely dipped the noodles into the boiling water for 3 seconds, so the noodles were actually still “raw” and tough.
Unlike The Saujana Resort, where I could still identify the Glutinous Rice in Lotus Leaf as my favourite, I could not find one in TEMPTations.
The restaurant was as sad as the room I stayed above.
The only redeeming aspect about Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel was that it had a Healthland outlet in the basement of the East wing. The standard of the outlet was rather good. In fact, I had Thai massage on my first visit and I got a very good masseur called Ah Lup (pronounced something like that), or number 187. He was very strong in his strokes and knew to adjust his strength when massaging my weaker leg, without me telling him.
Good service and ambience aside, the convenient location meant that you can book a slot (did I say they literally could cater to any time slots we asked for?) late at night and return to your room immediately, without stepping onto the street and exposing yourself to the notorious danger on Kuala Lumpur at night.
That being said, I still think it would be better to stay away from Renaissance Kuala Lumpur.
Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel
Corner of Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Ampang
Kuala Lumpur 50450
+60 3-2162 2233