If you are traveling to KL with a group of family or friends and looking for a decent place to stay at decent price, then you might want to consider staying at Best Western Premier Sentral Dua which is just 5 minutes away from KL Sentral.

This happened to be my second stay this year, the first time I booked a one-bedroom suite at just RM259++ per night (cheap!) which encouraged to stay here again. This time around, since I am traveling with my family and in-laws, I booked the two-bedroom apartment for 2 nights at just RM839.08. Isn't that fantastic?

Security is of no concern here as only guests with room card could access their level. Furthermore, the door locks are operated by key cards so minimal chance of someone breaking into your room (unless you lose your card and do not report immediately). The check-in process was also breezy and quick.

Most people like personal touch, and for Best Western Premier, the personal touch they give is the welcome message that appears the moment you switch on the television:


The personalised greetings from the hotel management

The thing I love about this hotel is the sleek, modern and clean design in their rooms (not to mention the affordability of the hotel). The moment we walked in, we were impressed with the wooden flooring which lends elegance to the overall concept of the room:

The cool lamp at the lounge area

The separate living area and work area with ergonomic swivel chair

The living area
Plenty of lights at the work area, which is also equipped with power sockets to charge up laptops or other devices

The living area consists of a two-seater sofa, coffee table, work desk (where hubby could do his work) and a 32" flat screen LCD TV. Business traveler will appreciate that the hotel provides complimentary wireless Internet connection.

The bigger bedroom is appointed with two queen beds, while the smaller bedroom which was occupied by my in-laws comes with one queen bed. Each bedroom also has its own television:

Flat screen LCD TV in all bedrooms

The smaller bedroom
I also like the fact that each bedroom has its own bathroom, so that means extra privacy for us.

The smaller bedroom has a separate walk-in shower and toilet as well as a vanity area:
The smaller bathroom

Separate shower and toilet

Walk-in shower with choice of hand-held shower or rain shower, whichever you fancy.
Standard toiletries which is replenished daily
Meanwhile, the bigger bedroom (for the kids, myself and my mom) looks like this:

The bigger bedroom

Two vanity area / sink for the two ladies staying in the bigger room :)

The bathroom is also equipped with a separate walk-in shower just like the smaller bathroom.

My kids' favourite - the bathtub
Other amenities provided in the bedroom are radio / alarm clock with iPhone 4 dock, iron / ironing board, slippers and plush bathrobe, safe deposit box, complimentary shoe shine, bathroom scale and magnifying mirror.

When you are traveling with two small kids, you just appreciate a kitchenette to prepare their milk and food, and wash their bottles:

The kitchenette complete with sink area, mini fridge (in cabinet) and a kettle

The kitchenette is equipped with a mini bar, kettle, mini fridge, ice bucket, and the usual complimentary beverages including complimentary drinking water:

Complimentary drinks are also provided

Mini fridge tucked away in a cabinet

Unfortunately, no review of their spa or swimming pool because we did not have the time to explore the hotel outside of its room. We also opted for room package without breakfast, so we have no idea whether their breakfast is good or otherwise.

As much as I like to give high score for this hotel (affordable, modern design, clean, etc.), there were some negative points that I had no choice but to award to the hotel (in the hope there will be some improvements in the future).

Firstly, hotel parking is not complimentary. Most hotel provides complimentary parking for their guests, so this is a major disappointment to us. Perhaps this is one way to make up for the below the market rate of their room rate? I don't know. But be prepared to fork out parking charges if you park at the hotel. Otherwise, you can skip the whole parking thing and get complimentary shuttle service to KL Sentral.

Secondly, I discovered that they did not change the bedsheets every day. My daughter dropped a slice of pizza on the first day we stayed here, and although the housekeeping service did a good job tidying up the mess and making the bed, I noticed that the pizza sauce stain remains on bed cover the next night (I did not have the time to complain or ask them to change the sheet because it was late already and we were not in the room until night time). I did not see any policy that stated the bedsheets will not be changed daily. Besides, we paid daily rate, so we ought to get fresh sheet every day, don't we?

Thirdly, the hand bidet faucet somehow leaks and make a mess of cold water on the bathroom floor. The water pooled near the toilet so the floor was cold and wet most of the time (not to mention, provide safety hazard to the kids whenever they enter the bathroom unsupervised).

Verdict - A nice hotel with some major flaws. Otherwise, I'd be happy to give almost perfect score.

Rating: 7/10
Note: Another overdue post about the second hotel we stayed at during our last trip to Miri, Sarawak. 

We were in Miri for two days and on the second day, we decided to stay in a hotel nearer to Miri's biggest shopping complex, Bintang Megamall. At first we wanted to book Meritz Hotel since it is just adjacent to the mall, but sadly it was fully booked.

So we scouted around and found Mega Hotel which is just a 10-mins walk from the shopping complex. 

We booked the Junior Suite through Agoda, at the price below RM300 per night. This room comes with complimentary breakfast for two persons. Check in was smooth and we were upstairs in our room in no time at all.

To be honest, the room is super spacious - if you stay here alone, you might get a little spooked because seriously, the room is too huge!

The living area and dining area which is as big as one room for four pax
If you are traveling with a group of friends or with family, this room is certainly for you. The suite includes a bedroom for four persons, and a separate lounge / living area, a dining area, a separate toilet, and a bathroom-cum-toilet.

The room comes with two king-sized bed
Flat screen LCD TV is available both in the bedroom and the lounge area, so family members do not have to fight over who gets to pick the channel :)

Did I tell you the room is huge?
I love the gold swirl design of the carpet, and the decor although not modern, does not feel too old either. The wooden panel adds a touch of classic elegance to the room. Except the sofa - those really need to be updated.

The walkway from the living area to the bedroom
My pet peeve when it comes to hotel toilet is one that does not come with a bidet. Thankfully, many new hotels nowadays are equipped with bidet. Mega Hotel is aware of this - but the most they offer is a water scoop or 'gayung' in Malay, which they place in the toilet.

Extra toilet but unfortunately no bidet installed :(
The bathroom is clean and moderately furnished.

The bathroom which is equipped with bathtub, toilet and sink area

For a four-pax room, the suite only provides complimentary two toothbrushes. Hmm. Maybe you are supposed to ask for additional toothbrush if you have four guests checking in together?

Complete toiletries but only for two pax

The bedroom is equipped with flat screen LCD TV and a work desk

Like any other hotels, they also provide coffee and tea making facilities. If you are staying in Malaysia hotels, expect to find Nescafe instant coffee and Lipton teabags in most hotels although a growing number of hotels are starting to add more selection of beverages to these two standard items.

Coffee and tea making facilities

This time we did not manage to check out the hotel swimming pool since our main reason was to go shopping. Maybe next time.

Lastly, our room package comes with breakfast. Unfortunately, breakfast was disappointing with limited selection on the menu. Strangely, the hotel management is trying to promote hotel staycation by promoting free breakfast. I think they should improve the breakfast menu first before having such promotion.

My verdict - the room is beyond my expectation, so it is a nice surprise. Unfortunately, it won't be sitting at the top of my preferred list as yet because there is no wow factor to woo travellers like us to stay there. To improve - breakfast and bidet installed in the toilet.

7/10

Note: This is an overdue post since we stayed here in August. I got caught up with a lot of things and since then, we had stayed in several more hotels (more reviews to come).

We were in Miri for the Merdeka break and what finer way to spend the hols than exploring hotels (at least for a hotel-loving family like ours)?

Our first stop was no other than the most renowned resort in town, Miri Marriott Resort & Spa. It is located along the coastal road and is really easy to find. Just the thought of chilling by the pool with sea breeze in my face made me so keen to pick this hotel. 

Checking in was quite smooth and the reception staff were courteous but for an established resort like Marriott, I felt that they were missing the genuine friendliness and warmth such as that I received when we were staying at Westin KL. I also got a tad annoyed when the hotel wifi was not immediately activated as per what the reception staff promised. I had to go to the counter again to check why I was asked to pay for in-room wifi when the staff earlier mentioned it was without charges.

Secondly, although I requested for a room nearer to the lobby, we were somehow given a farther room which involved a long corridor walk and staircase, all in all was quite inconvenient for family with small children. However I tried to understand that maybe due to peak season, the hotel couldn't accommodate all requests.

Anyway, these are how the hotel room looks like:

Old decor, but still comfortable enough for us
We got two queen beds as per request since I also invited my sister to stay with us.

From another angle

The foyer

The bathroom, also in need of refurbishment
Aromatherapy toiletries
The bathroom has a bathtub to the delight of the young ones
If you are feeling peckish but too lazy to step out of the room (think of long walkway to the lobby and restaurant!), you can still munch on the snacks provided in the room (not complimentary though):

The beverages below are complimentary, but the snacks on the top shelf are not
There was a time when you have to request for iron and ironing board every time you want to use it, but nowadays each room comes with these facilities:

Bathrobe, iron & ironing board
There is also a veranda outside the room with a wooden table and beach chairs. However my sister warned me of the sandflies so we daren't sit outside or leave the sliding door open. Besides the weather was too hot so we preferred the air-conditioned room.

Lounge rattan chair (inside) and wooden beach chair (outside at the balcony)
I'm so used to staying in modern hotels in Kuala Lumpur, where the management gives a facelift to the hotel rooms every 4 to 5 years (or so it seems), that I couldn't help but feel that the hotels in East Malaysia are rather shabby looking. You would know what I mean by just looking at the beds.

The decor needs refurbishment!
But I guess they don't feel the need to refurbish because it is still the top choice among travellers to Miri (business / leisure travellers) so why fix it when it ain't broken, right?

Regardless, we really enjoyed our stay at Miri Marriott. The kids were absolutely delighted with the swimming pool (the kids' pool is large enough for everyone) and they even inflate a giant water slide which even the adults joined in the fun! Too bad I forgot to snap a photo of the slide!

Large pool for both kids and adult
As for me and my sister, we tried out the Mandara Spa menu (we opted for their facial) which my sister said, is the best and most painless facial she had ever had! If I wanted to stay here again, it is definitely because of the spa *wink*

Another thing worth mentioning is the breakfast. Marriott is known for their delicious and wide selection of breakfast menu, and Miri Marriott is no exception. Maybe the next time we are here, I will do a special review of their breakfast service.

My verdict - Overall, still not a disappointing place to stay because of what the resort could offer to young family like ours. Maybe if they upgrade their rooms, I would have more favourable review for this resort.

8/10