(NOTE: This is NOT a paid review)

If you are a frequent guest at Marriott, you would probably know that Marriott Bonvoy has several brands under their chain to cater to diverse range of travelers. Whether your purpose of travel is leisure or business, short-term or long-term stays, the chain has more than 30 hotel brands for everyone to meet whatever travel style all over the world. Their brands are categorized as Classic brands (Classic Luxury, Classic Premium, Classic Select and Classic Longer Stays) and for those looking for more distinctive experience, the Distinctive brands (Distinctive Luxury, Distinctive Premium, Distinctive Select and Distinctive Longer Stays). Then, there’s the ultimate category - Collections (Autograph Collections, Design Hotels and Tribute Portfolio).

As an avid traveler with a penchant for hotel staycations, I have had the opportunity to sample several of the brands under Marriott Bonvoy ranging from the lifestyle hotels such as Aloft KL and Westin KL, to resort stays at Marriott (Miri Marriott & Mulu Marriott), to the versatile business/leisure hotel namely Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu (where the best hospitality is), Renaissance KL, Four Points by Sheraton Kuching (which is now closed) and lastly the premium Autograph Collection (The Andaman Langkawi).

Naturally, when Marriott Bonvoy announced they are opening their first Fairfield brand in Malaysia close to home in Bintulu, I was looking forward to book a stay for a Fairfield experience. Online lookup reveals that the Fairfield brand promises comfort at great value, suitable for business or travelers looking for overnight stay with no-frills amenities.

The opportunity came earlier when my sister invited us to stay at Fairfield by Marriott Bintulu Paragon on the first night the hotel was officiated. Suffice to say, this is an chance not to be missed!

Dubbed by Marriott website as a business hotel, Fairfield by Marriott Bintulu Paragon is the first international 4-star hotel in Bintulu. The 9-storey hotel offers 238 rooms with modern designs and three room categories - Standard (King/Twin), Executive and Presidential Suite. 

Below are some of the room photos that I captured since the apps / website has yet to upload photos of the brand new hotel at the time of my stay:

The emblazoned signage at the hotel entrance
My kids excitedly looking for our room
Standard King room
The shower area separated from the toilet with glass doors

Open concept clothes rack

Being a new establishment, I know it is not fair to put a rating on this hotel. Nevertheless, I could share with readers some of my experience:

1. The room is very clean with contemporary design. Beige colors consistently applied throughout the hotel room design invites the feeling of relaxation where business travelers can look forward to peace of mind after a tiring day in meetings.
2. Minimalism is the new in-thing: Do expect basic amenities only provided in the bathroom (you can get cotton buds, shower cap, facial tissues, body lotion etc. from the adjacent Paragon Shopping Mall if you need those items) The hotel however provides toothbrush, while shower gels and shampoo are from dispensers installed on the wall in the shower area. Complimentary coffee and tea are also available.
3. Each room comes with iron/ironing board and a hairdryer.
4. Nevertheless, I couldn’t help feeling disappointed with the major attraction of this hotel - the bed itself. For a 4-star hotel, the bed linen and the bed mattress fall short of expectations. I am not even comparing Fairfield with Westin (famous for their Heavenly® Bed), but I did not expect that hotels e.g. Plaza Premium Lounge to beat a Marriott brand when it comes to comfortable sleep experience (which is important for a business traveler).

As the hotel was newly launched, Marriott is launching a promotion for hotel stay at discounted rate and complimentary buffet breakfast for two at Kava, their all-day dining area. The breakfast options are decent too, suitable for time-pressed business guests to kick-off their day without being too overwhelming.

I sampled the local delicacy, Laksa Sarawak and noted that the laksa is well-seasoned and the spiciness is just right. The buffet breakfast also features other local cuisines such as nasi lemak, fried noodles, beef rendang, continental porridge and cut fruits, as well as international cuisine (salads, assortment of breads and jams, cereal and the popular egg station).

Bright and spacious dining area that can seat 173 guests comfortably



Salad, bread and jam station
Local fruits
My kids immediately made a beeline for the cereal counter


My verdict, the hotel is perfect for business travelers and for people like me who are looking to add more Marriott nights to maintain my Silver Marriott Bonvoy membership without having to go out of town. For honeymooners and staycationers? Better look elsewhere unless you are willing to pay the hefty price tag for the Presidential Suite.