One year later…

I stayed here about a year ago and I was pleased with the very nice and comfortable place, the extra-friendly people and the nice food. That was why when I wanted to take my daughter over to Kuching for a weekend break, I decided to stay here again…

Four Points by Sheraton

…Why, they were even awarded a Certificate of Excellence by this travel website a week or so ago and they promptly announced it proudly on their Facebook page.

Well, checking in was a breeze – I had made the reservation online and paid for it so it did not even take a minute or two – I was given the key card and the next instant, I was in the room already…and my luggage followed suit almost immediately. I thought, however, that the hotel would need some refurbishing though. The carpet was stained and looked old and they even had one long strip of black tape on it at one part – the least they could have done would be to get some tape of a similar colour so that it would not stand out so glaringly. Then there were stains on the wooden counter, for instance, where somebody had placed a very hot mug on it without using the coaster.

Yes, looking at the reviews in the website, there seems to be a lot of complaints all round about the ants in the rooms…and I could not agree more. I had brought along with me from Sibu one whole tiramisu mille crepe from here and I just left it on the counter as it was too big to go into the mini bar in the room. Luckily, my daughter spotted the teeny-weeny ants just starting to appear and we got rid of all of them quickly before they could cause any serious harm to the cake.

I remember the members of the staff were extra-friendly the last time around too and I had to avoid walking past them as no matter how many times I had done that in a day, they would still place their hands on their hearts and greet me – not anymore. There were a sprinkling of occasions when somebody did that but it was nowhere close to that special treatment accorded to all guests before. It was raining one night and I sent my daughter to go and borrow an umbrella from the concierge but she was told that there was none available. Imagine a hotel of that class not having enough umbrellas for their guests! Tsk! Tsk!

I loved the croissants at their restaurant and I was looking forward to having those again…

FP@S BF1

…but probably the chef in question had left or something as unfortunately, this time around, they weren’t any good at all. I would think that our not-so-nice ones at our local bakeries would be a lot nicer even.

The first morning we were there, we gave our room number at the counter at the entrance and went in. It was crowded and I was not sure which tables were taken so I asked one of the waiters standing by the side and he just told me curtly that I could go and sit “over at the other side”. They had colourful mugs on every table (which make the tables look like they’re taken) and as soon as you’re seated, somebody will come to pour you your coffee or tea. Sugar is provided in sachets on a plate…

FP@S BF2

…but where is the teaspoon? Surely they do not expect people to stir with the knife or the fork or one of those laid out on the table…or worse, with one’s finger? I walked around the place in search of one but in vain and in the end, I had to stop another waiter to ask for it…and he got me what I wanted from some kind of work station by the side. Gee! If I had seen those, which I didn’t, I would not want to take it myself as I would not know whether they were used ones or not. It was the same the next morning and I got a waitress to get them for me.

Other than the disappointment over the croissants, the food was generally pretty nice. Melissa wanted some eggs, sunny side up and I went to get them for her at the egg counter…

FP@S BF3

…but holy Moses!!! The egg white around the yolks was still uncooked!

FP&S BF4

It certainly looked like somebody had to be sent back to culinary school to learn how to fry eggs…or he could always come to me and I could give him a pointer or two. Tsk! Tsk!

I went for a second helping but I saw that the fried noodles had run out…

FP@S BF5

…so I decided to try their nasi lemak instead but I saw the guy in front of me scraping the bottom of the bowl for whatever was left of the sambal tumis

FP@S BF6

I told the guy at the noodles counter and he disappeared into the kitchen but he never reappeared and after a while, seeing that there was still no sign of any refills forthcoming, I decided that my nasi lemak would just have to do with the rendang and the curry potatoes but without the sambal

FP@S BF7

The rice had the fragrance of the santan and pandan and I thought it was nice but not quite as nice as the ones I could get here.

I spotted these in the buffet spread and reckoned that they looked rather cute – what they called roti john

FP@S BF8

…so I took one to try  but no, it wasn’t really worth the calories.

It was a Sunday and Melissa and I decided to go for the service at the church next  door so I went to use the washroom first and good grief! It was wet all over and the floor was dirty…and why bother having these on the walls…

FP@S TSC

…when they had nothing inside? I lodged a complaint at the reception counter but when I went in again the next morning, I would say it was slightly better but it wasn’t all that clean either. For a hotel of this class, they should station a cleaner to ensure that the toilets are always spick and span at all times.

And talking about the next morning, at least this time, the lady at the counter by the entrance was nice enough to usher us to a table and of course, I had to have the nasi lemak again…

FP@S BF9

…WITH the sambal tumis

FP@S BF10

…and I must say that it was very nice and spicy, exactly the way I would love it.

The last time I stayed here, somebody asked me if I had the kampua noodles and said they were very nice. I checked it out at the noodles counter…

FP@S BF11

…(no, this wasn’t the same guy as the one the previous morning) and saw that they had kolo mee but no kampua mee. Obviously that somebody (from Sibu) was one of those who could not differentiate between the two.

I ordered two bowls…

FP@S BF12

…but Melissa did not want any so I had to finish both all by myself…and thankfully, they were very good – a bit too much pepper but good and I wished the guy had given one or two of the prawns that I saw at the counter, probably reserved for anybody having Sarawak laksa or whatever…and I’m sure a bit of finely-shredded chicken wouldn’t hurt either.

So all in all, I did not think my stay at this hotel was as nice as the last time we were here a year ago…and yes, I am indeed somewhat picky but when you are THE Sheraton, one would expect nothing but the best, no less, and there should be absolutely no opportunity for any grouses whatsoever, right?

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24 thoughts on “One year later…

  1. Oh, i’ll be attending their opening here at Penang end of this month. LOL at the guy who disappeared and never reappeared, must be too shy xD

    Where? City centre or Ferringhi? The new one in Sandakan, Sabah looks really awesome – that would be really hard to beat! Saw that in somebody’s blog…

  2. ooo, i think i’ve read some experiences by bloggers who were invited for stays at this location, and their experiences sounded positive. heheh, actually i like my yolks in my sunny-side-ups to be a little bit uncooked :D

    New brooms sweep well? That must be the new one in Sandakan. This one was really good when I was there last year. I’m quite wary about these invites though – one would tend to look at things in a different way, if you catch the drift… ;)

    Raw egg isn’t so bad if one can be sure it is really farm fresh and very safe. I wouldn’t take the risk with those in the shops and the supermarts.

  3. I’m on your side now. Remember about my post on family gathering at this plade before? I wasn’t satisfied with everything, from the service and even the taste of the food. I thought I was too picky but my husband also feels the same. I wouldn’t recommend this hotel to anyone… :(

    It was so much better when I was there last year, also in October. Time for them to spring clean and pull up their socks!!!

  4. A lots of complaints about this hotel unfortunately. If you want nicer croissant you should go across the road (Wisma Hock Peng) and get croissants from this Skycafe. The best croissants in Kuching I said. My kids love them so much.

    Never tried the food at this hotel although my sis has tried its buffet and has free vouchers sometimes. Nothing to shout about.

    Typical hotel fare…but I loved the croissants when I was there last year. This time around, I wouldn’t have taken any had I known they would be like that. Didn’t get much chance to move around this trip… :(

  5. I stayed in Sheraton once in Macau, not bad, quite comfortable, almost don’t want to leave the hotel, hehehe!!! =]

    That’s what a Sheraton should be like…

  6. This hotel isn’t too old and it is out of town centre. Good thing is near to airport and easy access to food court in the surrounding area. Night life is there.

    Night life? Dunno…was out all the time, came back just to sleep. What I like best is the church is right next door – no need to worry about missing services on Sundays.

  7. Sorry it wasn’t as good as the last time you stayed that’s a bummer. I’m with you, tho, being the Sheraton it should have been great

    Precisely. It’s an international chain and they have their image to upkeep, no room for anything shabby, not at all.

  8. So, I see that their f&b service still sucks. I was there abt 3 yrs ago attending some conference – I was having a bit of a sore throat then, so I requested for some water during the teabreak as I didn’t feel like having tea or coffee (the only options available). The waiter disappeared never to come back and the 2nd waiter I asked from did the same thing! Surely it’s not too much trouble to ask for a glass of water?? In the end I had to walk to the shops opposite the hotel to get a bottle of mineral water. Really pathetic service.

    Was the same at the wedding banquet I attended last year – but I know hotels recruit part-timers for big functions and they do not train them properly. They should have a pool, well-trained and call the same people as and when necessary. The service was better at breakfast last year – staff turnover, I guess…these current ones aren’t as great, unfortunately. The F & B people would need to pool up their socks – so many not happy with them.

  9. Sheraton is considered above average in terms of class.. yes, it should be nice and comfy and “clean”.. no ants whatsoever in the room. May I know how much the room rate is? I remember staying in Sheraton Penang, but now taken over by Royal…
    Arthur, looking at your buffet breakfast pictures, I must salute you… taking the pictures on those empty trays… hahaha… I think I dare not do that.. :)

    Have to – so there is solid proof that everything I say is true. Room rate – around RM200, not expensive…inclusive of breakfast for two, not like hotels in KL. :( Melissa and I loved the beds, two Queens – really very comfortable, can lie in them all day. :D

  10. I don’t really like to those buffet breakfast provided by the hotel, cause the menu is so common, but wont mind to try 5 star rated punya la! haha xD

    Never mind how many stars, they’re all the same. Very wide selection at this one…but it’s ok for a morning or two, any more than that, I would be heading for the shops across the road.

  11. I’m sorry that you had to go through the experience, STP. For a hotel of this class, it’s really going to affect their branding.

    For the oddest reason, the croissants and sunny-side eggs that I ate during my previous stays are the best I’ve had.

    You stayed there before? Well, when I was there last year, the croissants I had were the best ever…none like those anywhere else. That was why I took two this time around – if you noticed in the photo…but I was disappointed. Not worth having, not even one. :(

  12. i always have my reservations with regards to the tastiness of hotel food. Glad to read you find this one adequately tasty.

    So you mean to say that all your reviews at those events hosted by the hotels would have to be taken with a pinch of salt, eh? ;)

  13. Lax management kot? Disappointing la like that

    Incompetent perhaps? Maybe the better one last year has been promoted, moved to a bigger, better hotel somewhere…or to one of the new ones – I wouldn’t know.

    Still, the hotel isn’t too bad – not too happy with a bit here and there in the restaurant mostly. But considering the room rate…and comparing with those in KL, it still isn’t too bad. For that kind of money, I can imagine the kind of hotel and food and service one can get over at your side.

  14. Aiks…guess they could not cope with the crowd during brekkie? But hehehe…you had the sambal tumis the next day! It does look really good though!

    Not really, not much of a crowd, I would think – more a case of a severe lack of training and poor attitude. Yes, I loved it – a bit different from the usual but I thought it was really very nice.

  15. I’m sorry for your effortless sevices overthere…..
    it’s too kind of you sending the complaint, if i were you i will ask or even force the on duty manager to made him/her see what happen with his/her own eyes…..

    Wow!!! I would do that in the past – much to the distress of my daughter, she did not like it whenever I made a scene…but I guess I’ve mellowed over the years. Just sharing…so if people still choose to stay there, then they will know what to expect – just don’t say I did not warn them.

  16. “It certainly looked like somebody had to be sent back to culinary school to learn how to fry eggs…or he could always come to me and I could give him a pointer or two. Tsk! Tsk!”
    damn i love this statement…..
    LoL

    I know, I know…I’m sooooo mean!!! ROTFL!!! :D

  17. I have mentioned before that I stayed there 2 years ago too when I visited Kuching. I love their gym and big rooms with the tallest windows! They also have the best breakfast spread that suited my liking. I will be there again soon.

  18. when the cat is away, the mouse came out to play… sigh… must be a change of management leh…. a shame because great service is what keeps customers coming back. And yes, please send the chef back to 101 lesson on how to fry eggs….

    I guess so. The faces did not look familiar so I guess they have a big staff turnover. Hopefully, they will improve.

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