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?