Hotel Review: Staycation @ Sunway Putra Hotel, Kuala Lumpur

I remember Moo scoffing when she first heard of ‘staycations’, saying: “Why stay in a hotel (read: spend money) when you’re like 30 minutes from home?”

But that’s exactly it. Staycations are perfect for when you don’t want to travel too far or jostle with crowds at popular tourist spots, but still want to unwind and get some well-deserved R&R. With the hectic lifestyles we have in the city, god knows we need a bit of TLC.

Since working in the media and bringing the Moo for a couple of these because I’m a sad and lonely person who has no friends , I think she has warmed up to the idea of staycations. So here’s one we went on recently at Sunway Putra Hotel, located within the Sunway Putra integrated development in Chow Kit, Kuala Lumpur.

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Moo and I checked into our Club Suite, which was massive. If I had an apartment this large in the city, I can die happy. The living room had a cosy couch and a swivelling chair, while the space between that and the TV was large enough to do a couple of cartwheels in. The interior was modern and contemporary but cosy, with lots of nude shads and warm wood accents. There are two TVS – one in the living room and one in the bedroom, but the former was busted. They did change it once we gave a call to the concierge though.

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For families, there’s a kitchenette and dining area, with a mini fridge stocked with soft drinks (included with the room).

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An equally spacious room. Beds were firm, which I like because it’s better for the back (don’t like those super soft ones that just beg for you to wake up with a sore back and neck), although the sheets weren’t super clean and had some stains.

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Marble bathroom had a shower and amenities, but lacked a tub. The shower area had a bench-like design which is a good feature for the elderly.

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In-room dining menu.

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View from our room, with the Y-shaped confluence being part of the Gombak River.

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The hotel has a well equipped gym as well as an outdoor pool / kids pool with a nice view of the Kuala Lumpur Twin Towers in the distance. Didn’t get to try the pool as it was quite crowded in the evening, but got some workout done in the air conditioned gym.

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Dinner was at the hotel’s all-day dining Coffee House Restaurant, which serves both Western and local fare. Meals are ordered ala-carte and they have some pretty value-for-money sets that aren’t much more expensive than dining at a regular cafe. Moo opted for the grilled salmon which came with a buttercream sauce and vegetables on a bed of potatoes. Portions were a bit small but just right for a small eater.

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I had the soft shell crab carbonara. The soft shell crab was just a tiny sliver lol. Taste wise, tasty but the cream got cloying after awhile. I did like that they had arugula to cut through the creaminess, and the garlic bread was pretty good.

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Since we had the set, it came with dessert – butter cake, fruits and a chocolate tart.

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Breakfast was a busier affair, and there was a large crowd at the buffet. The selection isn’t great but the food is tasty enough. There was the usual breakfast staples like cereals and salad, but do check out their Middle Eastern fare such as hummus, as well as the excellent bread pudding.

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While it’s not located smack in the city centre, Sunway Putra is still a convenient place for travelers, and the price per night is fairly reasonable. The monorail and MRT is within walking distance so you can get to KLCC/Bukit Bintang quickly, and there’s also Sunway Putra Mall which is just downstairs from the hotel.

Rooms start from RM188++.

SUNWAY PUTRA HOTEL 

100, Jalan Putra, Chow Kit, 50350 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

Reservations: +603 4040 9888

putra.sunwayhotels.com

Disclaimer: I was invited to as a guest to write a review for work. Views here are entirely my own.

Review: Shangri-La Hotel Singapore – A Night’s Stay At One of The Best Hotels In Asia

With its towering skyscrapers and vibrant lifestyle scene, Singapore is a nice place to visit. Now if only their exchange rate vs the Malaysian ringgit wasn’t so high, I’d go every weekend. 😦

As it is, my last visit was in 2016 for a travel assignment – so it was nice to be back again, even if it was just for a short trip. I stayed at the Shangri-La Hotel Singapore, located close to the Orchard Road shopping district. Founded in 1971, it is one of the country’s oldest hotels, but has managed to keep up with the times with splendid yet classic decor and modern-looking rooms. It has also been consistently voted as one of the best hotels in Asia, with the annual Shangri-La Dialogue being hosted here since 2002.

CHECK IN

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The lobby’s high ceiling and towering pillars evoked a sense of space. Check-in was a breeze, as we were given welcome drinks and were attended to by friendly and professional concierge staff.

ROOM FACILITIES

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My Deluxe Room was located in the Tower Wing, which had a nice view of the surrounding skyscrapers, as well as the swimming pool and parts of the garden below. The room itself is spacious and well furnished, with a comfortable king-sized bed, large screen TV and minibar. The fact that they have a large work desk and also plenty of charging ports (both USB and standard) seemed to indicate that they’re geared towards business travelers – but then again we’re so reliant on our gadgets these days that a couple of ports just won’t cut it. I loved that they had a tall window to let in natural light in the day, and warm, ambient lighting when you need to cosy in at night.

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A Nespresso machine, complimentary water and a well-stocked minibar.

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I know alcohol is fairly common in most if not all five star hotels (that’s why they call it a minibar!) but coming from Muslim-majority Malaysia, it’s still interesting for me to see every time I visit a foreign country.

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I was surprised to find a welcome gift on the table, which was a box of delicious chocolates. I might have finished the entire box by myself lol.

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A space saving wooden dressing table, complete with pop up mirror and a compartment for the hairdryer.

I don’t have a picture of the bathroom, but it was very spacious as well, with a bathtub and a rainshower. Guests will also find the usual luxury amenities such as bathrobes, in-room slippers, shaving kit, toothbrush and toiletries.

IN ROOM DINING 

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Hadn’t had anything to eat since the morning, so I ordered room service. They had an extensive menu offering both local and Western dishes, such as nasi lemak, laksa, pizza, fish and chips, salads, pizza and the like. I opted for a Seafood Marinara Tagliatelle, which was delivered promptly (complete with table setting!) in 30 minutes. They also give you a glass of water and bread rolls with butter.

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Presentation was a little messy, as  sauce was splattered on the sides. Taste wise, the pasta was done al dente but the scallops were overcooked and rubbery. Maybe skip the in room dining and dine in at any of the hotel’s 11 restaurants and bars instead.

Didn’t manage to explore much of the hotel as I had an event to attend and left early the next morning, but they offer many other top notch facilities as well, including a pool, health club, spa, meeting rooms and conference halls, ballrooms for events, and a children’s club.

Prices average from RM1,000 onwards.

SHANGRI-LA HOTEL 

22 Orange Grove Rd,  Singapore 258350

 

Review: Where to Stay in Betong, Thailand – Butterfly Princess Hotel

For a relatively ‘small’ border town, Betong has a surprising number of hotels – mostly catering to locals going south for weekend trips, as well as Malaysian tourists. While the establishments are nothing fancy, one can find decent two to three-star places that are clean, safe and value for money. During our recent trip, we stayed at one called Butterfly Princess Hotel. 

credit: booking.com

Located about 1.5km from the town centre, the hotel may not be the most central, but it is still convenient as there are convenience stores and loads of eateries nearby. The facade (which I forgot to take a pic of lol) sports a neat and simple design, and there is parking at the back of the building. One plus point for Malaysian travelers : they have Mandarin-speaking and Malay-speaking staff on duty so checking in was a breeze with no communication problems.

Lobby area with couches and some reading material, Malay/English newspapers included. There were two clocks, indicating the local Thai time and Malaysian time (one hour ahead).

Moomikins and I shared a room, which had twin beds and a balcony facing the back of the building. I was impressed by how spacious it was. A dressing table and mirror aside, there was also a wooden desk, mini fridge, closet and couch/chairs. The TV had an impressive 50+ channels, which included Malay/Indonesian, Thai, Chinese and English. The only thing is…they dubbed over most of the channels in Thai with no subtitles >_<

The toilet came with basic toiletries (the packet kind) and a bathtub. For a two star hotel, having a bathtub is pretty luxurious !

The mattresses were not too soft, which was great for sleeping. As much as I like soft beds, they’re terrible for posture and I always wake up with a sore back. If you need extra pillows, there are some in the closet. Everything was nice and most importantly, clean. The phone came in handy to call the bro and Pops in the other room because we only had to press the room number.

View from balcony, facing a quiet street and some hills.

The hotel has an in-house cafe which serves meals up to the room. Forgot to pack the essentials? Those are also provided for a fee. Note the last item 😀 Now that’s service!

Moomikins and I went down to the Mezzanine floor to check out their massage services. For 300 baht (about RM38) you can get a foot or a body massage for an hour. Not sure why the prices are the same, since foot tends to be cheaper. There’s Wifi so you can surf while getting your feet pampered. They also serve you tea.

Our two night stay was comfortable and cost only RM100 per night. It’s hard to beat the value for money offered by this small but clean hotel. The only drawback would be its slight distance from the town centre, but if you’re driving it should not be a problem.

BUTTERFLY PRINCESS HOTEL, BETONG

188 Prachathipat Road, Betong, Betong District, Yala 95110, Thailand

Phone: +66 73 230 888

butterflybetonghotel.com

Bookings available on booking.com, agoda.com