Saturday, May 28, 2011

Novotel Kuala Lumpur Review

This would be our first time staying at the Novotel in Kuala Lumpur.  We booked an Executive Room and my understanding was that this are the rooms on the executive floors but without the lounge access.  We were going to try to upgrade for free for the lounge access with my Aclub Gold Status (even though this was not an official perk) and/or the free upgrade vouchers from Accor Advantage Plus.

The hotel seemed to be really busy when we arrived at check-in at around 6pm.  We inquired about the upgrade and was told that the hotel was pretty full and that they might not be able to accommodate the request.  We also found out that the upgrade was for the room only minus the perks for the room like the lounge access, minibar, etc. At the end of it, we really just wanted the lounge access so they provided us the lounge access but kept us to the same room type we booked in.

The room we had was a corner room and it was pretty spacious. The bed and pillows was one of the most comfortable beds we've slept in.

The lounge access provided breakfast in the morning and a cocktail hour from 5.30pm to 7.30pm in the evening.  The breakfast in the lounge provided some better quality choices  like smoked salmon, cold cuts and cheeses that were not available in the main restaurants.  The cocktail hour was a let-down with only a couple of choices hot snacks.  This was not as extensive as other hotels like the Hilton where the snacks could easily substitute dinner. The alcohol selection was also pretty limited with only beer, a white and red wine and some spirits available.

The major let down of the executive lounge was the in-adequate staffing.  The one morning we were there for breakfast, there was only one staff serving the entire lounge.  This included taking orders, making coffee and cleaning up the used tables. It became somewhat chaotic. During one of the cocktail hours, a family with 3 kids around the age of 4-8, decided to make the lounge their playground. They were running around and making so much noise but the staff did not say anything about it.  I had to go down the lobby to complain to the manager on duty where after I believed the staff told said something to the family.

The one thing I really like about the Novotel is its location. It is situated behind the Pavilion shopping mall giving quick access to the Bukit Bintang area.  This area has plenty of shopping malls and eating and drinking places.

We had dinner one night at the Chinese restaurant in the Novotel.  The restaurants serves Muslim Chinese cuisine which was not something usual that you could get in Kuala Lumpur.  The food was full of flavor and spices which we liked.  The price was relatively expensive with the bill coming out to around $40 USD for both of us. Thanks to our Accor Advantage Plus card, we received a 50% discount.

In summary, we would definitely not hesitate to return to the Novotel Kuala Lumpur for its great location and comfortable beds but we won't be paying that extra for access to the executive lounge.

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