Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu

I had the pleasure to stay in Le Meridien Hotel in KK last March while on a business trip. I did not expect much from the place itself, after the horrible Holiday Inn Kuching.

But my colleagues and I were in for a surprise. The rooms were excellent, but perhaps they were so because they are on the Club Floor. Now, for those of you who don’t know what a Club Floor is, they are basically the ‘prestige floor’ of a hotel and usually, the room rates are higher, service better (can’t comment) and you get certain perks that guests on the ‘normal’ floor don’t.

The South China Sea

Sunset – View from my colleague’s room

The hotel was located smack in the City Centre, within short walking distance from all the shopping attractions. I had the ‘city view’ room, but my colleague was luckier – she got a fantastic view of the South China Sea. If you like watching the sun set, request for a sea view room. However, this was nothing compared to the view I had at the Shangri-la Tg Aru Resort.

The bed

My bed huge and exceptionally comfy. I didn’t feel like getting off it. And furthermore, the pillows were just the right firmness, too! The bed was a bit too high for me, though. Everytime I wanted to get on it, I have to climb. Like a kid getting on to her parents’ bed.

The couch, or seating area, whatever you call it
The room was quite big, and just beside the bed, next to the windows where I got to look at Warisan Square next door, was a small seating area. And don’t be fooled by the little couch, it was very soft, too. I didn’t use the writing desk too much, so, no comments. But, broadband internet access in included in the room. One thing that I think should be provided are stationeries. Most hotel just provide a pencil (or pen) and a notepad. I don’t think these are sufficient, if one is on a business trip. At least a meeting pack should be there, like those you get from hotel meeting rooms.

The minibar and wardrobe

I also liked how the wardrobe and mini bar was designed to complement each other, although I didn’t fully utilise either. The snack selection was almost the same as what you’d get from other hotel rooms. And I thought you’d get better (or free) stuff. Since Warisan Square is just next door, it’d be pointless to indulge in any of those over-priced things in the mini bar.

The toiletries and the loo

Their toiletries reminded me of those you find in Traders Penang. Other than the usual toothbrush, comb, shampoo and conditioner, you’ll also find a tiny bottle of mouthwash. I don’t find the bathroom particularly interesting or appealing, but it is clean.
Anyway, our event was held at the Ballroom of the hotel. I spent most of my time at the foyer, where our ‘stand’ is. The foyer has a balcony which overlooks the South China Sea and the hotel’s swimming pool, which I think is great for a pre-wedding reception. Standing at the balcony looking out to the sea, watching boats bob and enjoying the (salty) breeze was calming. I feel I can stand there all day. Well, it wasn’t possible, of course, since I am working.
The pool and the South China Sea
If I can choose, I would prefer Le Meridien over STAR, although the latter is more luxurious. At least with Le Meridien, the shops are nearer and you can easily get something to eat. The Filipino market is just right opposite, where you can get the cheapest fresh water pearls. Of course la, you can still bargain with them and get it cheaper still.

The Filipino market – blurry view taken from my colleagues room

And if you are hankering for some seafood, there is also this great seafood restaurant right opposite. It is quite expensive, and I am sure there are some others out there (further away) which is cheaper, but when you are there without any transport, you’ll make do. After a heavy, heavy meal, all you do is walk across the road and go to bed.

My personal rating? 9/10.

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