A family occasion found me in Kuala Lumpur(KL) Malaysia, again, just a couple of months after my business trip there.
Well, at least this time it’s for pleasure and not work. Hence, I was free to choose my hotel and again, I check in to Tripadvisor for my choice of hotel. The top hotel consistently appearing in Tripadvisor for KL was Traders Hotel near KLCC(Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre). I decided to go along with Tripadvisor’s readers’ choice.
Most time, I find Tripadvisors’ readers to be spot-on with their choices. I had been very happy with their recommendation for my last few trips. I wasn’t quite sure about the recommendation for Trader’s Hotel though; sometimes, I find the reviews, especially the sweeping positive reviews, had raised expectations to a level that perhaps when real delivery does not meet, you become even more disappointed. It’s like waking up to find that Santa Claus does not exist.
Welcome to Trader’s Hotel
Nice spacious room
The disappointment started when we arrived at the driveway of the hotel. We were dropped off in a limousine driven by a relative. We thought we would get a warm reception. How wrong we were.
The bell-hop did open our car door. That was it.
No one helped me with the luggage. No one told us that the reception is on the fifth level. So, we were left dangling at the driveway lobby before self-discovering that we had to make our way to the fifth level.
The check-in reception at fifth level only had 3 counters. The queue was long; because 2 of the check-in staff were busy explaining and detailing the delights of Kuala Lumpur to check-in guests. Sure, I’m sure the hotel needs to live up to their high ranks in Tripadvisor for service beyond expectation but surely it makes more sense to pass on to concierge and guest relations to explain the delights of KL and not keep check-in guests waiting especially as some of them may had arrived after a long flight and want to be checked in quickly.
Work desk area – note the splotchy lights in the room
Nice toilet but check out the corny sink design
Wonder how much is Evian water at the nearest convenience store
Many reviews rave about the view of the Twin Tower – this is my room’s view
During the check-in process, the check-in staff must have overheard that it was my birthday. She did not offer any greetings but we knew she overheard because that night, we found a small birthday cake in our room. Nice touch by the hotel but I remain unimpressed. Why? Because F&B delivered the cake without a cover and we were only back in the room at midnight and I wasn’t keen to eat a cake that was left exposed for 8 hours!
After checking into the room, we made a bee-way to the nearby KLCC for our family activity. We had read about the hotel’s buggy service in Tripadvisor and was looking forward to the short ride to KLCC. Again, it left us slightly disappointed as the buggy can only take 6 people at a time and the driver did not really differentiate between hotel guests and outsiders although the signboard clearly indicated it was for hotel guests only. Many in the shuttle queue were obviously not hotel guests and this can be expected when the shuttle service is situated right next to the convention centre and it’s horde of visitors!
Drop off point is on a side-road; reception on the fifth level
KLCC is just next door; note Twin Tower in background
The shuttle that brings hotel guests to Twin Tower; if you can get a seat
Walking distance to the Twin Tower shopping mall and offices
I was looking forward to good food in the hotel. I found that there was only one restaurant serving standard international cafe fare. Not interested.
I asked a coat and tie staff near the cafe for recommendations for nearby restaurants. Unfortunately, we couldn’t communicate; I think he’s a Nepali and we couldn’t understand each other’s English.
Like all overworked executives, even on holidays, I had brought some reading materials. If you note in the photos, you’ll see that there are no reading lamps at the arm chair or work desk area; only splotchy ceiling lights that make reading of small text difficult. This is definitely disappointing for a hotel that is aiming for the business visitor.
One of the highlight of the hotel is the indoor sky lobby swimming pool. By night, it’s a clubbing scene by the pool and by day, it offers guests a spectacular view of the twin tower while relaxing by the pool. But it’s really an enclosed narrow pool and because it is a bar cum lounge by the pool, I found myself swimming and coming up for air and cigar smoke at the same time. I hated it!
I hope I do not sound overbearing naggy by now. The rooms are great. The hotel infrastructure is great. Everyone smile at the hotel. The hotel is definitely on par as any of the 4 and 5 stars hotels out there. But after reading so many grand reviews in Tripadvisor; I must say that I feel letdown because I was expecting more.
Maybe there are reasons for the good reviews. Like the fact that the hotel is a short walking distance to the Petronas Twin Towers. Like if you have the right facing room (we did not), you’ll get a fabulous view of the Twin Towers. Like if you’re attending a conference/exhibition at the convention centre, it’s right next door. Like if you take public transport, there’s a light rail station nearby. Like the fact that Wifi is complimentary throughout the hotel including the rooms.
Swimming pool by day – note the lounge/bar area and possible cigar smell
Clubbing scene by night – no swimming after 6pm
Night view of the Twin Tower from the Sky Pool area –
compensation for those without the room view
Will I recommend this hotel? I’ll say why not if you’re on a business trip or if you are attending to events at the convention centre or Twin Towers. It does have business function advantages.
If you’re a leisure traveler, I’m not sure if this is the right hotel and you should be able to get better hotels elsewhere in Kuala Lumpur that are better suited for the holiday visitor.
Kuala Lumpur City Centre