Friday, January 9, 2009

A Visit To The Saujana Kuala Lumpur

So it's 2009. What better way to start the year than taking a short break to recharge and plan for the next 11 months?

In our case, those were among our objectives. But visiting Captain X, who was at a training with other pilots in Malaysia Airlines Systems (MAS) and staying at The Saujana Kuala Lumpur, was first in the agenda.

Getting to the hotel without your own car is a challenge because it's 30-45 minutes away from the KL city proper. This leaves you with only one choice —taking a cab. Now I know from previous experience that this may not turn out to be very pleasant, but it must be one of those things that I might just have to learn to live with.

Anyway, after several minutes of hailing taxis here and there, we managed to find a cabbie who was willing to take us to our destination for RM60. That amount was of course sufficient to pay for the ride to and fro, had he opted to use the meter. We tried bringing the amount down to RM50, but I guess the cabbie was shrewd enough to know we didn't have any bargaining chip to begin with.


The driver ended up bringing us to the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport. I guess he wasn't able to read the entire address on the map I showed him earlier in his haste to close the lopsided deal. Good thing the hotel was very near from there. Equally good was that he had no qualms about turning around and bringing us to right place.

The right place, Saujana Kuala Lumpur, is actually located in Shah Alam City in the Selangor state. I initially thought the hotel name was misleading, but I later found out that Shah Alam is part of Greater Kuala Lumpur or Kuala Lumpur Metropolitan Area(KLMA), also known as Klang Valley. We got there at about 4:30 p.m., approximately seven hours from the time we left Beach Road in Singapore.

The hotel was designed with golfers in mind. The driving range could be viewed through the windows in the lobby and two 18-hole golf courses are but a few minutes walk away. They even have a dining area called the Golfer's Terrace, where local favorites are served. You'd make the most of your stay if you're a golfer. Otherwise, you might as well make use of their other facilities such as the swimming pool, fitness gym and tennis court.

They also offer spa services. We decided to give their Swedish a try. At RM190 per person, it's a bit too costly. We took the only available slot in the evening, which was at 9 p.m. We had to be served cold ginger tea (I prefer it hot) while waiting for the 8 p.m. couple to finish.

It wasn't as great as we wanted it to be, but we had a good laugh when we talked about it afterwards. I thought my lady masseur was wearing a Band-Aid on her thumb because I could feel something rough rubbing against my back. Joanne thought her masseur was wearing a ring. Apart from that, the masseurs were moderately skilled. There was none of the usual custom of asking whether the pressure applied was sufficient. It wasn't bad, but we've gotten better massages for less than a fifth of what they charge. Not to nitpick, but I do wish they'd also clean the bathroom in the spa suite more regularly.

As for the rooms, they're nice, clean and comfortable. The usual necessities are there, including an electronic safe. The cable channels are not that plenty though. To my satisfaction, Internet connectivity was provided for free. The other thing that surprised me but wasn't as pleasant was that the room comes with free breakfast for only one person. They charge you RM50 for the extra.

The people are averagely friendly and attentive. When we arrived in the hotel, there were none of the usual welcoming courtesies. No offers to carry our bags, not even after we checked in. We had to ask for an extra pair of slippers and one more bathrobe, when we had booked for two. The free shuttle service provided is never on time and the driver may refuse to take you to the places in their regular routes citing heavy traffic as the reason. To be fair, there are others who make up for it — the courteous cleaning ladies, the efficient waiter, members of the staff who greet you in the corridors, the driver who went the extra mile by bringing us to the Pudaraya bus terminal instead of just the KLCC. Of course, with a basis for comparison, you learn to appreciate these people even more.


I think what makes a five-star hotel truly shine are its people.

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3 Comments:

At January 16, 2009 at 4:24 AM , Blogger Sudha said...

Nice post singapore fountain pen. I enjoyed reading it. The hotel seems very nice in the pictures but you are right what makes the hotel truly shine are its people. Well said my friend cheers:)

 
At January 17, 2009 at 2:19 AM , Blogger birdy said...

This is look to be a great hotel and is worth to visit. All the pictures are beautiful, but those with blue water are amazing.

 
At January 31, 2009 at 5:30 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh what a great place! :)

Miles

 

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