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“Only if you get a good room”

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The Grand Renai Hotel Kota Bharu ( formerly Renaissance Kota Bharu)
Ranked #2 of 40 Hotels in Kota Bharu
Reviewed October 22, 2011

We stayed here for three nights as part of our own tailor made Malaysian round trip. We wanted to experience the Eastcoast of Malaysia and chose this hotel because it seemed like the only 5-star in town and we were travelling with young children.

We originally booked a standard twin room with two double beds which was fine in terms of space. However the room was OLD and really bad maintained. It had an ugly sort of mouldy and damp smell. The bathroom door and panels were also mouldy and the wooden door was showing very obvious signs of being exposed to dampness through out many years. I'm really regretting that I did not take pictures to prove my point to all of you.

We were offered an upgrade for 150 MYR a night to the wonderful spacious and new Kota Bharu suite. It was hard to imagine that these two rooms were actually in the same hotel. This one was newly refurbed, clean and no weird smell.

We had roomservice a couple of times and the Thai spicy beef salad was a real let down. It was supposed to be lean sirloin beef, however it was 50 % pure animal fat mixed with 50% meat that I had to seperate with my fingers before digging in.

Tried the seafood buffet on Thursday evening and next morning the same Tuna in coconut curry was served at the breakfast buffet.

The spa is really cheap and lack that pampering feeling that you normally have at other 5 star hotel spas. This was more like a 'street spa'. I tried a facial and had more pimples afterwards.

By the way the same mishap with aiport taxis that happened to the UK couple in a previous review happened to us as well. My husband phoned the concierge one night in advance and booked a minivan to the airport for next morning. We have three kids and had four pieces of big luggage so we needed a minivan.

The next morning a little ordinary taxi arrived. It was sort of funny because I kind of accepted this to happen as I had the previous review in mind.

Since this is the best hotel in town we would probably stay here again, however only because there is no other option better than this. They are aware of their monopoly and the prices are NOT value for money. For the same price one could stay at the Ritz or Mandarin Oriental in KL and get the real 5 star experience.

Room Tip: Get the Kota Bharu suite for a more clean room experience.
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  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank saf_2m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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249 - 255 of 367 reviews

Reviewed October 9, 2011

The conditions of the room is really clean and comfortable. The dinner served also varied from different cultures ^_^ Receptionist even helped arrange cab service for different places of interest such as Pantai Cahaya Bulan and so on.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank Melody812
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 30, 2011

I really like the decor of this room, so I am also very satisfied
conditions in the room very clean, in the future I would choose this hotel as my room, thank you-a lot of fat.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank yeemulak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 30, 2011

Kota Bahru is city with character. It is place for adventure and discovery and not the place to go if you are looking luxury and comfort. However if you are looking for some surprises and culture, something different, seriously yummy food, and lovely lovely people, then you have found the right place.

This hotel embodies that spirit. It's service is great, the room is OK and at a reasonable standard ( though the bathroom door will need upgrading very soon). The hot water system works well, the fridge works and mini bar has some nuts and chocolate but no alcohol. Room service is great and the food quality is above average. The reception and navigator staff are very helpful and it is next to a shopping mall with amenities like bowling alley and supermarket.

It is not quite the 5 star hotel you would get in a big city, but then you are not paying big city price either. The spa is great, again not expensive so keep your expectation realistic to the money that you are paying and the gym is well-equipped. and it is not a city of walkers (due to very hot weather and lack of footpath)so the gym is a great facility. Over all, I enjoyed my stay in Kota Bahru, discovered the city and enjoyed the services of the hotel.

Room Tip: It is one of those cities in the world where smokers still rules,
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  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled solo
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Thank Nenekebayan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 13, 2011

I didn't expect much of this hotel because of the reviews I read about Kota bharu, so I wasn't really that surprised about the quality of the hotel. I also think that this is probably the best hotel in the town. I noticed that this is the hotel the flight hostesses and pilots stay.
The hotel would have been nice back in the early nineties but it hasn't been maintained and needs refurbishment. For example most of the areas are carpeted and the carpet is loose and worn - this is supposed to be a quality hotel! I am sure other renaissance hotels around the world are a lot better.
The service and food were fantastic in the cafe on the first floor, the waiter gave us heaps if travel info and was very friendly. I felt that the rest of the staff were just ok... I didn't even get a hello from the front concierge, probably because I wasn't wearing a headscarf! Also disappointed to learn that the owner of the hotel will not allow any alcohol to be served anywhere in the hotel.
The hotel seemed clean... But not spotless. For example the bathroom was ok except that there were someone else's hairs left on the shower screen. The cafe was ok except there were a couple of fruit flies hanging around.
The attached shopping complex was also underwhelming.

  • Stayed: September 2011
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1  Thank Biggababoinka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 13, 2011

We stayed for one night and we were desperately disappointed but given the town this is still probably the best option available. The only saving grace was the breakfast which was surprisingly good! Rooms were very old school, room service food was poor (chicken was still raw in the middle) and the spa was really bad.

As the other reviews state there is very little choice in the town so I my only advice would be to bypass the town!

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank InvisibleMan22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2011

My wife, our 6-year-old kid and I arrived early in the morning (around few minutes past 5AM) but the staff with permission of her manager on duty was so considerate with us (because we traveled with our son) that they allowed us to check in hours prior to the regular check in time without extra charge. I'm not sure if this is an isolated special case, since I've mentioned we were with our child, but the act was so generous and we really appreciate it.

Not to be partial with them, the service was really superb and friendly. The reception people even referred us to their contact-taxi cab driver who was equally friendly and knows how to speak English fluently, who took us to the places in the itinerary that I've made for a very reasonable hourly rate.

We had enjoyed the hotel's facilities --from the swimming pool, sauna, steam bath room (we're not gym buffs though but I heard the hotel's the best in town) without extra pay. Not to forget the wonderful and satiating spread at the buffet (that we availed excluded of the hotel rate) at their restaurant; it was just amazing how they offered fusion of malay or kelantanese cuisine with the international dishes, simple but toothsome!

To read more of my review about Renaissance Hotel, visit my blog post about it at http://docgelo.wordpress.com/2011/05/13/kota-bharu-kelantan-series-renaissance-hotels/ and the buffet at this hotel via this link http://docgelo.wordpress.com/2011/05/16/kota-bharu-kelantan-series-buffet-at-renaissance-hotel/

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled with family
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Thank docgelo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Grand Renai Hotel Kota Bharu ( formerly Renaissance Kota Bharu)

Address: Jalan Sultan Yahya Petra | Kota Sri Mutiara, Kota Bharu 15150, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Kelantan > Kota Bharu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 40 Hotels in Kota Bharu
Price Range: $56 - $97 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The Grand Renai Hotel Kota Bharu ( formerly Renaissance Kota Bharu) 4.5*
Number of rooms: 298
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Experience the rich Malay culture at The Grand Renai Kota Bharu Hotel, a Lifestyle Hotel and the city's only five star international class hotel with premier convention and wedding venue. Conveniently located in the heart of Kota Bharu's commercial and shopping district and also close to the domestic airport. For business or leisure traveler, the 298 spacious accommodation rooms and suites provides excellent service and facilities including High Speed Internet, 2 Executive Floors with dedicated Club Lounge,Business Centre, wireless meeting rooms with a Grand Ballroom, and on-site event management to create exhibitions, conventions, meetings and most extravagant weddings. The Hotel's Fitness Centre is Kota Bharu's largest gymnasium equipped with the latest fitness equipment, steam rooms, sauna, Jacuzzi and an outdoor swimming pool. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Renaissance Kota Bharu
Kota Bharu Renaissance
The Grand Renai Hotel Kota Bharu ( Formerly Renaissance Kota Bharu) Kelantan

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