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“Dismal”
Review of Hotel Station 18

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Hotel Station 18
Ranked #27 of 63 Hotels in Ipoh
Chaiyaphum, Thailand
Level Contributor
42 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“Dismal”
Reviewed October 23, 2013

Having read some glowing review on here, I was rather excited in anticipation of my trip to Ipoh and this auberge.

Upon arrival, my girlfriend and I were greeted by sniggers from the manageress and one of her staff, amused I'm sure by the appearance of two white people. Despite my best efforts to initiate the usually obligatory exchange of pleasantries, I was stonewalled by the ignorant staff, while they chatted in Malay, until the manageress quoted us the price (tax, of course, to be added) and began the arduous process of listing a whole ream of stern rules. I had never heard anything of its ilk!

Shocked and disheartened, I trundled off to my room for a nice shower. It was a hot day and had been a long bus journey, followed by a 35RM (!!!!!!!) taxi ride from the bus station to this most inconveniently located hotel. I turned on the shower and was almost frozen to a solid block by the water that came out. Despite my complaints, this remained the case throughout our stay. After a trip out for dinner, I was just about ready for bed, what horror when I realised the blanket was a raggy old towel and the sheets were covered in cigarette burns and pink stains (I'm none the wiser, either).

The next day, we went to rent a motorcycle. We were told we would have to lay down a deposit, by credit card, for 1000 (yes, ONE THOUSAND) ringgit. Luckily, my girlfriend had her international credit card on her person, by pure chance. This was quite a turn of fortune, as they refused to accept our passports (the standard deposit system). It is dubious as to whether this transaction has actually been cancelled, as we were told the manageress was unavailable throughout the two hours before we had to leave for our next bus. (Actually, I could see her milling around with the poor pet dog that she keeps chained up inside the hotel all day. I suppose walking it up and down the dingy corridors counts for its daily exercise.) Needless to say, my girlfriend will be checking her statements, as the bike was returned in exactly the same condition as when we rented it.

When we rented the bike, we envisaged escapades of joy and marvel around Ipoh, not solely from our own imaginations but, indeed, from the mystical Ian's! Anyone who looks on the hotel's website will see a whole itinerary of activities for the day. This includes such wonders as the Ipoh Halong Bay and the Mirror Lake. When we asked whether they had any maps or information about these sites, the response was a simple, one note, "no". Stunned and dismayed, we retreated for a bite to eat. I could not believe the treatment we were receiving. We returned to the reception and the manageress stared us up and down and demanded to know why we hadn't left yet. We told her we would like to know where we could get a map of the town. How on earth could we possibly navigate a town (beginning from its industrialised outskirts) to which we had never been before with no maps or guidance? She replied that we would have to drive into the town centre to tourist information. "It's down the road, turn left and straight on." This resulted in a great deal of aimless driving and having to ask a great number of different locals for help. I can only be thankful that virtually everybody else we have met in Malaysia has been amongst the most hospitable people I can conceive of, including those who eventually pointed us in the right direction.

When we finally arrived at the tourist information centre, an hour and a half later, we showed the extremely friendly assistant a list of the recommended places on Ian's website. He had not heard of ANY of them, except Kellie's Castle and the Cave Temple. Thank heavens that he had an alternative itinerary for us to follow.

Having already paid an extortionate amount to get from the bus station to the hotel, we were witlessly optimistic that, like the reviews on this site, we may be given a ride to the station when we departed. Oh good heavens, how wrong we were! Not only would they not help us to book a ticket to Penang, the woman at reception would not even find out bus times for us. When we asked the manageress for directions to go there and buy a ticket for ourselves, she again gave us the vaguest of directions. In fact, the name of the bus station she gave us was wrong! We were duly informed that it ceased operations some months ago. As you can imagine, this wasted even more of our day, as we had to make the 50km round trip by motorbike to purchase tickets for the next day.

There's more besides! That evening, we sat down for dinner at the food stalls next door. It began to pour with rain and, although we had parked the motorbike under a cover, it was not fully protected. Well, motorbikes are waterproof, are they not? Apparently not! The next thing we knew, the security guard, flanked by two large Indian men, raced over asking whether we had the keys. I told him my girlfriend had them in her handbag. The two large men then scuttled over to my girlfriend, paying the friendly vendor, and demanded that she move the motorbike. I don't have any idea what their problem was, but I presume it may have something to do with the authoritarian and dictatorial management in this hotel, characterised by the ridiculous number of absurd rules and regulations all over the hotel. My girlfriend was forced out into the rain by the two men, got absolutely drenched to the skin, and then had to go upstairs for, you guessed it, a freezing cold shower.

I should add that, when we arrived, we noticed the room tariffs on the website (in looking up the infamous itinerary). We paid 60RM + tax. The website specified a price of 50RM for Sun-Thurs. We stayed Mon-Wed. Make of that what you will.

This hotel is perhaps the most appalling establishment I have ever had the misfortune of perusing. It is appallingly located, the service is dreadful, the shower isn't hot, the bathroom has no natural daylight and bad plumbing (resulting in horrible odours) and the room is covered in cigarette burns and stains. I got the distinct impression that we were mistreated and unwelcome in these lodgings, I just hope it wasn't, though I fear it was, due to our European heritage.

As a postscript, I would like to exempt from my complaints the overall conduct of the security guard (despite his minor transgression regarding his involvement in wet-motorbike-gate), the lady on evening duty at reception who was helpful and greeted us with a smile and the old Chinese chap who runs the chicken rice stall next door.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
9 Thank Chris O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MikeWong888, Owner at Hotel Station 18, responded to this review, October 25, 2013
Dear Chris O, we would like to apologize for any inconvenience caused to you during your stay. We highly advice our future guests who wish to explore Ipoh city, please email us for more information before making any decision. Most of the interesting places are located at remote area and is not found in the map, and not even known by the tourist centre / local people, and you definitely need our tour guide to bring you with a nominal price. If you want to save some money and try to explore interesting places by your own, you will end up disappointed like this Dear Chris O.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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183 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (39)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Any
English first
Singapore
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed October 21, 2013

We spent 2 nights at station 18, and the group had a good time. Ian was a spectacular host, and one of the most friendly individuals i've had the privilege of meeting. He simply loves his food, and can give very good directions to amazing food, one of the best in the area. The location of the hotel, however isolated from Ipoh's main town, is actually quite convenient if you are heading to the temples, or the caves.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AZeeq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
Reviewed October 18, 2013

I was travelling with a group of 6 others including 4 elderly persons fm kl for a 2 days one nite stay..as this trip was unplanned, we had little problem with our transport arrgtment..glad to receive a call on 1st nite fm Ian the operator who offered to drive us in his 7 seater car to show us the city of ipoh for free..next day offered to bring us on a full day tour in ipoh at a nominal charge..we all enjoyed the places we have been as we would not be able to cover so many interesting places if we have gone on our own given that these places are quite remote fm town..Ian is a great host and he dedicates most of his time to ensure guests have the most comfortable and enjoyable stay in his hotel.. upon our return to kl, i was surprised to receive a text msg fm Ian asking whether we had any problem on our return back..Ian pays attention to little details which explains the great decorations that this little hotel has compared to other bigger and more well known hotel in other cities..will definitely return.

  • Stayed October 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank annelimsh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level Contributor
58 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed September 8, 2013

For a budget hotel, I am amazed at the little details which are put into it - working hot shower & aircon, proper drainage in the bathroom (with exhaust as well), bedside table with electrical power point, extremely fast wifi and even glass panels at the windows to buffer the outside noise! It is very clean and well-managed, and definitely better than even some of the bigger hotels around.

Distance-wise, it took me only less 15 minutes to drive to the town centre (a short distance, compared to KL), and there are countless shops around (there is a coffee shop just next door), and also two major supermarkets (Aeon & Tesco) within a short walking distance.

Had stayed here 2 times so far, and during my 2nd visit recently, the previous occupant must've vandalized the toilet cistern and shower door. Complained about it, and the issue was immediately addressed by Ian (hotel manager) himself!

While he was attending to the issue, I asked him for food recommendations around Ipoh, and was pleasantly surprised when he offered to bring us to some of his favourite eateries. After the meal, he also drove us around to show us where we can have our meals for the next day (we had driven to Ipoh). When I mentioned that I had stayed in Ipoh in my younger days, Ian even detoured to my former place on the way back to the hotel!

Planning another trip to Ipoh again soon, and will definitely stay at this hotel again.

Room Tip: This hotel is without lifts - request a room on the ground floor if traveling with elderly people.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Charles C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
singapore
Level Contributor
380 reviews
96 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
Reviewed September 4, 2013

friendly staff. very basic budget hotel but good enough. 2 considerations when I choose a hotel: CLEAN & SAFE. this hotel is qualified in both. I like the 2 dogs that susan (lady boss) keep. good facility i.e. cars, motorbikes & bicycles for rental, there is a coffee shop that sells foods and 2 huge supermarkets are within walking distance.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank platinumSingapore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Malaysia
Level Contributor
78 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed August 24, 2013

Just checked in after reading good reviews but was disappointed, service was just average probably cos we r locals. Was given a double bed with attached bathroom on the first floor (just above) the food court. Room is clean BUT reeks of strong cigarette smell and ironically was a non smoking room but an ashtray was provided IN the room!! It's quite unbearable and air conditioning wasn't cold enough.. Won't return again. :(

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank mg8485
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MikeWong888, Public Relations Manager at Hotel Station 18, responded to this review, August 25, 2013
Hi Dear Mg8485, we are glad to read your dissatisfactions and would like to explain to you about them. First of all, we are not racist and 'Racist' is getting more and more sensitive issue to be mentioned, whether you are locals or foreigners, we treat everyone same. 99.9% of our main income comes from locals, we will not treat our local guests averagely and pay special attention to the 0.1% foreigners We believe every guest is God sent so we will not take anyone easily. The second thing about the ashtray is - now you understand there are guests who are so stubborn that even though we put the notice mentioning that the ashtray is not meant for them to use in the room but OUTSIDE the hotel premise (I think you should have read the notice which have been placed in your room and understand the purpose of the ashtray). It is good to have you highlighted this issue again so that we can explain to the public about the ashtray again. The third thing about the air-conditioning - we chemically serviced the air-condition every half yearly to make sure it is clean and cold enough. So far the air-condition is doing a good job. Probably during your stay, you had accidently switched on the exhaust fan in the bathroom. The fan will absorb the air from your room together with the cold air. So in future when you stay in other hotel, please remember to switch off the fan when you are not using it. The fan is meant to absorb the hot air when you are taking a hot shower, it will absorb the cold air as well. Thanks for your review.
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Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
36 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed August 14, 2013

My husband and I stayed here for 3 nights. It has nice friendly staff, especially Susan at the Reception Desk and Ian --- the man who does 'everything'. Rajah the Security Guard opens and shuts the door each time you enter the hotel.
We found the room clean and tidy and comfortable and affordable.
\Susan and Ian offered to drive us to the Bus Station as the local buses don't come often and aren't reliable and they also drove us back to the Train Station. The Train Station is about 12 mins. away by taxi.l

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a view perhaps, Ours was above the restaurant below which wasn't much of a v...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Valmai M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Station 18

Property: Hotel Station 18
Address: 2A-10, Medan Stesen 19/8 | Station 18, Ipoh, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Perak > Kinta District > Ipoh
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #27 of 63 Hotels in Ipoh
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Hotel Station 18 2*
Number of rooms: 35
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