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“4 Nights, 2 Stays at the Le Meridien, would recommend, needs a refresh and better service”

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Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu
Ranked #2 of 92 Hotels in Kota Kinabalu
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 7, 2014

While planning our Malaysia trip we also wanted to return to Kota Kinabalu, short KK, on the island of Borneo, where we had stayed four years ago at the Hyatt Regency. We thought this time around we wanted to try the Le Meridien, situated in the heart of KK and stayed twice for two nights each - before and after our trip to Miri, also in Borneo, in the state of Sarawak, while KK is located in Sabah. We are members of Starwood's Preferred Guest program and used points on both occasions.

Our flight with Malaysia Airlines from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu was eventless. In the arrivals hall we bought a taxi voucher to our hotel. It cost 30 MYR (ca. 6.95 Euro or ca. 9.40 USD).


At the hotel the car doors were opened for us and we were warmly welcomed. The gentleman at reception was friendly and efficient. He assigned us a nice room on the top floor. It was in good condition, but showed some wear and tear.

Our room was very large with city views. The color scheme was brown, gold, beige and red. The furniture was comfortable and classic in style with a large king sized bed, comfortable chairs, wardrobe and a large writing desk. There was also a mini bar and 24 hours in room dining available. The TV was too small. The channel selection was good with regional and international channels.

The large bath room had a separate bath tub and shower, a sink, a mix of Cinque Montes & Le Meridien own branded amenities, a toilet and bidet.

We enjoyed the room very much and the bath room was also to our liking.

We had visited the hotel for cakes and coffee, when we stayed at the Hyatt Regency for years ago and saw some changes in the public spaces. The Circle Restaurant is smaller now and the lobby ceiling is traditional Malaysian. The gift shop and reception are still to the left. There is also a tour desk in the lobby. More about that later.

The Le Meridien also has the Lounge, Flame, a steak house and the Solace Spa.

During both our stays we used in room dining. Wines per glass started from 28 MYR (ca. 6.50 Euro or ca. 8.75 USD) or a bottle from 150 MYR (ca. 34.70 Euro or ca. 46.85 USD), starters from 22 MYR (ca. 5.10 Euro or ca. 6.90 USD) and mains range from 30 MYR to 90 MYR (from ca. 6.95 Euro to 20.85 Euro or ca. 9.40 USD to 28.10 USD).

We had a la carte breakfast incl. for example pancakes and French Toast, juice and milk for 101 MYR (ca. 23.40 Euro or ca. 31.55 USD) or dinners, like Spaghetti Bolognese, Nasi Goreng and Hainan Chicken. It was never more expensive than 140 MYR (ca. 32.40 Euro or ca. 43.75 USD). The service was always prompt and friendly.

During our first stay we were also invited to the management party. I went alone, because my better half wasn't feeling well enough to go. I attended very short, trying the delicious snacks and drinks. Everyone seemed to know everyone, so I felt a bit left out and lonely. Next time either both of us are going or I'm going to give it a pass.

When we checked in the second time around we were surprised we didn't hear anything like: "Welcome back." It had been only three days earlier that we had checked out. The receptionist tried to sell us upgrades to breakfast or club lounge access.

We refused politely. The experience left a slightly bitter taste.

Our room on the 9th floor had roughly the same size and set up as the one on the 12th floor. It had less storage space, showed more wear and tear, but had a larger shower cubicle. Overall it was as comfortable as the other room with the same view over the city.

We wanted to book a city tour with the tour operator in the lobby. At other hotels, for example the Miri Marriott, the Napasai Koh Samui, Thailand or Kempinski Ajman, United Arab Emirates, we could easily charge tours to the hotel room, but payment was immediately required here, so a bit disappointed we went upstairs again to get cash. The city tour was 100 MYR per person (ca. 23.15 Euro or ca. 31.25 USD).

The tour itself was great. We had a driver and a guide for ourselves. We saw the Menara Tun Mustafa, the Atkins Clock Tower, the Sabah Museum, a Buddhist temple, Kota Kinabalu City Mosque and many other things. We learned a lot and Jessel, our guide, was a good source of information about the history of the island and own experiences growing up and living in Sabah.

Check out was a pleasant experience. It was fast, efficient and friendly.

Overall we enjoyed staying at the hotel, because the food is high quality, the rooms comfortable and the staff friendly. We have also heard of renovation plans.

We would have only wished we would have received some form of recognition for staying a second time within in a few days at the property and think it would be more convenient for other guests as well to be able to charge any tour bookings to the room.

We would stay here again, but not during our next visit to KK, because we would like to experience other hotels in the area and even try the Hyatt Regency KK again too.

Would we recommend this hotel to a friend? YES!
Would we stay again at this hotel? YES, but this depends on what's on offer at the other hotels in KK.

Room Tip: The higher the better, ask for sea view, but we liked the city views also very much, especially from...
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Flyers007Dublin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fiona H, General Manager at Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu, responded to this reviewResponded January 9, 2014

Hello Flyer007Dublin,

Thank you very much for sharing your detailed review on your stay with the hotel and destination. Your review is very informative and I am sure will be well read by many researching not only the hotel but the destination.

I am very sorry that we did not make you feel like it was welcome back on your second stay with us, we could definitely have done a better job in this regard. This is something that I will discuss with our Front Office Manager to improve on this experience for other guests.

The feedback on our tour desk is very valid, thank you for highlighting that we don't offer the service to charge to the guest room. I will address this with our provider to ensure we extend a seamless experience for our guests.

Whilst you mention that the next time you may try to visit the Hyatt or another Hotel I do hope you will call in again for Cake & Coffee!

Warm regards,
Fiona

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Reviewed January 6, 2014

On a tour of Malaysian Borneo, Kota Kinabalu compares unfavorably to Kuching, and the Le Meridien compares unfavorably to the nice hotels in Kuching (like the Pullman). This hotel also compares unfavorably to other Le Meridiens in Asia (like, for example, their city hotel in Chiang Mai). The hotel is just somehow unimpressive, from the lobby to the rooms. And when you can't even check your email because the internet connection is inadequate, you start to wonder if you're really at a 4-star hotel.

That said, the property is more than adequate and, as a SPG member facing high hotel rates in KK for Christmas, it was a no-brainer for me to use points to stay here. The location is definitely quite central to most activities in KK (especially the night markets), and I don't think I could have done better elsewhere. Rooms are of generally 4-star quality, although a bit more worn than you might expect. Both KK and this hotel are not worth lingering at, though, so as a vacation traveler, it's best to move on to the better places in Borneo.

Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
3  Thank Dave's_reviews
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2014

Perfect hotel for our family - 2 adults and 2 teens - for 6 night stay around Xmas. Allocated upgraded, interconnecting rooms, and provided with very early check-in at no extra cost. Perfect for us. Great location, high standards all round. Huge and great quality buffet brekkies. Rooms spacious, attractive and very comfortable, except looking dated and showing wear & tear, hotel due for major refurbishment in 2014 so no doubt all to be sorted. Very friendly and helpful staff. Loved the weekly meet & greet evening - half hour by the pool, free drinks & finger food and several staff from different areas mingling with guests, great to get to know them a bit and this carried over to personal greetings & chats when crossing paths for the rest of our stay. Great pool and pool bar area; used the well equipped gym a few times and this has the same awesome view as the pool. Free wifi at lobby and pool only. Overall, highly recommended and will definitely stay upon return to KK.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Thank Ross B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fiona H, General Manager at Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu, responded to this reviewResponded January 9, 2014

Hello Ross,

I am so pleased you enjoyed your recent stay with us during your recent trip to Kota Kinabalu. Thank you for mentioning the weekly cocktail, this is an initiative we introduced so our associates can mingle with guests and at the same time help them understand

Please come back and visit us again soon.

Warm regards,

Fiona

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Reviewed January 5, 2014

Wonderful experience with friendly support stuff
Pros:
1. Excellent location.
2. Good room service
3. Sleep quality very good.
4. Distinct smoking and non-smoking floors.
Cons:
1. Swimming pool was more of a kids pool
2. Check in time is bit late (But if rooms are available they give it out). we got 2 out of the 4 rooms booked.

Room Tip: Check out for the sea view room
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Sourav S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fiona H, General Manager at Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu, responded to this reviewResponded January 10, 2014

Thank you Sourav for your review.

I am very pleased that you found our associates friendly and warm during your stay. Please come back and visit us again soon.

Best regards,
Fiona Hagan

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Reviewed January 5, 2014 via mobile

Hotel is located near to port and many rooms are having nice view of overlooking local market and sea...

You dont need to walk long to find best nightlife... Just cross the road and you find all the famous hang out spots... Such as Water Front, BED, Aussie and there is a north Indian resturant as well... Just infront of the hotel you'll find many shops having variety of sea foods..

Handiceafts and body massage parlours are also located near by hotel..

When it comes to services, staffs are friendly. Ther are attentive and ready to help..

All togerher its worth staying over here...

Stayed: January 2014, traveled on business
4  Thank Musafirnix
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2014

We stayed here for a week in July 2013. The hotel scores well because of its excellent location. You can leave the hotel and 10 minutes later be on a boat out to one of the beautiful islands. In the evenings you are a stones throw from the food markets where we you can eat some seriously large prawns. The giant mantis prawns are bigger than a Cornish lobster! The staff were always polite and the rooms were always cleaned. We didn't eat in the hotel as there are so many places to go but the restaurant seemed to have a good menu. It's not the best Meridien I have stayed in but its reasonably well priced and a great place to stay at if you want to visit Kota Kinabalu

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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2  Thank AndrewandKeren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fiona H, General Manager at Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu, responded to this reviewResponded January 10, 2014

Hello AndrewandKaren,

Your review and feedback is both very fair and pleasing for me to read, thank you so much for sharing.

We are aware hat the hotel may not be as modern or new in design and decor as other hotels, though our team really is very genuine and caring so I am elapsed that this came through during your stay.

Warm regards,

Fiona Hagan

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Reviewed January 2, 2014

We stayed at Le Meridien KK for 3 nights over NYE. Stayed in a club suite as we were traveling with our daughter. Very disappointing as the door to the room kept making a noise every 90 seconds with the electronic key system, so our daughter was too scared to stay out in the living area. We had to move her bed into the MB. Also, walls of the room were filthy, with some mold or other leakage on both the door and the corner of the wall. Room also smelled of sewage unless you kept the AC on.
The hotel staff were very nice, but didn't feel like a 5 star property at all. Very very tired and the pool area was much smaller than expected.
When we went to check out, we noticed that we hadn't been given the Starwood 20% discount on our food, beverage purchases. We were told then, that we should have shown the restaurant staff our Starwood card, even though our Starwood # was noted on our room account and we were not told that we needed to bring the card to the pool, etc. The reception would not adjust the bill and we needed to catch a flight, so we just gave up trying to pursue it.
Overall, if you only need to spend a day or so in the city for business, then this hotel is probably OK, but for family or holiday, do the Shangri-la instead!

Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
2  Thank ASFifer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fiona H, General Manager at Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu, responded to this reviewResponded January 10, 2014

Dear Ann Tyler,

Thank you so much for sharing feedback from your recent stay with us. Specifically thankyou for calling out the fact our team did not proactively process the SPG discount at the time of dining in the venues. This is a process that should be seamless and we will take immediate action to ensure that we fix this for our SPG guests moving forward.

I am sorry that the door and standard of the room was not acceptable, our team have already located this and have addressed this for future guests.

I do hope that after this you did enjoy Kota Kinabalu as a destination and would consider returning on another occasion.

Warm regards,
Fiona Hagan

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Additional Information about Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu

Address: Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens | Sinsuran, Kota Kinabalu 88000, Malaysia
Phone Number:
Location: Malaysia > Sabah > West Coast Division > Kota Kinabalu District > Kota Kinabalu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#1 Spa Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#4 Romantic Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#5 Business Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
#6 Family Hotel in Kota Kinabalu
Price Range: $112 - $260 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu 5*
Number of rooms: 306
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Le Méridien Kota Kinabalu is a contemporary 5 star hotel, strategically located at the heart and city center of downtown Kota Kinabalu across the fresh and handicraft markets and Kota Kinabalu waterfront. Overlooking the sea, Le Méridien Kota Kinabalu features newly renovated rooms, leisure outdoor pool and sundeck with sunset pool side bar. Convenient within easy walking distance of other local attractions like Gaya Street in less than 10 minutes walk, retail and entertainment facilities in less than 20 minutes walk like Centrepoint, Suria and Imago Shopping Malls. Enjoy access to local art gallery, golf courses and other island excursions. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu Hotel Kota Kinabalu
Meridien Kota Kinabalu
Kota Kinabalu Le Meridien
Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu Sabah

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