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Hilton Kuching
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Reviewed June 1, 2013

Exactly what you would expect. Large clean rooms, efficient staff and good (expensive) places to eat. My only niggle is that wi-fi is only available in the lobby (and I couldn't even get a connection there).

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank blindlemonpie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HiltonKuching, General Manager at Hilton Kuching, responded to this reviewResponded June 14, 2013

Thanks for the comments and hope to see you return soon. Safe travels.

With kind regards,
Jon Warmington
General Manager
Hilton Kuching and Batang Ai Longhouse Resort, Managed by Hilton

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 30, 2013

I stayed for two nights towards the end of May and beginning of June, 2012. The room was booked directly through the Hilton website for a King Riverview Suite and they had quite a good rate on at that time, which often happens with Hilton properties.


Arrival

I transferred from the Limetree in Kuching using their shuttle bus and was dropped off at the Hilton. There was help provided with the luggage. The reception member seemed a little formal and officious at first but then warmed up as the check-in process proceeded.


The Room

The rooms have recently been renovated and I found the suite to be quite ‘Hilton-like’ upon entry. It appeared modern and looked like what I would expect a Hilton room to look. It was also a large suite, basically being two standard rooms joined together with a connecting door, one room served as the bedroom and the other was the living room. The room was clean but there were definite signs of wear-and-tear throughout and some of the furniture cabinets also didn’t appear to be well finished and fitted.

The bed was definitely designed and set up in a typical Hilton manner with the pillows for example being set up as usual, although I do think that Hilton use too many pillows in their typical set-up. The comfort level was also at a Hilton standard and it wasn’t too hard to fall asleep on it.

There was one main bathroom and a separate toilet/vanity room in the living area. They were both quite nice and luxuriously appointed and well-cleaned but seemed to be on the small side. Toiletries provided were the good-quality Peter Thomas Roth brand.

The room did not come with any complimentary wi-fi access in the room, as is usual in Hilton properties and that’s something that I would hope they could change in future. Both TVs in the suite were very large but there was a problem switching on the main one and I had to ask for technical help, it took about 10 minutes to solve the problem.

There was a very nice view from the room, allowing a wide expansive view and from a high vantage point looking out over the Sarawak River and giving a view of the buildings located in the northern part of Kuching, including The Astana and the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Building, which is a particularly impressive sight at night.

Please note that I have videos of the room available through the link in my profile section.


Location

I found the hotel to be very conveniently located in the centre of the town, being close to the waterfront which serves as one of the main tourist attractions in Kuching on its own right. There were also a few good dining outlets nearby and one of the main attractions is the Top Spot Foodcourt, which is an open-air but covered foodcourt with a wide variety of fresh seafood selections available. There are also a few well-known dining locations along the river, mentioned in many guidebooks, such as Khatulistiwa.

In terms of shopping options, most of the newer shopping centres are located some distance away and can best be accessed via taxi but there are a few older shopping centres within walking distance and the main ones are the Sarawak Plaza and the Tun Jugah Shopping Mall, which also has a Parksons onsite (a department store). There’s also the Hills Shopping Centre at the base of the Pullman nearby but that’s relatively empty and mainly good for dining outlets in my experience. Plaza Merdeka is within walking distance but not really close and it’s probably the best and newest shopping centre nearby with the most comprehensive range of shops.


Public Areas and Facilities

I didn’t try many of the dining outlets onsite, as I wasn’t onsite most of the time and my rate came with executive lounge access, which I found provided just enough snacks and bites. I found the lounge staff to be friendly and welcoming but the food there was not really outstanding in terms of quality. The staff will make fresh coffees and teas but the food selection seemed limited in the evening and the quality not outstanding. They did have certain times for serving tea and then it was mostly just small snacks available in between.

I spent a fair amount of time in the executive lounge and found the general facilities to be reasonable; there was complimentary wi-fi access available, which was not the case in the room where it’s chargeable at the equivalent of USD20 per day. Otherwise, complimentary internet wi-fi access would also be available in the lobby and the coffee house located there. The quality of the lounge overall did not compare to that of the Le Meridien in Kota Kinabalu, which was another executive lounge that I’d seen in East Malaysia shortly before. The quality and choice of dining, entertainment and office equipment as well as the general level of quality and feel of Hilton’s lounge just lags slightly behind. Being more of a business hotel, though, the executive lounge here was quiet with not too many people around most of the time and I never saw any children there. Also, the view from the lounge could compete with the one from the Le Meridien in Kota Kinabalu with wide and expansive coverage of the Sarawak River.

I tried a warm sandwich at the Caffe Cino coffee house in the lobby and found the level of service to be quite different from that in the lounge, it was far less polite and the food took a while to come as well and wasn’t the best. It was also quite expensive. I can understand where previous reviews are coming from, when mentioning the patchy service levels in the hotel. I’ve had dinner at the Chinese restaurant Toh Yuen at another time and found the ambience to be pleasant and the Chinese food to be authentic and pleasing. Perhaps the hotel just doesn’t place equal emphasis on service in all areas and locations of the hotel.


Staff

The staff I encountered were mostly friendly and efficient with the executive lounge staff being the standout. The doorman was also friendly. The service at the Caffe Cino was hasty and probably could be better in terms of conveying a sense of hospitality.


Conclusion

I had a pleasing stay here and all-round, it’s the best of the hotels that I’ve tried in Kuching, besting the Pullman and the Four Points Sheraton, which to be fair are not meant to be in the same category. The room standard, service levels on the whole and the quality of the public facilities here were all of a high standard. The rates here can also be excellent when any promotions are running.


NOTE: I have a video of parts of the hotel, which can be found through the link in my profile section.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
3  Thank perryw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HiltonKuching, General Manager at Hilton Kuching, responded to this reviewResponded June 14, 2013

Thank you for taking the time for the extensive review and we hope to see you return to Hilton Kuching.

Safe travels.

With kind regards,
Jon Warmington
General Manager
Hilton Kuching and Batang Ai Longhouse Resort, Managed by Hilton

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 29, 2013

Stayed for 3 nights. Located near the river and walking distance to many local places. Room was clean with new furnitures. Breakfast buffet was very nice as well. One star short for the taxi drivers waiting outside the hotel. They totally try to rip you off. $50 to get to the Orangtan center!? (you can take a tour with half price!!) But other than that, it was a very comfortable stay overall.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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2  Thank miles88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HiltonKuching, General Manager at Hilton Kuching, responded to this reviewResponded June 14, 2013

I am glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay at Hilton Kuching and sorry about your unpleasant experience with the taxi driver. It is always advisable to plan your tours with a licensed travel agent.

Hope to see you return in the near future. Safe travels.

With kind regards,
Jon Warmington
General Manager
Hilton Kuching and Batang Ai Longhouse Resort, Managed by Hilton

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 26, 2013

Quite simply the best view from a hotel room that I've ever had. Looking along the river at sunset towards the mountains is an experience I’ll not forget - magnificent. Make sure that you have a camera with you when you stay at this hotel. The room itself was very good indeed. Service was prompt, friendly, polite and faultless. Meals in the hotel restaurant were constantly varied, delicious and so I ate there at every opportunity during my three night stay.
The hotel location couldn’t really be improved upon for Kuching. A five minute walk through the hotel gardens and across a main road takes you to the river front, which is always a pleasant stroll and most of the main attractions and restaurants in Kuching are either within walking distance of the hotel or a short taxi ride away. Near the hotel is small ferry terminal with boats which will take you across to the other side of the river, leading to another waterfront stroll with cheap open air foodcourts.
The swimming pool is towards the back of the hotel and is pleasant enough, with trees providing some shade and a poolside bar. There is also a tennis court.
I can’t speak highly enough of this hotel and hope to return someday.

Room Tip: Try to find a higher floor with river views. It really is worth it.
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Bailao
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HiltonKuching, General Manager at Hilton Kuching, responded to this reviewResponded June 13, 2013

I am very happy to read your comments about your recent stay and glad that you found the location and service levels of the hotel to your satisfaction.

Hope to see you return soon. Safe travels.

With kind regards,
Jon Warmington
General Manager
Hilton Kuching and Batang Ai Longhouse Resort, Managed by Hilton

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 22, 2013

I can't say enough about this hotel. I booked through the travel agent in the lobby who were fantastic and helpful for day trips. This hotel is in the center of Kuching with fantastic views, if you are lucky to have a river view. It is worth it to pay extra for a higher room with the view. The front desk people were ALL FANTASTIC, like family. Petros, really took care of me, he was so nice and helpful and gave me a great room. He helped me with my transportation to their eco-lodge in Batang Ai, another review I need to write and another fantastic management team by Hilton. The Breakfast was FANTASTIC, everything thing you could ask for. The room service was a wonderful way to unwind in my room and the BEST NASAG GORENG in Malaysia.( I spelled it wrong?)

Room Tip: Ask for a view of the river, it is worth the upgrade
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Melissa K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HiltonKuching, General Manager at Hilton Kuching, responded to this reviewResponded June 13, 2013

Dear Melissa,

Thank you for your review. I am pleased to hear you enjoyed your stay and will let Petros know that he contributed to your enjoyment.

We hope to see you again soon.

With kind regards,
Jon Warmington
General Manager
Hilton Kuching and Batang Ai Longhouse Resort, Managed by Hilton

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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