I was pleasantly surprised to be honest, some of the reviews led me to believe this would be something of a bad experience, but not at all.
Its true to say the hotel has seen better days, and in parts is somewhat run down, but in general I found most aspects very acceptable, though fact is if the room is clean and liveable I'm happy enough.
The hotel was notably cheaper than some of the other options available in Kuching, so I took a gamble, and decided to upgrade to the executive room (only around GBP30 a night & still a lot cheaper than standard/basic rooms in some of the other hotels).
The room (14th floor) was a very good size, good size comfy bed, good size/clean bathroom with hot water, a fridge (always very handy in my opinion), a/c, free wifi with good connection speed, and a sat tv (large widescreen), though only about 6 channels.
(A free local newspaper was delivered to my room each day also, which was a nice albeit small touch).
The pool (though fairly small) was nice, clean, and the surroundings equally so.
Breakfast was nothing more than reasonable, but no complaints. It caters for western and Asian tastes, incl' fruit, coffee, OJ, and eggs cooked to your liking, various breads (toasters provided). Whilst it wasn't mind blowing it served the purpose each day (cost was included with my room).
I only ate in the hotel at breakfast so I can't comment on other meals. The room service menu was limited, and from what I saw the restaurant area was basically deserted much of the time once breakfast was finished although staff were there incase needed.
The hotel staff I encountered were very friendly and very helpful. The 2 gents on the door were both particularly helpful when it came to organising taxis, directing me to various places etc.
I thought the hotel was reasonably positioned, only a 10 to 15 minute walk to the cat statue and a further 5 mins to the river (to give you an idea geographically - most of the larger western hotels were in that area, aswell as malls, and fast food rubbish, Macs, KFC etc).
There were several small bars and restaurants closer than that to the hotel, although nothing western that I was aware of, but lots of local options (and unless you are of a particularly 'soft' disposition the local food in local restaurants is fine, and very tasty).
The staff in one local bar I visited ('the Loft' - Kenny & Lex) were extremely friendly and provided some vital tourist information, incl recommending a local Malay open air food court/restaurant (Seegood - 10mins max from the hotel) which was very very good (Asian style food only, notably sea food but chicken & beef dishes available also - basically tell the waiter what you like and how you want it cooked and they'll cook it for you, I had 2 greats meals washed down with a few Tigers)
In summary I'm very pleased I took what I believed to be something of a gamble. I paid around GBP100 for 3 days, which incl 24/7 wifi and breakfast, and found the hotel to be ideal for many reasons.
It does though seem that some of the comments already made by other reviewers are correct in that it doesn't appear management are addressing any of the ageing issues of the hotel (or maybe they are oblivious). I'd actually not be too suprised if the hotel is basically being run down to be closed in the not too distant future. But for the time being I would recommend to fellow travelers, unless of course faded carpets in the hallway are the type of issue likely to ruin your holiday!
NB: In truth I think this hotel warrants a 'Good' ranking, as average seems harsh. But in the absence of good as an option it has to be average.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located within the central business and shopping district of Kuching,this business-class hotel offers well-appointed, spacious and comfortable Borneo-styled rooms for the discerning traveller. Banquet and Conference facilities able to accommodate up to 500 persons, Gala Dinner. Resort-feel Poolside to unwind after a long day at the Office or sightseeing in Kuching. International & Ethnic Sarawak Cuisine offered at the 24-hour Coffee House and In-Room Dining. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Continental Kuching
- Hotel Grand Continental Kuching Sarawak