I used to stay at the Armada years ago every time I visited my hometown of Petaling Jaya. I stopped when the rooms just got grubbier and grubbier and the service standards abysmal. I opted for the more expensive Hilton across the road or the Eastin a little further away and didn't regret it.
Then this trip, my wife and I decided to try the Armada again. We'd heard they'd refurbished the rooms and that things were better. Our first impressions were mixed - the same slightly worn fabric was on the wall behind the front desk, but the service of the staff who checked us in was miles ahead of what we'd last encountered. These ladies smiled, greeted us and were generally quite pleasant.
The room too was a pleasant departure. They've always been reasonably spacious and the new carpet, paint and furniture was very welcome indeed. Some of the old rooms had begun to feel grimy underfoot and this room was most certainly not.
The bathroom was disappointing in comparison, though still acceptable. The money had obviously not been spent here - besides removing the bathtub, all else seemed much the same. Marks on the tiles in the shower even indicated where the shelf used to be - perhaps a little more work would have brought the bathroom up to the standard of the rest of the room.
The walls are a little thin in the Armada so you can hear guests returning late at night, but thankfully there are only a few rooms each floor so this is generally a minor issue.
The air-conditioning was superb though I do wish that when you adjust the fan speed from the bedside controller it wouldn't also switch on the entrance light...
The front desk might have improved but the concierge, of all people, could still do with a lesson in service. Every time I left the hotel, I'd have to have my car par ticket validated and when on the third day I received the same dour service I'd encountered years before, I asked the concierge very politely if perhaps he'd forgotten how to greet or thank guests. This caught the gentleman by surprise and to his credit he apologised quite sincerely. The lapse was never repeated with the other concierge staff so that was the only blight. Still, they did lack the warmth of the front desk staff.
On the subject of car parks, I do like that you can park downstairs near the security office. And there's usually space though if there's a wedding dinner at the Oversea Restaurant in the adjoining mall, you might have to park outside until it's over.
There's also now free wi-fi which is a fantastic change. There might be a limit to how many devices can log on though as my wife and I encountered some difficulty sometimes. Don't expect the connection speeds to be very fast either.
Finally, although everything else was either gladly welcome or, if less creditable, ignorable, the one thing that would not bring me back to the Armada again is the overly soft bed which left my back in a terrible state. This is a very personal thing and should not be the basis of a negative recommendation for others, for the rest of the hotel is finally up to just above average standard.
And I think it would need just a little rise in the general service standards for this rating to be 'very good' instead of just 'average'.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set in the buzzing heart of Petaling Jaya, Hotel Armada gives you the opportunity to feel and enjoy the tranquility and inner peace of the city – the inner soul of Petaling Jaya. Hotel Armada Petaling Jaya is among the finest 4 star hotel in Petaling Jaya. Situated next to the Federal Highway, Hotel Armada gives you the extra vibe with its 5 minutes walk to the Asia Jaya LRT station. Hop on a bus or taxi just directly opposite the hotel and find your way around town easily, be it the Business District, Industrial Zone, Food Heaven or Shopping Mall Giants. ... more less
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