I always research a hotel before I embark on a trip. It is uncanny how I can find my way around the hotel even as I step in just because I have read up and seen extensive pictures before actually booking it.
But on my recent trip to Kuala Lumpur, I was stumped too! For, while you can look at the physical aspects or a property, it is not the beds, lifts, views and toiletries that comprise a hotel. For a hotel to be alive, the warmth of its hospitality must be palpable. At the Renaissance Marriott in Kuala Lumpur, it is this warmth that is lacking – which is what makes the hotel so utterly lifeless and plastic.
I checked-in after more than an hour’s drive from the airport and an executive in a hurry who told me curtly “kitchen is shut” was the last thing my rumbling stomach needed. I dragged myself to my room and realised that the corridors were smelly. It was a combination of rats, mould, damp, and plain neglect. I would have said “Stink in hell”, but then Renaissance KL already does.
When I reached my room and wanted to freshen up, I realised there was neither cleenex nor soap. I do carry my own toiletries, but you don’t want to unlock your suitcase to start living! I asked housekeeping for it and they had to be told that I wasn’t asking for extra stuff to hoard, but to use! Ah yes, I called up ‘All Day Dining’, only to be told they would tell me in an hour if something could be made available. Like DUH!!! The call came after an hour, only to tell me that even a sandwich would take an hour to execute! I resorted to literally begging them for bread and jam – which came after half an hour! The Petronas Towers did gleam from my window, but that didn’t satisfy my stomach, which has nearly digested itself out of hunger!
Yes – it is in the very heart of Kuala Lumpur; but so are so many other reasonable hotels – they can’t all be this rude. How can a place so awful be a part of such a beautiful city?
Learn from what the wise mean when they say, ‘appearances are deceptive.’
Seriously, do not do it; there are hospitals that take better care of you than Hotel Renaissance’s standards. It calls itself a five star property, but I seriously would not give it even two! This place sure needs a revival.