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“functional but getting shabby”

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Imperial Boutec Hotel
Ranked #66 of 92 Hotels in Kota Kinabalu
Hong Kong, China
Level 4 Contributor
13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“functional but getting shabby”
Reviewed 24 January 2010

If you need a comfortable bed for a night. This hotel is just fine. It's 7th floor shopping mall entrance was unexpected. The decor & amenities are dated. There is no restaurant but a good Smoothie stand downstairs and room service available fm the Imperial Hotel (big sister on the other side of the complex). The foot massage shop at the street level provides a heavenly reprieve after a hard Mt Kinabalu climb.

Stayed December 2009, travelled with family
Thank motherdaughter97
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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228 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (23)
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  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
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No fixed abode
Level 6 Contributor
105 reviews
98 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 181 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 December 2009

We initially booked up a five night stay with the intention to carry on to Brunei before once more returning to Kota Kinabalu for a further few nights.

Prepare to get striped coming in from the airport to the town centre- all the taxis have fixed a price and they will sting you MYR 30 for the fifteen minute journey. It’s a blatant rip off, particularly as the return journey can be haggled down to MYR 20, but you have no choice as the bus doesn’t go all the way into town.

We’d looked at the reviews from fellow travellers and were prepared for the poor access to the hotel’s reception on the 7th floor. And yes, it was akin to a council block of flats in the UK back in the 1960s; the only thing missing was the stench of urine and vomit. However, dingy and lack lustre though the lift and surroundings were, it’s quite bearable and instantly forgotten once you arrive at the hotel floor.

The reception area is very modern, brightly lit and spacious, with professional (if slightly stern-looking) staff who are efficient and capable and all in all it’s a complete contrast to the initial introduction of “downstairs”.

NOTE: Not only will you be expected to pay up in advance for the entire stay, they will also insist on a deposit, returnable on departure. Expect to pay around MYR 70-80 for this privilege.

The room was an inner courtyard and meant we didn’t have a window with a view of the outside. It does have a window looking into an internal water feature in the courtyard, but we just kept the curtains drawn and it caused us few, if any problems. At least it made it dark and we slept well on the comfortable double bed – standard sheets and blanket but decent pillows.

I have read that some people nearly overslept due to the lack of windows, natural light and general darkness of the room, but for me that is a bonus. Better too dark than too light and if getting up for an appointment is necessary, what’s wrong with an alarm clock or call from the front desk? The TV even has an “on” timer and we had no problem being woken to catch our boat for the onward journey.

Annoyingly, there were no bedside cabinets and the bedside lights were not individually controlled, a “one all and all for one” set up. This is cheap and there really is no need for it. Please allow us the right to read at night in privacy and not keep sleeping partners awake.

There was a large flat screen TV at the foot of the bed which had BBC World, one movie channel, one sports channel and a travel programme. A bear minimum but adequate to while away time at night if required.

An electric kettle and safe completed the extras but there was enough room to store luggage (even if the wardrobe had missing doors) and the desk was adequate to use with a laptop. Ask Reception for a cable to hook up to the internet which is free and quite reliable. Again, the main reason for selecting this hotel

The bathroom was clean, the shower cubicle was big but the shower was all show and very little go. Heat as you go “hot” water was at best warm if on low power and lessened as you increased flow. L:uckily, in the outside heat a scalding shower is the last thing you’ll need, so again, despite the cost cutting exercise, it’s no big deal really.

Whilst in KK we also checked out several other hotels of a similar standard for our return. They are really all of a muchness but most MYR 50 cheaper a night. However, the saving will mean a lack of facilities elsewhere. No wi-fi in your room, safe or only local TV channels, rooms are generally much smaller or the hotel is not well located.

One possibility was the new Citiel, MYR 110 which was quite nice but it was absolutely tiny and they wanted an additional MYR 10 a day for internet access without a desk to use for your computer. The Switz Paradise Hotel were doing great offers but unfortunately didn’t have in room wi-fi so that was no good for us, but it would be an alternative option if you have a strict budget.

In the end we decided to come back for a further four nights after our trip to Labuan/Brunei, particularly as the hotel also kindly looked after some of our luggage making the next part of our journey much simpler.

That’s when it all went spectacularly wrong...

We arrived back at around 17:00 and surprisingly were told the room was not ready. Hang on, check out is a strict 14:00 and they hadn’t prepared our room in three hours? How unexpected...

Fifteen minutes or so later we gained access and found that the safe was still locked, there were missing towels and the bathroom lighting was faulty, plunging us intermittently into total darkness. Not funny if you’re using the toilet or taking a shower. The TV reception was appalling (ghosting, rolling and at some points black and white) and indicated the set was on the way out. The shower head was fixed to the wall so that it only came up to our waist, ensuring it was almost useless.

We called in maintenance/housekeeping who fixed the shower head, safe and towels but the fun really started late at night when the shower’s motor kept switching on and making enough noise to wake the dead. Which it did, frequently and we ended up with little sleep all night as the faulty pump kept repeating its death rattle at irregular times throughout the whole night.

The next morning we demanded a replacement room and to cut a long story short, it took another three attempts to find a suitable room that had everything in place and functioning properly. Finally, we were satisfied and so that evening we ordered room service as a treat. Another mistake.

We just wanted a simple round of sandwiches but I stressed I didn’t want any tomatoes (three times I said this and the person taking the order even repeated it back to me) but yes, you’ve guessed it, they arrived with each and every sandwich containing the ghastly things. I asked the chap to take them back, insisting they make up a fresh batch and not to simply take the slices out - I also requested some new fries as the batch was cold.

He eventually returned, and almost as expected it was the same sandwiches with the tomatoes crudely ejected. It was not even done gracefully and yet they felt this was acceptable. Now it becomes interesting as the bill was also 30% more than the in-room menu.

We sent everything back and told them to cancel the order, thinking that would be the end of it, but we heard a knock on the door some time later and two young girls were there, carrying the restaurant menu which showed the higher price of the “meal” as if expecting that to make things all right.

They still presumed us to pay because they hadn’t made a mistake (their menu supposedly being proof of that). We showed them ours and explained that was what was advertised and therefore their restaurant pricing structure was of no concern to us. The menu had apparently been changed/updated a month before but the old ones still remained in all of the rooms. Again, not our problem. We then declined to pay (and for what? We had already returned the goods) and asked to see a senior manager the next morning.

This eventually proved to be worthwhile and after much explanation and apology, they finally gave us a night free of charge to make up for our experiences. A small gesture perhaps, but at least we said our piece and by the end of it we were placated.

Happy to leave and not return.

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1 Thank ktelontour
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Imperial Boutec Hotel

Property: Imperial Boutec Hotel
Address: 7th Floor Jalan Puri Warisan, Kota Kinabalu 88000, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Sabah > West Coast Division > Kota Kinabalu District > Kota Kinabalu
Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #66 of 92 Hotels in Kota Kinabalu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Imperial Boutec Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 96
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Hotel Imperial Boutec

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