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“Sheer Arrogance”
Review of The LimeTree Hotel

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The LimeTree Hotel
Ranked #2 of 54 Hotels in Kuching
Certificate of Excellence
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Sheer Arrogance”
Reviewed 24 June 2014

There is an apparent disconnect between the Trip Advisor high ranking and the poor level of customer service we received.

We (my parents, my wife and I) arrived at the hotel around 21:45 or so and were informed by reception staff that the rooms set aside for us did not have a working air-conditioning system. They had arranged other rooms for us while the a/c was being repaired but said we would have to transfer back after the repair the very next day. As we were only planning to stay a couple of nights, we didn't see how this made a lot of sense, for the extra hassle of having to unpack and pack twice. Also, for my parents (one each on either side of 80 years of age), the uncertainty wasn't something they welcomed.

We could see on the computer screen that the new rooms assigned to us were not booked the following day, but reception staff insisted that we had to move. So we asked to speak to the manager. They called their manager on the phone, a Mr. SOH Yau Beng, who made no acknowledgement of error on the part of the hotel (for the malfunctioning air-conditioning), nor attempt to allay our fears about having to move.

Mr. Soh came across as quite arrogant and condescending; he said he was doing us a favour by giving us other rooms, and even providing a free upgrade to one of the rooms. We told him we were doing HIM a favour by not moving to another hotel... He absolutely would not give an inch to defuse the situation or allay our fears or concerns, and said he would review the situation in the morning. So for the rest of the night, we were left wondering if we could unpack properly or not, which is the situation we were hoping to avoid; whether he asked us to move to other rooms the next day would now be beside the point. (For those wondering, we got to stay in the rooms, but we didn't have a pleasant night after all the bad feelings generated by that exchange.)

It is interesting to note that every poor rating for this hotel is related to poor customer service at the hands of senior management. One might excuse such behaviour from junior staff due to inexperience, but this high handed approach by people who should know better, smacks of arrogance. Their Trip Advisor high ranking has obviously gone to their head...

We plan to visit Kuching again in the hear future. Needless to say, we won't be staying at the LimeTree.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank WombatWanderer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JTayKuching, Resident Manager at The LimeTree Hotel, responded to this review, 28 June 2014
Dear WombatWanderer,

Thank you for your feedback on your recent stay with us. Naturally, it was heartbreaking for my team and I to receive our first review with the lowest rating possible since operating 5 years ago, knowing that our dedicated team, both junior or senior members of staff have always strived to consistently deliver the best service to our guests at all times. Mr Soh, our hotel manager is often praised on the high standards of service he provides, as is evidenced by the many positive comments left for us by our guests and members of this review site. Nevertheless, we take your comments very seriously and so I have taken the time to personally conduct an investigation for this incident. Here are my findings, in hope to clarify this incident to your satisfaction:

1. Firstly, a trainee had attended to you and your family upon check-in that night, while our senior staff was assisting another guest. We sincerely apologize for the less than satisfactory conversation which had taken place between you and the trainee initially. Your room was in fact upgraded for the first night. With the air-conditioning system issue, room bookings had to be adjusted throughout the day, affecting the tentative upgrade for your second night. It was unnecessary for the trainee to inform you of the unconfirmed room change for the second night, an arrangement which may not happen for certain. I can identify with the distress when told about the possible room change. We understand that changing of rooms would cause much inconvenience to our guests and will only offer this option as the last resort; we would assist in moving the luggage and may compensate further in other ways for the inconvenience caused and to alleviate any discomfort experienced. For this, please accept our apologies for the said communication which triggered this negative experience. You may also wish to know that the trainee is no longer with us.

2. When you demanded to speak to the hotel manager, Mr Soh attended to your call while he was in the midst of handling the technical crisis. According to him and our Front Desk staff, you had insisted to remain in the upgraded room under any circumstances for your two-night stay and wanted an absolute confirmation on this arrangement over the phone. Due to the uncertainty of the situation, Mr Soh explained that he was unable to confirm your request until he discussed further with our Front Office Manager the next morning, an action he thought was a good judgement call in order not to commit to any arrangements for the second night, which could cause disappointment if the air-conditioning issue was not resolved on time.

3. Mr Soh claimed he was not in any way arrogant over the phone as claimed and at most, was being objective and realistic about the situation. He also strongly denied stating any words that may imply that he was "doing you a favour by giving other rooms". He reiterated that he would revert to you first thing in the morning about the status of the room. By this time, you expressed your utmost frustration and made threats to write a bad review on this review site for us even though Mr Soh tried to assure you of his efforts to check and fulfil your request the next morning.

Subsequently, our team managed to ensure your family remained in the Family Suite, not because we gave in to the threats, but because our vendors managed to have the system fixed early in the morning. We could see that Mr Soh met up with you and your family during breakfast as prioritised guests to be updated, and he offered his name card to you for any further assistance as his personal approach to make things right after your frustration the night before. However, it is a shame that his actions did not come across as intended to you; if he seemed to have offended you, I assure you he did not mean to. We are sorry to learn that your stay left you with feelings of resentment. We are disappointed that you felt the need to post your dissatisfaction online and chose to use this review site as an avenue to vent your frustrations despite our team having accommodated your request within our capacity, when we would have welcomed any dialogue that might have made your stay a more positive one.

All in all, we truly regret your experience; we are far from perfect, yet we will remain committed to providing excellent customer service at all times. My team and I are always grateful for positive comments and we believe constructive feedback can help us improve in all areas. We will never take our accomplishments for granted, for instance our latest achievement as a Travellers' Choice Award Winner 2014, which validated my team's efforts for the past year and we will always remain humble in all that we do. Although we did not meet your expectations, we hope you enjoyed what Kuching had to offer. We take this opportunity to wish you and your family many safe travels.

Kind regards,

Julie Tay - Resident Manager
The LimeTree Hotel
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (176)
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English first
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 June 2014 via mobile

When I came across limetree on trip advisor , I was having some doubts whether to book a room with them but I went on with it anyways .
During booking , miss seinah was the one that serviced me . The booking went smoothly with her help .
The rooms were all in good condition although it was a little small but it was still thr perfect size for me and my friend .
The staffs there were all helpful and were always smilling
Great customer service at the front desk as well
As for room keeping , I was amazed by how fast they could clean up my room .
I was just down for breakfast for about half and hour and they managed to put everything back in order . Good job to them .
As for the food ( breakfast ) , my friend and I enjoyed most of them . But in my opinion the breakfast time should be longer as usually people tend to sleep till about 9-10 before waking up , and by that time breakfast would be already over .
Overall everything went smoothly during my 3 night stay here .
Would come back again if I were to come to kuching

Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
2 Thank Nicholas C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore, Singapore
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 June 2014 via mobile

I stayed in the Lime Tree for 3 nights a week ago with 2 friends. It's a small hotel located a short walk from the riverfront. Behind the hotel is Jalan Padungan which has numerous eateries selling local food and shops selling Chinese pastries many of them with decades of history. The other end of the road leads to the historical part of town and to the river.

The rooms we had were not large but they were cozy, clean with comfortable beds and pillows quite unlike many hotels I stayed in of the same budget range. The breakfast spread was not large by large hotel chain standards but the food was good. It included the Sarawak laksa, a famous local spicy noodle dish. Those of us from Singapore and West Malaysia will find it tastes different from the version back home.

The hotel staff were friendly and went out of the way to help. Mr Soh the GM was particularly helpful as he recommended tours for us and where to have seafood. The guidebooks suggest going to Top Spot and Open Air Market, but we were directed to See Good Restaurant, a seafood place patronized mainly by locals only. You must try ! Ask Mr Soh or his staff for the direction. It is a 10-15 walk from the hotel.

Kuching itself does not have any thriving night life. It's a small town full of history and nice food. People are extremely friendly, from the taxi driver to the shopping mall security staff and shopkeepers.

You won't go wrong with Lime Tree at that budget hotel rate !

Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank TanHC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 June 2014 via mobile

Boutique hotel,family run and located close to cbd waterfront. Basic rooms are small, sleeping only, breakfast good but other food options limited. Rooftop bar great outlet but make sure fridges are turned on if you want a cold beer.Staff excellent

Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Hayden H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 June 2014

Stayed here for 4 nights. The staff made it wonderful. They were all so helpful, they gave us advice, helped organise tours for us and phoned people for us. They have there own minibus service which is at about taxi prices which made getting everywhere so hassle free. We had a basic room which was nice but slightly small. It was quiet and we slept well. The terrace bar was great although it would have been nice if it was open in the afternoons (opened about 5). Breakfast was ok, the fresh lime juice was delightful. We at lunch at the restaurant a few times and this was excellent and cheap too. Recommend the nasi goreng or the roti wraps. It is a 10min walk to the waterfront but that didn't bother us, it is right next to an area with many nice bars and cafes. Would choose to stay here again if I am lucky enough to visit the wonderful town of Kuching again.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mirren78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
adelaide
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 June 2014

a very good choice for a base to explore Kuching and beyond. We organised a pick-up from the airport because we arrived late and everything we smoothly - check in quick and efficient with pleasant staff. Breakfast is ok albeit a little crowded - enough choice for everyone though. We did notice the manager in a very hands on role at breakfast - helping and instructing his staff and treating them with respect as a few looked like they had just started so he was teaching them which we thought was good. The best asset of this hotel are its staff and it looks like they have a good working environment and this is reflected in their performance .We also booked a tour to the fairy caves through the hotel which went smoothly. If your looking for a good clean well run hotel with a good location,look no further

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ozclive
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perth, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 June 2014

We stayed at this hotel for 2 weeks in an Executive Suite, 409, well worth paying for the upgrade.
Transport to and from the hotel was very efficient.
Check in easy.
All staff great,very friendly.
It's an 8 to 10 min walk to the river front,which as seniors we didn't find to be any trouble.
There is a supermarket EVERISE 5 mins from the hotel, out off the hotel,turn left,then right,and it is on the left side of the road.
Breakfast buffet was good.
Nice food in the roof top bar,nice to sit having a drink at night.
Plenty of trip available through the hotel,same price as outside.

Room Tip: Executive suite
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Keith P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The LimeTree Hotel

Property: The LimeTree Hotel
Address: Lot 317 Jalan Abell, Kuching 93100, Malaysia
Phone Number:
Region: Malaysia > Sarawak > Kuching
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Kuching
#2 Romantic Hotel in Kuching
#2 Business Hotel in Kuching
#5 Best Value Hotel in Kuching
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — The LimeTree Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ideally located in the Kuching city centre and adjacent to the charming Chinatown Padungan area, this non-smoking boutique hotel offers 50 rooms and suites equipped with free wi-fi internet access throughout the hotel, complimentary breakfast, built-in universal sockets, LCD TVs, plush bedding and rain-showers - all for the comfort of sophisticated travellers today. As a unique, eco-conscious and trendy hotel with a passion for limes, The LimeTree Hotel offers an exciting dining experience at its Cafe Sublime with local, international and vegetarian delights. LimeLight Rooftop Lounge serves signature lime cocktails over breathtaking views of the city and river. Our highly motivated team are eager to welcome all guests to enjoy a LimeTree experience in Kuching. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Limetree Hotel Kuching

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