This was my 4th visit to this superb little boutique hotel. It is based on a traditional chinese 3-storey shop lot, and has been very tastefully modernised to retain the original feeling of airy spaciousness. The bedrooms are excellent in every respect, and the bathrooms amongst the best I've experienced locally. It is probably fair to say, however, that the time has come to start redecorating, as the rooms are just beginning to look in need of a repaint.
Batik has a large public area and bar on the entrance level, opening onto an enclosed patio. This is the social centre of the hotel, where the incredibly helpful and well-informed 'crew' interact with the clients. The strength of this hotel lies entirely in the quality of this crew - competent, well-educated, friendly and hard-working as they are. Nothing is too difficult or too much trouble for them. But don't expect them to be subservient, like staff at international 5-star hotels - they are friends, rather than staff!
The breakfast is their weakest point. The restaurant staff, although polite, seem to be completely out of their depth, and never quite in control. When with a group, do not expect to be served quickly! If you have appointments, make sure you leave plenty of time, as they seem to take each order and then cook and serve that plate individually. There is a choice between American style breakfast and local breakfast - sadly (as I do not eat it), all with chicken. On my last trip, four of us asked for more toast, as the miniscule slice with the meal was clearly insufficient. Each of us in turn waited up to 5 mins to get one more tiny slice. (We were the only ones in the restaurant at that time). Personally, I would be quite happy to forego the cooked breakfast if instead they offered an interesting selection of cereals, mueslis, fruits, yoghurts and so on. I hope I have not laboured the breakfast issues too much - in a hotel with such strengths in all the other areas, it's the only negative side. And in reality, the breakfast would be perfectly acceptable in any other hotel which wasn't striving for perfection as is the Batik!
Overall, I still award it 5 stars. I can't think of another hotel that I find as 'nice' as this one.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Batik is a lifestyle hotel set in the epicentre of Kuching's hustle and bustle. It caters to the needs of today's discerning business and leisure traveller sprinkled with a certain special touch. With its fifteen stylishly designed well-equipped rooms, unconventional hotel offerings and enthusiastic and ever-so-helpful team of hotel crew, The Batik is Kuching's first hospitality icon. ... more less
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