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“Keep walking”

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The Ranee Boutique Suites
Ranked #1 of 54 Hotels in Kuching
Certificate of Excellence
Brunei
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Keep walking”
Reviewed 29 July 2013

Not a very hospitable place from what I managed to see. Popped in off the street to check out the restaurant and rooms thinking we may stay a few days. Guy on the door didn't want to budge to let us in. Receptionist seemed bored and not overly helpful in answering our questions. Looked at the menu, told if we wanted to eat the restaurant wasn't open until 8.30 pm. No offer to reserve a table. Few staff around, felt like their eyes were on us the whole time as though we were going to steal something. Very weird vibe at this place so we left. Walked past a couple of times while wandering the waterfront in the evenings. Place looks great but no one dining in the restaurant each time we passed. Am wondering if others were as put off as we were by the unwelcoming nature of this hotel? Shame really as it has such a great location and could really cash in on passing trade. Keep walking, James Brook Bistro is just down the road and you'll be guaranteed a warm welcome and to be greeted with a smile !

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank DustyBoots32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Moonee Beach, New South Wales, Australia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 July 2013

Expect to pay for luxury but not receive it. No hot water, air conditioning doesn't work, elevator out of order, noisy fans, blocked toilet spilling excrement all over the floor. Dark, musty smelling rooms. When making a complaint about the toilet, I was accused by the receptionist of flushing a sanitary napkin down it - then given a graphic description of what said napkin looked like. Appalling to say the least. Excuse for air con not working was it was being serviced. No apparent explanation for the hot water. Advertises luxury rooms with a view .. The one I had looked down into a dirty alley over the back entrance of the kitchen, smelly garbage and staff car park. My friends room looked down into the 'indoor atrium' which was nothing more than a steel trellis with a few half dead plants. Beautiful decor, but lacks warmth and soul. Feels like a museum not a hotel. Don't bother booking tours, you'll find them significantly cheaper within walking distance from the front door. We booked rooms over the phone, asking for suites with a bathtub. We were told the only 2 rooms left were standard rooms with shower only. Quoted 310 MYR/night. Upon arrival we discovered the standard rooms were actually only 285 MYR/night. Confused, I queried the price difference with the receptionist and asked a third time if there were any rooms with a bath. Was then advised only the 'deluxe' suites had a bath, there were 2 available @ 350 MYR/night. These are the ones we opted for, yet my hotel account clearly states we were charged for 'superior' suites @ the quoted rate of the 'deluxe'. Strangely, we saw no other guests in what was supposedly a fully booked hotel ?The breakfast left a lot to be desired, the evening menu was extremely limited, overpriced and the food boring and tasteless. We checked out after finalising our accounts in a taxi arranged by the hotel. As we arrived at our next destination, the cab driver received a call over the radio. He became highly agitated, refused to release our luggage and demanded we return to the hotel. Unfortunately, his English was poor and we could not understand him. He continued to rant and shout which was quite distressing for us all. I found someone to help translate what all the fuss was about. He had been told to take us back as we had left the hotel without paying. I showed him my customer receipt and assured him the account was paid in full. I rang the hotel as he refused to leave and had snatched my receipt from my hands. The receptionist answered and accused me of taking the signed merchant copy of the receipt. I advised I only had the customer copy she had handed me in an envelope. She kept arguing and demanded I come back to the hotel. I hung up and the cab driver left. Arriving home, I discovered that my bank account had not only been debited the 700 MYR for the 2 nights accommodation but an additional 800 MYR which had been pre authorised without my consent or knowledge. After several emails to the manager, I'm still waiting for this to be rectified. I've been advised that it could take 4 weeks. Save your money and go elsewhere. This place does not deliver the usual high level of customer service, value for money or genuine hospitality found in Borneo. Bitter disappointment is the only thing your money buys here !

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank -itchee-feet-70-
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
theranee, Director at The Ranee Boutique Suites, responded to this review, 27 July 2013
Dear Valued Guest

Thank you for choosing The Ranee Boutique Suites.

We are sorry to hear about yours and your daughter’s experience at The Ranee which came as a surprise to us. Please allow us to address all your issues now that we have investigated your complaint thoroughly:

1. Blocked toilet: We understand the excrement and napkin surfaced on the 3rd day (check-out day) of your stay. If our toilets were previously blocked this issue would have happened when you first used the toilets as this room had been vacant 4 days prior to your check-in, yet no complaints had been recorded during our daily housekeeping room checks.

2. Hot water: In line with our hotel’s construction design, we chose individual water heater for each room to best conserve energy. Guests would need to switch the heater on demand. Appreciate this feedback. Going forward, we shall label this switch to make it more obvious to our guests.

3. Room rates: Being a new business we are currently undergoing a restructuring exercise to serve our guests better, including re-categorising all our rooms. We assure you that for your booking, you were allocated the correct room type, despite a different room name upon check-in and confirm that you had been charged correctly for a deluxe room. We are in the process of changing and re-captioning our photos on our website.

We regret any misunderstandings, and apologise for our staff’s shortcomings in explaining this to you.

4. Elevator: The lift was under routine scheduled maintenance works and we will in future put up a notice to pre-inform our guests.

5. Room with no view & tours: The hotel was re-built from an existing pre-war shop house. In order to maintain the original layouts, the 2 inner courtyards are kept as part of the design. All our 24 rooms have windows or balconies towards the Sarawak River, back lane or internal courtyards. The plants on the trellis have recently been planted so please allow some time for our green wall to develop. Like all hotels internationally, tours are slightly more expensive than your man on the street as we try to ensure the tours provided are up to our standard and safe for our guests.

6. Taxi service: We have since spoken to the taxi company and due to some communication breakdown the situation was misinterpreted. The manager of the company apologises.

7. Credit card: Our management had immediately contacted the servicing bank United Overseas Bank Sdn Bhd in Kuala Lumpur to clarify the error of ‘overcharge’. As explained earlier, we assumed it to be a Credit Card without realizing it was a Debit Card which works differently. We had explained this in an email to you dated 10/7/2013 and our General Manager had apologized for this oversight.

We are glad to hear, on 15/7/13, that your bank has now reversed the overpayment.

To close this case, we apologise once again for all our shortcomings from the staff & management at The Ranee Boutique Suites, Kuching, Sarawak.

Have a good day!

Regards,
The Director
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mountain View, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 July 2013

We kept coming back to this lovely hotel between forays into the jungle to enjoy the luxury of a soft bed, A/C, free and reliable internet, and spa like bathroom. We got a good deal on a superior room located in their inner atrium on the second floor. The room had a small balcony facing the light shaft with a lovely planted vertical garden. We told them how much we liked our room and they made sure we got the same room both times we returned. Other superior rooms have an urban view of a small parking lot, back sides of apartments with hanging laundry, and colorful arches and roofs on nearby Chinese temples. I don't recommend the standard rooms that face the Main Bazaar road because it can have traffic noise.

This hotel made the perfect base from which we planned our jungle adventures and explored Kuching on foot. It is across the street from the national park booking office and visitor's center, and the excellent Borneo Adventures tour company is a block away. We even walked to the supermarket to buy food and water for our over night trips to Kubah and Bako national parks. New laundromat around the corner. Nice area for dinner and evening on the promenade.

The staff might not be as smooth in table service and a bit too loud when they don't see any guests, but it is hard to see the difference between this hotel and much more expensive luxury hotels.

Room Tip: For best sleep, spring for the superior rooms, standard rooms face the Main Bazaar road. I prefer i...
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Mary L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
theranee, General Manager at The Ranee Boutique Suites, responded to this review, 17 July 2013
Dear Valued Guest

Warmest Greetings from the Ranee Boutique Suites. Thank you for reviewing your recent stay with us. We are pleased to know that you had enjoyed your stay.

With regard to your comment on our table service, please accept our apologies for any shortcomings and would like to assure you that we are constantly striving to improve our services.

We look forward to welcoming you back when you return for your next holiday.

Kind Regards
Mary Chan
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 July 2013

*****WARNING********************************Be warned**********************************WARNING************


I tried to meet with the GM for 3 days but was not able to do so nor did I get a call back from her.
So unprofessional and its unbelievable what actually took place......

This is how it all started........

I was staying in a wonderful place called the Secret Sanctuary outside of Kuching for the first few days of my stay in Sarawak..... What a wonderful place...... I should have stayed there.Check my review on them.........

Made a reservation at this terrible place The Ranee to be in the centre of town and in walking distance of the waterfront and shopping etc....

Upon check in I noticed that the price I paid on line was more expensive than the walk-in rack rate. When I questioned that with the receptionist. I was informed in lousy English..... 'I am just a receptionist. I don't know...'

The elevators are not working and I had to carry my own heavy bags up the stairs by myself as the receptionist was a lady and couldn't carry my bags.

Then once in the room... The windows were open and the room was boiling hot and packed full of mosquitos..... I requested a room change which was of course was denied due to the lack of authority the 'receptionist' had. I tried to cancel my stay and get a refund..... and of course I should have never asked that question... I never got a call back from any managers or GM.

I bit my tongue and decided to enjoy my stay in Kuching.

I proceeded to the nearest shop and purchased mosquito spray and fumigated my room and went out. I returned that evening and even though I was bit badly during the night, I had a good night sleep because I was tired from the days events. and the bed was comfortable.
The next day I went out to the Crocodile farms and shopping and when I returned to my room in the late afternoon and to my shock and horror...... once again the air-conditioning was switched off and the windows were left open and the room full of mosquitos but to add to all of that the room was cleaned by house keeping as follows:
1) toilet was not cleaned were it had been used
2) the towels that i had left on the floor to be replaced were just rehung
3) the bed sheets that i had requested to be changed were not changed
4) the floor was neither mopped or swept as you can see my hair and some paper clippings still on the floor.
5) the robe I had used and that now stank of the mosquito spray and that I also left on the floor to be replace was also just hung back as is

Basically housekeeping did my room in less than 3 minutes at best

Again complained and no response from the manager or anyone.

Wait it doesn't end here

The next day which is my last day and I am to check out and fly back to Kuala Lumpur, at 9 am the air-conditioning stopped working, and when I called the reception to complain I was told that the air-condition in the entire Hotel is going through maintenance and would take several hours. i couldn't believe my ears.

I obviously proceeded to pack quickly because it was hard to breath without air-condition and the risk of mosquitos if i opened the window.

To top off everything, upon leaving the hotel I was then accused of taking things from the room and my bags were searched.

Unbelievable really.

Very strange place but don't judge the rest of Kuching or Sarawak by my experience at The Ranee because every other place and people I experienced in Kuching, Sarawak was amazing and enjoyable.

I would never recommend for anyone to stay at the Ranee Boutique Hotel under the current management

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Samerinlondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
theranee, Director at The Ranee Boutique Suites, responded to this review, 17 July 2013
Dear Mr Samer,

Thank you for choosing The Ranee Boutique Suites.

It upsets us to read such comments from our guests and your decision to take this matter online has surprised us but do allow us to explain:

1. Room rates: being a new business we are currently undergoing a restructuring exercise to serve our guests better, including re-categorising our rooms. We assure that you for your booking you were allocated the correct room type, despite a different room name upon check-in. We regret this, and apologise for our staff’s shortcomings in not explaining this clearly to you.

2. Elevator: the lift was under routine scheduled maintenance works and we will in future put up a notice to pre-inform our guests.

3. Housekeeping: Even though we are a no smoking hotel you insisted on smoking in our rooms and throwing all cigarette butts into our toilets making it difficult and awkward for our staff to deal with the situation.

4. Aircon: In line with our hotel’s construction design, we chose individual units for each room to best conserve energy. Aircon is cut-off when guests leave the room as you need to insert room key card to activate the aircon. The room you were allocated has no windows, only a balcony door.

5. Return call: Our General Manager spoke to you on Sunday 7 July 2013 and made an appointment to meet you on Monday 8 July 2013, 3pm but you left in haste on Monday morning.

The following incidents might cause you some embarrassment but since you have chosen to take this online it would only be polite for us to reply…

Our CCTV showed that you had tried to leave the hotel through our back door with a privately booked taxi. Upon being asked to check-out at our reception desk, you refused to do so including refusing to pay for items consumed in the mini-bar. Housekeeping had alerted us of missing items from your room so our Manager requested a bag check of your bags that were already loaded into the taxi, sadly to find several of our missing items in your bag.

We regret to say that we are saddened and shocked at this, coming from a well travelled guest.

We thank you for your compliment on our comfortable bed. We wish you all the best in your future travels.

Regards, The Director
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Level Contributor
20 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 July 2013

This relatively new hotel has beautifully done rooms with hard wood, indirect lighting, and one of the best showers I've enjoyed on the road. Beds are hugs and comfortable. Staff was extremely professional; the manager showed me to my room to ensure that all was in order. Multiple Wi-Fi points meant that I had full bandwidth to myself and signal worked great for the nice work desk in the room. Will definitely return!

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank VagabondingLife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
theranee, General Manager at The Ranee Boutique Suites, responded to this review, 17 July 2013
Dear Valued Guest

Warmest Greetings from the Ranee Boutique Suites in Kuching !

We are happy to note that you enjoyed your stay with us and look forward to welcoming you back when you return for your next holiday.

Kind Regards
Mary Chan
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hamburg, Germany
Level Contributor
137 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 July 2013

The place is well thought out design wise. Big rooms, spacious ground floor with wood theme decor. Comfortable lounge on the first floor. Barthrooms a bit Zen and spacious. Location in the heart of the old Bazar area near shops and restaurants. Their breakfast lets them down though - menu a bit strange. Dont know why coz there is a nice coffee shop in the hotel.

Room Tip: Take a room off the street side coz its noisy on the front - unless you want the action.
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank PartrickL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Christchurch, New Zealand
Level Contributor
41 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 June 2013

Smack bang in the middle of the Main Bazaar, just round the corner from China town - a couple of blocks from the Indian quarter and right over the road from the river. Great to just walk down the stairs and its all there - the only small problem with that is there is a bit of road noise.

Spotless, modern, roomy with friendly and helpful staff.

Cafe as well as usual bar and restaurant attached.

Room Tip: I liked the room with a view but if you're a light sleeper you might want to opt for a room away...
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Deb M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Ranee Boutique Suites

Property: The Ranee Boutique Suites
Address: No 6 & 7 Main Bazaar, Kuching 93000, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Sarawak > Kuching
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 54 Hotels in Kuching
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Ranee Boutique Suites 3.5*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Ranee is an exclusive 24-room boutique hotel strategically located in the heart of Kuching's picturesque Old Town (14km from Kuching International Airport). Stylishly rebuilt from two traditional 19th century shophouses and ingeniously adapted to modern standards of plush comfort, The Ranee is unique in that every spacious room/suite is different - designed to express its own individuality, charm and character. Step into The Ranee and you will be enchanted by the magic of old and new - a fusion style inspired by Sarawak's rich colonial heritage and mysterious ethnic cultures. In catering to the discerning traveller, The Ranee boasts an all-day dining/bar serving local and international cuisine, a cafe offering freshly baked delicacies, an in-house tour desk, and even a business meeting room. The Ranee is capable of hosting intimate cocktail receptions for functions up to 40pax (product launches, team building, informal business gatherings, private dinner parties, etc). At The Ranee we'll take you on a journey that celebrates the charm and romance of a bygone era. ... more   less 
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