“We have been waiting for your arrival!”, smiles the check-in attendant at the reception desk. I return the smile with a “Thank you” and am told I was expected to be checking in the day before. Oh dear, was it my mistake or the hotels? In any case it appears to be no problem and soon I receive 2 warm DoubleTree cookies and am handed my key, 2605 – a corner one-bedroom suite with a beautiful view into Singapore.
The hotel has been open for about a month and is currently in its’ “soft opening” phase. To be honest the only suggestion of it being new is the time it takes for the evening canapés to come out (they come out at around 6.15pm although it starts at 5.30pm), the new carpet smell, and the towels that leave a bit of fluff on you as they have never been used before. I overhear it will have a gala opening in September.
I am upgraded to the one-bedroom suite (I think it is the deluxe version) which is beautiful. An extremely spacious living room and separate bedroom with oversized bathroom. All the amenities you would expect to have in a DoubleTree room are there. The only drawback for me is the lack of DVD player which would have been great after purchasing a number of DVDs from the ‘Bazar JB’ about 10 minutes away by foot.
The location is fantastic – a 10 min walk to the Kotorata 2 bus terminal, and only a few minutes to shopping centres and night markets.
The pool is large, and a welcome relief to JB’s 30+ C degree days. The gym is well appointed, and the steam room and spa tub in the change rooms great.
As a Diamond HHonors member I am able to have breakfast in the restaurant on the ground floor adjacent to the check-in counter in the lobby. It would have to be one of the biggest spreads I have seen at a Hilton property. Amazing selection and delicious too, with lovely service and attention to detail from the wait staff.
So, how much would you expect to pay for all this?
Let’s look at the maths…our room if we were paying is 700 MYR p/n – about US$220. But the points required is only 5000 p/n for the entry level room (this is, for some unknown reason, a Hilton Category 1 hotel). Each year we convert to 280K points for US$1500 with our HGVC membership. So 280000/5000 = 56 nights we could stay here for $1500!!!! So tonight we are essentially paying $26 for a one bedroom suite with breakfast and lounge access for evening cocktails and canapés. As a result I am probably the guest Hilton loves to hate – as surely they are not making any money out of me, but I am a raving fan of Hilton and this property – the ONLY place to stay in JB!
I am looking forward to my next 2 stays!