Extra Photo Gallery: Premier Executive Room | Executive Lounge | F&B Outlets
Swiss Garden Hotel is located along Jalan Pudu in Kuala Lumpur, just a walking distance away from the fashionable shopping and entertainment district of Bukit Bintang. It is strategically located just minutes away from the Puduraya express bus terminal while the closest STAR LRT stations are at Plaza Rakyat and Hang Tuah. The hotel is also accessible from KL Monorel stations of Hang Tuah and Jalan Imbi.
Swiss Garden Hotel in Kuala Lumpur is under the stable of Swiss-Garden International chain which operates a number of hotels, resorts and inns across Malaysia and Australia. The hotel has been making its presence in the Bukit Bintang precinct for a while now, and in recent days, a partial renovation was undertaken by the management to spruce the hotel up for the increasingly competitive travel scene in Kuala Lumpur. As a result, the main lobby as well as the reception area sport a more fashionable look that is appealing to even the most discerning of hotel guests.
310 rooms of varying categories are available at the hotel. The room categories are Deluxe, Premier Deluxe, Family, Executive, Premier Executive, Executive Suite and Junior Suite. Only certain room categories were refurbished to feature modern interior arrangement in the recent renovation programme, while the rest were basically left in their original room designs. In general, each room at the hotel is appointed with individually controlled air conditioning, IDD telephone, coffee and tea making facilities, colour TV with selected satellite channels, bottled mineral water, writing desk, electronic safe, and iron with ironing board. Naturally, more perks are thrown in for the higher category rooms such as complimentary broadband internet, e-Lounge access, bathrobes and LCD TV. This review will cater on the Premier Executive room which has been extensively renovated and should be a good representative on what the hotel intends to offer in the long run, assuming the other rooms are to make way for refurbishment as well.
On a first glance, the Premier Executive room looks very impressive. After all, the newly renovated room has almost all the ingredients of a chic living space commonly associated with the latest hotels in Kuala Lumpur, such as LCD TV, timber-strip flooring, extensive wood board fittings as well as fancy lightings. Nonetheless, I cannot help but feel that the design selections are trying too hard to accentuate the fashionable outlook. For example, the large wardrobe at the door entrance is encapsulated by some sort of yellow LED lights which aim is to highlight the feature but miserably fails. The room is still partially covered with normal carpeting together with timber strips, which reason I cannot gauge. The LCD TV, while always a much welcome feature, is of an unknown name brand with questionable picture quality. Nonetheless, the king-size bed in the middle of the room is plush and comfortable, with conveniently placed night stands on each side of it. A wooden-top steel table and a blue cushion suede sofa are placed perpendicular to the king-size bed and they are probably the remnants from the older room and should have made way when the renovation was completed. The bathroom, despite being extremely spacious, fails to impress me to the bit, save it for the placement of two modern wash basins that are decidedly trendy. Otherwise, there is not much thing done to the bathroom interior to wow the guests, and not to mention the hot shower was not working properly during my stay. The Premier Executive room actually comes with complimentary internet access as advertised by the hotel but when I plugged in my laptop to the broadband socket, it prompted for some sort of payment agreement. Upon checking with a guest personnel, I was advised to agree on the default payment prompt and I was assured that the internet access would indeed be free-of-charge, but I decided against trying, just in case.
The hotel features a number of facilities well suited for business and leisure travelers alike. Guests staying on the premium rooms and suites can access the well-equipped executive lounge (dubbed as E-Lounge) which features broadband-ready desktop PCs and wireless hotspots. The lounge interior clearly has been refurbished with modern design selections, LCD TV broadcasting the latest world news, plush cushion sofa as well as a small pantry where breakfast and beverage selections are set up on certain period of the day. The hotel also features an outdoor garden next to E-Lounge which boasts a panoramic view of the city. As I was entitled for access to the E-Lounge by way of staying in the Premier Executive room, I decided to pay it a visit, only to be perplexingly yet politely asked by the lounge staff of my room number. The access to the lounge is securitised by electronic card that comes together with the room key, hence such mortifying query should not been asked in the first place. Perhaps the staff was expecting only well-dressed Caucasians or those with Middle Eastern looks to patron the lounge, and not some brown skin chap sporting collar-less T-shirt and beach shorts. Anyway, enough of that tiny moment of awkwardness. Other hotel facilities include basement parking lots for the guests, various services desks, baby sitting, laundry, meeting and banquet facilities, sauna room, gymnasium and a spa outlet called Samsara Spa.
There are three F&B outlets at the hotel. The main restaurant is called Garden Terrace which has also been renovated with fresh new interiors. Nonetheless, I find the restaurant to be rather cramped during the morning breakfast as the overall dining space is not particularly spacious. The restaurant opens until 0100hrs and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner of local and international selections. For chit-chat sessions while digesting light snacks, beverages and cocktails, the hotel sets up Blue Chip Lounge at the main lobby to cater for that. Finally, the hotel offers an outdoor pool bar at the swimming pool which serves some selections of juice and snack.
I also encountered a problem upon checking out of the hotel. As I pre-paid my room through the hotel's online reservation system, I had rung the hotel a couple of times to confirm that the room payment receipt (or as they like call it a "Guest Folio") can be re-produced at the reception counter. While the guest personnel over the telephone confirmed that I could request for the payment receipt, it was a different story altogether at the reception counter. After a lengthy dispute that required a call up to the supervisor, not to mention that I was already running late, the reception personnel finally managed to produce the payment receipt. It seemed like some loss of communication between the phone reservation office and the front desk that obviously was not a welcome sign for me.
Acceptable results on the lobby, F&B and room renovations, but the hotel is not there yet in terms of services and facilities.