Friday, March 03, 2017

Swiss Traveler: Where to stay on a luxury trip on Borneo

5 first-class hotels in the Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah

The northern part of Borneo was the destination of a trip of two befriended families with an adult son each.

What to do in the Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah was the subject of my last post.

In this post, you find the reviews of the hotels we stayed at during our tour from Kuching to Kota Kinabalu.

As we booked this vacation with a Swiss tour operator (Tour Asia), the hotels of our trip were fixed, however we made sure that we had first-class resorts.

At least we were able to pick out our beach hotel ourselves (Shangri-la's Rasa Ria), although the choice of luxury resorts on the beach in the area is limited.

A good alternative may also be the Gaya Island Resort on a small island near Kota Kinabalu.

Hotel 1: Pullman Hotel, Kuching/Sarawak

Our two nights’ stay at the Pullman Hotel was certainly not the highlight of our trip.

The hotel, situated on the hillside overlooking the city of Kuching, is advertised as five-star resort, which is hard to believe.

There are modern amenities, but neither is the Pullman well maintained nor kept especially clean.

Also the breakfast has to be called subpar, with quite many choices, but of an underwhelming quality.

The staff is neither friendly nor well trained.

At least, we did not overpay our stay at this hotel as prices are low.

Overall, Pullman is cheaply run, it feels more like a small local business hotel than a luxury hotel suitable for demanding international travelers.

Hotel 2: Hilton Batang Ai Longhouse Resort, nowAiman Batang Ai Resort, Batang Ai/Sarawak

Aiman Batang Ai Resort is a replica of a longhouse. When we stayed there for one night, it was managed by Hilton, now it is a Aiman hotel.

It already needed renovation when we were there and it seems that not much has been done in terms of remodeling in the meantime.

While the setting on a lake and the ambiance in the isolation of the rainforest are favorable, the rooms are simple and the dining facilities are nothing to write home about.

All in all, a nicely located resort that serves as a springboard for a trip to the Iban people, but in need of a thorough refurbishment.