Friday, April 27, 2018

Amari Staycation with KR, Holiday Plaza, KSL mall

Hello readers! So i am here to blog on my recent staycation trip at Amari Hotel again! Haha, ok being regular guest of this hotel, i am very familiar with their facilities etc. It was actually a impromptu decision when i was just chatting with KR and PC for our meeting up session that we suggested for a staycation to JB. Naturally, since they don't visit JB as often as i do, so it was easier for me to suggest the hotel that is more convenient for us because PC end work late so we try to pick a easy for her to reach location as we will be going in JB first after our work.

We was checking in on friday and checking out on sunday. 3d2n. I noticed they had the promotion for late check out so i thought it was a good idea to stay at Amari hotel again. But it was a long story which i will explain later as you read on.

I took some time off as i wanted to check in at the hotel first since both of them will be reaching only around late evening. However there was a heavy downpour the moment i reached home and it didn't stop until like 5plus which was pretty crowded by then. I waited for about 45mins to 1hour just waiting for the bus to get to Malaysia customs. 

After clearing the customs, i walked and check in to Amari hotel since it usually takes less than 5min to get to the hotel from Komtar mall, which is just beside City square. During the check in, i was asking the staff for my late check out on sunday, the staff informed me that they were unable to give me a late check out because of high arrivals on sunday. I thought the promotion was subjected to availability so i didn't clarify further and decided to check in the room first.

When i first open the room door, i was greeted by a foul smell. This smell is mostly found when either the room attendant did not air the room properly when they are cleaning the room because of foods/rubbish that could be kept in the room for too long by the previous guest. I didn't request to change the room as i was not trying to be fussy. 

For this staycation, i book this room, the 'grand deluxe' room type, but i thought their room type category is quite confusing because on the website it stated the room size was 39-44sqm, however when i came the other time, i book under the 'deluxe room' type with Michelle, it was 32-40sqm, however it seems to me that both room has the same size except for the facing as this room that i book, from the window, our room was facing the komtar and the pedestrian crossing, whereas the room that i stayed with Michelle previously, the window was facing the pool and the other side of under development site.

So far the superior type is the smallest room type but it's still quite comfortable for two person. I stayed that room type once too with Jeremy.

Since i was alone, i was taking some selfies while waiting for KR to reach first. Before that i give them some guide on how to getting here, so i text them and giving KR the wifi password so that she can text me when she is in the hotel lobby and i can fetch her to the room since it require keycard access to the lift. 

Since PC will only reach here quite late, so we decided to head off for our dinner, by then it was already close to 9pm. We had dinner at Canton I restaurant in city square mall. 

After our dinner, as most of the shops are closing, except cinema and KTV, we decided to go for the ktv session and we had the ladies rate so we could sing till 4am and 2 drink per pax. Halfway, PC told us she decided to join us tomorrow morning because she ended work late and she feel by the time she come in, will be too late, even though we was telling her it's ok because we are singing KTV and can wait for her if she is coming in.

PC decided to come in the next morning so we sing until close to 2am only. We wanted to sleep after showering, and all tucked in the bed by 3plus in the morning when PC texted us that she is getting up and preparing to wash up and on the way to come in JB and we was huh? Hahaha, it was pretty late  by then and she told us because she feel paiseh that we were waiting for her, and i also realised there will be no bus services to bring her from the sg customs to malaysia customs even if she come in at this timing. So we told her to come in early morning around 6 or 7am while i set my alarm clock snoozing from 6.30am to 7am.

When i woke up the next morning, and check my texts, i was shocked as i received the text from PC that she couldn't join us anymore as she was being detained in the customs. The reason was because as she was passing through the sg customs, she didn't noticed that she use a passport that she has previously reported lost. She explained to us that it could be her mum found it around her house and put in her room, she didn't check and just take it with her only to realise that she used the wrong one at the customs. So moral of the story is, beside ensuring that you bring your passport with you, ensure that you do not use the wrong passport at the customs is equally important too! Hahaha. She was quite scared when she was being detained, especially when she was on her own. The officer told her that she won't be able to go in JB on that day. Besides that, she will have to go to ICA building and explain herself for using a reported lost passport at the customs.

Luckily, they release her after all the interrogation, so she had no choice but to go back home for the day. But it was quite funny because i had been reminding her to bring passport, but i didn't know that she will use the wrong passport. Hahaha. She was telling us that she had some phobia now of clearing the customs, but we told her, it's ok. We will help her overcome her fears next time when we are going in together again.

So, this staycation was only KR and me instead of 3 of us. Hahaha, KR was also shocked because she was sleeping while i was texting PC throughout in the morning. Since PC is not joining us so we went for our breakfast that i include in our booking. This was the first time i had the breakfast at the Amaya Cafe, previously i had it at their executive lounge. The food is pretty good and sat morning was less crowded compare to sunday morning as the manager had to find us a seat that was outside the restaurant area already.

After our breakfast, KR suggested to go for a swim at the poolside, based on my experiences of several staycation at different hotels in Malaysia, it seems that most of their pools do not have the heating system so i didn't bother to swim anymore at their pool and i was right because when KR went in the pool, she was saying how cold it was and she get up from the pool after 5min. Hahaha. But i guess for kids or anyone that can withstand cold water should have no issue swimming in the pool as we do see several kids playing inside the pool.
We went to Holiday plaza as she wanted to do her hair and i thought i can do my nails too. It was the first time i went to Holiday plaza even though i heard raves about doing your hair and nails is cheap over there because they have too many shops offering the same services that you do not know which one to choose! So there were price competition between all the shops that benefits customers like us because we will check and compare the prices as well. But for me, i only checked with 3 shops for my nails before i decided to choose the 3rd one because it was the cheapest and i was lazy to walk back. Hahaha and i think my time is more valuable compare to that few dollars that i may possibly save but lose my time that i can't get it back if i check with all the shops in the building. 
KR new hairdo! She look more refreshed with this healthy looking hair after a visit to the salon. To me it's never the same having the hairdresser fixing your hair than your DIY, so i will always opt to drop by a salon to get my hair fixed for any special occasion! Haha

My new manicure! Trust me when i was not a fan of doing nails before because i thought it was a hassle to remove it after that as the nail color will run off fast because i am too rough but that was because i didn't know that i can do classic gel that can make the nails color and design last longer until the first time i did for my bridal nails. Ever since then, i don't mind doing nails once awhile.
But i appreciate the efforts the manicurist spend to do this nail design for me, she was so meticulous and even though i was only doing my fingers, it took 1.5hr, i wanted to fall asleep already. This cost only S$45! My friends was asking me the price after i post this photo on my instagram and everyone was saying it's cheap. For this kind of artwork, it might cost more to do in Singapore.

A photo of us after i get the hairdresser to wash my hair and KR new hairdo! We were hungry and it was raining heavily when we was leaving holiday plaza, so we took a cab to KSL for our late lunch! We went to D shanghai for dimsum as colleagues recommend their dim sum is not too bad.

We ordered quite a few items and one of the dish was the fried durian dish as shown below, to me i thought the durian is too artificial and imagine the horror when KR was chewing and then she took out something that look like a rubber band, as the color of the rubber band look the same as this durian dish, i wasn't sure too so we called the staff, only to verify that it's really a rubber band. I only take a bite because it doesn't really taste good and i don't want to waste my calories too. I was quite amazed that KR didn't flare up and still politely tell the person before they offer to change a new one for us, we didn't even ask to waive off the cost for this dish when i think we should hor.

It's only the waiting part for them to change another new set that is frustrating because they take quite awhile. After our lunch, as KR forgot to bring her wallet,so she wanted to return back to the hotel before we were heading to paradigm mall, unfortunately, the rain doesn't really stop, and by the time we cab back to our hotel and decide to grab, the price was marked up. As i had been to paradigm mall a few times and pick up from Amari, usually their rate is standard RM14, but that day, it was around RM34. Which was crazy as they indicate peak hour and huge demand, so i thought we can wait awhile since it's not a must that we need to go to Paradigm mall, initially we wanted to watch avengers at the new cinema because they have the 4D. 

We went to city square as i was craving for the chocolate crepe! Hahaha, this became our dinner because we was not hungry after this.

Eventually, we decide to watch Avengers movie at City square mall instead and before the movie starts, we went to the inner city as there are claw machines and we were pretty good, ok KR was quite good as she catch 4 and i catch 1 toy from the machine. Both of us only like the thrill of catching the toys but not keeping it, so we decide to mail to PC since she can't join us.

Before that, as we were hoping that the grab fare will decrease after the peak hours so we went back our room to rest first and that's when i called the front desk reception and clarify again for my late check out tomorrow at 4pm. The initial reason they gave me was, they are unable to provide me a late checkout due to high arrivals on sunday, i thought the promotion that i saw was subjected to availability, so i went to visit their website again as shown below, it indicate a free late checkout until 4pm when we book directly from their website. The condition was stated the offer is applicable for checkout on sunday until thursday.
So, i feel the need to seek further clarification and i call the front desk staff and explained that i make a booking from their website, and it shows that i am able to get my late checkout on sunday, so the staff explained to me that  in order for me to get the late checkout, i need to book in advance, the promotion stated stay period was 1 apr to 30 Jun, i make the reservation on 2 apr. Isn't that not advanced enough? That was what i told her before she say she will go check and i was put on hold.

After she clarified with her manager, she told me i had to book their special offer packages to get the late checkout. (screenshot below) and that will comes with additional charges.

I explained to her again the package that she refering is late check out till 5pm, and it include the massage and round trip transfer to premium outlet, this promotion is not the same promotion that i was refering to! To add on, i told them, their promotion indicate as long as i check in on friday and check on sunday i will be entitled to the late checkout. So the staff went to check with her manager and despite my explanation there is this web exclusive promotion stated in their website, she asked me to provide her the screenshot and email her. 

This got me infuriated and i told her i will go down to their front desk to show her. I mean, isn't it ridiculous that their staff are not aware of their current promotion? Email somemore when i am currently already staying in the hotel? So i went down and show her again this screenshot.


With this screenshot, she still insist on her stand that i should book under the special package, that's when i demand to see her manager, she went in and took very long to come out with the duty manager. I was quite mad by then and by the time she came out with the duty manager, she told me that their reservation department colleague has end work and they can only check with them tomorrow and asked me to find her after my breakfast again. 

 Actually, it's not really that i am so desperate to get a late checkout, but i simply abhor this kind of attitude that the staff is so quick to push away enquiries from a guest without finding and checking properly their information. Even if they are facing high arrivals, i remember past occasion when i would try to ask, even if they cannot give a late checkout, they would still apologise and at least extend me one hour. If they bother to give some good customer service, i really wouldn't insist to trace to the bottom of this incident and just take the 1 hour extension or anything. Their services is not consistent and to me, it's deproving from the first time i stay until now which is already my 4th stay with them this time.

The next day, after my breakfast, i went to the front desk again, this time round the reservation staff was together with them, and again they show me my reservation didn't indicate the late check out request and still trying to explain to me i need to book their special packages and proceed to show me how to select and add the cost to overall reservation. So i allow them to explain first, before i ask them, 'so do you mean i have to pay additional charges if i want to have the late checkout or unless i book the special packages that allow late check out till 5pm right?' The manager say yes. So i get them to turn to their website page that shows the web exclusive. And i point the vocabulary word, enjoy 'complimentary' and get them to explain to me the meaning of this term.
You guys should have seen, finally! My message bring across to them, they was stunned and didn't know how to react, when the manager realised, the first thing was not to apologise to me for all the inconvenience caused because i am wasting my time to explain for so many time! But to get her reservation staff to remove this promotion from their website while giving me a unpleasant expression and informing me to pass my keycard so they can extend my late checkout. So after my return back to Singapore, i didn't give a good rating for this feedback for this stay.

After i submit the feedback, their guest relations manager did write to me apologising and mention about the several feedback that i had highlighted. But i am still considering if i will be staying back at the hotel again.

So since we got our late check out, KR managed to sleep in for awhile while i was doing my own stuff before we showered and went out for city square for lunch before returning back to the hotel to check out.

 The malaysia version of matcha ice-cream, still not the authentic one that i had back in Kyoto.
KR wanted to try this yam ice-cream and shocked me when she told me she love whipped cream and requested for more. Shall end this post for now.

Till then.