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The Putrajaya Shangri-La


Recently, I was fortunate enough to be able to attend an exclusive conference on leadership and management held by the Top 10 foremost companies in South East Asia. This is the 5th year this conference has been held and this year they have chosen Malaysia as the setting for the conference and what other place to hold it than at the exclusive and luxurious Shangri-La Hotel, Putrajaya. This was indeed a loud holler away from the usual budget/convenient one-night business hotels that I am used to.

Finding this hotel can be a bit of a hassle for some as it is situated in the administrative capital of Putrajaya. Instead of placing this hotel by the main road, they took it a step further by placing it on top of a hill, surrounded by what I would call, an extremely large roundabout. For those of you who are driving there, please use a GPS or Waze as it is the most convenient. However, if a GPS/Waze is unavailable, use the Prime Ministers Office as a landmark (big squarish building with a green dome situated on a hill). The hotel is situated northeast from the frontal portion of the office. If you are unable to locate the office, asking for directions is the next best thing.

I would not recommend using a taxi to go there from the airport, as it can be substantially pricey unless you hail from a country with stronger currency against the Malaysian Ringgit which there are many. However, as an alternative, you can take the KLIA Transit train from the airport to Putrajaya in which you can take a taxi, which is significantly cheaper than a direct cab from the airport.  Other options include the park and ride bus services but when I was there, I was informed that the service does not pass by the hotel (help me find out if this is true).


The frontal portion of the hotel as we see it today. Doesn't really look welcoming but it is quite comfortable on the inside.

OVERVIEW

Anyway, I drove to the hotel and upon arriving at the front of the hotel; I was somewhat let down by the looks. It should be noted that the hotel is undergoing renovations and road leading to the hotels front is covered in dirt and soil residue which can be unwelcoming to some. Anyway, the carpark is situated about 3 minutes downhill walking distance to the main entrance of the hotel. Seems like nothing but try walking up that hill with a full complement of luggage. I was fortunate that there was some form of a hotel buggy passing by and the driver kindly offered me a lift. In terms of valet parking, it’s an RM10 per day (subject to change) but take note that the valet parking service is not shaded and if you are driving a Bentley, kindly request that they place it directly at the main entrance of the hotel.

The main hotel atrium and seating area for evening tea. Hotel guests can opt to sit there and catch up with some reading while sipping on a cup of mint tea.


The person who checked me in was Mr. Sven Lim, a very nice man who was both soft-spoken and incredibly pleasant. Would personally recommend him for a promotion. The check-in process was incredibly smooth and informative. There is a regular shuttle service to the nearby Alamanda Shopping Mall.


Interior greenery is something unique about this hotel. Unfortunately, as far as plants are concerned, it is a habitat for mosquitoes so it is a give and take situation. For fresh air, you have to get bitten.


THE ROOM

The room I was given was Room 404, a Deluxe Park View room with a King-Sized Bed on the top floor of the hotel. Upon entering the room, I was overwhelmed b the sheer luxury of its appointments. The size of the room is 430 square feet (40 square meters) which is substantial, making it easy for a 6 feet tall giant like me to manoeuvre around. The ceiling is very high giving the room and incredibly spacious feel. The blend of decoration incorporating both substantial amounts of wood finishings and modern glass panelling creates a harmonious and comfortable room.

The moment I entered the room, I crashed onto the bed to take a nap, thus I didn't manage to take a photo of the bed before it got my imprint but basically, it looks exactly like that. Credits to Shangri-La Putrajaya for this shot.


The furniture in the room appears dated considering they were the original furniture since the construction of the hotel. However, the comfort level is still significantly high and worthy of Shangri-La's standard. The bed is extremely comfortable and soft (not springy) and will definitely give the lightest of sleepers a well earned rest. The pillows are feather down and they allow your head to sink in for a soothing sleep without cracking your neck the following morning. Bed linen is smooth, clean and sweet smelling and the blanket keeps you warm if you like the powerful air conditioning turned to its lowest.

With regards to entertainment (didn't photograph it but try to imagine this). 32-inch flat screen television with your usual cable television.... and.... that's about it. Mind you, in-room entertainment scores low as it is similar to that of a basic hotel. The only entertainment you would get is from the scenery or your companion. Treat this hotel like a place to get away from it all or to attend your corporate seminar/training camp.


The bedside table is somewhat small with the phone and writing materials. Look on the bright side, it comes with a rather hight quality alarm clock.


The workstation is appropriately sized with a generous amount of stationeries provided (meaning pen, paper, envelopes, memo pads, postcards and so on). However, there is a slight limitation of power sockets at the table (1 for the table lamp) and not many around the whole room either (4-5 sockets including bathroom and pantry), which makes it rather difficult if you come armed with loads of uncharged electronic gadgets. 


Quite a confortable workstation with a comfortable chair. Sad that it is not a high-back chair with a headrest or else it would've been perfect for anyone who is 6 feet tall.

Pictured here is a 15-inch Macbook for size reference. There is a LAN cable just in front of the table (in blue) which allows for even faster connection. Useful for an important video conference.



You will definitely be treated to a nice 

For the other parts of the room, there is ample storage space around the room with the usual bedside drawers and cupboard. The cupboard contains about 4 clothes hangers (you can request for more) for your shirts and enough space to hide a 28-inch trolley luggage that you feel is an eyesore. Inside the cupboard, you have your usual 2 laundry bags + service form, shoe basket, ironing board, iron, bath robe, flip-flops (which feel cheap considering the amount you are paying)


Smelly shirt that needs ironing. But hey, it's a personal favourite of mine.


The closet is rather smell proof. I couldn't smell my smelly shoes from the outside. On a more serious note, the compartmentalised cupboards segregate your storage in case you need to keep the smell of your shoes at bay.


Main hallway. Cupboard is on the right and bathroom on the left. Main door is quite heavy to open so do not panic if you suddenly feel locked in. Just pull harder. 


Standard sized safe. Could fit a Macbook Pro 15-inch snugly (Yes, I tried)


Your usual tea/coffee making facilities. Unlike most other hotels, you are given a wider variety of tea (English Breakfast, Camomile, Songket) and coffee (regular/decaf). Sugar, creamer comes standard. Oh, did I mention you can ask for refills? (tries to maintain a straight face)

Complimentary water, refillable of course. Also note that the mini-bar comes fully stocked at the usual hotel rates (RM8 per can of Coke)


THE BATHROOM

The bathroom would be something I would call, a bathroom that I want. Firstly, it is massive. Secondly, it has everything that you need. The lighting inside is soft and romantic which would be good if you are on your honeymoon but bad if you need to shave your moustache. 


Try and guess how high the bathroom is. I am 6 feet 1 inch tall. All I can say is: WOW! 


Shower on the right, toilet on the rear left and bathtub on the left. The glass separators are great partitions but can be a nuisance when you are walking around with sleepy eyes.



Not really a rain shower but has great water pressure for a clean and invigorating bath. However, there are 2 knobs. One of which controls the water pressure and one for temperature. Takes a short time to familiarise but it can give you a rude shock. If you feel like relaxing after a long day, the bathtub is a nice place for a soak. It's large and clean but there aren't any bath salts so you might just end up soaking in soapy water (get creative with the shower gel)






Nicely wrapped toilet amenities. Enough items in here to allow you to leave your toiletries bag at home (also free reloads).

The sink is rather small despite the bathroom being rather big. If you are the kind who likes to turn on the tap to the max, be careful cause the small and shallow sink causes a significant amount of splashing. On a lighter note, this provides more space on the counter top to place your toiletries, make-up kit and so on.


The apportionment of items is like Noah's Ark. There are a pair of bath towels, face towels, water bottles, rinsing glasses, bath robes and toothbrushes. 

Other accompaniments include a shaving razor, shower cap, makeup mirror, cotton buds, comb and body lotion. For the weight conscious, there is a weighing scale as well.


OTHER PARTS OF THE ROOM


After covering those main parts of the room, you do have a small but rather sad looking balcony overlooking the central garden. You kinda get two wooden chairs and a small table to put your drinks. Sat down for a minute, got back up and went back into the room.


A good place to sit if you love the outside air. But in Malaysia, during the daytime, it's extremely hot, at night, you become a blood donor to the pesky mosquitoes. Unless you like either of those activities, it is a high probability that you would not even step out onto the balcony.


EXTERNAL AMENITIES

On the plus side, if you wish to go for a little jog but hate the heat, there is also a well equipped gym for you to have your regular workout. From an easy jog to toning up the biceps, the gym has almost all the necessary equipment to suit the occasion. 


Hmmmmmm.... Which one should I start with first? #spoiltforchoice


From the gym, you are treated to a very green landscape which is not only soothing for the eyes but also for the mind.


The hotel also has a swimming pool (didn't get a shot of it) with sun chairs for those enthusiastic enough for a tan (or skin cancer for that matter). Also available is a spa with an assortment of treatments. Would recommend booking in advance to avoid disappointment, especially nearing the holiday season. Finally, for those who wish to go out, there is a complimentary shuttle service to Alamanda Shopping Mall situated nearby as well as to Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC). *subject to change


FOOD & BEVERAGE

There are 4 different food outlets in this hotel but I only managed to have my meal at one of them for both dinner and the buffet breakfast. The quality of the food is so-so, which was rather disappointing considering the reputation of Shangri-La chain of hotels. The portion of food for the ala-carte meal was significantly small:




For dinner, I had a plate of Spaghetti Cabonara with chicken meat. Price was RM36 (chargeable to your room) but the portion was ridiculously small. Ended up feeling hungry after a couple of hours. So, what to do when you are hungry at 10pm?



Yeap, you crack out the instant noodles. Can't remember the brand name but it is definitely filling and nice.


The all-you-can-eat buffet breakfast was slightly better but not by much. The variety of food is similar to the likes of most 5-star hotels in Kuala Lumpur combining a fusion of continental, Asian and contemporary Malaysian cuisine together. However, as the food is prepared in bulk quantities, some of the food tastes rather bland which may ruin some appetites.


Continental, Asian and Malaysian on a plate. Apple juice and tea to wash it down and some slices of smoked salmon and bacon in the background.


FINAL IMPRESSIONS

Overall, this hotel lives up to its name of Shangri-La. The rooms are truly a delight despite some renovations needed here and there. Customer service is great with proper 5-star amenities to make the stay even more luxurious. However, the food was definitely a let down. 

Overall, I would definitely recommend this hotel for those looking for a place to get away from it all for the weekend without going too far away from the city. For more information, you can go to: 




The contrast of the landscape between afternoon and evening by the poolside. Note that in the evening, complimentary cocktails and tidbits are served at the pool bar, exclusive for all hotel guests.


Until my next post. Cheers!





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