For my exploration of Sarawak, Southern Borneo, i chose the Hilton Kuching as my first base. It’s one of the top hotels in the capital of Sarawak, situated in a prime spot on the riverfront. I booked the hotel using Hilton HHonors points and enjoyed the extra comforts of being a Gold member – too bad I only stayed for one night, it’s a hotel I’d be happy to go back to for its location, service and comfortable rooms.
Location: It’s perfect spot on the river front is one of the biggest assets of the Hilton Kuching. The lounge and premium rooms have great views of the river and the state assembly on the other side, framed by the sunset in the evning – the perfect setting for a relaxed happy hour after a day of exploring Borneo. You are steps away from the promenade and can reach most of the Kuching sights and many stores, malls and restaurants by foot. You won’t need your own transportation here.
Service: I had booked a “plus” riverfront room using points and due to my Gold status with HIlton Hhonors, Before I even checked in, the hotel reached out with a personal email to ask about any wishes I had for my stay. I responded, more to check out if this was more than a template email and they answered every single one of my questions and requests within a few hours! I was upgraded to an Executive Level room, also facing the river. I was guided to the separate reception on the lounge level and checked in quickly. The staff was friendly and made sure to point out the services on offer and their willingness to assist with any. The lounge was thinly staffed, but responsive. Overall, service was good, but not as ever-present, friendly and anticipating your every wish as at the Hyatt Kota Kinabalu. I’d consider that first-world problems!
Room: My room had an amazing river view and was of good size, although one of the smaller rooms they have according to the floor plan. It was clean and overall in good shape. The decor was an odd mix of dark, contemporary carpets and wood furniture, seemingly from a recent renovation, and a chair, bathroom fixtures and doors that apparently were skipped in the renovation and showed some signs of wear. Given the price category, it was minor but did stood out a little. The bathroom was small, the shower with a nice all-glass enclosure, yet the tiles and grouting looked stained or mildew-y. The room had the expected TV, coffee/tea facilities and large, laptop-ready safe, all in fine working order.
Amenities/Restaurant: The hotel has the club lounge with a happy hour with drinks and snacks and a continental breakfast. I enjoyed both – the happy hour had nibbles, while the breakfast had fruit, pastries as well as a small warm selection. Both was in line with what US hotels typically offer, but not nearly as opulent as the Hyatt Kota Kinabalu. There are several restaurants in the hotel, which I didn’t try – so you have plenty of choices! There is a nice pool; the gym is under renovation, but a small, temporary one is provided in the meantime – a nice touch that most other hotels don’t provide during renovations.
Overall, the Hilton Kuching is a comfortable base with a great location, nice rooms and good service and I wish I had stayed longer. While it didn’t wow me like the Hyatt KK did, it’s a solid choice in Kuching – competing with a few local, independent hotels and the newer Pullman hotel, a little further away from the river. I’d recommend you consider it for an upscale stay in Kuching!