Friday, September 25, 2009

Extended Raya weekend – Marriott Miri Spa & Resort

I spent the extended Raya weekend (Monday and Tuesday being public holidays since Raya fell on Sunday) in Miri. We were in Miri for KM’s wedding reception – SW &HTN, Uncle Peter, Uncle Wai Leong & Aunty Shirley, Ee Lin and Uncle James. Mom, Dad and grandparents left on Friday, the rest of the gang on Saturday while Ee Lin and I travelled on Sunday. Well they were there earlier for the usual morning ceremonies e.g. hanging of the red cloth, picking up the bride etc on Sunday morning while I only needed to attend the dinner.

SW, HTN and I stayed in Marriott Miri Spa & Resort – and the room rates at RM218 was a steal! I had expected to pay at least double of that! I had initially asked KM to put me up in Eastwood Valley Resort – the site of the wedding reception – for convenience but I guess as SW “doesn’t stay in a lot of places” (HTN’s words) and Marriott had corporate rates for Shell employees, Marriott it was for us.

I didn’t find the hotel that outstanding vis-à-vis JW Marriott in KL or the Singapore Marriott which I’ve been to. The latter two on first sight exudes opulence, charm and luxury. The Marriott Miri was pretty jaded and the open reception area was like any other 3 star hotel. I’m wondering if I’m being biased since it would be hardly fair to compare city business hotels with a resort but this brings to mind my stay in Tanjong Jara.

On the ground level, there is the reception area, lounge with a bakery cum gift shop on the right and the gym a bit further back on the right as well. Go down one level you’ll see the coffee house, pool and the Mandara Spa. Oh I especially like the water fountain on the lower ground – the seahorses at the centre were the main attraction. Both levels exude delightful essential oil aromas.

The size of the room was pretty much standard but what took me by surprise was the enjoined kitchenette complete with stoves, sink, pots and pans (not that I had intended or even did any cooking). I found the setting, furniture down to the embroidered bed cover and amenities were almost the same as those in the Singapore property! A Marriott standard nonetheless! I don’t really have any issues per say with the room but I can’t exactly proclaim that I enjoyed it like I usually do when I’m in Singapore. One minor bit - I wished the bathroom came with a separate shower booth.

I hopped along to the gym on Monday morning intending to do a short run but ended up on the cross trainer instead – was too tired and lethargic to work out and this feeling stayed with me throughout the day that I even had to cancel my session with Satish that evening. On the plus side, the gym was very well equipped and the equipment they carried are similar to those in CF e.g. Cybex.

After a 30 min easy workout, I decided to cool down with another easy swim. This however proved to be a mistake. I had a bad encounter with the pool when I went swimming on Monday morning - the floor of the pool was dirty with bits of sand, twigs, leaves which made for a very uncomfortable swim.

Another snag on this trip was that the hotel forgot to stock up the room with extra towels, a request I had made via an email and followed up with a call days earlier. Well had Ee Lin bunked in with me or if I was staying on longer, I would have cooked up a ruckus.

All in, no one particular incident in the Marriott Miri was memorable which is so different from my experiences with the Marriott Singapore – I’ve always enjoyed my stays in Singapore and the top notch service I receive.

Photo log - including a little something from MAS given the Raya hols:


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