I’ve long since lost count how many hotels I’ve stayed in, in how many cities in how many countries. I’ve stayed at Ritz’s, Four Seasons, Mandarin Orientals, Hyatt’s and Hiltons.Some have been extraordinarily memorable, like the thedelightfuland tiny Savoie e Jolanda boutique hotel in Venice, The welcoming Westin Calgary, the Doubletree in Santa Monica, the humble and simple Flowers Hotel in the Republic of Moldova; the Kowloon Hotel – just to name the ones off the top of my head. Some have been startlingly bad, like the Toronto Intercontinental, Ottawa’s Airport Days Inn, the nasty little place I stayed at in Omaha (I seemed to have blocked the name out…)
Well, as of yesterday, I’ve found my favourite. As I write this, I am in the JW Marriott in the golden triangle of Kuala Lumpur. Flawless. Absolutely flawless. The hotel amenities are awesome (perhaps the best fitness facility I’ve ever seen in a hotel), but the best part is the customer service.From the people at the front desk, to the concierge and bell staff, to the cleaning staff to the fitness and spa staff, they are consistently remarkable. The hotel even throws in a few tiny little ‘wow’ moments, just to keep things interesting. It is hands-down better than any hotel I’ve every stayed in.
The employees always seem to be around when you need them, yet unobtrusive when you don’t. You get the impression from each and every one that you are the most important guest they’ve ever had. The hotel also does things that are scandalous for high-end hotels – like providing free internet, complimentary breakfasts for Marriott Card holders. (Far too many upscale hotels nickle and dime their guests to death). The housekeeper didn’t just clean around my far flung clothing – she folded them! Holy crap – my own wife won’t do that for me!
The icing on the cake happened at the pool. I went there to see if I could get a little Malaysian sun on my pasty-grey Canadian face, and to my surprise, a pool-guy just came over and handed me a nice glass of cold water and a fruit plate. Wow.
This kind of customer service consistency doesn’t happen by accident. It takes a lot of work, good people and strong leadership. And here’s the question: Why would I ever stay anywhere else when I’m in KL?
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