Sunday, December 28, 2014

BEING TUNED IN @ TUNE KLIA2 AIRPORT MALAYSIA

Thanks to Air Asia's early departure time for a flight, I had to test the TUNE Hotel at the KLIA2 airport. Well, after booking and paying for the TUNE Hotel, Air Asia actually cancelled their flight completely, so I ended up with a room I did not need! Thanks you losers!

Anyway, I flew out with a full service airline instead at KLIA airport, so I also got to test the transfer between the two airports! 

The TUNE is a no-thrills accommodation, but very clean and for an airport hotel not too expensive. It is "attached" to KLIA2 airport through a covered walkway and is just minutes away from the KLIA Ekspres station, the Gateway Shopping Mall and the airport. It is all easy to walk, even with luggage and I had no problems at all to find my way. Just keep looking for the signs!

The room was small but big enough for one person to spend an afternoon and night in. With my booking rate I had free Wifi access and got a password. Connection was pretty good. The bathroom is also small with minimal amenities, so you better have your own. A/C was also included in my rate, but I heard that you usually have to book all these "extras". There is NO free drinking water, which makes the TUNE the second hotel I have been in, after the Peninsula Excelisor in Singapore, which came without water bottles. However the price was half of what the guys in Singapore charge. 

There is a Seven Eleven and a Restaurant connected to the hotel, which are open 24 hours, though with a mini selection. Alternatively the Gateway Mall offers enough options for shopping and restaurants. 

In my own rating system the TUNE came out like this: 

Location 5 of 5 (as a conscious decision)
Room Size 4 of 5
WiFi free and working 5 of 5 (but included in my rate)
Breakfast included and yummy 0 of 5
Staff competency and friendliness 5 of 5
Safety box in the room and adequate size 4 of 5
Bathroom functionality 4 of 5
Room design and functionality 4 of 5
Sounds 4 of 5

As for the sounds, I could not hear any airplanes but the other guests were rather noisy, which is not the hotels fault. The rooms were too small to hold several people, so some guests let their kids play in the hallway until really late at night and they kept slamming the doors.  

For a 7 am flight I had plenty of time to get with a lot of luggage from the Hotel, through the walkway, up into the KLIA Ekspres train and from KLIA2 to KLIA airport.  Though I did buy my train ticket the night before and checked for the scheduled departure times and knew my way!

















 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

MY HOTEL SENTRAL EXPERIENCE - KUALA LUMPUR MALAYSIA

So, it was worth a try to check out another hotel. It was a friends recommendation and I chose it for the location and the price. Picking the highest category of Hotel Sentral in K.L.'s  Sentral/Brickfields area I thought I would save some budget on my travels and still stay central. 

There is actually nothing "executive" in the booked "executive" rooms at Hotel Sentral, other then being on the 15th floor, which is the top floor. The room itself was smaller than the room of a friend who just booked a normal room there. The price of the room was still good, so my expectations were set to that price level. 

In my own rating system, the Hotel would come out like this (based on the cheaper price)

Location 5 of 5 (as a conscious decision)
Room Size 4 of 5
WiFi free and working 2 of 5
Breakfast included and yummy 5 of 5
Staff competency and friendliness 3 of 5
Safety box in the room and adequate size 5 of 5
Bathroom functionality 4 of 5
Room design and functionality 3 of 5
Sounds 2 of 5

The room had windows, but very small ones, going out the backside of the hotel. They did not lock properly, so I could still hear all the sounds coming up from the street level. 

The Wifi was free but basically non-existent to me. I gave up when I lost my connection during an important transaction. 

Breakfast was surprisingly good. Vegetarian and Indian options. Not many options for western visitors, but that is ok with me. 

The cleaning of the room happened late. Very late! And having the "do not disturb" sign outside did not keep the staff from calling my room phone to fill up the mini-bar. After telling them that I did not use the mini-bar I got another call from the lobby that the staff needs to fill the mini-bar! This process is done independently of the room cleaning, so you are disturbed twice!

The location was chosen purposely by me. Easy access to KL Sentral station was a key objective and with the new link between the Station and Nu Sentral Mall, the hotel is easily accessible through a few escalators and a short walk. Though when it rains you will still be wet. 

All in all a cheaper hotel, but it failed to live up to my expectations with regards to the executive rooms. Getting a normal room will be the same I think and it is ok for a night or two. No pool, no gym, no thrill, long waits at the lift but for the price level it is ok.  For the same price you will get a windowless mini-room without breakfast in Singapore!







 

MY BLOGGING EXPERIENCE WITH GOOGLE - NOT!!!

So I tried to blog here about my travels to Myanmar and Laos and what happened? Google "discovered" a "suspicious" attempt to log in from Vientiane, Laos...Well, surprise surprise, Google! This behaviour is actually called TRAVEL!  Hard to believe, but there are people who travel to weird locations and they still use their own equipment and their known passwords. 

So, google logged me out and wanted to send a code to my phone number, which of course did not work in Laos. The "backup" email solution?  That would be Yahoo!, which also logged me out because of "someone" tried to login from an unknown location. 

Well, google and yahoo you are just hopeless "world leaders" and I am seriously thinking about quitting you all together and going to others who are less intrusive to my privacy. 

I am back in now, but it's good that I did not travel for a year!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

MY TWIN TOWERS - PETRONAS TWIN TOWERS, MALAYSIA

Of course no visit to Kuala Lumpur is complete without a visit to the Petronas Twin Towers. I have been in and out of there many times, at various levels and times of the day and I have always enjoyed those visits. 

Shopping at the towers is great and I have found items which I would not have gotten anywhere else. Eating at the towers is great too, though more exclusive and more expensive, unless you just visit one of the food stalls. 

Getting a ticket to walk the bridge is A MUST!! I always reserve mine online, so I don't have to stand in line and run the risk of the tickets being sold out. Last visit I timed my visit to the bridge so I can do "sunset" from the bridge and got lucky!  


And I have recently done the visit to the Viewing Deck on the 86th Floor, which is truly awesome! 

I also do enjoy walking in the park in front of the towers and enjoy the ever changing views from there during the daytime. Though recently there was a lot of construction going on and parts of the park were closed. Night time is of course also one of my favourites and the water fountains in front of the towers offer some great photo opportunities. 













Wednesday, September 3, 2014

MY BEST VIEWS - MENARA/KUALA LUMPUR TOWER

Of course I have been to the Menara, the Kuala Lumpur tower. It's a must when in the city and I have been up the tower on every visit. 

I usually take it day by day until I see that the weather is perfect (means for me: no clouds, no rain) and I typically visit in the morning hours. 

I have never taken public transport but have walked to the tower from wherever I was, which gives me another nice route to explore. 

The last bit is the most sweaty one, up the steep hill. But there is a shuttle which will take you up the last bit, if you wait by the entrance. 

While the Observation Deck is nice to visit and about half the price, I do enjoy the Open Deck the most. The price of 99 RM was steep, but absolutely worth it. You almost have the platform to yourself, since most people will not want to pay the higher price. For "view fetishists" like myself it is just awesome to be out on the open platform at 300 meters above the ground. I had to sign a special paper though before going up, waving any legal claims in case I jumped! 

The Observation Deck is nice too, but you will view through the coloured glass and with the beams blocking some of your views. The shops are also located on this floor at 276 meters above the ground. 

It's a nice experience and I am looking forward to doing it again.