Meritin Hotel, your Perfect Abode in Kuching

December 5, 2017 by  
Filed under Hotel Reviews

If you are planning to discover Kuching and staying at the heart of the city, Meritin Hotel is the place for you!

Photo credit to Agoda

The newly constructed Meritin Hotel is located within the “Golden Triangle” on Padungan Street. You could not miss it as it is the only tall building there and it clearly outshines the other buildings at either side of it. Its architectural design weaves together Asian elegance with modern layout.

The hotel is located right smack in the centre of the city for business, leisure or shopping.

The hotel logo is symbolic of the Chinese character “??” which means “People”. They intend to deliver the best experience to every person, every reservation, every time.

You could spend a day cycling around the city along Padungan Street, Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman and The Main Bazaar just to take in the daily life of Kuching city and the people in Kuching. You could also opt to take a sampan across the Sarawak River to visit the State Legislative Assembly (DUN Complex), Fort Margherita, The Astana, or simply enjoy a leisurely walk around traditional villages and colonial shops dating as far back as 1900s.

The hotel is just steps away from supermarkets, currency exchange and popular eateries. The popular eateries serve a wide selection of seafood and local delicacies such as Top Spot Seafood Centre, Pork Noodles (Noodle Descendants), Dim Sum (Hong Kong Noodle House) and traditional coffee shops that brew local coffee. There are also hawker stalls that serve local specialties such as Laksa, Ayam Penyet, Nasi Lemak, Mee Jawa, and more good food.

If you feel like having Western gourmet instead, there is a Western restaurant called Tom’s Steak House that is ready to serve you with menus like steaks and wine as well as providing local gracious hospitality, while cafes such as Bing! Café and Life Café, can serve you freshly brewed coffee, delightful sandwiches and light meals.

There is a total of 65 rooms in the hotel and are furnished with fine parquet flooring. The rooms are sufficiently bright, spacious, clean and comfortable. It is well equipped with basic amenities to meet every traveller’s needs, which includes a high speed Internet access, a writing desk and a tea and coffee making facility.

Meritin Hotel Cafeteria

Meritin Hotel Cafeteria

Meritin Hotel Cafeteria

Here are some of the facilities provided by Meritin Hotel:

  • Free high speed internet WIFI
  • 32? and 40? LED flat-screen TV
  • 1 IDD enabled LCD telephone
  • Satellite/cable channels
  • Complimentary drinking water
  • Coffee/tea making facilities
  • Mini fridge
  • Hairdryer
  • Safety deposit box
  • Room slippers

The free Wi-Fi is accessible in all public areas. Transport is easily available via GrabCar mobile apps.

Here are the types of room that the hotel offers:

  1. Standard Room

Standard Room

There are only 4 Standard Rooms in the hotel and it is the most popular among backpackers. The standard room is 20 sq. metres wide and comes with 1 queen bed without windows.

  1. Studio Room

Studio Room

This room is highly picked by solo traveller and there are 8 Studio Rooms available as of now. The rooms are 15 sq. metres wide, come with 1 queen bed and face either the street or the rear of the building. The soundproof floor-to-ceiling-windows ensure a good night’s sleep after a long day exploring the vibrant atmosphere of Kuching.

  1. Superior Room

Superior Room

There are 40 Superior Rooms and this room is a target for people who are travelling in groups. The superior rooms are 23 sq. metres wide and come in two types; 1 queen bed or twin single beds. The rooms are all inspired by classical elegance and are more spacious than Studio rooms. The combination of extra space and modern facilities ensure a perfect stay, no matter if you are on holiday or a weekend break. Almost all the rooms face the city centre and are soundproof from the floor-to-ceiling-windows.

  1. Premier Room

Premier Room

There are 10 Premier Rooms in the hotel. The rooms are 23 sq. metres wide. There two types of beds for the rooms; King bed or Queen bed. You get nice city view from the windows.

  1. Family Room

Family Room

The rooms are 23 sq. metres wide and come with twin double beds, as well as a view of the city from the windows. Perfect for travellers with families.

  1. Executive Suite

Executive Suite or Meritin Suite

There are only 2 suites in the hotel. The rooms are 38 sq. metres and 50 sq. metres respectively and have a sofa as well as big LCD TVs being provided. You can sleep comfortably on the King beds and enjoy the city view from the window.

All of the rooms are non-smoking rooms. The hotel support local talented artists and photographers as you could see the paintings or photographs framed up tastefully in each room.

Transport services are within easy reach of phone call or just mobile apps; taxi, Uber and GrabCar.

The hotel is also in the process of upgrading their service and facilities, so expect a gym and a mini bar being provided to the guests soon.

Mini gym coming soon!

For more information, visit their website at The Meritin Hotel or contact them at 082-550 800 for bookings.

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Pine Garden Hotel, your choice for affordable stay in Kuching

November 1, 2017 by  
Filed under Hotel Reviews

Pine Garden Hotel is among the newest hotel that opened up in Kuching recently. You cannot miss it because of its unique, bright colour in the heart of Kuching as you breeze through the flyover from airport to the city. The hotel is a 3-star boutique concept hotel.

Image courtesy to Pine Garden Hotel

The hotel is located at Lorong Seladah 1H, Taman Phoning, Kuching, which is within 3 km or 10 minutes drive from Kuching International Airport and Kuching Sentral. It is located just next to CityONE Megamall. In case of any emergency, Borneo Medical Centre is just 2km away from the hotel, or less than a 5 minutes’ drive away.

Image courtesy to Pine Garden Hotel

There are a total of 104 rooms in the hotel and are furnished with wooden or parquet flooring. The rooms are sufficiently bright, spacious, clean and comfortable. It is well equipped with basic amenities to meet every traveller’s needs, which includes a high speed Internet access, a writing desk and a tea and coffee making facility.

Here are some of the hotel facilities provided by Pine Garden Hotel:

  • Free Wireless Internet
  • Parking Space in hotel area / handicapped parking space
  • Coffee / Tea making facilities
  • Free mineral water
  • Bathroom amenities
  • Satellite TV
  • In-Room Safe Box
  • Minibar Fridge
  • Air conditioning
  • Luggage storage area
  • 24-hour reception
  • Hairdryer (on request)
  • Prayer Mat / Sejadah (on request)
  • Iron & Ironing Board (on request)
  • Hotel Shuttle Service (chargeable)

The free Wi-Fi is accessible in all public areas as well and the shuttle services are available daily upon your request for a fee.

Here are the types of room that the hotel offers:

  1. Deluxe King or Queen Room
Deluxe King or Queen Room (Pine Garden Hotel)

Image courtesy to Pine Garden Hotel

The room is designed slightly larger than the usual deluxe room with the goal to satisfy your need of comfort. Go ahead and read a book, or if you are a business traveler, get some work done at the writing desk as they provide you with an ergonomic chair and free high speed internet access.

  1. Deluxe Triple Room with 3 Super Single Bed
Deluxe Triple Room with 3 Super Single Bed (Pine Garden Hotel)

Image courtesy to Pine Garden Hotel

Deluxe triple room comes with three super single beds.

  1. Double Deluxe Room with 1 Queen Bed + 1 Single Bed

Image courtesy to Pine Garden Hotel

Double deluxe room is furnished with one Queen bed and one super single bed. This room is undeniably perfect for families with children!

  1. Superior Twin Room

Image courtesy to Pine Garden Hotel

Twin room comes with two super single beds and are nicely arranged in the room. The room is a bit smaller than the others.

Other than that, you can take your time in the spacious bathroom, complete with a rainforest shower head to give you full body shower experience. After your shower, sink into the comfort of the bed, which are the King and Queen sized beds while you enjoy your favourite TV show on the wall-mounted 32-inch flat screen LCD TV.

Image courtesy to Pine Garden Hotel

Due to the strategic location of Pine Garden Hotel, it is easy for you to move around. For example if you are to attend an appointment to go see the doctor at Borneo Medical Centre, it would only take about 10 minutes’ drive from the hotel. If you need to register at Swinburne University, this is a good hotel for you.

Besides that, you could also go for shopping trip as there are about 3 different shopping malls near to where the hotel is located, which are The Spring Shopping Mall, Vivacity Megamall and CityONE Megamall. Even MYDIN Supermarket is located inside CityONE Megamall! Then, you could maybe have a meal at Premier 101, where there are over 80 hawker stalls to choose from, which might just fit your taste bud. The stalls are usually open in the evenings.

For more information, visit their website at Pine Garden Hotel Kuching or contact them at 082-532789 for quick response.

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Grand Margherita Hotel Kuching

March 15, 2014 by  
Filed under Hotel Reviews, Sarawak

Grand Margherita Hotel, formerly known as Holiday Inn is the only riverfront hotel in Kuching with a view of the Sarawak River and the colourful villages across the river. It is situated at Golden Triangle of Kuching, with Tun Jugah Shopping Center, Sarawak Plaza, Hills Shopping Mall and Parkson Riverside Complex that are within walking distance. Walking down the external hotel steps, you can see the Cat Family Statue, the symbol of Kuching, across the road and the first McDonald restaurant in Kuching is also a plus.

Grand Margherita Hotel Map

Grand Margherita Hotel Map

Along the Waterfront, 2-minutes walk from the hotel, you get to see sampans in the river for people to get across the river to the other side. However, you can see the Astana and Fort Margherita from Waterfront without the need to hop on the boats. You can also walk to the Main Bazaar, where you can find most souvenirs sold with cheap prices. A five minutes’ walk south from the hotel, you can find Topspot Food Court located on the top level of a multi-level car park, a famous local seafood eatery and many restaurants can be found there.

Poolside at Grand Margherita Hotel overlooking the Sarawak River (photo courtesy of Grand Margherita Hotel)

Poolside at Grand Margherita Hotel overlooking the Sarawak River (photo courtesy of Grand Margherita Hotel)

The hotel has an outdoor pool, a health club and a children’s pool. The hotel also provides 24 hour room service, meeting rooms and playground. The hotel has a tour desk and if you want to visit the local beach and Sarawak Cultural Village, shuttle services to Damai and Santubong are available. Airport transfer service is also available, and for your information, the distance from the airport to the hotel takes about 20 to 30 minutes car ride.

Health room, one of the facilies available at Grand Margherita Hotel Kuching (photo courtesy of Grand Margherita Hotel)

Health room, one of the facilies available at Grand Margherita Hotel Kuching (photo courtesy of Grand Margherita Hotel)

The hotel also features valet laundry, wedding service, banquet room, first aid assistance, safe deposit box, wakeup call service, currency exchange, dry cleaning service, security and walking area.

The Grand Margherita Hotel has several restaurants. Mei San Restaurant serves chinese cuisine for lunch and dinner, while Orchid Garden Coffee House, the hotel’s main restaurant for all-day dining, serves continental and local delicacies. All the food served at both restaurants are halal.


Delicious food served at one of Grand Margherita Hotel restaurant (photo courtesy of Grand Margherita facebook page)

Delicious food served at one of Grand Margherita Hotel restaurant (photo courtesy of Grand Margherita facebook page)

There are 288 guestrooms at Grand Margherita Hotel to offer you a comfortable stay. The features include complimentary high speed internet access, television with satellite channels, coffee/tea maker, complimentary bottle drinking water, mini bar, IDD telephone, private bathroom, in-room safe, iron and ironing board and many others. This hotel also offers special facilities for disabled person too.

Scenery of Sarawak River from the Riverview rooms (photo courtesy of Grand Margherita Hotel)

Scenery of Sarawak River from the Riverview rooms (photo courtesy of Grand Margherita Hotel)

For The Executive Club guestrooms, which is ideal for business traveller, the hotel provides complimentary high speed internet access, dedicated Club Services Assistant, executive lounge, conference room, computer with high speed internet access, complimentary buffet breakfast at Executive Club Lounge, complimentary coffee/tea and complimentary evening hors d’oeuvres and cocktails from 5pm to 7pm.

One of the Superior Deluxe rooms (photo courtesy of Grand Margherita Hotel)

One of the Superior Deluxe rooms (photo courtesy of Grand Margherita Hotel)

With a choice of twin double beds or a King sized bed, guests can choose to have Deluxe, Superior, Executive or Junior Suite, of course with different prices.

If you are looking for a hotel to stay in Kuching, do not hesitate to book a room from this 4 star hotel and you will not be disappointed.

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Kuching, The Cat City – It is not just about cats

February 7, 2014 by  
Filed under General

Kuching is the capital of Sarawak. While it is a famous tourists destination, it also has a unique name. When Malaysians hear the name, the first thing that pops to their mind is cat. “Kucing” means cat and “Kuching” is the old spelling for it. Cat statues can be seen in the city mostly in the Golden Triangle of Kuching. Contrary to the belief that the city got its name from felines straying around the city, it is not how it got its name.

The Great White Cat Statue in Kuching dressed for Chinese New Year

The Great White Cat Statue in Kuching dressed for Chinese New Year

The city was called Kuching since James Brooke arrived and nobody knew when it started to be called that name. Some said that it was supposed to be “CoChin”, which means “harbor” in India. Merchants from India used to stay in Kuching on the way to China or on their way back home.

Other theory states that it was named after a tree, “pokok mata kucing” or “dragon’s eye fruit” (Euphoria longan) that could be seen on the riverside of Sungai Kuching. Another source said that the name Kuching was taken from the name of the river, Sungai Kuching, that used to exist between Chinese Museum and Tua Pek Kong. However, the river is no longer there as they have built the roads.

Sarawak was ruled by the Brookes or widely known as the Rajahs from 1841 to 1941. Throughout the years, lots of colonial building had been established.

Astana viewed from the Kuching Waterfront

Astana viewed from the Kuching Waterfront

Kuching has many interesting heritage for people to see. Historical buildings, built mostly along Sarawak River, have been revived by the Sarawak Heritage and Tourism Ministry. As most of them are popular tourists’ destinations, the buildings are well maintained. The Astana, once home for the White Rajahs of Sarawak is situated across from Kuching Waterfront. It can be viewed from Waterfront or you can hop on the sampan to take a close up view of Astana. Fort Margherita is also across the river and to go there from The Astana, you can walk there by passing the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Building.

Brooke Memorial, situated in front of Old Kuching Courthouse

Brooke Memorial, situated in front of Old Kuching Courthouse

At the Waterfront, you can see the Square Tower, near the grand stand. Water fountains are situated in front of the tower and colourful lights illuminate the fountains at night emphasizing the features of the tower. From the tower, Brooke Memorial that is in front of the Old Kuching Courthouse can be seen across the road. It displays the silhouette of Charles Brooke, the second White Rajah of Sarawak. The Old Courthouse is now known as Sarawak Tourism Complex. It also houses Magenta Restaurant, the winner of The Most Innovative Fusion Restaurant by Tourism Malaysia in 2010. You can reach The Round Tower after a short walk north of the courthouse. Near the tower is the General Post Office building and The Pavilion which houses the Textile Museum.

General Post Office Building that was built in Kuching in 1931

General Post Office Building that was built in Kuching in 1931

Nowadays, Kuching is a popular tourists destination in Malaysia. People from Peninsula Malaysia often visit this city for holiday. Apart from shopping, places like Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, Sarawak Cultural Village and Jong’s Crocodile Farm may be another few favourite stop for these tourists.

Having said that, after the city tour of Kuching, if you are into nature and adventure, your main stop would be Bako National Park. If you are into culture, your favourite stop would be Sarawak Cultural Village.

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Sarawak Laksa, Most Popular Food in Kuching City

April 9, 2009 by  
Filed under Best Kuching Eateries

If you love hot and spicy food, then on your next trip to Sarawak, especially to the capital city of Kuching, you must not miss the famous Sarawak Laksa. what food is it actually?

Famous Sarawak Laksa

Famous Sarawak Laksa

Well, it is actually rice vermicelli mixed with prawn or shrimp paste, topped with fried eggs that are cut into thin slices, blanched bean sprouts, steamed soft chicken slices and juicy tender prawns. Once all the ingredients are mixed together with thick Laksa gravy poured over it and ready to be served, you may want to squeeze a little lime over it and garnished with coriander leaves. You may also want to add in some “belachan” (spicy shrimp paste) before you consume it.

Belachan is a popular ingredient in South East Asia. It is commonly used in South East Asia and Southern Chinese cuisines as a shrimp paste or shrimp sauce. In Indonesia, belachan is known as terasi, ngapi in Burma, kapi in Thailand and mam tom in Vietnam.

A bowl of Sarawak laksa depending on whether it is a large bowl or a small bowl costs around rm4 to rm6 . (rm3.6=usd1). This Laksa is so delicious that after eating it, it may even send you licking the bowl too. You may even order a second bowl thereafter. This dish will definitely warms up your stomach for the whole day.

When you are in Kuching, you can easily find Laksa being sold in many coffee shops. However, the well known coffee shops that sent people waiting and queuing up for hours are the coffee shops at Tabuan Laru, another stall at Bormill third mile and in the city centre located beside Grand Continental hotel. My favourite Sarawak Laksa stall is at Foody Goody coffee shop at Tabuan Laru vicinity. I would patiently wait for at least half an hour on Sundays as there were just too many customers waiting for their bowl of Laksa.

The Sarawak Laksa is available only on mornings as they would be sold out by lunch time. The best and most delicious Sarawak Laksa in the whole region of Sarawak is still in Kuching city.

You should go check it out if you are in Kuching for work, business or leisure.

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