Holiday Inn Melaka is located at the edge of Melaka town centre. It faces the Melaka Straits and is placed in a less crowded area of Melaka. Despite this, it is still within 10 mins walk from Jonker Street and the shopping malls are just right across the road from the hotel.
Hotel Signage by the Roadside
The facade of the hotel from the swimming pool
I checked into the Straits View Executive Suite of this hotel. The suite assigned to me is located on the highest floor of the hotel as per my request, facing the Melaka Straits. Upon opening the door to my suite, the vast space in this suite blew me away. The hotel suite is decorated in a minimalistic contemporary style. Due to this design concept, any piece of furniture that the hotel places into the suite is more functional than decorative. This, coupled with the high ceiling and the floor to ceiling window (thus allowing more light into the suite), gave me a sense of spaciousness in the suite.
View of Melaka Straits from the Suite. Seem like a new reclamation has just completed. A chat with the staff revealed that a new hotel is in the plans of being built here
View of Melaka Straits from the Suite
View of the pool from the suite
View of Melaka Town from the lift lobby on the floor
The suite essentially comprises of 2 rooms and can be further segmented into 2 sections in each room. The entrance to the room ushers one into the living room. Decked out with green carpeting and white walls, the smallish dining area greets guests entering the room. Tucked away to the right side of the entrance, the dining area features a small kitchen area and a sink, which allows guests to only boil water and put away any snacks that they might have brought with them. A wall shelving mounted next to the door, is where one can find complimentary drinking water provided by the hotel. Beneath the countertop of the kitchenette is where one can find the minibar. Minibar is complimentary for this category of room. Right in front of the kitten is a small dining table, spacious enough for a party of four to gather and have some light meals. Further into this room is where one can find the lounging area. Decorated with a 2-seater couch, a coffee table, a side table, a TV console and a large LED TV, the lounge area allows one to relax and watch local channels. There is a single-seater armchair, placed next to the windows, allows one to look out into the Melaka Straits and enjoy the sunset.
Entrance to the suite with the dining area and the small kitchenette
Minimalist Lounge area with sitting and TV console
Lounge Area in front of the Floor to Ceiling Windows
Between the dining area and the lounging area of the living room, one can find the entrance to the bedroom. This room comprises of the sleeping area and the bathroom. Once one enters this part of the suite, off to the left of the entrance, one can find one king bed. There is also another single-seater armchair next to the bed. The sleep quality on the bed is mediocre, not exactly the most comfortable bed one would sleep on, nonetheless, it performed its function of giving me a night’s sleep. I particularly dislike the pillows. I am a fan of firm pillows and find the pillows to be too soft for my liking. Holiday Inn Melaka offers a choice of soft or firm pillows, however, I did not take up that option of asking for the firm pillows. In front of the bed is where one can find another LED TV mounted on the wall, next to the mirror. There is a table that doubles up as the makeup area for ladies and work desk. Along with this fixture is a ledge where one can stow away their luggage.
King Bed and a single-seater couch by the window.
Second TV inside the bedroom with dressing table doubling up as the work desk and a ledge for luggage
To the right of the entrance to the bedroom is a small corridor that leads to the bathroom. Along this corridor, one can find a full-length mirror mounted on the walls outside the bathroom. The wardrobe can also be located opposite the entrance of the bathroom. The wardrobe is rather sizeable and would have no problems for storage of a week’s clothing for 2. There are also 3 cupboards found inside the wardrobe for extra storage space.
Corridor in the bedroom that leads to the bathroom. The wardrobe is on the right side.
Decent size wardrobe sufficient to store up to 1 week’s clothing for 1 pax. The bathrobe is also found inside the wardrobe.
Ironing board and Iron with the safe and 3 tier drawers tugged away inside the wardrobe
The bathroom of this suite is rather huge. The first thing that caught my eyes is the glass window panel that allows guests to peek into the bedroom, located next to the bathtub. Some blinds can be lowered to provide privacy for users of the bathroom. The bathtub is good only for one and is rather small. Opposite the bathtub is where one can find the sink. The bathroom features double sinks and double vanity so that one will not have to fight over the sink. Next to the sink is where the toilet bowl is situated. Beside the sink, and opposite the toilet bowl, is where one can find the walk-in shower. The walk-in shower has both a rain shower head and the handheld showerhead. I find the pressure for the rain shower to be a tad too weak and used the handheld showerhead most of the time. Holiday Inn uses its in-house shower amenities, which is homogeneous no matter which hotel one visits throughout the world. These shower amenities are not exactly ultra-luxury, however, they function what they are supposed to do. One can still feel refresh using their in-house shower amenities.
Bathtub placed next to a window that peeks into the bedroom
Large mirror with double sinks and toilet bowl inside the huge bathroom
Walk-in shower featuring both a regular shower head and rain shower
The Executive Suite comes with access to the Executive Lounge. Located on the 3rd level of the hotel, the lounge is a place to relax in and grab a cold drink. The decor of the lounge is rather classy and gives me a sense of homeliness. The lounge is decked out in earthy tones from the furniture to the carpet, it is indeed a great place to relax in. There are limited couches and several dining tables in the lounge, which provides sufficient space for guests. As the lounge is usually very quiet, a visit to the lounge can be very relaxing. There is also an outdoor area for guests to enjoy the breeze from Melaka Straits. There is also a small meeting room, which is closed most of the time. One would have to approach the staff manning the counter of the lounge to utilise the meeting room. There are also several reading materials for guests to browse through whilst in the lounge. Food options are rather limited in the lounge, other than breakfast and evening cocktails, the only food available at the lounge is small amounts of biscuits, which makes the food counter look rather empty most of the time. I was a tad disappointed to learn that once guests check out of the hotel, they are not allowed to enjoy the lounge till their departure, which is different from the other major hotel chains that I have stayed in.
Entrance to the Executive lounge located on the 3rd floor
View from the outdoor seating of the lounge
Outdoor seating in the lounge
Indoor seating in Executive lounge. The decor is rather refreshing and earthy
Reading materials inside the Executive lounge
Tea Tree Spa
One of the main reason for my choosing Holiday Inn over the other hotels in Melaka is the Tea Tree Spa. The spa is inexpensive and the staffs are very professional. Entering the spa premises, one can feel a sense of zen and relaxation. The huge spa premises does not give one a sense of claustrophobia. I took up one of the promotional nearly 3-hour spa treatment, where the staff led me to a private room outside the spa area. The spa treatment is relaxing and the staffs performing the treatment on me is very skilful. One can also find the steam room, the sauna, and hot water jacuzzi inside the toilets of the spa area. The access to the gym is also via the spa.
Entrance to the Tea Tree Spa
The empty and tranquil Spa area
Inside the Tea Tree Spa
Indoor heated jacuzzi inside Tea Tree Spa
Customer rest area in Tea Tree Spa
Private rooms for the spa treatment
Inside the treatment room
Treatment room in Tea Tree Spa
Holiday Inn Melaka has a sizeable infinity pool located on the 3rd floor of the hotel. Though not Olympic sized, the pool is large enough for one to do some laps in it. There is also a limited number of deck chairs for guests. Most of the time the pool is empty, which makes it a good place to grab a tan and relax in. I particularly like the views from the pool at sunset. Due to its west-facing, one will be able to grab a good view of the sunset from the pool. There is also a jacuzzi in one corner of the pool.
Entrance to the Swimming pool
Swimming pool. A great place to relax as the crowd is rather thin
Infinity pool overlooking the Melaka Straits
The service I experienced in Holiday Inn has more misses than hits. Firstly, the staffs do not give due recognition to guests who are members of IHG. There is a dedicated desk for IHG members, however, the sign seemed to be there for display. This could be due to the high traffic of guests checking-in and the hotel is trying to get guests checking-in as soon as possible. Having said that, I have been to Holiday Inn Batam, despite that large amount of guests checking-in, the priority queue for IHG members were respected. Checking-in seemed to be slow as well during my stay in the hotel. On average guests would have to wait up to 20 mins to wait for their turn for check-in. However, staffs were seen serving cold drinks and biscuits to guests waiting for check-in, which is a good gesture.
While waiting for check-in, the staff was trying to resolve a concern that the said guest has raised, which seemed to go unresolved, hence angering the guest. What happened next was the duty manager took over and ticked the staff off in front of the guest instead of hastening to resolve the issue and allow the guest to check into his room soonest. Moreover, by doing this in front of the guest, the credibility of the staff will be affected not only to the guest in question as well as those who witnessed this episode. This will send a wrong signal both to guests and the staff involved. I had requested for late check out when I booked the room through the IHG website when enquired to the staff who was processing my check-in, his response was late check out was not possible. The reason given was that the hotel was fully booked. There was no attempt on the staff to go the extra mile to ensure good service was being accorded. The next day I tried my luck at asking for a late check out again, seeing that the hotel seemed a lot emptier than the previous day and no signs of it being full. Another staff attended to my request was able to accord a late check out for me at 3 pm. She went to the full extent to check their system and ensured that I was able to receive my late check-out request, unlike the staff who checked me in, who did not seem to be bothered to go the extra mile. When I checked out, I was again served by the staff who checked me in. When I told him he mentioned that late check out was not possible and how I got the extension for late check-out, his response was I was not being charged for the extended hours. This was when I raised the terms of the perks to him for being a Gold elite member with IHG and the terms of my suite, which clearly stated that late check-out up to 4 pm subjected to available. The staff in question then gave a sheepish smile and brushed off the issue. This seems to suggest that the staff did not know the product of Holiday Inn well and certainly did not give recognition to IHG members. This is certainly unexpected of an international hotel chain such as Holiday Inn.
Service seemed to be slow generally around the hotel. I requested for extra bath amenities and it took them almost an hour to have them delivered to my room. Having said that, the operator at the hotel’s main concierge line would call back and ensure that the toiletries have been delivered. The latter gesture is good as it allows the staff requesting their colleague on behalf of the guest to detect and rectify any fault along the chain of communication.
Despite all the slowness and the negative experience, there are some gems around the hotel. Staff at the spa were exemplary. They not only welcomed guests the moment the guest stepped into the spa and were always with their smile. The staffs professionally answered all my questions, no matter how many I have asked and how long it would take me to decide which package to take up. The staffs in the spa always were seen with their smiles on patiently asking all my questions and make recommendations. During the spa treatment, the staffs always checked back in a constant yet non-irritating pace how’s the treatment, how’s the strength. I would say this is the only place in the entire hotel where one would receive sincere and impeccable service.
The staff at the lounge were fantastic as well. They were always attentive to empty plates (during breakfast service) and looked out on where guests were seating. I took the outdoor seat, which is out of the view of the staffs. Despite that, the staffs were seen checking on guests seating at the outdoor area and promptly clear any empty plates. They always welcome guests the moment one steps into the lounge. I had my breakfast at the lounge, despite the limited variety available, I saw the staffs on duty constantly checking on the level of the food and promptly top them up when it gets low.
The suite in Holiday Inn Melaka is rather generous in terms of space. I particularly like the view from the suite, however, the sleep quality is rather mediocre. Overall the suite serves its function of providing a decent place for guests to rest. In terms of service, I find more misses than hits around the hotel. The number of staffs that bother to take the extra mile in ensuring guests are well-taken care off is limited to a mere handful. Most of the staffs just couldn’t be bothered in providing good service and appear to “just do their work”. Despite that, there are still a handful of gems in the hotel.