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TO THE POINT: We checked out Hotel Stripes in Kuala Lumpur, part of the Marriott Autograph Collection. Pros: There’s a great rooftop view and plenty of potential. Cons: Spotty service and shoddy construction indicate the hotel’s still going through growing pains.
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For my second night in the hotel, I booked a similar room (a deluxe) for $83.73 on my Chase Sapphire Reserve to get 3x Ultimate Rewards points. I counted on being able to combine reservations when I checked in, so I wouldn’t have to switch rooms. As part of an exclusive offer, I selected the package targeted toward customers who had linked their SPG and Marriott Rewards accounts; this got me an upgrade, a free breakfast, a 4pm checkout and 1,000 bonus points (almost doubling the points I’d earn for the stay).
The front-desk agent was able to combine my reservations and said I’d been upgraded to an executive deluxe room — the room I’d booked for the first night would be mine for both nights. With my Gold status (a perk of the Platinum Card from American Express), I was hoping for a bit more, but technically I received what I’d been promised.
The marble floor of the entryway led to crushed-velvet-style carpeting in the main area. A closet in the hall opened to a safe, mini bar and electric kettle. A larger closet in the main room provided robes, slippers, iron and board, two drawers and a good amount of room for hanging clothes.
The bed was quite comfortable, as was a small sofa with four cushions.
An exterior concrete lattice blocked any real chance for a view but did let in more light than I would have expected.
The bathroom was floor-to-ceiling marble, save for a mirror and a glass shower door. The shower was roomy, and the water temperature and pressure were excellent.
I had trouble connecting to the hotel Wi-Fi, and after I spent a few minutes on the phone, an IT guy came to the room to try the same passwords I’d been given on the phone. He said he’d go downstairs and check the systems and call me, which he did, but it took 90 minutes from my first call to get Internet. When I did, the speeds weren’t great: 5.44Mbps downloading and 4.19Mbps uploading.
The light switches were oddly placed, and it was hard to figure out what switch did what (why does the switch by the bed turn on the sink’s vanity mirror?). And speaking of light, the closet doors turned on the interior light automatically, which was great, except that the doors did not always fully close, spilling light into an otherwise darkened room.
The pool was lit beautifully at night and provided an almost mystical, glowing background to the adjoining bar.
Just off the pool was the 24-hour fitness room, featuring two elliptical machines, three treadmills, two bikes, four weight machines and even more free weights, exercise balls and mats. Towels and water were supplied.
Food and Beverage
A ground-floor restaurant, Brasserie 25, offered a full paid menu; a few floors up, guests could have breakfast and snacks at Snug.
The breakfast buffet was ample, with an omelet chef and a mix of local and Western flavors (though no pork in this majority-Muslim country).
Everything in the buffet was at least decent, and the area was well-staffed. A large refrigerator offered sandwiches, fruits, juices and yogurt, and these were available to take from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Access to “real food” snacks in the afternoon was a great perk that I used more than a couple times, though I would have liked more regional cuisine (I don’t go to Malaysia for the egg-salad sandwiches).
A series of meeting rooms of various sizes comprised another floor with its own lounge area, and a staffer was eager to show me them all.
Hotel Stripes Kuala Lumpur has the potential to be a great choice for travelers, particularly those who want a more traditional Western hotel experience with everything under one roof. But for now, it falls short of what I would expect from an Autograph Collection hotel, especially considering how much affordable luxury is available elsewhere in KL.
Have you stayed at Hotel Stripes? Do you agree with our assessment? Tell us about your experience.
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