Monday, June 28, 2021

Pandemic Trip 2021 ✈ Majestic Hotel KL and St. Regis KL

After completing my 10-days quarantine in a hotel room, I decided to celebrate my freedom by spending 2 extra nights in KL for a 'staycation'. Well, the real reason was because the flight that I had booked to for my next destination was scheduled for 2 days later so I needed somewhere to stay. My arrival in Malaysia also coincided with several ongoing Marriott promos so I decided to do a mattress run to earn double points and double elite nights for my 2022 Marriott elite status.

28 March -  3 Apr 2021: The Majestic Hotel KL 
Prior to my trip to Malaysia, I speculatively made several reservations at Category 1 Marriott hotels in KL with the plan of taking advantage of the various promotions to maintain my elite status for 2022. For this stay, I was able to stack 3 Marriott promos as follows to earn 12 elite night credits for only 18,000 Marriott points + $66 (RM276), thanks to this FrequentMiler post
  • Super Off-Peak Promotion: 10% discount on off-peak redemption rates for all reservations through September 30, 2021 booked between January 11, 2021 and February 21, 2021.  
  • Double Points and Elite Nights: From February 16 through April 27, 2021, members will earn double the number of points and elite night credits for stays of two nights or more. 
  • 5th Night Free: For Standard Room Reward stay of five or more nights, the 5th night is free.

My original reservation for 6 nights at AC Hotel KL

There are 4 Category 1 hotels in KL (i.e. Putrajaya Marriott Hotel, Four Points by Sheraton Puchong, Four Points Sheraton Chinatown, and AC Hotel KL). The standard off-peak award for a Cat 1 hotel is 5,000 points. By stacking the 5th night free and super off-peak promotion, I was able to book 5 nights at the hotels above for 16,000 - 18,000 points. In order to also qualify for the double point and elite nights, I had to include at least one paid night in my award reservation and I was able to do so thanks to this FrequentMiler post.

As you can see, the Majestic Hotel KL is not one of the Category 1 hotels noted above. It's actually a Category 3 hotel requiring 15,000 points per night (almost as much as the total points for 5 nights at a Category 1 hotel). However, I received an email from AC Hotel about 3 weeks before the stay informing that the hotel is still closed and guests were given the option to relocate to The Majestic Hotel KL. Honestly, I was going to cancel this reservation and keep only the Four Points Chinatown reservation (which was cheaper) but the relocation option was a game changer.

18,000 Marriott points + $66 for a stay worth $510 (RM2,120)...not bad at all!

And it got even better with the complimentary Titanium upgrade to the Grand Suite for our stay! 

The Grand Suite...our room for 6 nights. I've actually stayed in the same suite back in 2018

This awesome view of KL City from the suite never gets old. 

One of the Titanium Elite benefits is daily complimentary breakfast for 2 at the Contango. Due to Covid, they replaced the buffet breakfast with a semi-buffet (i.e. we could order from the buffet station by dropping a stick with our table number and the waiters will serve it to our tables). The food selections were definitely much more limited than what they had in 2018 but there was still a decent amount of crowd who came just for the breakfast on the weekend.

As the Majestic Club Lounge was closed (due to Covid), we were given the option to order daily evening snacks and the hotel staff would bring them to our suite. 

Overall, I must say the hotel did a pretty good job maintaining a lot of the elite benefits despite of the current situation. Temperature checks and check-ins on MySejahtera were required upon entry to the hotel, but other than that, everything else seemed to be pretty normal.

3 - 4 April 2021: The St. Regis KL 
Traveling during the pandemic means a lot of uncertainties. As a matter of fact, I didn't finalize my post-quarantine travel plans until 4 days before my quarantine ended. I booked my outbound flight from KL only 5 days before the flight, and booked 1 night at the St. Regis the day before checking in. For this stay, I decided to use hubby's Marriott 35K free night certificate as it was going to expire in August and I've never stayed at a St. Regis before so I figured this was a good opportunity to use it. Besides, the St. Regis is conveniently located next to KL Sentral so I was able to walk to KL Sentral to catch the train to the airport upon check out.

The value of this award redemption was definitely not as great but I'd much rather use it in a 5-star hotel in Asia than trying to burn it in a 3-star hotel in the US later.

Same as the Majestic Hotel, there was temperature check and hand sanitizer at the hotel entrance. The lobby looks fancy and they certainly made all guests feel like a VIP at check-in. As this reservation was made under hubby's account, I wasn't able to use any of my Titanium benefits.

The St. Regis Butler Service is a signature offering and each guest is assigned a butler at check-in. I can call the butler to order coffee/tea up to 6 times a day, request for complimentary pressing of 2 garments per night, and the hotel also provide evening turn down service. I'm more of a DIY person so I didn't use the butler service at all apart from the 1 cappuccino they brought after I checked-in.

I booked the Deluxe Room but they upgraded me to the Grand Deluxe room with Lake Gardens view. There's a large walk-in wardrobe, a large bathroom with fully automated Toto toilet, a study desk which I did not use, a super comfy bed, and automated curtains.

In-room amenities, including masks and hand sanitizers. 

Floor to ceiling windows with a nice view of KL city skyline.

For those who've watched Crazy Rich Asian, the Astor Bar at St. Regis KL was the filming location for the luxurious private jewelry vault where Astrid's character was introduced.

The swimming pool and gym were both open, with SOP requiring guests to reserve 45-min slot in advance to use the pool.

This was a short stay and I didn't spend much time in the hotel as I had to check-out early the next morning to catch my flight. The hotel is nice and luxurious but would I consider returning? Probably not. There are many other Marriott hotels in KL that provide better value for money (points).

Anyway, here are some other things I did on my short weekend in KL...

Met up with college buddies for dinner at Bangsar Shopping Mall.

Enjoyed some local food with bro and SIL.

Coincidentally, my cousin from UK arrived Malaysia on the same day as I did. She invited us to her nephew's 1st birthday party and the timing was perfect as my quarantine ended just in time to join the party. I was glad to be able to meet up and catch up with the cousins, aunt and uncle during this unplanned/unexpected gathering. 

13-14 Mar 2021:  Four Points by Sheraton Kuala Lumpur, Chinatown 
This was a stay I booked prior to my arrival for bro to test out if the double elite night works for award bookings and to help check out the hotel as I was trying to decide which Cat 1 hotel to choose for my 'mattress run'. This hotel dropped from Category 2 to Category 1 in March so the stay only required 4,000 points/night. It's a fairly new hotel, centrally located, and is definitely an option I'll consider the next time I need a hotel in KL.

The Titanium elite benefits are pretty good but they wrongly assumed my gender. Oh well, it worked out fine because my bro was Mr.! 

Lobby area

The assigned the Premier room with Downtown view initially, stating that the Premier Suite was not available. However, due to the malfunction AC in the room, they upgraded bro to the Premier Suite. 

The hotel is located next to the Merdeka 118, which is still under construction. Upon completion, the 118-story building will become the tallest building in Malaysia and also in Southeast Asia, and will be the second-tallest building in the world.

Titanium Elite benefits include complimentary breakfast for 2 at Quan's Kitchen.

Titanium Elite benefits at this hotel also included 2 drinks at Jann between 5pm to 7pm.

That's all for my quick post-quarantine staycation in KL. The hotel industry is certainly suffering from the pandemic so I'm thankful that the hotel staffs are still doing the best to maintain a good level of service for the guests. I'm certainly not taking for granted the opportunity to have these staycations during these trying times. 

No comments: