This is a two-week overdue post! Sorry, I have been hopping on airplanes *chewah* for the past two weeks on business trips so unfortunately this blog got neglected. No lah, I'm just swamped with work!
But during my business trip, I managed to find time to hatch a surprise hotel getaway to celebrate Father's Day. We have been to practically every hotel in the vicinity of KL but somehow we missed Doubletree by Hilton. And the best part? I could redeem a stay by just using my Hilton Honors points. It was 10,000 points for Doubletree (HHonors Reward Category 2) versus 50,000 points for KL Hilton (HHonors Reward Category 1). Quite an obvious choice actually! Plan for the day? Absolutely nothing. Just chill in a hotel for the weekend.
The day before Father's Day, my in-laws called to invite us to a pre Father's Day lunch cum birthday celebration for my sister-in-law at Hadramawt in Ampang. Knowing that we wouldn't have time to turn back home to pack, I had to break the surprise by asking Hubby to pack so we could check-in right after the lunch.*boo hoo hoo* (Funny story, Aiden reprimanded me for telling Hubby about the surprise. His exact words, "Mummy! You're not allowed to tell him! It's supposed to be a surprise!" Sorry baby, Mummy had to spoil the surprise to be practical.)
|On the way to Ampang. Ian fast asleep.|
|Fathers and grandfathers.|
|Ian excited to use his feet. Whoa, don't grow up too fast Ian!|
|Chubby cheeks selfie.|
After the very scrumptious lunch, we drove to Doubletree. Check in was a breeze. I had booked a deluxe room, but charmingly asked for an upgrade at the check-in counter. They happily obliged by upgrading us to an executive room which included access to the Executive Lounge on Level 34 plus free Wi-Fi. I think it had something to do with my Hilton Honors status. I guess it does pay to be loyal to Hilton, after all!
Not to forget - the Doubletree signature cookies. Everyone will be given a jumbo cookie upon check-in (and check-out). Since we had four in the family, we received four heavenly cookies. I was also asked to choose a lucky draw raffle ticket at the check-in counter. Guess what I won? A tin of cookies! *grin* Hey, i'm not complaining! So before we took the lift to our room, we made a pit stop at The Food Store (their in-house cafe) to collect our own tin of cookies. I am still savouring every single bite of the cookie, at time of writing this post.
|Doubletree signature cookie, and rows and rows of cookie tins at The Food Store.|
We were given a lovely quiet room at the end of the corridor, on Level 33. Even though we kept to the TripAdvisor's tip to ask for the higher floors for a great view of the KLCC Twin Towers - unfortunately, our room view was not very pleasing. We were facing a concrete jungle - mismatched buildings everywhere! We tried asking for a room with a better view, but sadly they were at full occupancy that week - and they were quite apologetic about it too. On a positive note, we were quite happy with the modernly designed room, it was bright and shiny and big enough for the four of us.
|The twin executive room. Yes, we have to choose twin rooms nowadays due to the expanding family! *sigh*|
|The writing table and the very comfortable sofa by the window.|
|Ian officiating the bed.|
|You can see the sink from the bed - I guess some people find it romantic to look at their soulmate brushing their teeth in the morning!|
|The left is the bathroom with the blinds down, while on the right is Aiden peering into the bathroom with the blinds up.|
|My favourite part about staying at the Hilton chain of hotels. Plush hotel robes and Crabtree and Evelyn toiletries.|
I religiously collect their Crabtree and Evelyn toiletries. Sadly, they have changed the packaging from the lovely blue containers I am so used to, to those greenish yellowish tinge bottles. I don't like them! (If you ever come to my humble home, check out my guest bathroom as it is equipped with Crabtree and Evelyn toiletries, all from Hilton!)
After exploring the room, we changed the kids into their swimming costumes and headed to the Executive Lounge for evening cocktails. We were quite impressed with their selection of food. And we were lucky we arrived on the dot at the start of snack time - by the time we left an hour later, people were struggling to find seats. I was also very happy that they allowed Aiden and Ian into the lounge - some hotels are pretty strict with not allowing kids in. There was even a wailing baby (not Ian!) when we were there - guests were kind enough to ignore the cries.
|The Executive Lounge.|
|Ian fast asleep allowing us to eat in peace. Aiden was also happy that they accommodated his request for Iced Milo!|
|The impressive food spread. Aiden started with fruits and dessert, then moved on to fried drummets (not in picture) until he could barely move!|
|At the end of the meal, Aiden woke up, just in time for the next agenda for the day - swimming!|
|Whilst waiting for Hubby to change into his swimming suit, I couldn't resist an OOTD in front of the full sized mirror. I was fully dressed in Marks & Spencer, bag by Chanel.|
|The swimming pool. This picture really doesn't do justice to the place. The adult pool was big and clean; and there was a lovely kids pool tucked away at the corner of this pool (not visible in this picture).|
|I loved that they had plenty of deck chairs around the swimming pool. We managed to secure a spot just by the kiddy pool. Perfect for supervising Aiden!|
|Aiden posing by the kiddy pool.|
|Apologies for the blurry pictures. I was trying to get a photo of Aiden trying to swim after his Daddy; and juggle Ian on the other hand.|
|The three boys.|
|Lovely view by the pool.|
|By the time we were ready to leave, it was already nightfall.|
That night, we were too lazy to go out for dinner and still full from the food at the Executive Lounge. Aiden on the other hand, wanted "nasi goreng with egg". Ian also looked quite hungry (I forgot to pack his food!) so since Doubletree is connected to the Intermark shopping mall, I asked Hubby to walk down to Jaya Grocer for some Heinz baby food while I called room service.
Talking about forgetting things, I forgot to pack Ian's bottle warmer too. Doubletree Hilton has a Tiny Trees program which caters for everything related to babies and toddlers to make their stay more comfortable. They provide everything, from babysitters to even a baby bath tub. Which is, in my opinion, a great effort by Hilton to aide guests travelling with kids. So I called to inquire whether they had a bottle warmer available. To be honest, the lady who answered my call was quite confused on what a bottle warmer was and it took her a good 15 minutes to return my call to confirm that she had one available. Unfortunately, they needed a RM200 cash deposit for the warmer! Seriously, bottle warmers are cheap nowadays, and I did not have that much cash with me (heard of debit cards??!!), and really, why can't they just charge the deposit to the room? In the end I just boiled water using the room kettle to reheat Ian's milk.
Next up, the room service. Typically, Hubby and I would stick to a tried and tested dish for all Malaysia hotels - their Nasi Goreng. It is usually the tastiest meal in the in-room dining menu. However, I was extremely disappointed with Doubletree's fried rice. The rice was soft and soggy - a really big no no for me. It wasn't tasty as well. Such a waste of money!
Last but not least - there was no coverage of the World Cup on TV. Heck, even the hotel I was in, in Miri had a dedicated channel just for World Cup. I repeat - dedicated. Hubby even walked up to the Executive Lounge to see whether he could enjoy the game there (they provided better TV channels and even loan iPads for use), but they close at 11pm.
Putting the complaints aside, we enjoyed the powerful walk-in rain shower in the bathroom (albeit a tad disappointed that they didn't have a bathtub!), and finally managed to get everyone in bed at a reasonable time. The next morning, Hubby woke up early (he was the first in the Executive Lounge!) and after a light breakfast there, he headed to the gym for his morning exercise. While he was at the gym, I went to the coffee house - Makan Kitchen, to make arrangements for Hubby's surprise Father's Day breakfast.
I was very happy with the Makan Kitchen staff, they were friendly and cooperative when I explained what I wanted. They booked us seats at a quiet corner and arranged for an omelette with a special message, to be delivered once Hubby arrived. I then went back to the room and got the kids ready. Once Hubby returned to the room, we blindfolded him and Aiden held his hand as we went down for Father's Day breakfast!
|Hubby fresh from the gym so excuse the short pants. And Hubby riding the elevator down to Makan Kitchen while fellow elevator passengers looked on curiously.|
|Aiden helping with the blindfold.|
|Happy Father's Day! To the best daddy our kids can ever hope for.|
|Aiden hand-picked the card. We pre-wrote the card at home. Aiden wrote in a rush to hide it from his Daddy - so excuse the weird H and Y for Happy. Hubby was walking through the door and he kept screaming "Don't come near me, Daddy!!" *grin*|
|Ooppss we forgot Ian so he're another picture with Ian in it.|
|A bouquet of Ferrero Rocher in lieu of flowers.|
|Thanks to the staff of Makan Kitchen, here is Aiden proudly carrying his Daddy's Father's Day omelette.|
|Apparently, we forgot Ian again in this picture.|
|Sorry, Ian! (Ian and his muka merajuk!)|
|Father's Day family photo.|
|Thank you, Makan Kitchen! We really enjoyed their range of breakfast buffet - we were spoilt for choice with not just the typical continental breakfast, but also the Malay, Indian, Chinese cuisines.|
Slight complaint on a particular staff of Makan Kitchen - one of the waiters must have failed to understand a guest's request so he asked another waiter to help clarify the situation. So the latter came over to me (thinking that I was the guest in question) and asked "What do you want?" Erk - that is no way to address a guest. It should be at least "How can I help you Ma'am?" (or Miss, if you think I look the age - haha!) I simply shrugged my shoulders to indicate that I had no clue what he wanted from me, and the other waiter quickly came to point out that he had walked to the wrong guest. Also, the same particular waiter refilled my glass of water and placed it on the table with his fingers around the rim of the glass. Another absolutely big no-no for me. I'm not placing my lips where your fingers were!
Back at the room, Aiden and Hubby changed into their swimming attire (swimming again!) but I opted to stay with Ian in the room and pack. After an hour at the pool, they both came back and showered in preparation for check-out. Here's what they were up to in the bathroom:
|Creative thank you messages! I was moved!|
We then headed over to the Executive Lounge to check-out. While they prepared the bill, we settled ourselves for some finger food in the lounge and posed for some selfies!
|Ian can really pose for selfies, nowadays!|
|Ian having his "lunch". Hubby in the background getting his own lunch.|
|The scenic view from the Executive Lounge. That's the Ampang Highway - sure brings back memories of when I used to live in Ampang.|
|Hope you enjoyed your Father's Day getaway, Hubby!|
|Check out Ian's half open mouth.|
|My two sons in matching tops!|
|With the bill settled, Aiden insisted on pushing Ian out.|
|Posing in front of the check-in counter.|
A special mention for the concierge. The bellboy who picked up our luggage from the room made an effort to head to the check-in counter to find our "missing" bags. Little did he know that Hubby had arranged with another bellboy to send the bags straight to the car park and into the car. Nevertheless I appreciated the effort, so thank you again!
Will I head here again for another weekend getaway? Answer is probably a yes. 10,000 Hilton Honors points is a cheap price to pay to close one eye at their shortcomings. Also we loved the free upgrade, the swimming pool, the Executive Lounge and of course the signature cookies - but I sincerely hope for a better experience next time.