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Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa Malaysia [Master Thread]

Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa Malaysia [Master Thread]

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Old Jun 3, 16, 3:55 am   -   Wikipost
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Last edit by: SkiAdcock
Wiki Link
Hotel website:

http://www.marriott.com/hotels/trave...esort-and-spa/

"Internet access is limited via satellite and available in our business center only. We apologize for any inconvenience."

Paid rates at this property that include breakfast seem to be cheap, so might be worth paying vs. using points if one wants to guarantee breakfast.

Free shuttle from Mulu airport, although it needs to be scheduled.
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Old May 15, 15, 11:32 am
  #1  
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Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa Malaysia [Master Thread]

Noticed on Marriott's website:

http://news.marriott.com/2015/05/mar...idden-gem.html

"Marriott announces the recent opening of its first rainforest resort in Asia Pacific at Mulu in Sarawak, Malaysia. The opening of the 101-room Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa marks the second property under the flagship of Marriott Hotels brand on the Island of Borneo and the eighth for Marriott International in Malaysia. Mulu is world renowned for some of the most remarkable untouched rainforests and largest natural cave formations in the world. It is one of Malaysia’s four UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Inspired by the “Marriott Modern” design philosophy, Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa has fully transformed the former 20 year old Royal Mulu Resort and creatively built in style based on the alignment of ethnic long houses. Groups of rooms are connected by wooden walkways that allow guests to feel as much a part of this rainforest as the native Belian people. Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa is further complemented by the breath-taking natural splendor along the banks of the Melinau River.

As a part of Marriott Hotel’s transformation, the brand’s signature Greatroom and the resorts River Bar are an open and flexible space with sofa chairs and tables of different sizes, height and design arranged imaginatively for guests to either revel, enjoying drinks and food surrounded by the refreshing green rainforest or simply for quick group discussion be it for business or personal.

The newly enhanced resort offers elegant and spacious rooms and suites with private balconies, showcasing scenic Melinau River and the greenery of the rainforest.

It features a range of wellness options for travelers with an outdoor 15-meter lap swimming pool, a state-of-the-art gym overlooking the rainforest, a well-known 5-star Mandara Spa and an activities centre.

Hotel guests can enjoy a diversity of culinary delights at two restaurants. The M-Cafe offers local and international dining with alfresco options on a terrace by the swimming pool and the spacious River Bar overlooking the Melinau River Lounge is a relaxing place to enjoy locally inspired cocktails and specialty drinks."

Hotel website:

http://www.marriott.com/hotels/trave...esort-and-spa/

Category 2.

"Experience 5-star luxury in a lush tropical rainforest with Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa in Malaysia, just five minutes from Gunung Mulu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your adventure begins with a scenic trip from nearby Mulu Airport to our enchanting Sarawak resort and spa, beautifully designed in the style of ethnic longhouses. Wake each morning in a luxurious room suspended on a walkway set in the forest. After an al fresco breakfast, discover Mulu National Park’s collection of rare birds, wildlife and exotic plants and the world-famous Mulu Caves. Then relax in our Balinese-style spa, outdoor pool or on your private balcony overlooking the rainforest or the scenic Melinau River. Our airy spaces include a spacious lobby, banquet hall, riverside bar and business center and we offer features such as gourmet dining and cultural performances, making us an unforgettable venue for events from conferences to grand weddings. Internet access is limited via satellite in our Business Center only."
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Old Jun 1, 16, 3:30 pm
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Any experiences

Looking to stay her early August for two or three nights with my kids.

Any recommendations and are their any benefits for Gold members? I read somewhere that there is no free breakfast for gold members?
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Old Jun 2, 16, 2:45 pm
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Not an answer - but what a coincidence

Not an answer - but what a coincidence .... I found an old boarding pass belonging to someone else in a library book yesterday. Flight 3823, Kuching to Mulu, 23 Oct 2014. I had no idea where Mulu was. Looked it up on Google maps. Couldn't help but notice the Marriott on the map (spelled Mariott). Wondered if it was a real Marriott? Took at look at website, reviews, etc. It was beautiful! Now, I want to go to Mulu!
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Old Jun 3, 16, 12:45 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by EHAM1 View Post
Looking to stay her early August for two or three nights with my kids.

Any recommendations and are their any benefits for Gold members? I read somewhere that there is no free breakfast for gold members?
Are you on a paid stay or award stay? It's a resort so doubt (short of paid packages) there's free breakfast for either Gold or Plats.

However, rates are pretty cheap for this property that include breakfast. I picked a variety of dates & rates that included breakfast for 2 ranged from $110-$140. Granted, it's only a Cat 2 so wouldn't take many points but if it were me I'd consider just booking a paid stay to earn points on the stay & get free brekkie for 2.

Also noticed this on the website re: internet (although given how nice the property sounds, who wants to be on internet anyway!).

"Internet access is limited via satellite and available in our business center only. We apologize for any inconvenience."

Property has free shuttle from the Mulu airport, but it needs to be scheduled.

If you do stay there (whether award or paid), please do a trip report after your stay so other FTers will know what to expect. Thx.


Cheers.

Last edited by SkiAdcock; Jun 3, 16 at 12:54 pm
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Old Aug 19, 16, 3:12 pm
  #5  
 
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Check in

The hotel should be commended for their efficient check-in procedures. The vehicle was waiting for us at the airport – no need to schedule anything in advance – and we were promptly taken to the resort. There are three check-in desks – one clerk per desk – and the keys and paperwork are already printed to make check-in go as quickly as possible for the planeload of guests. Our rooms were ready for our 1 PM arrival.

Lobby:



How bags are transported around the hotel grounds -- in the background is the vehicle that transports guests and their luggage between the hotel and the airport:



Room

The room was comfortable and immaculate, with excellent air conditioning – an absolute must in this hot and humid climate.






The bathroom consisted of a soaking tub and shower, both in the same, separate enclosure. If you’re hoping to take a long, hot shower, you’re out of luck. If you set the temperature to its hottest level (not that you’d want to), you would notice a drop in temperature after about 30 seconds. A shower at a comfortable temperature lasted less than ten minutes.





The TV had 6 channels, 5 of which were English-language. They were: HBO, The Learning Channel, BBC, Fox Sports, and a channel that showed Asian-themed shows in English (e.g. the Asian version of America’s Got Talent).



Some of the mini-bar offerings:



Mini-bar menu:



The free stuff (except for that bottle of wine):



My only concern was the mold on the ceiling above the bathtub. I wasn’t bothered by it, but I imagine it could easily spread in such a humid environment. My friend’s room next door was mold-free.



The hotel’s website makes a distinction between “riverside” and “rainforest” rooms. I don’t see much of a difference, since the riverside rooms don’t feel like they’re next to the river. The dense vegetation almost completely obscures the view of the water.

Fitness Center

The fitness center is heavy on the cardio equipment, but less so on the resistance training. There are three ellipticals (not pictured), three treadmills, and two bikes (one recumbent). Each has its own TV screen.



Free weights range from two to 20 kilograms. The two stability balls were properly inflated, something I find rare in hotel gyms.



This is the only machine available for resistance work. But give me some free weights and a way to do pull-ups, and I’m happy.



Also available were yoga mats.

Spa

They need to clone the receptionist! I wish I could remember her name. She was friendly, spoke excellent English, and was knowledgeable about their products and services. She recently transferred from the Miri Marriott, and the Mulu property is lucky to have her. As soon as I walked in, she greeted me warmly, invited me to have a seat, and brought me tea and samples of their massage oil.

Spa reception:





Spa menu:





I opted for the “Mix & Match.” I selected the Balinese Massage and the Fancy Footwork. The massage therapist tried her best and was concerned about doing a good job, but she wasn’t able to apply enough pressure to my liking. The massage was simply average, but not outrageously priced at less than 70 USD. But the big drawback, and one that would prevent me from going back, was that they played the exact same song, OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN…an endless loop throughout the day. The song you hear when you walk into the reception room will be the same one you hear at the end of your massage in the treatment room.

To prepare for your treatment, you are brought upstairs to a room with a separate changing facility. You change into some (uncomfortable) disposable underwear and wrap yourself in a sheet before presenting yourself for the massage. The room was stuffy at first, but once the air conditioning kicked in, I was fine.

Business Center

Calling this area a business center is a stretch. It’s just a small, narrow room with a computer and a printer off a larger room they call the library. The library is a comfortable place to sit and read or watch TV. Rooms do not have wifi; guests are directed to this business center to get a signal.

The library:




The business center, such as it is:



We actually found the wifi signal to be stronger in the café and in this seating area (pictured here) between the lobby and the River Bar:



Pool

I don’t care much about pools, but I did dip my toe in and found the temperature PERFECT. There is plenty of shade, and the waterfall is a nice feature.




Dining

Dining is where this resort falls woefully short.

The café offers breakfast (buffet only), lunch (not sure since we didn’t try it), and dinner (buffet or a la carte).

The buffet is heavy on protein, and vegetables are almost completely nonexistent. “Hot” dishes are often lukewarm, if not cold. If you get there 45 minutes before closing, you’ll be picking at leftovers. Keeping things anywhere close to replenished and fresh is out of the question.

Service was comical. The first night I ordered a Heineken. The waiter paused, then repeated, “Heineken.” I went to the buffet while the waiter retrieved my drink. I came back to a glass of water.

The following night, I ordered a glass of ice water. (The hotel has its own filtration system, and they cool the water with ice.) The waitress brought the pitcher to my table and began to pour. Steam was coming out of the pitcher. I picked up my glass, and it was hot to the touch! I could barely handle it. “Ma’am, this water is hot.” She smiled and replied, “I know” and then she dashed off. My buddy and I looked at each other, and then we burst out laughing. She was never to be seen again until I flagged her down to sign the bill.

After being in the hot, humid rain forest all day, all I wanted was a cold glass of water. Room-temperature water would have sufficed. But hot? Just outside the café is the gift shop, and so I went there and purchased a cold bottle for 6 ringgits ($1.50). When she brought the bill to sign, she apologized and explained (as best I could discern) that the ice machine was broken. I said that I understood, but would appreciate being told that from the outset and offered some alternatives. Don’t just pour a steaming glass of water and leave! (Tip: you get two free bottles of water a day in your room. You can also swipe some extra bottles from the exercise room. Put them in the mini bar fridge, and then bring them with you to dinner. I wish I figured that out on day 1.)

Coffee refills are hard to come by – don’t be shy about taking your coffee cup to the smoothie counter. It’s sometimes the only way to get their attention. Dirty plates are often left to pile up on your table. Service is friendly, but just utterly inept. I thought this sign summed it up (and no, it was never corrected):



Someone needs to pay better attention to details.

Dining hours are not convenient. Breakfast opens at 7 AM (despite being told 6:30 when I checked in), so if you’re looking to get an early start to exploring the park, your only option is 24-hour room service. On our last day, we had a 7 AM canopy sky walk scheduled at that time, so there was no chance to eat before getting to the park. (We chose not to order room service for a reason noted below, aside from the fact that it wasn’t covered under our bed and breakfast package.) Similarly, dinner opened too late for our 7 PM night walk. Although, the Mulu National Park Café turned out to be a more-than-adequate option. The food there was hot, fresh, promptly served, and reasonably priced. We didn’t try any of the other local “restaurants” (and I use that term loosely), one of which is just on the other side of the river from the resort.

A la carte menu:





Similarly friendly but neglectful service infests the River Bar. They serve overpriced, watery, puny cocktails, assuming you can even get one. (Be prepared to wait eons for drinks, even if there’s no one else in the bar.) We stopped going after the second night of our four-night stay. However, you can do an interesting experiment—put a few drops of a sugary liquid on the table, and time how long it takes the ants to arrive. Ours arrived in two minutes, 16 seconds. This is why we didn’t order room service!


Location

If you’re staying at this Marriott, you’re almost certainly coming to visit the Mulu National Park. The hotel is a three to four minute drive from the entrance. The hotel offers a shuttle that runs every 15 minutes. An early shuttle time outside of normal hours can be easily arranged with the front desk.

Getting onto the shuttle during high-demand times can be an annoying free-for-all. After we checked in at 1 PM, we needed to be at the park for a 2 PM tour of Deer and Lang Caves. We opted for the 1:30 PM shuttle, and even though we were first in line, several aggressive guests cut in front of us as the van arrived. We were thus unable to board, leaving us pressed for time. (You are expected to register at the park and pay in cash for all of your excursions before your first tour. The process, which involves an excessive amount of paper, is not a quick one.) A bellman noticed our displeasure, and arranged for the airport shuttle, which was leaving in a few minutes, to drop us at the park. His proactive service was greatly appreciated. I only wish the Marriott could manage the boarding process better, but absent that, we learned to stand our ground when things got crowded.

To arrange our activities, we examined the park page here:
Mulu Park activities
We then emailed the park (email address available on the Contact page) and listed our chosen activities along with the dates we would be in Mulu. The park staff took it from there and helpfully scheduled everything.

We saw many families with young children in the park. (BTW, the Marriott has what they call an "Activity Center", which appears to be geared toward kids. It's a room with overstuffed bean bag chairs and 2 TVs, both of which are connected to Xbox game consoles.) The level boardwalk and boat rides made the caves easily accessible, although to get to Clearwater Cave, we had to climb 200 steps. I was afraid that visiting six caves would get repetitious, but the features of each one were different enough to keep things interesting.

I’ll conclude by saying that Mulu was the most memorable part of our two weeks in Malaysia. I would absolutely return to the park and the Marriott.
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Last edited by MrColdShower; Aug 19, 16 at 7:45 pm Reason: accidentally posted the same photo twice
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Old Aug 19, 16, 9:01 pm
  #6  
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Thanks for the very detailed trip report! Much appreciated!

Cheers.
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Old Mar 19, 17, 11:51 am
  #7  
 
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Originally Posted by EHAM1 View Post
Looking to stay her early August for two or three nights with my kids.

Any recommendations and are their any benefits for Gold members? I read somewhere that there is no free breakfast for gold members?
Did you end up going? Looks like a cheap option on points
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Old Feb 1, 18, 11:59 pm
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Originally Posted by MrColdShower View Post
I’ll conclude by saying that Mulu was the most memorable part of our two weeks in Malaysia. I would absolutely return to the park and the Marriott.
shame the pictures are not showing for me ...

Looking at Mulu for a few nights and was wondering :

1. Does the place have phone signals ? (3G/4G?)
2. How does the property treat Gold members ?
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Old Feb 25, 18, 12:47 am
  #9  
 
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So as an update after a four night paid stay here recently, and answering some of wantan's questions:

Platinum recognition: Very good, was upgraded a week in advance (I noticed via the app) to a 'river view suite', free breakfast (even though it is a resort) and 20% discount on food & beverage purchases (excluding room service, but including the nightly buffet). There were other perks (free, very slow internet, spa treatment discounts, 20% off laundry, 10% resort shop discount) and a very good welcome gift - we went for chocolate and had some massive creation that provided us with desert for a few days.

Location: Excellent, if you are in Mulu as a status member I can't see any reason not to stay at the hotel. The shuttle buses to the national park are very frequent (on demand) and the level of hotel is better than the national park offering, though that was cheaper (particularly food there was about 30% of the Marriott one). We were however staying at an off-peak week so we didn't struggle to get space, though it was fairly obvious that groups got priority onto the transport, but they tried to get you there asap. Leaving 30 minutes before your park tour was plenty of time and could mean arriving between 25 and 5 minutes early.

Pricing: You are highly likely to eat at the resort for breakfast and lunch, and it is priced for a jungle location (all food is air-freighted in), so pricey. We paid around 450MYR/night (USD 120), and then spent (pre-discount) 88 MYR per person for buffet, 160MYR for a house wine and 30MYR for a beer, slightly more for a cocktail).

Staff: They try hard, service isn't perfect but was reasonable (i.e. you needed to catch the staff's attention to order, but then they were prompt, but didn't always clear dishes as quickly as you may want). The general manager is very visible and clearly trying his best to instil international levels of service and attention.

Room: Modern, great balcony, lots of space, walk-in shower, big bath, well looked after. A minor annoyance was that the nice Samsung TV only had 6 channels and had screen sharing disabled, so I couldn't cast my tablet.

Internet: Worth highlighting that the park doesn't lie when it says internet is limited. There is a very slow internet in the lobby, though not in the rooms. It was very intermittent and couldn't be relied upon for more than occasional text messages. I did buy a SIM card, knowing of this, which was slightly better, but still fairly limited (SMS only for 2 days, then all of a sudden it offered '3G', but I had to keep reconnecting to keep connected). That was from Xpax / Celcom, the national provider. It was marginally better than the hotel internet and may be worthwhile if you really want the internet, however this is a place to go and relax, or the national park wifi was better, and only cost 5MYR/day.

Building: All wooden, raised on stilts, close to the river and jungle, not a typical Marriott

Pool: Perfectly suitable to relax in/around, but realistically you are going to spend most of your day on tours and in the national park

Tours: I noted that the Marriott also seemed to arrange tours into the park as well if you wanted to do a private trip, or with a few extras (e.g. free coffee, nibbles), though not much use for us since we booked via the national park months in advance

Otherwise I'd echo all the points from MrColdShower, certainly a memorable Marriott, and one to return to if I was ever in this area of Malaysia again without hesitation. My only minor niggle was that they declined to give me a late check-out for another 90 minutes, though as the hotel was apparently fully booked perhaps understandable. We did hear a complaint from a fellow traveller that he had to change rooms and ended up near a generator that disturbed his sleep, however clearly status guests were kept away from such issues!
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Old Mar 4, 18, 2:59 pm
  #10  
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Thanks for the update. Much appreciated.

Cheers.
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Old Jan 6, 19, 12:21 am
  #11  
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Any recent reviews for this hotel? In addition to any basic information, I'm also interested in Platinum treatment and whether going there in December (the height of the rainy season) would be a big mistake.
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Old Feb 27, 19, 10:06 pm
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Originally Posted by Thunderroad View Post
Any recent reviews for this hotel? In addition to any basic information, I'm also interested in Platinum treatment and whether going there in December (the height of the rainy season) would be a big mistake.
Also curious to hear. I am a Marriott Titanium and looking to spend 3 nights here in April. Still curious if there is free break fast for Marriott Platinum/Titaniums and if there is still the 20% discount on food and beverage. Any insight would be very much appreciated.

Cheers
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Old Feb 27, 19, 11:50 pm
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Mrosskam,
please post your experiences when back. We are planing a stay in May (as Marriott Titanium), so any updated information would be greatly appreciated.
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Old Mar 7, 19, 9:02 pm
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Will do! Just booked for the beginning of April and looking forward to it and the other properties in Borneo.
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Old Apr 30, 19, 11:06 am
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Originally Posted by ShortTrip View Post
Mrosskam,
please post your experiences when back. We are planing a stay in May (as Marriott Titanium), so any updated information would be greatly appreciated.
Sorry for the delay. Overall the 3 nights at the Mulu Marriott were amazing and the staff all very nice. As a Titanium member, I was upgraded to the one of the Melinau Suites about a week before arriving (this is the largest suite other than the Presidential). The room was very comfortable and the bed was perfect for sleeping after the long days at the park exploring! Titanium status was recognized very well and the staff were very attentive throughout knowing/acknowledging it.

I received complimentary breakfast buffet and and an an additional welcome gift of bonus points (can also choose a free dessert to your room, cheese plate or glass of wine the day you arrive). For all meals buffet/a la cart menu, I received 20% of the total bill which is very generous based on the higher than normal prices due to the location. Although yes prices are higher than mainland Malaysia/Borneo, it is still quite cheap when comparing to a western resort. The grounds of the hotel are also quite peaceful with non-stop sounds of nature. It was nice sitting outside for dinner taking it all in before retreating to the rooms. I loved my stay and believe that most will enjoy this property!
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