Miri Marriott Resort & Spa Review

Travel Guide: Singapore with Kids
September 9, 2018
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Miri Marriott Resort & Spa Review

Since my daughter was born we have avoided long car rides because she always hated the car. It has only been in the last few months that she has really started to calm down and so we decided she was finally ready for a trip to Miri. We’d heard that the Miri Marriott has a nice pool and kids slide so we thought we would give it a try.

I must say that we were very pleasantly surprised with how great a trip it was.
A couple of days before our arrival date, I received an email from the Marriott asking for our arrival time. I told them we would be there around noon and requested an early check-in (since hotel check-in is usually at about 2 or 3pm). While they didn’t reply, when we arrived at the hotel at around noon, we were told that our room was ready. Upon entering our room, we realised that the room had 2 twin beds instead of 1 king as we requested. The bellman quickly went to inform the reception desk and we were given a new room within 30 or so minutes. So we have no complaints there.

Based on online recommendations, we decided to go for a ground floor poolside room and I would highly recommend it. You can step right from your balcony to the poolside area and it isn’t particularly noisy. I’m not sure if all the poolside rooms are newly renovated but ours was (I did request this specifically) and everything was just lovely and modern. The room was also larger than expected and could easily fit an additional roll-away bed if required.
We ended up having most of our lunches directly at the hotel’s only restaurant, Zest. While prices are rather high for Malaysia (we are talking Brunei prices or higher) the food was pretty good, though there were a couple of odd combinations (for example the fish fingers and waffles on the kids menu that came with about 10 peas - for our second order we swapped the waffle out for fries). Room service is also from Zest and I found the wait time for room service to be rather long. The staff at the restaurant were attentive and great - with the host even greeting me by name in the mornings (sadly for my husband, it was my name on the reservation and, as we don’t have the same surname, with him being Malay and my surname being Chinese, he was just called “Sir”).
I was also pretty impressed by the breakfast spread. We made sure we got rooms with breakfast included - which for us is a must with a toddler. While most were fairly standard offerings for mid to high end hotels, I loved that they provided 2 options of fresh juices (which is something not offered by many hotel buffets) - watermelon and honeydew. They also had an interesting choice of a Chicken Rendang omelette at the egg station and some local cold brew coffees and teas on offer - just to add a bit of local flair.

While the service at Zest itself was good, the service in some areas let the Marriott down a little. First, they seem to have a ridiculous policy to only let you get 2 pool towels per room and refused to give us a third towel even though we clearly had our toddler with us. This is something I’ve never encountered before and am surprised to see at a high end international hotel catered to families.
The second negative experience might have just been more the result of one staff member rather than a policy, I'm not too sure. This staff member seemed to be managing the pool bar and was rather unhelpful and inefficient. At one point even telling us that we had to wait an hour to order our toddlers food at the pool bar (it had already opened at about 11am or noon) or had to go eat at the restaurant (with a wet and hungry toddler).
Other than these two experiences, everything else was very good. I loved the big pool which had nice areas to swim and relax. There is a smaller shaded pool at the side in the event you are swimming during the sunniest time of day (we didn't use it). There is also a kids pool and nice water slide which our toddler loved! The kids club looked quite nice, with a very small outdoor plastic playground (definitely could be bigger and better maintained), a small indoor play structure (again could be much bigger), lots of tables, chairs, some toys and video games. It was a shame though that there weren't any activities running and I was told by staff that they could only do coloring and rock painting upon request and with some advance notice. The kids club definitely could use a bit of a face-lift. It is also shame that there is no longer a beach at the hotel - which I am told it had before. It seems that this might be more of an erosion issue than an decision made by the hotel so this probably couldn’t be helped. Instead you can walk along the rock wall with the sea to one side. The hotel also has a nice looking spa and hotel guests get a discount. Sadly, I didn’t manage to test out their services - maybe next time!
The close proximity of the hotel to the city centre and malls is also a big plus. With only one slightly overpriced restaurant at the hotel, it is good to be able to head out for more meal options. We spent most evenings at Bintang Mall and being able to go to H&M and Uniqlo made the trip that much sweeter, for mummy at least. One thing I loved about Miri was being able to jump into our own car to head out - it made things much more convenient and comfortable.

For me a 3 day, 2 night trip was a good amount of time for a stay at the Miri Marriott and even gave us time to check out the Miri Crocodile Farm (review coming soon). So if you’re looking for a short vacation that isn’t too challenging physically or for your wallet, do check out the Miri Marriott. Happy travels!
Mel Poh
Mel Poh
Mel moved from Singapore to Brunei in 2016 to give birth and raise her now rambunctious toddler. The move from the world of business and law to being a stay-at-home mum ignited her passion for all things baby and child related. She founded Baby Brunei in the hopes of sharing this passion with other parents in Brunei.

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