Review: Putrajaya Marriott Hotel (Junior Suite)

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Cheapest nightly rate: 256 MYR (271 after tax)
When to book: Two months in advance

Built in 2002, Putrajaya Marriott Hotel is one of the oldest buildings standing in the modern Putrajaya area. This is a 5-star Category 2 property under the Marriott Bonvoy family.

Arrival

Upon arrival, I was greeted by the sheer size of this property.

Seating area at the Lobby
Seating area at the Lobby
Stairs down to the restaurant
Stairs down to the restaurant

Check-in went quite okay, except for the lack of Platinum member recognition. Unlike other Marriott Bonvoy properties, there wasn’t any welcome letter that lists down all the benefits that an Elite member would receive. I was told that they have pre-upgraded me to the Junior Suite, given the key cards and was told “that’s it”. I had to ask for the breakfast and executive lounge locations, and all the necessary timings (shuttle bus, breakfast, executive lounge, pool, gym) that I should be aware of and was given the following piece of paper. I appreciated the room upgrade but that was really strange for a 5-star hotel.

Timings for the shuttle service
Timings for the shuttle service

Not a very good first impression, but I could let it pass…until the lift opened on the 11th floor and strong stench of mold hit me. The carpet looked filthy and there were lots of tiny pieces of rubbish leading all the way to my room. I later found out that this trail of trash was leading me to a nightmare of a stay.

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Trash all over the corridor
Trash all over the corridor
Bits and pieces of litter
Bits and pieces of litter
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The suite (Junior Suite)

The room was oddly-shaped but looks pretty nice.

Room 1139
Room 1139

There was flushing noise coming from the toilet every 5 minutes but I wasn’t bothered that much. Time to check out the Executive Lounge! Just in time for the evening aperitif. The huge pillars going right across the room doesn’t look great but forgivable considering the age of this building. Some staff at M Lounge are courteous while some are more reactive instead of proactive.

Large pillars across the Executive Lounge (M Lounge)
Large pillars across the Executive Lounge (M Lounge)

There is a small area with a couple of computers and a printer.

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Business Center in M Lounge
Business Center in M Lounge

I got back to my room for some work and television before tucking in to bed. The noise from the toilet was still there and happened at 5-minutes frequency. I decided to ask for a room change after tossing and turning in bed for an hour, not being able to sleep because of the noise. I found it strange that I was offered this room as the staff mentioned that he was aware of the noise from the toilet, when asked. The staff then showed me to Room 515.

Living area of Room 515
Living area of Room 515

Breakfast

Breakfast is held at Zest Restaurant and the spread is massive.

Entrance of Zest Restaurant
Entrance of Zest Restaurant
Buffet area of Zest Restaurant
Buffet area of Zest Restaurant
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Desserts area at Zest Restaurant
Desserts area at Zest Restaurant

The floor of the room felt sticky. The previous room had the same stickiness but I did not expect the second room to have the same problem. I called for housekeeping to mop up the room twice but the problem persisted. After giving it a day, I found that it was actually industrial glue coming out of the wooden floor! Housekeeping came in for a third time to clean it but it just kept coming out from different areas of the room.

Dried glue on the floor
Dried glue on the floor
Fresh glue seeping out of the floor
Fresh glue seeping out of the floor

Housekeeping

It went further downhill from here. I went out for lunch and turned on the “Do not disturb” sign. On my way out, I informed the housekeepers that I did not want housekeeping that day. To my horror, upon arriving in my room, I found that the housekeeper came in, made my bed and took out the key card that was delivering power to my room. I was downloading important large files over the internet when my computer lost power.

While in the topic of housekeeping, I should mention that this was the first 5-star hotel that I’ve stayed in where the housekeepers never greet guests at the corridor. I also see and hear them singing and laughing loudly among themselves. On my third night, the housekeepers came at 9 in the evening for their daily cleaning routine (not turn-down service).

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse; I found that the refrigerator wasn’t working. The ice-cream that I bought the day before had totally melted, creating another sticky mess. The air conditioner was leaking too.

There is a nice view out the window of the suite. That’s if you do not look down at the disgusting layers of dirt and bird droppings just outside the windows. Natural elements considered, there is no way I can be convinced that this filth built up over a period of less than three or four years.

Dirt outside the glass window
Dirt outside the glass window
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More dirt and bird droppings
More dirt and bird droppings

You will also find a warning on the glass windows. I was told that this is to keep kids safe and also…suicide. I couldn’t blame anyone for feeling suicidal after a stay in this hotel. And of course, the doors were not locked. I could literally just slide it open.

Warning on the glass window
Warning on the glass window

The entrance to the gym is blocked. I was told that this is to prevent guests from the pool from entering the gym with their wet feet. Guests using the gym have to awkwardly squeeze through the small gap between the poles and the glass door.

Other facilities

Signage blocking the entrance of the gym
Signage blocking the entrance of the gym
The gym
The gym

The swimming pool area is very poorly maintained. At this stage, I should remind you that this is a 5-star hotel.

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I requested to meet up with the General Manager, Simon Yong but was told that he had urgent matters to attend to. The Assistant Manager, Louis Chew, met up with me on the day that I was supposed to check out. He provided some explanations for the above problems but barely any solutions. He offered me a 100% refund of my 4-nights stay. It was too easy. I wasn’t assured about what was going to be done to address all the issues above. There was a lot of acknowledgement and very little assuring. I mean, this would not even be acceptable for a 3-star hotel, what more a self-proclaimed 5-star one?

Where are the reviews?

You will find that hotels listed on Marriott’s website show some user reviews. The problem with the reviews on this website is that the reviewer has to be ‘invited’. Guests do not get to submit a review after every stay. This appears to work wonderfully in Putrajaya Marriott Hotel’s favour as they managed to get away with only 61 selected reviews over the past seventeen years in business. As a comparison, Le Méridien Putrajaya, which was built only 3 years ago, has 281 reviews.

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Conclusion

Nobody should be paying to stay at this property. I felt cheated even though I was given a full refund. The thought of the toxic glue stuck on my feet as I walked around the room and the smell of it just disgusts me. It looks like the rot is way up in the upper management. There is no way someone working on the grounds of this property every day can be proud of the sorry state that it is in right now. It is hard to understand the situation at Putrajaya Marriott as I really enjoyed my stay at Le Méridien Putrajaya, which is also owned by IOI Properties Group Bhd. I can easily declare this the worst hotel under the Marriott family that I have stayed in and I have stayed in some really bad Alofts and Four Points in the Europe and the USA (which are 3-star properties).

Ratings

Breakfast: 6/10
Service: 3/10
Location: 5/10
Room: 1/10
Facilities: 5/10
Executive lounge: 6/10
Elite member recognition: 6/10

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