After a 7-year absence, I finally returned to stay 2 nights at this 3-star hotel. Nothing much has changed - it seems there was no major renovation of the hotel and the rooms. But I am sure that the tariffs have changed – it’s now B$70 for a Standard Room and B$180 for a Junior Suite Room (rates inclusive of breakfast). Sea View also has service apartments with a daily rate of B$100 and a monthly rate of B$1800.
Hotel Location: This hotel cum apartment is about one and half hour drive from the airport. There is ample covered parking in front of the hotel. In the single building block, there is Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, a clothing store and a Soon Lee Megamart (mini-supermarket) and Standard Chartered and HSBC cash-on-line tellers. Within a 100m radius, there is only Indah Damai restaurant to the left of the hotel (which I did not eat) and a Starbucks Coffee across the busy Jalan Maulana dual carriageway road. However, if you turn right from the hotel and walk along Jalan Pandan Lima, you would reach Pizza Hut, Excapade Sushi and WyWy Chicken Rice restaurants after about 1 km.
There is a small swimming pool, which I did not use because I enjoyed photographing the sunset and taking long walks along the tree trunks laden 8-km Belait Beach, which is just next (behind) to the hotel. If you would like the long walk or jog along the beach, you should do it in the evenings because I got beaten by the sand flies in the early morning.
Hotel Staff: I arrived at about 6:30pm. The porter was at the door welcoming me. The friendly lady receptionist spoke English and she was anticipating my arrival. She picked up my file, checked me in fluently into a room on the third floor while at the same time explaining the password and the fact that I need to go to the receptionist to collect breakfast coupons before breakfast.
Hotel Room: The Standard Room decor has not changed at all since I last stayed – so the hotel rooms are truly dated. The walls are white and the carpet is blue but more importantly I found the room clean, well maintained and spacious. The room has 2 single beds, 2 sofa chairs, a round coffee table, 2 bedside tables, a ‘table’ for the luggage bags, several lightings, a LCD TV and a DVD player (I am not kidding!) that’s placed on a long dressing cum working table. While there is no iron and ironing board, there’s a pair of slippers, a mini-refrigerator, a kettle, tea and coffee bags, a safe and a hair dryer that placed in the cupboard below the LCD TV. The beds and pillows are comfortable which let me have a good night’s sleep. Air-con is powerful and cools the room quickly. The hotel provides free-of-charge wi-fi and the speed is excellent. But I had to free up the switch for the hairdryer in order to plug my switch for the laptop.
My only complaints are that firstly, I noticed a brown tinge for the tap water that’s placed in the kettle (due most likely to rust in water), so it’s better to boil mineral water from the complimentary mineral water bottles. Secondly, there are only 3 hangars for the wardrobe. Thirdly, I was awaken by the traffic noise at 6:30am from the main road that my room faces. Lastly, my room faces the cemetery and a building that is undergoing construction.
The bathroom appears to be renovated with new tiles. Surprisingly, it has dental kits, which is uncommon in 3 star hotels.
Hotel restaurant: As I did not drive, I ate my dinner with my friend at the hotel all-day dining restaurant (eating house) – MyTown Kitchen. The prices were cheap. I recommend trying their best sellers: Golden Monkey Shrimp Crackers, Kung Po Chicken, MyTown Penang Kway Teow, MyTown Seria Kolo Mee, Tea C Special (3-layered tea).
For breakfast, you need to collect the breakfast coupon from the receptionist and you have a choice of the Coffee Bean outlet or the MyTown Kitchen. I ate on the first day at the MyTown Kitchen and I was restricted to the 4 breakfast items that cost about BND3.50 and comprised tea, toasted bread with jam and 2 half-boiled eggs (I requested for hard-boiled eggs which they gave). The next day, I ate at Coffee Bean and was pleasantly surprised that I could choose any item on their Breakfast-All-Day, ranging from the least expensive Scrumptious Scone Set (BND3.80) to the most expensive Eggs Ben with Smoked Salmon (BND7.50). Of course, this was the better deal.
Overall, I enjoyed my stay at this beachfront hotel.