“ 146 Jalan Hang Tuah / Melaka 75300 / Malaysia „
Our visit to the Unesco Heritage status Melaka happened to coincide with a public holiday for Malaysia and Singapore. It seems this town was a popular destination for those from Kuala Lumpur and Singapore to get away from the city. This meant accommodation was at a minimum. The Avillion was one of the few remaining hotels at short notice to have a room available... And I can see why.
First off, we were here on honeymoon and this hotel is certainly not suited for a honeymoon. It's grubby, shabby, unkempt and ill staffed.
The hotel is situated in a fairly remote part of town and you need a taxi to get to and from downtown. The place itself is enormous and looks incredibly grand and palatial from the outside. Once inside, the lobby boasts an opulently decorative dome that suggests luxury and glamour for the rest of the hotel. This however is misleading, as beyond this the hotel is dour, lifeless and shabby.
The room we had was more of a suite situated on the top floor of the building. The furnishings were rudimentary and minimal. The bed was Ok in size but a relatively uncomfortable sprung mattress. The bathroom had little effort put into its design and furnishings and was generally grubby: the toilet stained, sink looked unclean and the shower curtain aged. To cap it all off the room had cockroaches... Now I don't know how many floors this hotel has but we were on the very top floor... and the cockroaches managed to get up there! On a positive, there was a mini bar and tea and coffee provided in the room which we did utilise... and it was fine.
The room rate of around £80 per night came with breakfast, which we braved. It consisted of a strange mix of continental and local foods served as a buffet. The quality was indicative of the rest of the hotel. Nothing seemed fresh and everything looked tired, limp and suspicious. We had a coffee and toast and left not wanting to risk anything else.
Service was also abysmal. Check-in took forever for no apparent reason and they tried to charge us a different room fee... handily more than that we had already agreed through a hotel bookings site. I don't think we received a single smile despite the fact we made it clear we were on honeymoon. Not even a hint of congratulations. The concierge was just as bad! We tried to order a taxi through him and had to wait 40 minutes for it to arrive (strange given it's a pretty small town with lots of taxis). He looked as though he was about 14 years old and was positively unhelpful given that a taxi was the only way into town. We were not updated on its progress once, other than when we asked, and then we were greeted with shrugs and indifference. He wasn't unfriendly per se, he even managed to conjure a fleeting smile, but he just didn't seem interested. A hotel of this size should have had a good relationship with taxis in the town but this was clearly absent.
They had a bar just off the entrance lobby that appeared to be focused on showing sporting events. It was minimally furnished and quite the opposite to the seemingly salubrious entrance hall it leads onto. We tried to get a drink while we waited for our taxi. The bar was unmanned and it took an age to get anyone's attention for service. By the time they came, the barman being the concierge, we were thoroughly fed up. When it became apparent the bar was poorly stocked and our friend the concierge had seemingly never been behind a bar before, thankfully our taxi arrived and we departed.
I appreciate that a hotel can have a bad day and perhaps they were short staffed the days we were there. We were staying 3 nights and from here onwards, we didn't try the concierge again, rather found our own taxi driver we contacted directly for all journeys. Short staffed or not, it doesn't excuse the general disrepair of the place and generally cheap vibe. They did have a small swimming pool but given our experience of the rest of the hotel, we didn't even consider going in through fear of dysentery.
In all, this place was largely dreadful. We only stayed as we had no other option but would never willingly do so again. Avoid, avoid, avoid... please!