Extra Photo Gallery: Room | Restaurant
At Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman in downtown Kuching Selatan. Within walking distance from the Kuching Waterfront. Taxi journey from Kuching International Airport (KCH) takes about 15-20 minutes depending on the traffic and costs about RM20 per way.
Crowne Plaza Riverside is located within the tourist belt of the popular Kuching Waterfront. The hotel is owned by the Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) which also has Holiday Inn Kuching, Holiday Inn Damai Lagoon Resort and Holiday Inn Damai Beach Resort in its stable. It is not uncommon to see these hotels and resorts being promoted together.
The hotel operates 250 rooms in a building complex which also consists of a shopping mall right next to it. To be honest, I am not fond of this type of arrangement because the crowds from the shopping mall can spill-over into the hotel area. In fact, it was really crowded at the hotel entrance during the weekend I was there.
The hotel lobby is of standard quality, with extensive utilisation of timber walls and beams. There is a small indoor fountain and a number of lounging chairs to sit while waiting at the reception counter.
The room is acceptable for me. I stayed in a Deluxe River View room which has breathtaking vista of the Sarawak River, the city skyline as well as the Fort Margherita. The floor is all carpeted which is comfortable but ordinary-looking. The queen bed was peculiarly lower than what I normally encounter in other hotels. Nonetheless, it was still comfortable. The bathroom is just average with no special feature that worth mentioning. In the evening, housekeeping staff will put a small tray of sweet treats in your room. I guess it is somewhat similar to other hotels which leave mint chocolates or candy bars on the bed as part of their evening turndown service.
The swimming pool is disappointing. In fact, it looks rather el cheapo with the fiberglass awnings and plastic-made pool chairs. Additionally, during my stay, the hotel staff was in the midst of preparing the poolside area for an evening event (I supposed big-shots of Sarawak were coming), it was quite hectic, crowded, noisy and uncomfortable. Interestingly, some hotel patrons were still seen frolicking by the pool despite of the clattering of metal chairs and tables nearby.
As of other facilities, the hotel is equipped with tennis and squash courts, business centre, sauna and massage rooms in the fitness centre, Crowne Plaza Club Floor, convention rooms, four restaurants, one pastry shop (La Patisserie) and one bar (Blue Lagoon Poolside.
I managed to sign up for sushi buffet at the Café Majestic, the hotel's main eatery. Apparently, the restaurant holds this popular buffet only once a week, and advance reservation is required. Even that, it has to arrange for two separate dining sessions to cater for the mass influx of Japanese food lovers. Overall, while the buffet spread was nice, but to me it was just average when it comes to specialty selections. Other than that, the hotel hosts the River Palace Chinese Restaurant (Cantonese and Szechuan specialties), and the Coca Riverside Restaurant (operated by the famous restaurant chain of Coca and its renowned Thai steamboat).
Just average for me.