Monday, October 26, 2015

Staycation in Labuan (Part 1/4)- Dorsett Grand Labuan Hotel

My sister and I went to Labuan and guess what we bought back as souvenir for our mother- a whole 3-foot tenggiri, fresh out of sea. Boy, was she happy! She has Dorsett Grand Labuan (and her sweet daughters) to thank for that bundle of seafood. Dorsett amazed me again with their impeccable hospitality. How do you think I got that souvenir all the way across South China Sea. That gigantic fish was deep frozen and packed ready to be checked-in by the hotel. It was a rare moment when I, as the hotel guest, gasped, “Dorsett would do that for me??” 

Dorsett Grand Labuan
Dorsett Grand Labuan (DGL) the only upscale international chain hotel in Labuan. Having said that, it is unpretentious in catering to their guests’ every need, be it for business or for leisure. Service is always with a smile. Being a frequent traveler myself, I understand the importance of being in good hands in foreign land. Although my trip to Labuan this time is as a tourist, I can envision the benefits enjoyed as an offshore person too. I find that one cannot go wrong by checking-in to this hotel. Let me show you why.

The lobby of Dorsett Grand Labuan
Offshore personnel spotted at the hotel

My sister and I decided to make our vacation a celebratory one so we upgraded our selection from the usual deluxe to the Executive Twin Room. The room is classically bedecked with gilded frames and wooden furniture that reflects the island’s wealth for history. Linens were crisp and clean luring me to just roll roll roll on the bed. The foot-thick mattresses whispered that we will be producing nothing but sweet dreams.
Executive Twin Room
Comfortable beds that guarantee a good night sleep

Rooms are equipped with 32-inch LCD TV with satellite channels, coffee and tea-making facilities, direct IDD phone with voicemail box, individually-controlled air conditioning, private electronic safe box and WiFi that keeps your world borderless. 
Neat study table
Welcome sweets

I had a room with a view of the South China Sea that buoyed up many supply boats- a sight that resonates with the memory of my offshore days. Labuan is an oil town which many oil rigs are reached via helicopters from the Labuan Airport which is just a10-minute drive away from the hotel. Although it may look like an industrial sea port, you can pick interesting activities from your balcony. It gets even better at night when the lights are up, making it look like stars have fallen on the sea.
Piking up interesting activities from my room balcony
As if stars have fallen on the sea

Two more people could sleep in the bathroom and wouldn’t complain. The endless space in the bathroom yells luxury and comfort. However, on this sister trip, only one person allowed at a time unless when brushing teeth and during a possible pillow talk. 
Spacious room
Twin sinks come to fun use
My sister and I helped ourselves to the special pillows available 24 hours a day. While my sister chose the music pillow which allowed her to sleep with soft music emanated from within the pillow, I chose the magnetic pillow which relieves aches and improves blood circulation. I needed to boost my vigour as active days awaited me in Labuan. Offshore workers who survived a month of back breaking at sea, time to put your untouched money to good use. Or better, just order and claim it from the company. (Dun say I say ah) Good health, better efficiency right? :P
Me and my magnetic pillow slumber
There are the water pillow, magnetic pillow, medical stone pillow, memory pillow and music pillow

What do you do when it is too early for dinner and too late for lunch? If you are a guest of the Executive Room or any Premier Suites, like my sister and I, you are entitled to use the Executive Lounge on level 8 for free. It opens from 7am-10pm and at 4pm-7pm, evening cocktails and finger foods are served. So my sister and I lounged with our drinks and prattled while waiting for dinner. 
My sisters whisky and my red wine
The comfortable Executive Lounge to relax and catch up
Finger foods are served from 4-7pm

Victoria Brasserie of Dorsett welcomed us with dinner themed Battle of the BBQ at the poolside. The quality spread of food is at a reasonable price of RM70 nett per adult and RM 49 nett per child. As if the ambiance by the pool was not relaxing enough, we were accompanied by a collection of oldies sung live. The music must have massaged my gut as I ate till I was full to the neck. See more about Victoria Brasserie’s buffets here.
Dinner at the pool side
Victoria Brasserie offers fresh seafood for BBQ
Live music to accompany

Do not expect 2 sisters on a vacay to retire at 10pm. The night was still young so we made our way to Fun Pub. This charming den offers a decent chillout place with live band, booze, darts and pool. Although it is not of the KL variety, I like it because the pub is humble and friendly yet entertaining. To people coming back from the rigs, in transition to KL, Fun Pub will be a haven for you- a soft welcome back to land. Do notice the petite pinoy singers with big voices that will make you pause in amazement. My sister and I enjoyed some pool while sipping our drinks when waiting for our turns. 
Me and my lychee martini
Some pool for that competitive fun
My sister and I having a jolly good time
Sister Evy was invited to sing on stage
Her rendition of 'Listen' by Beyonce still made an impression in me
Fun Pub opens from 6pm-2am and closes on Sundays
After a good magnetic-pillow sleep, I woke up refreshed and ready to take on the day. The Victoria Brasserie offered a hearty breakfast with a wide spread of local and international choices. Juices and healthy lassi were available to meet my vitamin and fiber quota of the day. When I travelled for offshore trips, I was often worried if breakfast provided will be fulfilling enough. This is because the first meal of the day will take me a long way. There will be no time to search for food outside. Dorsett’s breakfast buffet passed my expectation of a wholesome meal for both tourists and business personnel. 
The wide buffet spread for breakfast at Victoria Brasserie
Breakfast merriment
Pastries for the morning

Do not give chance for stress to lurk in you. Expel more stress and reduce it to zero at the swimming pool. The blue waters rinsed my mind off the daily grind (which I am now enduring). My sister took a tranquilizing dip while I ensconced at the corner listening to the waterfall. The gym and sauna are also available for those who wants to reinforce their vitality.
Even just by just being near the waterfall helps me relax
My sis being athletic as usual
Caffe latte by the pool. The drink is still under breakfast buffet as the buffet ends at 10.30am
The gym opens to guests from 7am to11pm

My sister and I played Datins at the Lobby Lounge with high tea after our body massage at Borneo Paradise (5 minute drive from Dorsett). One three-tiered serving was just right for the two of us. There are the Western and Asian high tea to choose from. My sister and I treated ourselves to the Asian high tea while we again enjoyed doing nothing but eat...and scrolling the Facebook! If you are a sports fan, catch your favourite match on the high definition giant screen with a beer in hand.
The lobby lounge
The Asian high tea set at RM35 nett
The Western high tea set at the same price

What I like about Dorsett is that they are so friendly that they always have a way to custom-make their services according to customers' needs. If you want to make a surprise proposal to your girlfriend by the beach, facing the romantic sunset and don't want her to feel hungry, use Dorsett Service @ Your Venue (hint hint...I hope the right person is reading this). They cater for picnics and parties at any place of your liking. My sister and I was fortunate enough to join a group by the Unesco Beach during sunset for a cocktail party. Not one finger was soiled as Dorsett professionally took care of it all- from delicious snacks to utensils and disposal. This could be my next strategy to seal the deal with my clients...with a little bribe of alcohol...wherever the client is. 
Dorsett Service @ Your Venue brings the events to the place you want
The Sangria prepared was tasty. Although it becomes mobile, food quality is uncompromised
In deep thoughts
Sisters also need romantic moments like this alright

Thank you Dorsett Grand Labuan! You definitely know how to make your guests smug. Your hospitality is world class and it has heightened our expectation of customer service. I think I am beginning to get worried about being too spoilt for other hotels! We look forward to experiencing Dorsett’s hospitality in other parts of the world soon!
My sister and I flying off back home
The fish deep frozen and packed for mom as souvenir for a minimal price
At the Royal Suite at RM5000 per night. 239m2 with pantry.
Dining area at the Royal Suite
Obviously for people like the girl in pink. The study of the Royal Suite.
Premier Suite at RM2000 per night. 79m2 area.

Staycation at “The Pearl of South China Sea” is priced at RM550 nett per night in a Deluxe Room. Or upgrade to an Executive Room with just RM100 more (rate at RM650 nett per room night) and enjoy a host of extra benefits for FREE.   

Package includes:
Complimentary breakfast and dinner (based on single occupancy).  
Additional person will be chargeable at only RM70 per room night 
2 hours tour of Labuan historical sites
Extension of stay with Best Available Rate (inclusive of breakfast) offered by the hotel 
  
Package is available from 1 Nov 2015 till 29 Feb 2016. 

For more information, kindly visit:
Dorsett Grand Labuan
462, Jalan Merdeka
87029 Labuan
Website: http://www.dorsetthotels.com/malaysia/labuan
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DorsettGrandLabuan