Hotel Excelsior Ipoh is part of the Excelsior chain of hotels, commonly found in Asian countries. It is the first international hotel in Ipoh and has been around since 1983. Despite the hotel being located in the same building for ages, it has recently been renovated and now boasts a fresh and chic look instead of looking like the older run down buildings surrounding it. Even with the update and a somewhat prominent brand name, Hotel Excelsior Ipoh has constantly received mixed reviews. Hence, we at HotelSider will not take you through a detailed look at Hotel Excelsior Ipoh and see if its worth a stay.
43, Jalan Sultan Abdul Jalil
30300 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Hotel Excelsior Ipoh is rather centrally located and is proximate to a number of banks and local attractions, making it a convenient hotel to stay at. It is just a 20 minutes drive from the hotel, making it a breeze for international travellers headed for a few nights at the hotel.Â For tourists who wish to explore the popular attractions of Ipoh, Hotel Excelsior would be a good choice of lodging as it is within walking distance to several attractions, such as the Ipoh Railway Station.
Those on a heritage tour can also discover the rich culture of Ipoh via foot, as the famed art murals, Ipoh World and Concubine Lane can be visited and covered on foot. Over there, tourists can look forward to discovering more about the quaint town and expose themselves to the roots of Ipoh.
Food is also readily available around the hotel. Just at the back, guests can try out some local dim sum and a foot tour will allow you to taste numerous local delights. After all, food is one of the main reasons why people visit Ipoh and Hotel Excelsior Ipoh has a good location for gourmets. No one should leave Ipoh without trying items such as the Ipoh Hor Fun, chicken rice and white coffee. Thankfully, many shops selling these can be found within close proximity of the hotel. For those who wish to take pieces of Ipoh back, you can do so by purchasing Ipoh snacks to take back home as souvenirs or gifts. There are a plethora of these stores selling famous local snacks such as tau sa piah, beh teh soh and prawn crackers, all of which are greatly enjoyed by not just locals but also citizens in neighbouring countries and states. Should you be travelling with a tour group, it is common to be entitled to discounts when purchasing such items so do make full use of such benefits.
Another must do when visiting a state in Malaysia would be to experience affordable reflexology and guests of Hotel Excelsior Ipoh can do so as well. This is because there are numerous reflexology centres within a 5 minutes walk from the hotel and most of them are decent stores doing a legitimate business. Prices are pretty cheap as well, with a one hour full body massage going for an average price of RM50.Â These reflexology centres even provide a free escorting service back to the hotel should the time be late or should you be unfamiliar with the place. Do take note that the main hotel doors are locked after 1am each night, so make it a point to be back by then or you will have to go through a short wait for the staff to verify your identity and let you in. Though it creates a hassle, this is a safety measure which is necessary to ensure the safety of guests.
Getting around town is not so easily, as public transport is almost none existent. You will have to travel around by foot or by taxi, which can be booked with some help from the hotel concierge. Fortunately, there is a free shuttle service provided by the Lost World of Tambun theme park, a large and popular theme park owned by the reputable Sunway group. The shuttle service can take guests to the theme park and it also passes through numerous other hotels en route there. Hence, one wise way of transport would be to utilise the shuttle service, hopping off at other hotels which are close to some other attractions.
The exterior of Hotel Excelsior Ipoh does not shine or stand out, although it looks new and refreshed relative to its neighbouring buildings. Step into the well-lit but small lobby and you will be greeted with a clean and refreshing sight. However, do take note that Hotel Excelsior Ipoh seems to be a pretty popular choice of lodging for tour groups and it is not uncommon to arrive to a crowded and noisy hotel lobby jam packed with tour groups waiting to check in or check out.
During festive season, the lobby will be decorated but it does not give off a festive mood like you can expect from better hotels. However, the lobby still serves its primary purpose of providing a comfortable waiting area for guests to check in or gather. Though petite, it has a decent seating area with cleverly arranged soft benches to maximise the utilisation of the available space.
The check in procedure itself is rather quick although the service standards are not the best. As Hotel Excelsior Ipoh is an internationally known brand, it is a great thing that the hotel staff are able to converse smoothly in English and unless you have a very strong accent or are not well versed in the English language, there should not be a communication barrier. One thing I noted was that the hotel staff do not seem to be very friendly or happy, as their smiles are often reserved and thus, guests will not feel warm hospitality like how a top hotel will be like. With that being said, the efficiency of the staff must still be praised as even when there are large tourist groups present, the wait to get or return your room keys is not significantly longer than usual.
There is clearly room for improvement with regards to the front desk service standards and the general look and decor of the hotel. These areas are certainly not world class but relative to other accommodation choices around the area, Hotel Excelsior Ipoh is definitely good by all standards.
Hotel Excelsior Ipoh stands at 14 storeys tall and getting to your room is easy once you realize that both sets of elevators can do the job. Yes, there are two sets of elevators around a small maze-like bend and it might actually be confusing for first time guests. However, it merely acts as a crowd control measure and both will take you to the same places.
When you reach your floor, there are clear signs indicating the room numbers so finding your room is an easy affair. The corridor is brightly lit at all times of the day and this helps make Hotel Excelsior Ipoh feel a little more luxurious and less like a random hotel down a shady street.
Hotel Excelsior Ipoh is newly refurbished and so, the rooms greet you with a pleasant, modern and refreshing look once you enter. The air conditioning works well and you can escape from Malaysia’s sweltering heat into the comfort of the generally clean room. For my trip, I stayed in a superior room, which is the cheapest room available in the hotel. Though it is not large by any means, the light colour tones and placement of the room amenities makes it seem more spacious that it really is. I must say that though the exterior of the hotel does not look like much at first sight, the room does indeed change impressions.
The room comes with an adequately sized work desk and even though Hotel Excelsior Ipoh is not exactly a business hotel, the work desk does suffice and might even be more spacious than some business hotels I have seen. However, it is not as well appointed as most other hotels, as basic office equipment such as pens, notepads and a writing pad are all not provided. Also, the chair at the work desk is not an ergonomic swivel chair without sufficient back or lumbar support, making it tiring to sit there for long periods of time. With that being said, these negatives should not affect most guests as I would presume that most guests at Hotel Excelsior Ipoh are there for leisure.
The work desk also doubles as a pantry area, as it contains some pantry amenities and a mini bar tucked underneath the desk. This is indeed a clever design as it appoints the room with the basic necessities of a hotel room without taking up too much space and making the room too cramped.
Complimentary bottled water, tea and coffee are provided together with glassware. Hence, guests can sip on a hot drink before starting the day. The in-room boiler also makes it a breeze for hungry guests to cook up some instant noodles which are readily available in the many convenience stores and supermarkets near the hotel. However, the room does not have any snack or tidbit selection, so those who get hungry easily at night but do not have any food to eat will face difficulties an satisfying their hunger. Furthermore, the hotel’s dining options are closed at night and room service stops at 10.30pm – a major flaw which I think should be improved.
The bed of the hotel is generally comfortable, though the mattress itself is slightly on the hard side. Nevertheless, most guests should find it adequate in providing a good nights sleep. The sheets are clean and all pulled straight and I must say that compared to many other lesser known hotels around town, Hotel Excelsior Ipoh does trump its rivals in terms of bed cleanliness and comfort. Guests can definitely be assured that you will not wake up with bed bug bites or rashes caused by dust and dirt. In room entertainment is provided via a decently sized television screen which has quite a wide selection of channels. Guests can tuck themselves in bed while enjoy new on demand movies or local programmes at no charge at all and for a hotel that does not have much in its rooms, this does come as a pleasant surprise. For those who like to read, the room does not provide a table lamp or reading light within close proximity to the bed but the room becomes well lit when all the lights are turned on. This makes for a pleasant reading environment to browse through maps, guides, or book, with the only drawback being the need for a consensus between room mates on whether the lights should be on or off.
One major complaint though, would be the lack of any noise isolation from the outside world. I can safely say that the windows offer little or even no noise isolation at all and should you get a room facing the main road, loud motorcycles zooming past will be a common occurrence throughout most of the night, even at times as late as 2am. I would strongly recommend requesting for a room that does not face the street, especially for those who treasure sleep greatly.
Should you get a room with double beds, both beds will share a single small bedside table which houses a telephone and a television channel guide. Though useful and thoughtful, this leaves little space for placing your personal belongings and those who desire to keep objects close by when sleeping might find themselves fighting for space. Thankfully, there is a rather spacious drawer which can be used in replacement of the table top.