Hotel Al Jafs was one of the 6 KL hotels I booked during my last long haul November/December trip; two of them (Beltif Hotel and Sunbow Hotel Residency) I've stayed in before. This hotel is particularly memorable because I found it hard to locate. In fact, as early as my 1st arrival, I already tried looking for this - and failed! The hotel is actually closer to the Alor area, specifically Hotel Radius International. My booking goes: after a night at Hotel Radius, I'd check out and transfer to Hotel Al Jafs where I'd only stay for 7 to 8 hours since I had a flight after midnight. This was like a transit stay.
Upon research, this hotel rates well with guests, and I like the fact that you don't get charged for early arrival like I was charged 50 ringgit for arriving 1 hour too early at the Hotel Radius International which is one hotel I would not recommend for various reasons. I was, of course, curious. True enough, checking in was a breeze, which was a good thing because it took me more than 30 minutes to find the hotel. Funny thing was, I just found it the day before so how could I get very lost again - this time with a very heavy 15-kilogram bag (it was like punishment)!
The girl at the counter was far from being warm, considering the fact that I was the only one there (read: she wasn't busy). That didn't matter to me; I wasn't there to make good friends. I was given my key. I went up the mezzanine floor to find the restaurant (where you get your breakfast that's included in the Agoda booking). The lift is on this floor. I was heading towards the 3rd floor (which should be the 5th level, as per Philippine assignation). There were water jugs on the hallways, and the floor was immaculate. But there was hardly anyone there.
The room wasn't big (though it's bigger than rooms at Le Apple Boutique Hotel). There was a split-type AC, a LCD TV with international channels, a free wifi connection, a kettle for hot water for tea/coffee, hot and cold water, and 2 complimentary bottles of water. The bathroom was dry, clean, and the fixtures looked relatively new. Toiletries were likewise provided. My window had a view of the skyline. Al Jafs has 44 rooms.
The bed was comfortably soft and the sheets smelled clean. On TV was an Indian talent show that had special guest judges - superstar Shahrukh Khan, Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma, stars of the new Bollywood release, "Jab Tak Hai Jaan" ("As Long as There is Life"). Was it serendipity that I actually went to see this the night before? Figured I had to watch it for a lot of reasons: SRK stars in it; this Indian film is being shown simultaneously all over the world - it was in Manila when I left, it was all over Australia and it's now in Malaysia. I just couldn't miss it. But I was tired that I eventually slept through the results.
TENETS OF GOOD WILL
Sometime before 6 PM, I went out to buy a couple of DVD's I missed buying the night before. By this time, I had some 50 titles with me. This didn't take long. Upon my return to the hotel, I saw a morose guy at the lobby. I nodded, but he stopped me. "You have a room?" he asked. No hellos, no nods, no greeting! "Yes, idiot, I do. Otherwise, I wouldn't get inside." I thought. I raised my keys and hopped away. The odd thing here is, they couldn't even offer a polite "hello" or a smile - any welcoming gesture; why would I offer them any? I didn't know who he was - or was I supposed to greet every Tom, Dick and Harry I see at the lobby? I was a paying guest, I didn't have to, you know. While I understand the security measures they had to uphold, it wouldn't hurt if they showed a little courtesy first. Acknowledging anyone who comes into the front door is key. After all, this business is based on the tenets of good will which is part of what they are selling; not just the rooms.
A couple of hours later, I was already carrying my bag to check out. I handed my card key. "I'm checking out," I told the counter lady. She dramatically quipped, "Why?" At least she remembered that I just got in a few hours ago. "Because I have a flight to catch?" I replied. Suddenly, the warmth and hospitality that was vaguely there came flooding by. Both from the counter girl and the non-smiling man I met earlier. "Aww, that's too bad," she said, then added, "See you again next time." I chuckled. I had to. It was too funny to feel so welcome only when I was leaving.
This is the Eye in the Sky!
|Lobby and waiting room|
|Hotel Radius International is nearby. Just walk at the end of the street seen here, then turn left at the corner.|
|Stairs from the mezzanine.|
|Dining Room: mostly abandoned after breakfast.|
|My room at the 3rd floor.|
|Indian Superstar Shahrukh Khan comments about a contestant who sang one of his earlier songs.|
|Notice the detail on the wall.|
|From this corner stop, you could see Hotel Radius International.|
Hotel Al Jafs is located at No. 17-19 Jalan Bedara, Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (behind Hotel Istana). Call them at 03 - 21433700. Emai them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, updates, rates and location, visit their website: http://www.hotelaljafs.com