My journey to the Imperial Hotel Kuching from Kuching International Airport took all of five minutes.
Words: Chitra Santhinathan
Approaching the newly-opened hotel, I was struck by the sheer size of the building, a 20-storey monolith in a largely residential area. Situated in a locale commonly referred to as Fourth Mile, the Kuching property is the latest addition to the portfolio of the Sarawakian-owned Imperial Group of Hotels.
Instead of having to jostle for precious waterfront space like many of the city’s business class hotels, its location, a short distance away from the city centre (Kuching’s CBD is about a 15-minute drive away), affords the Imperial plenty of room – for spacious guestrooms and ample meeting facilities. In fact, the hotel’s Imperial Grand Ballroom can seat up to 2,000 people at one go!
Its 325 guestrooms done up in neutral tones and timber accents, range from the 32 sq m Superior to the 128 sq m Presidential Suite. My Deluxe Corner room was itself a luxurious 46 sq m and afforded me a view of Sarawak’s majestic Mount Santubong in the distance. All rooms are kitted out with business class standards including a 42-inch flat screen TV, work desk, coffee/tea-making facilities and a spacious bathroom with both a shower enclosure and a bath tub for a leisurely after-work soak. More importantly, rooms come with free WiFi connectivity, which really is at the top of the list for business travellers.
While the guestrooms offer business class comfort, the deal-clincher at the Imperial is its MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) facilities. Whisked on a whirlwind tour of the facilities, I discovered an entire floor dedicated to hosting events, be it meetings large or small, banquets, conferences or exhibitions. I was amazed at the proportions of the Imperial Grand Ballroom, which in its entirety can accommodate 2,000 guests in a theatre setting or 1,400 guests at a sit down banquet, or sectioned into smaller ballrooms depending on event requirements.
But, the Imperial Grand Ballroom is not the only ballroom at this hotel. The circular Boulevard Grand Ballroom while smaller in size (it can accommodate up to 500 sit-down banquet guests) takes the cake for style. With a majestic chandelier cascading from its ceiling and sweeping windows that capture views of the not-too-distant Kuching CBD and the buildings across the Sarawak River (the iconic State Legislative Building is visible from here), this ballroom is ideal for hosting intimate gatherings. Besides the ballrooms, there are nine multifunctional meeting rooms that cater for smaller groups. The folks behind the Imperial definitely mean business!
Even business people need some time for leisure, and the Imperial Hotel Kuching covers the bases with a fitness centre equipped with a gym, sauna and outdoor swimming pool to take care your recreational needs and, a mall! Yes, a mall. The hotel adjoins the Boulevard Mall, one of the city’s newest shopping destinations.
Dining at the Imperial is uncomplicated with its sole all-day dining outlet, the Imperial Garden, serving up a delicious mix of local favourites like the much-raved about laksa Sarawak and international fare from sushi to spaghetti carbonara. A refreshing space, the restaurant conjures a garden setting with avian-inspired fixtures suspended from the ceiling and a colour palette of apple green and zesty orange.
Imperial Hotel Kuching may be the new kid on the block, but with its impressive event spaces and its proximity to the airport, it certainly is perfectly poised for success.
IMPERIAL HOTEL KUCHING
Address: Jalan Datuk Tawi Sli, 93250 Kuching, Sarawak
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