Looking for a great place to stay in Kuching? One in a good location with fabulous rooms and great facilities?
I have the best option for you – The Waterfront Hotel Kuching.
Located close to the beautiful riverfront area and many attractions, The Waterfront Kuching Hotel describes itself as “artrageous” and as “Kuching’s only independent 5 star boutique hotel”.
Along with photos of great rooms, great views, a great pool and much more, I was convinced to stay here.
So is it good? Should you stay at The Waterfront Hotel Kuching? The best way to find out is to keep reading for my full Kuching Waterfront Hotel review where I cover everything from check-in to the pool to my room to dining options and more.
Spoiler: This is a great place to stay!
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The Waterfront Hotel Kuching Review
The Waterfront Hotel Plaza Merdeka Kuching is home to 208 rooms and is easy to find above the big Plaza Merdeka Shopping Center.
While I personally wouldn’t describe a hotel this big as a “boutique hotel”, I did find it a great place to stay. It’s much more like a big international hotel than a boutique hotel
My stay here started with check-in. I was checking in far too early at about 8:30am, so I couldn’t enter my room yet. However, I was soon registered and my luggage stowed while I set out for Bako National Park. I was able to go into my room when I returned at 1:30pm.
I talked with reception staff a few times during my stay for various reasons, and they were always great. Very helpful and competent.
My only complaint on the first day (a Saturday) was how busy the lifts were. It took a long time to get to my room or out again. This wasn’t a problem the rest of my stay though.
The Waterfront Hotel Kuching Sarawak Location
Waterfront Hotel Kuching address: 68, Jalan Tun Abang Haji Openg, 93000 Kuching, Sarawak
The Waterfront Hotel Kuching location is great. It’s just a block from the riverfront and close to Chinatown, museums and temples. You can walk to downtown attractions from here.
In fact, I think it was maybe the best located hotel here as it was so close to the river, an entry to Chinatown was right outside the hotel and the new Borneo Cultures Museum is super close as well.
There’s also a shopping centre below (Plaza Merdeka Shopping Mall) with plenty of shops and eating options. It’s hard to imagine a better location in Kuching.
Hotel Waterfront Kuching Sarawak Rooms
There is a range of room types at the Hotel Kuching Waterfront starting with deluxe and premier rooms which are their (lovely) version of a standard hotel room. All rooms include air-conditioning, tea and coffee making facilities, minifridge, bathrobes and slippers, desk area and lounge chair. They all look modern, clean and comfortable.
They come in twin, double and family options (with two queen beds).
The main difference between deluxe and premier rooms is that premier rooms have a city or river view.
There are also club floor rooms with come in twin, double and family options (like above) as well as suites. These are on the top two floors of the hotel so have the best views. They also give you access to a special lounge, the Iridium Lounge, as well as other benefits including return airport transfers, free soft drinks in your minifridge and pressing two items of clothes per day.
The Iridium Lounge is open daily and has a special afternoon tea as well as sunset evening happy hour.
There is a range of suites which have living areas as well as two bedroom suite options. Some come with access to the club floor as well.
Premier Twin Room with View
I stayed in a premier twin room as I was staying here alone and I LOVE a great view.
On entry to my room, there was a shelf with an area under it to my left, perfect for my shoes and storing my handbag. Next to this was cupboard space.
In the cupboard were two bathrobes, slippers and a safe as well as scales and ironing facilities.
On my right was the bathroom. This was a decent size with a big shower, washbasin area and toilet. The toiletries were great. I also liked how the towels were presented.
In the bedroom area were two big single beds. I think they are king sized singles with a bedside table between them with a phone. Next to the beds was a comfortable lounge chair and foot stool.
Opposite the beds was an area to store my luggage. A big shelf with cupboards under that had the tea and coffee making facilities and a minifridge. On top was four bottles of water and tissues. Above this was the flatscreen television.
Further along this wall was the desk area with a room service menu.
However, the best part was the view. How magnificent is this! And this is only part of the view I had from this window. It was definitely worth the upgrade price.
I was very happy with the room. It was super clean, quiet and comfortable.
At least until that night. There was someone talking outside on a microphone that went on for awhile. The call to prayer and chanting from the mosque can also be quite loud too. I didn’t hear any noise from within the hotel though.
More annoying was that the cupboard didn’t close properly, and it had a light on. Also there was a small light on the wall between the bathroom and bedroom area that I had no way to turn off! I’m guessing it was meant to be helpful in case you needed the toilet in the night, but it was quite bright and not well thought out. I used the spare towels to try to cover it and disconnected the light in the cupboard.
The next morning, I was also less happy when I realised my bedside table had an ant problem. My computer was covered with them as I had left it there overnight! And because I put it in my bed before I realised, my bed then had ants.
I was spending the morning working at the desk and ants just kept coming. It was highly distracting and very annoying.
These are only small things and I enjoyed my stay very much overall. However, I think a 5 star hotel really shouldn’t have an ant problem (it wasn’t just the bedside table and desk either, they also were all over the toilet!) and the lights were a little ridiculous.
My favourite facility was the pool. It was undercover with views across to the river and was open from 8am – 7pm. The hotel website describes it as indoor, but since it’s open to the elements, I would just say undercover. It was protected from the rain.
I had read reviews beforehand saying this pool can be too cold. Thankfully, I didn’t experience this. It was definitely cooler than other hotels I have stayed at in Sarawak, but this was a good thing! I hate a warm pool when I’m already hot. I thought it was perfect.
Next to the pool is a bar (more below) which was perfect. On the Saturday afternoon, this area became quite full, and there weren’t enough seats. But at other times, it was fine.
There is also a gym and a business centre with printing facilities.
Parking is provided for free in the shopping centre car park below as long as you get your vehicle plate number validated at reception. They have an airport shuttle which you can book for RM15 per person each way. I stuck with Grab which was easy and actually cheaper than that on my way to the hotel.
Unfortunately, the shuttle doesn’t run until 8am, and I needed to leave for the airport at 4am on my return. I didn’t trust Grab to come that early reliably, so the hotel rung and booked a taxi for me. This was RM50 at this time.
Wifi is also free and available throughout the hotel. There was a sign at reception when I checked in apologising for the speeds and saying they were having problems with it, but I found it fine.
Baby cots are available and suite rooms can have an extra bed for an extra fee.
Of course, there is also the shopping centre underneath. This made things so easy. There are multiple entry points from the hotel to the shopping mall including from reception and from the fourth level near the pool.
There is a restaurant and bar on-site.
Café Via Mare is the place to go to eat. It has local and international options as well as great views towards the river area. This is where you can also find the Waterfront Hotel Kuching buffet for breakfast if you have that included in your stay or wish to pay for it.
There is also a lunch and a dinner menu here. 24 hour room service is also available.
You can also enjoy a drink by the pool at Zapatos Lounge. There are also views and snacks available. I read this opens at 4pm on the hotel website, but it was open much earlier than this. I love its location by the pool. Perfect for a wine and a snack while having a swim.
You can also head to the shopping centre food court which has so many fabulous options. There’s an escalator directly to the middle of this area from the fourth floor of the hotel. I ate here a lot!
I hope you found this The Waterfront Hotel Kuching review useful.
I was a little reluctant to try a new hotel after loving the Hilton Kuching a lot the last time I was in Kuching. However, The Waterfront Hotel Kuching Plaza Merdeka is excellent. I think the location is unbeatable and the rooms great.
The pool area is also incredible with the great views and fabulous bar.
Like I said above, I wouldn’t call it a boutique hotel and I am not sure what is “artrageous” about it. There wasn’t even any art in my room. However, it is quality and easy.
While I complained about some issues above, overall, they weren’t really a problem. I very much enjoyed my stay here. I’ll definitely stay here again.
Looking for other accommodation options in Kuching? Find our full hotel guide here. You can also find our full guide to things to do in Kuching here and our full travel guide to Kuching here.
Planning a trip to Malaysia? Have any questions? Join our Malaysia Travel Planning Facebook group here now! It’s the perfect place to ask any questions and to be inspired!