12 Oct 2007
Carlton Star Hotel, Seremban, Malaysia
Hotel
A$25/£10.50 night
2°40'50.01"N 101°58'51.35"E
1 Room

 

The Carlton Star is a local business hotel in Seremban, state capital of Negeri Sembilan, and about an hour south of Kuala Lumpur. We found it by walking in off the street and asking to have a look at a room. The Google Earth ref is approximate because Seremban isn't mapped in detail.

Recently gutted and renovated, the Carlton Star is a small (48 room) hotel been and is very clean, offering excellent value for money. The rooms are large and ours, overlooked a flooded building site (not a bad thing, see below) had a tiny balcony, just wide enough to stand on. Being an older building (1960's) the rooms are very large in a way they don't make them any more and the walls solid and thick enough to keep out any noise from the next room. There is no fridge or tea and coffee making facilities, but the location is such that it really doesn't matter. The TV has only one satellite English language channel. There is a fair sized restaurant on the ground floor ( it didn't seem to be open when we stayed) conference facilities and a lift. The staff are really friendly and nice, especially the general manager Gregory who is a mine of information and incredibly helpful. The room has a writing desk and chair a stool and a very comfortable bed. Bathtubs seem to have been removed during the refit and replaced with extra long showers. Being in town, it can get a little noisy with the traffic, but not enough to keep you awake.

Hotel room

A search on the internet produced a reference to a sewerage pond which alarmed us a bit, but the man made lake next to the hotel was full of very clean water and fish which seemed to discredit that. Gregory told us the story (I may have got some of the finer details wrong). The site was originally a catholic girls school which came to the attention of developers. The land was acquired after an agreement was reached to build another school elsewhere and relocate the statue of Mary when it was complete, but the developers reneged on this minor detail and threw the statue on the rubbish tip. Excavations and building work started, and you can clearly see the concrete and reinforcing steel columns for what must have been the basement some 60 feet down. One day, the site filled with water, and the more they pumped it out the more it filled up until the project was abandoned. The crystal clear water has found it's own level and apparently through torrential rain or drought the level doesn't change. I said they must have hit an underground water source. Gregory said it was either that or, as many people believed, the curse of the nuns.

Water view

Whichever story you believe, the "lake" is certainly a blessing to the Carlton Star. The evening breeze, cooled by the water, means you can just open the windows and not have the air conditioning on. There isn't a problem with mozzies getting in as the hotel put fish in the water to ensure they can't lay eggs.

The location of the hotel is fantastic - right in the middle of town. The bus terminal is a two minute walk from the hotel, and the railway station about five minutes. Seremban is the last stop on the Kuala Lumpur commuter train network, so there are trains every 15 minutes or so and being on the Kuala Lumpur to Singapore route, there are plenty of buses and coaches coming and going. There is a large shopping mall at the bus terminal and a smaller one across the road from the railway station. Two supermarkets are within a couple of minutes walk and there are Tesco and Jusco hypermarkets, although we didn't come across them - in a bid to cut traffic congestion, the council has in the last few weeks put on a twice hourly free shuttle bus which does a loop around the town and passes both. The good people of Seremban Municipal Council also provides for its citizens WiFi via 5 hotspots around town, one of them being at the bus terminal with a signal strong enough to be picked up in the hotel. Being in the town centre there are countless local restaurants, canteens, warungs and food stalls to choose from.

The Carlton Star isn't a luxury hotel, there's no gym or swimming pool, but it's clean and excellent value for money. We will definitely stay here again if we come back to Seremban.