2018 is a year of extraordinary developments for Malaysia and after 3 weeks of traipsing through the best luxury hotels in Kuala Lumpur, we have surmised that these are indeed the creme de la creme of luxury hospitality in the Malaysian capital.
Top Suite Experience - Ambassador Suite, Four Seasons Kuala Lumpur
The latest openings in the city all come with sumptuous palaces in the sky, from the singular 2000 sq feet Alila Suite that peers out into the Bangsar suburb from its level 40 perch to Banyan Tree’s Sky Sanctuary Suite that features both the KL and Petrona towers views and a bathroom with its own sauna and led-illuminated shower. But the top experience took place within Four Seasons’ elegant Ambassador Suite with luxurious fittings contained within a stylishly apportioned space that is classically comely and warm.
Top Spa - Essa Spa, Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur
There are a few great new spas in the city - from the spacious havens at Banyan Tree to the highly chromatic suites of W KL, but nothing beats the total class and comfort afforded by Essa Spa at Grand Hyatt where one can luxuriate in utter bliss on heated massage decks dressed by the plushest linens and attended to by some of the most experienced therapists in town who totally understand that wellness is an experiential journey and not just a massage.
Top Spa Treatment - So Hammam Ritual, So Spa @ Sofitel Damansara
There are other outstanding options in this category, like Banyan Tree’s Malaysian Bliss that incorporates honey and goat’s milk into a 3 hours treat and Essa Spa’s invigorating Revive treatments, but there is something more in So Spa’s Hammam ritual, which involves a heavenly scrub and lather session before a massage is expertly delivered.
Top Breakfast Experience - W Kuala Lumpur
Many hotels offer quality breakfast options in town, Grand Hyatt and Shangri-la’s extensive buffets come to mind, but when you factor in the panache and quality dished out by the W team - fresh coconuts, imported mineral water, freshly flipped roti canai and a dedicated toast station firing up fragrant kaya and peanut butter toasts, the choice for a winner is clear.
Top Fine Dining Chinese Restaurant - Yun House, Four Seasons Kuala Lumpur
After years of figuring out how to prepare halal Chinese dishes, the Chinese chefs of fine dining restaurants like Shang Palace (Shangri-la) and Wan Chun Ting (Sofitel Damansara) in Kuala Lumpur now dish out outstanding versions of double-boiled soups and superlative roasts signature to Chinese restaurants everywhere. It is Yun House however, helmed by veteran chef Jimmy Wong, that rises above the competition with exquisite presentation and sublime tastes that marries old and new.
Top Gourmet Experience - Entier, Alila Bangsar
Entier, a French restaurant conceptualised by Japanese chef Masashi Horiuchi is Kuala Lumpur’s restaurant du jour to see and be seen in. The modern entrees here are paired with local ingredients and customs in mind where lobster is flavoured by laksa leave and sharing is encouraged. Other restaurants that come close to this level of sizzles are Tangerine at Face Suites and Nizza at Sofitel Damansara.
Top Pool Design - Villa Samadhi Kuala Lumpur
Given that there are now some very tall hotels in Kuala Lumpur, our choice for best pool design may come as a bit of a surprise for some. The one big factor that shines through with the oasis style pool at Villa Samadhi is how it is shrouded in privacy (guests only and no children) and one can very well take a plunge from one’s own patio. It is by far the most inviting and alluring pool in the city.
Top Executive Club Lounge - Grand Club, Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur
There are many excellent executive lounges, the newly launched Four Seasons Executive Lounge and Shangri-la’s Horizon Club immediately spring to mind, in Kuala Lumpur but the top establishment has been Grand Hyatt’s Grand Club since its inception. The focus on guest satisfaction (managers stand to greet guests on arrival) and delivery (2 fantastic culinary presentations daily) is to this day unsurpassed.
Top Cocktail Experience - Seven Lobby Bar and Lounge, The Ruma Kuala Lumpur
The art of making a smashing cocktail should be the focus of bars but in many instances it isn’t. In Kuala Lumpur there are now several bars serving excellent cocktails, like Pacific Standard @ Alila Bangsar and Bar Trigona @ Four Seasons, but our favourite tipple moment was spent at The Ruma’s Seven Lobby Bar where there is an unpretentious dedication to cocktail concoction, from the premium spirits and mixers used to the wonderful selection of inventive and classical cocktails on its menu.
Top Nightspot - Bar Trigona, Four Seasons Kuala Lumpur
Our pick for top nightspot in Kuala Lumpur is neither set at the crown of a tall building with fabulous views like Vertigo at Banyan Tree nor installed next to the a misty pool and imbued with a party atmosphere like Wet Deck at W KL. Bar Trigonal was conceived as a classical drinking hole emanating a sophistication best surmised as Wall Street meets Great Gatsby. The atmosphere is naturally very grown-up, and the drinks, delish.
Top Bath Experience - Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur
The bath of any hotel room can either be its greatest attraction or its biggest let-down. In certain suites at the Grand Hyatt are sleek porcelain tubs set next to gorgeous views and at Villa Samadhi’s cribs are self-heating baths that are huge and inviting. At the Banyan Tree where its rooms and suites are some of the highest in the city, that advantage was cleverly utilized with an assortment of tubs parked right next to stunning vistas to effects that are highly gratifying, to say the least.
Top Culinary Achievement Award - Shangri-la Kuala Lumpur
A famed culinary address offering Japanese, French, Chinese and Continental delights, few hotels can compare with the choices for gourmet indulgence than at Shangri-la Kuala Lumpur's bevy of sterling restaurants. Afternoon tea is a cherished tradition at its lobby dripping with light and crystals while we particularly enjoyed the laksa noodles at Lemon Tree's breakfast station. Zipangu serves elegant Japanese while Lafite dishes out spirited modern French. Our favourite moments were spent at Shang Palace where an assortment of soups, roasts and signature dishes like the excellent braised chicken with abalone sets it as one of the city's best Chinese restaurants.
Kuala Lumpur Top 10 Luxury Hotels
Click for full list