“ 3 Jalan Stesen Sentral / Kuala Lumpur / Malaysia / 50470 / Tel: +60-3-2264 2264 / Fax: +60-3-2264 2266. „
Instead of writing flowing prose about this fine hotel, it is perhaps more helpful to break the review down into sections that can easily be identified with:
ROOMS - The rooms (or, at least ours was), were very clean, well appointed, with everything you could need for a visit. The 42" TV, the amply sized bathroom, the rain shower, and the panoramic views of KL and the lake gardens all help to make the rooms fantastic.
LOCATION - The hotel is under 60 seconds from KL Sentral Station; Sentral links you into the centre of town in 15 minutes, and to the airport in 28 minutes, and is enormously convenient. Taxi's shouldn't have too much trouble returning to the hotel, as Sentral is known to most. Avoid paying anymore than 20RM for a ride back from KLCC/Golden Triangle; taxi drivers refuse to use their meter and negotiate a fixed price before departing.
FOOD - We only stayed in the hotel for breakfast; eating a 3-course meal with alcohol for two can be done in the city centre for under RM150, so eating in the hotel makes little sense. As for the breakfast, the choice was outstanding, with Indian dishes, Japanese dishes, and other traditional Asian dishes on offer, as well as croissants, bread selections, eggs, waffles, omelettes, fruit, cereals, and most other western breakfast products.
SERVICE - Staff were very helpful, as you'd expect. Check-in and check-out took less than 5 minutes, staff were always around to help, recommend excursions, post mail and pretty much anything you would want them to do.
VALUE FOR MONEY - We travelled on a weekend that was included in the Hilton January sale, and so paid 50% of the usual price. For us, at £80 per night, it was good value for money, but if faced with paying twice that, it would be difficult to justify given the cheaper, and equally luxurious hotels in the city centre (Mandarin Oriental and Traders for example).
OVERALL - A pleasant stay with no problems. It's nice to travel in the sweaty heat knowing you'll later be returning to a perfectly air-conditioned and luxuriously appointed hotel room. We robably wouldn't stay at the Hilton KL Sentral if confronted with a bill for 2x what we paid, but that's from the perspective of living on a student budget!
I stayed here last week to top off my trip to malaysia and the hilton in KL was by far the best hotel I stayed at in Asia and perhaps have ever stayed at - if I was going back to Kuala lumpur I wouldn't want to stay anywhere else!
Location.... its located across the road from Sentral station which is the main station in Kuala and links directly to the airport in fact it only takes 28 minutes by train no stops and if you are flying with Malaysia airlines or emirates you can check your bags in at the station all the way to london - what brilliant service!
The area around the hotel doesn't look amazing but all the trainlines/monorail etc go into sentral station so you can get anywhere quickly and easily!
Facilities.... the swimming pool was the only facility we used in the hotel which was enormous and snakes aronud the back of the hotel and has a slide for the children - was amazing although not very wide so not ideal for swimming lengths especially if busy. There is also a gym and I think tennis aswell but we didn't use those facilities.
THe room: Wow - looked brand new when in fact the hotel is several years old now. Beds were very comfy with egyptian cotton sheets. Big tv and lots of english channels, bathroom was huge with separate shower, and toilet as well as a huge bath.
the food: Breakfast was great and extensive selection with lots of different nationalities food. Had room service as well which was good The hotel is in a complex with the Le meridien hotel and there is joint signing between the hotels so you can eat at either of the hotels restaurants and sign it to your room - a really good system.
Service: everyone was helpful and made it easy for us to get whatever we wanted.
Only minor gripe would be that they didn't come to clean our room so when we got back from a long day out we had to ring down to get them to come and clean - which they did very promptly.
Overall an amazing hotel well worth a visit - paid about £70 a night with a half price deal on Opodo but good to mention that they add 5% tax and 10% service onto all the prices in the hotels in malaysia.
I spent one night at the Hilton in Kuala Lumpur in December 2004 but one night was enough to make me want to sell my house and all my possessions and go and live at this fantastic hotel. One night was enough for Hilton's Asia-region 'flagship' hotel to burn itself into my mind when many other hotels had long been pushed aside in my goldfish-like memory and replaced with thoughts of what I want for dinner and whether I remembered to feed the cats.
I visited this at the end of the first week of a three-week business trip around the Far East and the Indian Sub-continent. Generally one week into a trip like that and I would be starting to lose the will to live. Another two weeks still to go, hot and sweaty, very alien environments, not to mention the hard-drinking boss and colleagues with whom I was travelling. I was starting to get a tad 'jaded'. This hotel put a spring back in my step.
At the time I visited this hotel, it had only been open for a short time and they were still offering special opening offer prices. I believe we paid about £55 per room per night although if you book well in advance you should be able to get a good rate. I just ran a check on their website for a random night in October and found prices in the range of £46 to £96. For a five star that's got to be a bargain in anyone's book.
I have stayed in 4 different hotels in KL over the past 10 years and every one would knock spots off the majority of similarly graded hotels anywhere else in the world and costs considerably less. The level of service in all these hotels has been, without exception, extraordinarily high.
Finding the Hilton
If you haven't been to KL before - or haven't been since they opened the new airport - the first shock you will get is how far the airport is from the city. The new KL airport is something like 60-70 km from the city. It's almost as ridiculous as calling Luton a London airport. However, because the Hilton is located directly on top of the Sentral Station (that's how they spell it, it's not a typo), you can get to or from the airport in just 28 minutes. Clearly that's better than your average British Rail service.
In ten minutes using the same train service you can get to KLCC - a popular city centre shopping arcade which is next door to the Petronas Towers and a couple of minutes from the fantastic aquarium that I keep meaning to review.
Above the Sentral station are two hotels - the Hilton and another - I think it's a Le Meridien but don't quote me on that. I arrived by car rather than train so I can't tell you how easy it is to find your way up to the hotel but if the simplicity and clarity that's typical of everything else in KL is a good indication, it's not going to tax your brain cells. When you arrive by car, you pull up under cover beside a large metal sculpture in the middle of a fountain.
The hotel overlooks the Lake Gardens and is near to the National Museum. I've not been to either so can't tell you whether that's a good thing or not!
Yep, they spent a few quid on this. Hilton really went to town. A high ceilinged atrium with lots to look at. Original paintings and sculptures abound throughout the hotel. The lobby merges into a large downstairs bar and there are shops and other facilities at this level.
I can't say too much about the check in process as a couple of the people in our party had high level loyalty cards and so blagged us all a check in on the executive floor and we skipped the general check-in.
I walked in and found that, without doubt, I had died and gone to 'Elle Deco' heaven. If you have ever read that magazine you'll know what I mean but for everyone else, I'd sum it up as cutting-edge design, lots of light wood, lots of glass and loads of technology to boggle your mind. Functional minimalism - lots of hidden cupboards and multi-functional furnishings. Since I am to minimalism what Wayne Roony is to great literature, I love to experience the minimalist dream before I head home to my clutter.
To put in context the sheer wonder of these rooms, of the six of us who checked in together, only one (my thirsty ex-boss) actually made it to the bar at our allotted time. The rest of us were all too busy playing in our rooms and just couldn't tear ourselves away for something as unexciting as lots of booze and dinner.
So what makes these rooms so special?
Somebody really sat down and thought about everything you could want in a room and then added some extras. The room is large with floor to ceiling windows and, to make sure you really enjoy the view, there's a sofa to recline on in front of the window so you can lie back and soak it up. The bed is wide and firm - just the way it should be - and at the perfect angle for watching the 42" plasma screen TV. 42" - that's like the granddaddy of screens. And if you can't find anything on the multitude of TV stations, you can play computer games.
There's a glass-topped desk with lots of gizmos so you can link your computer to the net and check your mail. Not for me, I was too busy having fun and exploring. Tucked in one of the cupboards in the bathroom (more later) were three boxes of goodies. Hilton calls them 'lifestyle' boxes and they contain everything you might need in three themed containers.
The first box is 'Business' - it's got staplers, pens and pencils, post-its and all those bits and bobs.
The second is the 'Relaxation' box - it has extra nice toiletries you can use in your room. And the clever thing is if you USE them whilst you are there, you won't have to pay. But if you take them with you, you will be charged. That baffled my mind and I ended up leaving them just were they were thinking 'what if they think I've taken them? Do I have to leave all the empties on show? Or should I wander down and show them how lovely my skin is looking?
The third box is 'entertainment' and contained puzzles and games and a set of juggling balls. There was a book of short stories in there too I'm sure but I can't remember which box that was in.
Now there were also some extras you could get 'on demand' by calling housekeeping. These included office equipment, a super-dooper coffee machine and, get this, a bowl of goldfish. Now then, I've stayed in hotels where the concierge would send friendly ladies to your room (not something I'm in the market for obviously) but never a bowl of goldfish. What a cool idea. I assume you are expected to return the same number the next day - they aren't for snacking on.
If you are the type who likes to change into your Wincyette nighty in the bathroom or under cover of darkness then you are going to freak about the bathroom. It's almost entirely open plan. There are glass walls between the bath and the bedroom. They didn't go the whole hog though - don't worry, the toilet does have a door and you can't watch what's going on which is undoubtedly a good thing (something the Big Brother people should learn from). The bath has a whirlpool and there's a fabulously powerful shower called a 'rainshower'. The toiletries are yummy and smell fantastic.
Everything you could possibly need is tucked in this room somewhere - a safe, a trouser press, an iron and ironing board, an alarm clock , a minibar, a hair dryer, a 42" plasma screen TV (yep, I know, I mentioned that already).
It was a tough call but I dragged myself away to burn up some calories before putting them straight back again in the bar. The gym was gorgeous. Row after row of treadmills, bikes and steppers all looking out over the pool. Friendly staff hovering to push your buttons and explain anything that wasn't obvious. A very nice experience and even at peak pre-dinner time, there were plenty of machines to go round.
I nearly forgot to mention the pool. I didn't use it but it was a joy just to look at. On a boardwalk setting it's a free-form pool with landcaped islands. The total length is 120 meters. Mind-blowing.
Off to the Bar
Very stylish, lovely big square bar to sit at or lots of comfy chairs and sofas for lazing around. Prices - sorry, I have no idea as I wasn't paying attention. Lots of nibbles whilst you drink - not just peanuts but nice expensive nuts too.
Eating and Drinking
There are 10 different bars and restaurants in the hotel covering off a wide range of cuisines. Just as KL itself is a racial melting pot, the food choices reflect the local diversity. The restaurants include Malaysian, Chinese, Japanese and Western options and there's also a coffee bar and a poolside eatery. As our hosts were Chinese Malays we were taken to Chynna, the Chinese restaurant.
I'm a strict fishitarian - I know it's not a real word but there are a lot of us around. I eat fish and various weird sea creatures but I draw the line at meat. On this occasion I was quite glad. Our hosts went out of their way to show off the local delicacies and fortunately decided that they'd do strict vegetarian for me. What a relief! This meant I missed out on the sea slug, the sea cucumber and of course the goose feet. I wish I'd had a camera to capture the faces of my English colleagues when they received the goose feet. However the funniest dish of the evening was the crispy duck. The chef brought the duck out to the table with a flourish. A waitress followed with the pancakes and the paraphernalia and proceeded to prepare the pancakes with just the duck skin. My boss salivated as the main body of the duck headed back to the kitchen leaving him with just a slither of skin. Priceless.
Back to my room
I was practically running back to the elevators to get back to my room for a late night look out over the sky-line through my windows. I watched a bit of TV - did I mention the 42inch screen? Oh, apparently I did. Then I tidied myself up, put on my pjs and spent the next 15 minutes working out how to switch off all the gizmos. In fact I spent the night with one of the lights on - the one over the TV screen - because I just couldn't work out how to turn it off. Two other colleagues had the same problem so it wasn't just me being daft.
When I left the next morning it was with a firm impression that I'd just spent the night in a hotel that had somehow rewritten a lot of the rules of normal hotel design and behaviour. I guess I was just dazzled by the room - oh, and the 42" screen plasma TV. Maybe I mentioned that already.