coolest hotels in kuala lumpur – hip hotels in kuala lumpur
Looking for the coolest hotels Kuala Lumpur ? You’ve come to the right place.
Kuala Lumpur doesn’t have many of the sorts of world class hotels I’d associate with the other asian hub cities of Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok. Several of the best luxury brands have a presence in the city, but their hotels in general are not flagships and in my view could do with a bit of a refresh. The cool design hotel wave has yet to sweep over Kuala Lumpur, and it is only fairly recently that a good quality boutique hotel has opened, in Villa Samadhi. Room for improvement.
Scroll down for our independent selection of the coolest hotels Kuala Lumpur and Kuala Lumpur romantic hotels …
Looking for the recommendations of Conde Nast Kuala Lumpur ? In terms of awards, Kuala Lumpur’s hotels and resorts haven’t fared too well, although The Club Suajana has been featured in both the Conde Nast Hot List and DestinAsian’s Luxe List, and The Majestic Hotel has also been honoured by inclusion in the Conde Nast Hot List and the Tatler 101 Best Hotels in the World list.
Some of the best hotels in Kuala Lumpur are affiliated with the leading marketing organisations. Leading Hotels of the World has the fabulous Majestic Hotel, Small Luxury Hotels of the World has The Club Saujana, and Mr & Mrs Smith has Villa Samadhi.
Quick guide to Kuala Lumpur – Impressions
Many think of Kuala Lumpur as the poor cousin of Asia’s other hub cities, Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok. The shopping isn’t quite as good as in the other cities, there aren’t as many fabulous bars and restaurants and the number of world class hotels that push hotellustlist’s buttons is significantly lower.
Having said that, things have been looking up over the past few years; the food is amazing and I could stare at the fabulous Petronas Twin Towers for hours on end. And one advantage of being ‘second tier’ in this respect is that Kuala Lumpur is much better value than the other cities. The hotels are cheaper, the food is cheaper and you’re far more likely to come away with some bargains in the shopping.
Food and drink
One of the highlights of Kuala Lumpur (and indeed, all of the Malaysian peninsula) for me is the wonderful variety of food. In part this is a legacy of successive waves of Javanese, Chinese and Indian immigration into an existing Malay culture. Chinese entered the area in two main waves, firstly in response to job offers from the British adminstrators of the former Malaya during the mid 19th century Opium War period, and secondly as an escape from the Chinese civil war in the middle of the 20th century. Indians were originally brought into the area by the British to work in the colonial government and as labourers and soldiers. The result, from a food perspective, is the best of all worlds – some great Malay dishes, some of which resemble Indonesian dishes – think Laksa, Nasi Goreng… Chinese dishes and southern indian dishes such as curries and my personal favourite ‘Roti tissue’ – a flatbread served as a cone – it can be served with savouries, but my preference is the sweet version, particularly with condensed milk. Yum.
For me the best food is that found in the hawker’s markets and food courts – there is a good market at Jalan Alor and another at Petaling Street Night Market, and some great options in the various shopping malls. If you want to go a bit more up-market, the most important thing for me when selecting a restaurant is the look of the place, the interior design. I love the look of Frangipani (French), Mandarin Grill at the Mandarin Oriental and Lafite at the Shangri-La Hotel, although a footnote to Lafite – we had lunch there recently on the back of the photo of the restaurant on the hotel’s website, and were severely disappointed. The restaurant looks terrible, in my view, and the picture on the website has clearly had some colour treatment. Having said that, the food was amazing.