Virtuozity explores the amazingly located Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur and enjoys the sights and sounds of Malaysia’s stunning capital
All big cities have their square mile (which is often not an actual square mile), which serves as a hub for commerce, tourism, and perhaps more importantly as a beacon of the country’s prowess as a regional powerhouse. London has ‘the city’, Dubai has ‘Sheikh Zayed Road’, New York has ‘Times Square’. In Malaysia’s vibrant capital Kuala Lumpur, it’s the few square kilometres around the world-famous Petronas Towers.
Why is this important? Well, when it comes to hotels, being in this key real estate gives you some serious credibility, adding to your standing amongst all the ‘big name’ hotels. The big brands fight over being within the perceived top spot and will spend big money to ensure they are very much ‘in the right place’. This could not be truer for the quite lovely Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur, as it’s probably THE best located hotel in Malaysia’s bustling capital city.
Situated next to the Suria KLCC shopping centre, which forms the base of the globally recognisable Petronas Twin Towers and facing the lovely KLCC park, the Mandarin is in the perfect spot for exploring all that up-scale Kuala Lumpur has to offer.
The hotel itself has a sweeping drive way up to the valet stand, with grand doors, leading to an even grander lobby. Straight through takes you to the lobby restaurant Lounge on the Park, which is often filled with Kuala Lumpur’s business set, busy doing deals and enjoying the quiet ambience over a coffee or tea.
The ground floor also houses Mosaic restaurant, which serves breakfast and a mix of international cuisine in the afternoon/evening, and a Habanos cigar room, with a fine selection of sticks for connoisseurs to enjoy. Next to the cigar room is the Mandarin Grill, which serves a luxurious spread of international fare, including the standout Sher Wagyu Tomahawk Steak and, for those with a seafood leaning, the Boston Lobster Gallega Style. The latter boasts an impressive glass wine cellar, housing a wide selection of vintages.
The ground floor also houses the decidedly swanky MO Bar, which has that exotic mix of modern chic, tropical views and old-world service only Asia can offer.
Hidden one floor below reception are the Kyo and Ren nightspots, well-known haunts of Malaysia’s rich and famous.
A few floors up from reception is the pool area, with a glorious infinity pool, overlooking both the towers and KLCC park. You can also grab a bar-food bite to eat by the water’s edge at the hotel’s Aqua restaurant. With its covered roof, but al fresco setting, there is no better spot to enjoy a Malaysian afternoon thunderstorm (which happens for a short period most afternoons), without getting soaked to the bone. Or you could just enjoy a cold drink. Either way, it’s the perfect spot away from the hubbub of the city a few floors down.
The same level of the hotel also houses an expansive gym, fitness area and spa, serving up all the usual pamperings.
The hotel has a quite incredible 629 guest rooms, including 20 suites and 40 executive apartments, all with amazing views of the park and Petronas Towers or the rest of KL’s impressive cityscape. The rooms themselves are furnished in a modern style, with floor to ceiling windows, making the most of the hotel’s stunning views of KL. You’d struggle to find somewhere more comfortable and cosseting to escape the often-oppressive humidity this part of Asia is renowned for.
The bathrooms are also extremely well appointed with marble suites, huge bathtubs and separate showers. It all looks and feels high-end, which is exactly what you want from a hotel of this calibre.
Outside, you can stroll down the side of the hotel and the neighbouring Twin Towers and enjoy the twisting walkways around the park, or try the wide pavements outside the shopping centre, which house myriad restaurants, with pretty much every taste covered. Or, if it’s raining, pop into the Suria shopping centre, and do a spot of retail therapy in the many designer stores that fill the bustling mall.
One non-Mandarin Oriental thing to do, is to pop across the road to the Traders Hotel and the famous Sky Bar with its in-bar swimming pool, where you’ll get an alternative view of the towers and your hotel.
The Mandarin Oriental really is in the perfect spot for exploring one of Asia’s top cities. You can head out into the suburbs and see some of the tourist traps, indulge your shopping fantasies or simple relax, safe in the knowledge that you’re right in the heart of the action.
Whatever you choose, there are few hotels that can safely tick all the boxes quite like the Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur.