Today (September 10, 2014): Review of the Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia).
- Location: google maps
- Address: Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- Hotel website: Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur
Located between the flowering gardens of the City Centre Park and the dramatic heights of the Petronas Twin Towers, Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur offers the perfect combination of comfort and luxury. Beautifully designed with elegant interiors, spacious rooms and a wealth of dining options, this is one of Kuala Lumpur most luxurious hotels.
In this review (more info and photos below my Youtube clip & slideshow):
- Pros & things I like
- Cons & things to know
- My verdict
- Tips for future guests & save money
- Best time to visit
- How to get there
*** Travel tip: how to get the best deal at a luxury hotel & save money ***
PROS & THINGS I LIKE
- The Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur enjoys the best location in town, one that is very convenient for both tourists and business visitors. The hotel is part of the Kuala Lumpur City Centre complex that also houses the Petronas Twin Towers, the convention centre, the KLCC Aquaria, the wonderful Symphony Fountain, and the six floor Suria shopping mall.
- A large green patch, Kuala Lumpur’s City Centre Park, is located right in front of the Park and the ideal place for a stroll or to relax after a day of sightseeing or business meetings.
- The hotel belongs to the portfolio of the Mandarin Oriental hotel group, one of the most luxurious hotel brands in the world, and this particular property excels at meeting the exceedingly high Mandarin Oriental standards. Service is top-notch.
- Public areas are impressive, spacious, elegant & dramatic. Marble is omnipresent, although this may not suit everyone’s taste.
- The hotel’s full-service infinity pool on the third floor is a wonderful escape from the city heat and enjoys stunning skyline views. There is also a kid’s pool and a hot tub.
- Fusing elegance, comfort and enviable style, all 643 luxurious rooms and 41 suites enjoy city views. Rooms and suites are generously sized, traditionally designed and have all the comforts you could dream of. The bathroom facilities are fine, with a separate bathtub, a walk-in shower, and luxurious toiletries.
- Breakfast is a gracious and sedate affair. There is a good selection of bread, pastries and food and little pots of bircher muesli. Yoghurts are packed though and hot options are limited. Those with a sweet tooth may be tempted by the crackle pops and big jar of sweets.
- There is a superb afternoon tea in the piano lounge which has nice views of the gardens; just the sort of thing to revive a tired traveller.
- The facilities are great, with a beautifully designed spa, a huge gym for working out (with range of classes including yoga and Tai Chi), two outdoor tennis courts, an indoor golf, and a hair and beauty salon
- The hotel has a fine selection of dining and entertainment options, with – amongst others – classic Cantonese at Lai Po Heen, contemporary Californian-Japanese cuisine at Wasabi Bistro, and grill dishes at Mandarin Grill.
- Room rates are rather modest (this is probably one of the cheapest Mandarin Oriental properties around).
CONS & THINGS TO KNOW
While unquestionably luxurious, the hotel has some issues you need to beware of:
- Oddly enough, because the hotel is so close to the Petronas Towers (with a new skyscraper in between them), it does not have a view of the Towers, except for a few rooms and its Club Lounge. The Grand Hyatt and the Traders Hotel, both located across the park, have a better vantage point to soak in full views of the landmark skyscrapers.
- WiFi is only complimentary for bookings made through the hotel website and for Club Floor guests, otherwise costs are very high (30RM an hour, which is about $10 US an hour). On a positive note, the hotel provides by far the highest level of bandwidth in the city and once logged in, you may use up to 6 devices on your account. Nevertheless, the lack of free WiFi really is an eyesore for most guests, particularly given that WiFi is widely available in Malaysia, even at the airports and basic cafés.
- The hotel itself is a bit dated: it doesn’t look like a fresh fashion model but rather a grand dame. Especially the rooms and bathrooms are a bit old-fashioned and definitely more 20th century than 21st century. They are in need of a makeover if the hotel hopes to compete with hotels like the contemporary Grand Hyatt and the soon-to-open St Regis hotel. However, despite the fact that the hotel is showing its age, property maintenance is excellent.
- The hotel arranged a regular taxi for my trip to the airport and charged me 160 RM. However, the regular taxi fare between the hotel and the airport is about 100 RM, so 160 RM is a total rip-off. The nearby Traders Hotel charges 130 RM for the same trip with a larger, hotel-owned vehicle.
- Location: 9/10
- Design: 6/10
- Rooms: 7/10
- Food: 8/10
- Service: 8/10
- Overall experience: good: 7,6/10
TIPS FOR FUTURE GUESTS & SAVE MONEY
- Request a high floor room for the best views.
- To avoid a high WiFi fee, book through the official hotel website.
- Avoid booking a hotel transfer through the hotel as this costs more as compared to paying directly to the official taxi driver.
- Save money: read my tips for getting the best deal at a luxury hotel like the Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur (and/or receive many free perks).
- Save money: book your room with an additional 10% off making use of a Best Rate Guarantee.
- Read my tips for preparing your trip in time.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Kuala Lumpur experiences a tropical climate, with year-round high temperatures averaging in the upper 80s and low 90s. Heavy rains are expected throughout much of the year, but June through August are relatively drier months.
HOW TO GET THERE
As Malaysia’s principal international gateway and the crossroads for domestic bus, train and taxi travel there’s no shortage of ways in and out of Kuala Lumpur. Its main airport is Kuala Lumpur International Airport, 75km south of the city centre at Sepang. It is served by most airlines (for an update, check the wikipedia page of the airport). All of domestic operator Air Asia’s flights are handled by the nearby Low Cost Carrier Terminal (which is not connected by public transport to the international airport). Tiny Berjaya Air’s flights go from Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport at Subang, around 20km west of the city centre.