Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia has been undergoing a bit of a luxury hotel renaissance lately with a spate of new openings, among them the Four Seasons Kuala Lumpur. Located just next to the Petronas Twin Towers, the 65-storey hotel-residences-shopping mall, which had its soft launch in August, is in one of the city’s prime locations.
I was met at the airport by the hotel’s limo service, which took about an hour to transport me downtown in relatively busy traffic. As the hotel faces away from the main Jalan Ampang thoroughfare, the first thing you notice when the car turns into the road is Robinson’s, the department store that is the main tenant for the Shoppes at Four Seasons.
Like many new hotels these days, the lobby of the Four Seasons Kuala Lumpur isn’t situated on the ground floor, despite its sweeping driveway; you will have to take the lift up to the higher floor. The lobby has ultra-high ceilings and there was a wonderful sense of space – especially after cramped Hong Kong. Carpets were a soothing light blush green, and thankfully there was none of the overpowering scents that seem to permeate a lot of hotels these days.
Check-in was quick and friendly and within minutes I was on my way to my room which was reasonably large. Like all Four Seasons, the bed was very soft. An elegant writing table and a comfortable sofa took up one end of the room. The wardrobe was big, as was the bathroom.
Controls were all digital and there were sufficient bedside sockets for charging phones and battery packs. One of my major joys was flicking through the wide range of TV channels available – and mostly in English!
Although my view Twin Towers was almost fully blocked by Maxis Tower, the floor-to-ceiling windows afforded me a great park view which was made more stunning at night with a colourful display of the fountains. And if that wasn’t enough, the bathtub offered a great view of the bustling Jalan Ampang.
The hotel has a decent-sized pool and I loved how secluded it was. As you had to pass the gym and spa areas to get there, there was no chance of people just sauntering in to gawk. Not all the rooms were fully opened, so my morning there was relatively quiet. Unfortunately, the spa wasn’t ready when I was there.
The F&B outlets have become quite the celebrity magnet, I’ve been told, although I did not run into any (that I recognised anyway) during my stay there. Breakfast is served at Curate, which offers an extensive buffet of international and local cuisine. Evening tea or cocktails – and a spot of people watching – can be enjoyed at the Bar Trigona.
The jewel in the crown is actually Yun House, which serves a mix of Chinese regional dishes from dim sum to Sichuanese. My dinner there was sublime, with a superb view of the dancing lights at the park fountains. The restaurant itself was luxuriously modern yet cosy, with tables spaced comfortably apart. The food was excellent and creatively presented.
One of the hidden gems of the hotel is actually at the basement of the Shoppes: the Malaysia Boleh food court. Although the space is a bit modest, the food court offers a really great selection of local hawker selections such as curry noodles, chendol and char kway teow – and is one of only two food courts allowed to serve pork (Malaysia is a Muslim country and pork is banned in most food courts).
The décor is already rather interesting with faux facades of old shophouses and large birdcages. The place fills up pretty fast at lunch time so I found the best time to go was for a late breakfast or brunch. The Jalan Ampang area has never been a top choice for me during trips to Kuala Lumpur because I found the area lacking in good food choices, except for mall food. Malaysia Boleh and Yun House have made up for that.
There’s more than enough there to keep a shopaholic happy as well. There’s a good selection of brands at Robinson’s, which is connected to the hotel. Otherwise, Suria KLCC is just across the road and you can find shops from Coach and MNG to Louis Vuitton and Chanel. There’s also a cinema and a science museum and plenty of F&B outlets if you need a respite from shopping.
If I had one grouse about the hotel, it would be that the bell men were not as quick on the uptake when it came to finding me transport. Fortunately, the Four Seasons Kuala Lumpur arguably has the best location of the new hotels and there was very little need for me to leave the area on my long weekend stay there.