I’m going to be splitting the posts up into separate ‘diaries’, this week will mainly be focussing around our 3 night stay in Kuala Lumpur, including places that we ate and what we did. First up though, it only seems natural to kick off my honeymoon travel posts with a review of the first hotel we stayed in, the Shangri-La, nestled in the Golden Circle area of the city. Also I’ve been married one month today. What the actual hell, where did June go!?
We arrived after our overnight 13 hour flight feeling a little disorientated time wise, we’d slept a lot on the plane after a rather energetic weekend and whilst to us, we had awoken in the morning time to us it was 4pm in Kuala Lumpur. The offers of a welcome drink such as a beer and a glass of wine were turned down in favour of, “can we have a tea and a coffee?”.
When we booked the hotel we got a deal where we paid for the basic room (which let’s face it on Shangri-La standards is not ‘basic’), but got the upgraded Executive room as a honeymoon deal. So we were surprised to be told, we needed to make our way up to the Horizon Club on the next floor to be checked in, as the hotel had upgraded us again. We had been upgraded to an Executive Suite (I think I’m really struggling to tell from the website!), which was probably 50% bigger than our first flat at 74sqm. The floor we was on was dedicated to Horizon Club ‘members’, and we felt extra fancy stepping out of the lift to our floor with a Horizon Club station.
The Suite was like a perfectly designed apartment, and upon opening the door, seeing that the room had a black and white tiled floor with a mirrored wall corridor, made us turn around to each other and realise that we were 100% not fancy enough to be in this room. The suite was a home away from home, and definitely good if you were considering a longer stay somewhere. There was a dining table located next to a dresser which housed the mini bar fridge, a pod coffee machine, free daily bottles of water, and most importantly some welcome congratulatory honeymoon pralines and truffles which were mouthwateringly good.
The dining room lead through to an archway, which housed a proper sitting area, with a comfortable full size sofa and chair, writing desk and a large 37″ television. The room was located on the corner of the building which beyond the electric powered curtains offered large curved windows with views over the city, from our room if we looked up we could just spot the Petronas towers through the gaps in the nearby skyscrapers in the distance.
Stepping into the bedroom our bed had been covered with rose petals and roses on the large bed. The bedroom was well equipped with plenty of hanging and drawer space to unpack, as well as places to store our luggage without it being in the way of the room. The bed was a Kingsize bed, although bigger than our Kingsize at home was incredibly comfortable and the large puffed up pillows , and opposite there was a large TV in the bedroom as well as the living area.
The bathroom was almost completely marbled, and was well equipped with amenities such as toothbrushes, combs, mouthwash as well as cosmetics from L’Occitane’s Bergamot and Jasmine range which smelt lovely and was all used up by the end of our stay. There was a really good powerful shower, which was large and roomy, as well as a big bath which had petals swimming in it on our arrival. Whilst there was no dressing table in the bedroom, there was one in the bathroom with a large mirror and good lighting which was instantly claimed as my space to get ready.
I’d describe the overall look of the hotel to be classically furnished, all the furniture was nice quality and there was pretty lighting, but nothing about the room was particularly modern in it’s feeling, with dark wood panelled walls, rather than the white washed bedrooms which is quite often what we end up in – so it was nice to have a change to a different style of hotel, which was gorgeously decorated throughout.
The Horizon Club was where we enjoyed our breakfast as well as a couple of stops in after our evenings out to get a cup of tea or coffee. The breakfast had a large buffet of everything from fruits, pastries and cereals, to classic asian dishes – there was also a menu to order off for fresh cooked breakfasts such as Eggs Benedict, Omelettes and Beef Rendang. There are many different seating areas in the Horizon Club, and we ended up sitting on some large sofas after a long day of walking, watching the British election results come in.
Whilst we ended up being out of the hotel at the times these were running, the club offered free Afternoon Tea as well as free alcoholic drinks for a few hours during the evening. The atmosphere of the Horizon Club was pretty quiet and civilised and it would have been a nice place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city centre for a few hours if we’d had a bit more time to chill out.
I was pleasantly surprised when I’ve looked up the cost of the suites, we paid for our honeymoon as one bespoke package (which was £2k cheaper than what we’d calculated as if we had booked everything directly ourselves), but as a result we didn’t really know the cost of each hotel stay. The price the website has given me for the executive room is £105.00/570MYR per night, the suite is priced at £165.00/900 MYR per night. Personally for me that’s not an in-affordable slice of luxury, and if you were considering a suite in London for example you’d be looking at somewhere starting around the £350 mark at a minimum, and £160 is quite often the price we pay for a nights stay in a London Premier Inn for example! Looking at prices at the London Shangri-La for the same weekend, prices start at £625 per night, with the cheapest suite at £925. Cripes.
Personally, I think if you are going to make use of the extra space, or you’re going to be in the hotel for a good few days, extra space always makes a stay more comfortable. The added extra benefits of the Horizon Club if you’re going to make use of the added benefits such as afternoon tea and the Happy Hour drinks are also fantastic as alcohol can get pretty pricey in Malaysia, so as a place to stop for a drink for free on your way out to dinner is fantastic. The Horizon Club area of the hotel was also very spacious and as a result it was quite quiet feeling compared to other areas of the hotel, with people spread thinly in different areas over breakfast meant that it didn’t have that usual busy hustle and bustle feel that a buffet style breakfast usually has.
The hotel is well located in the Golden Circle area of the city, it’s walkable distance to the KLCC, which is where the main shopping centre is, located below the Petronas Towers and next to a rather gorgeous park just outside. There are taxis awaiting outside the hotel reception at all times, and there was no ridiculous mark up for the convenience of them being at the door waiting – it was so humid we tended to get taxis to most places as it was so cheap – then ended up walking back as a way to see and explore. There’s also many restaurants located around the hotel offering a huge amount of choice, there are several restaurants located within the restaurant including a Chinese (very expensive, we went to eat here then left when we saw it was £20-30 per dish!) as well as a grill.
There are of course much cheaper options for staying in Kuala Lumpur, we splashed our choice at a fancy hotel because a) it was our honeymoon, and b) in most other countries we wouldn’t be able to afford to stay at a Shangri-La hotel. I’ll cover this later, but Malaysia is a pretty cheap country in general so if you were looking to visit a place in Asia but don’t have the budget for some more expensive areas if you like to stay in a place that’s quality – it might be worth a look.