After a very long stay at The Wing and The Pier first class lounges in Hong Kong, I was finally off to Kuala Lumpur! In coach…
Honestly, I was so tired by this point (I just flew into Tokyo at midnight the same day) that I fell asleep and don’t remember much of the journey. We landed at KLIA1, and I paid for a taxi to the Grand Hyatt from the kiosk just outside baggage claim. It was a long, quiet ride late at night.
I knew only that the hotel was located near the Petronas Towers at KLCC (Kuala Lumpur City Center). It was dark when we arrived so I didn’t see much, and the bell staff in the lobby quickly ushered me up to the sky lobby on the 39th floor. The staff were expecting me and already had a key card ready to go.
After redeeming a Diamond suite upgrade for my three-night stay, I was very impressed. My corner room offered expansive views of the park in the middle of KLCC and the Masjid As-Syakirin to the northeast. I could not see the Petronas Towers to the northwest, but it was easy enough to view them from the lobby or Grand Club. They’re much more impressive from a (somewhat) level height.
My suite’s living room took up about half of the floorspace, with a large sitting area and bar near the window. A semi-circular desk was located closer to the door. It seemed a little out of place, although I don’t know that there was a better place to put it.
I appreciated the flowers by the door and complimentary snacks at the bar. They added a few warmer touches that made the space feel less like a rented room and more like home.
Lots and lots of complimentary water bottles were arranged at the bar, as well as a Nespresso machine and a moderately sized minibar below.
My welcome amenity consisted of a small fruit platter along with a card and welcome letter from the Grand Club manager. It was one of the better fruit trays I’ve received (better than a stack of a single fruit, and the selection was ripe) although I sometimes think that it goes to waste as I’d rather just stop by the Grand Club if I’m hungry.
The Grand Club benefits include two complimentary pieces of laundry and use of the board room along with all the other usual perks like free Internet access, coffee, and snacks.
Both of the suite’s bathrooms are to the right of the entrance, including a half bath for guests and a master bath for the residents. The passage to the master bath opens to the left if you want to go to the master bedroom, or there is a separate, larger door that connects the master bedroom to the living room.
The bedroom was also enormous and had its own sitting area in the corner. Curtains open up along both walls.
I was torn between spending all my time here or going into the living room. Without more people it’s difficult to see how one person (or two) could utilize all the space. However, I think it would be a great suite if you had plans to invite other travel companions or business partners to come over for a meeting.
The large bathroom was great. In addition to separate sinks there was a stool in front of the center mirror, which served as a vanity. A small plant and analog clock on the counter added some decorative touches — again, making it feel a little more homey. Bath amenities were the usual June Jacobs green tea scent.
On the other end were a large soaking tub and walk-in shower. The shower and tub both had blinds that could be raised if you wanted to let in some natural light, although the office building next door seemed just a little too close for comfort.
Finally, there was a walk-in closet with several cubbies, standing mirror, and plenty of space for coat hangars. Even the luggage bench was large enough to fit two carry-on suitcases side-by-side.
My favorite memories of the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur come from my time in the Grand Club. The club really does make the difference at some Hyatt hotels, especially those in Asia.
Each morning and afternoon the club manager, Desmond, would stop by my table, asking about my day and making other conversation. He even tracked me down during check out to thank me for staying at the hotel. I can count only a handful of staff in several years of travel that have made that much effort to connect with their guests. If you’ve ever been impressed by the service in Hong Kong and its manager, Scott, I thought this Grand Club was run similarly well.
The breakfast buffet each morning had a large array of baked treats, cold cuts, salad, eggs, sausages, and some other hot dishes — including a few Malaysian recipes. I didn’t request anything beyond a cappuccino, but I suspect you could probably order some custom eggs if desired.
The evening menu was pretty similar, and you could find enough variety to make it your dinner. Usually I just stopped for a few snacks and a drink while waiting for the weather to cool down. It was definitely more crowded in the evenings than at breakfast.
Keep in mind that the Grand Club is located on floor 37, beneath the restaurant and bar (THIRTY8), and the sky lobby on floor 39. All have ceilings open to the floors above, so noise from THIRTY8 can spill over to the club. It generally wasn’t a problem. If there’s activity in the restaurant, then there’s probably some activity in the Grand Club, as well. But it may not be the quietest venue if you’re trying to work in the lounge around lunch time, for example.
Finally, the spa, gym, and pool are located on the lower floors. The gym and spa seemed perfectly nice as I passed by, but I was only interested in the pool during this stay. Like many business hotels in Asia that I’ve visited before, the pool was large and nicely landscaped but not very busy. Only a few tourists were scattered about, mostly sunning themselves on the pool deck rather than getting in the water. I found it difficult to find a waiter so I could order a drink. Fortunately there was ice water and fresh towels waiting by the entrance.
Overall I was very pleased with my stay at the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur and would consider staying here again on a future visit, hopefully upgrading to another suite if my wife is able to join me. The large rooms, the Grand Club, and the reasonable prices are all compelling reasons.
This was my first visit to Kuala Lumpur, and I think this destination has been seriously underrated. It’s not by the ocean or a major connecting hub like Singapore and Hong Kong. But there are some very interesting attractions near by that make it worth a stop, including a significant number of historic colonial buildings, examples of modern Islamic architecture, and several national parks and caves that you can explore if you don’t mind getting wet. I’ll share a few pictures from my trip in the next post before getting back to the flight and hotel reviews.