Stay a short while in the Westin Kuala Lumpur and you'll see some happy faces; stay in an Executive Club room and you may just bump into a celebrity guest like Lewis Hamilton, David Blaine or even the President of France, who have all stayed at the luxury Malaysian property. I didn't find any of the latter, but I did meet plenty of the former, and it’s little wonder – with much to offer even the most discerning of guests, The Westin KL gives guests plenty to smile about.
Address: 199 Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Website address: www.westin.com/kualalumpur
Room number and floor: Room 3405 on Level 34
Number of rooms: 443 rooms, consisting of Deluxe Rooms, Premium Rooms, Westin Executive Club Rooms, Westin Suites, Presidential Suite, Chairman Suite and Executive Residences.
Check in/out: 3pm/12pm
“I guess you are Mr Harada”, says Joe, as I approach reception, late in the evening. After check in, he walks around the desk to hand me my key. A personal touch, it’s a somewhat surprising welcome for a hotel of this size. But it’s great to see, and foreshadows a stay highlighted by some wonderful service. From friendly Joe to the guy in the lift who goes out of his way to help me find breakfast (that is a little strangely located between the first and second floors) to the affable wait staff in the hotel’s eateries, I’m made to feel like I’ve found a home away from home.
A nice addition, and one I’d not before seen, is the team members’ name badges, which not only identify the employee but also their ‘thing’: “My passion is Fitness” reads one. “My passion is Music”, says another. Needless to say, they all have a passion for hospitality.
If you’re staying on a weekend, look out for the special Westin Welcome Team, a crew decked out in blue T-shirts.
Located on the top five levels of the hotel, the Westin’s 42-square metre Executive Club rooms are a statement in luxury. My room boasts modern décor on timber floors, a chaise lounge overlooking downtown KL, and mod-cons like a 40-inch flat screen TV, DVD/CD player and free wifi (or RM45, around $15 per day in a standard room). But the feature of which the hotel is most proud is the super comfortable Westin Heavenly Bed, which is even on display in the lobby.
On the amenities front, the room boasts a mini bar offering juices, soft drinks, European mineral waters and beer as well as near endless complimentary bottled water. But what I appreciate most is the luxurious Jing Tea brand tea, which comes in jasmine, Earl Gray and English breakfast varieties. There’s also plunger coffee for those after a bit more of a caffeine hit.
I don’t mind a rain shower. But the problem with rain showers is that they have only one setting. So I’m not disappointed to not find one here. Instead, the Grohe shower head in this bathroom offers at least four different pressure settings, as well as a separate hand held nozzle. The bathroom also boasts wonderful White Tea brand toiletries.
What facilities does the hotel offer?
Not only does the hotel feature a well equipped fitness studio (including saunas), but also offers a gear hire program (including running shoes) and even on-demand jogging with a special (and presumably fit) concierge.
Nearby, the hotel’s saltwater swimming pool resides in a leafy outdoor setting, while adjacent to that, the Kids Club offers child-care for RM30 (around $10) for the first hour and just RM20 for each hour thereafter.
With 25 meeting spaces and a fully equipped business centre, the Westin KL is also a good choice for the corporate traveller, and was even awarded the prize for Malaysia's Leading Business Hotel at the 2013 World Travel Awards.
Executive Club guests have access to the huge Westin Club Lounge, which offers a buffet breakfast each morning and cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the evenings, as well as other perks including late check-out and complimentary pressing of three garments upon arrival.
What food and beverage options are there on site?
KL is an amazing place for food. And at the Westin, it’s no different. For breakfast, ‘The Living Room’ boasts a great selection of international and local fare in a setting that feels one-part formal restaurant, one-part casual café and even one-part gift shop (outside the ‘Daily Treats’ deli where books, flowers and hotel souvenirs are on sale). From Indian roti to Japanese soba to deli-style wraps and pastries, you’ll find it all here. Casual indoor and outdoor all-day dining is also available at the poolside Splash eatery.
At the hotel’s Prego Restaurant, great Italian cuisine is served in a fine, and fun, dining environment, where guests can choose to eat inside, and next to the open kitchen, or al fresco near an espresso bar. And for those after a late night feed, or drink, the award-winning Qba Latin grill offers tapas and cheeses alongside fine wine and cocktails, and kicks on until late. With pumping live music, it’s no ordinary austere, hotel bar.
For all its dining options, the real star at the Westin is the ‘5 Sen5es’ Restaurant, which serves up some of the city’s best Cantonese cuisine in an ultra-elegant setting. Among the highlights from its menu are a hot and sour soup (probably the best I’ve had), a vegetarian tofu and mushroom hot pot, succulent seafood (such as abalone), a pork belly barbeque and a delicious mochi (sticky rice) dessert. Also try its famed dim sum brunch.
Did you find the location convenient?
Situated in the heart of KL’s Bukit Bintang (the shopping and entertainment district of Kuala Lumpur), the Westin is particularly well located for anyone who loves to shop. But in a location close to Jalan Alor (arguably the best place to eat Malaysian Chinese food) and a very short drive from vibrant Juan P Ramlee, the hotel is also a great option for those looking to wine and dine.
Close to the monorail, which connects quickly with the city’s LRT, the hotel is within easy reach of many of the city’s tourist attractions as well.
What was the best thing about the hotel/resort? The service at the Westin is fantastic, as is the food and the location. For a combination of all three, head to the 5 Sen5es Restaurant, where you’ll get top notch fare, with friendly service and views (inside and outside) to boot.
The writer was a guest of Tourism Malaysia.
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