The Shangri-La in Malaysia’s capital succeeds in providing a home away from home while retaining a certain classical charm
Warm orange, gold and walnut hues entice you into the hotel lobby, where a majestic spiral water feature, opulent marble and shimmering crystal set the tone for an urban hideaway that wows and welcomes in equal measure. From the floor-to-ceiling glass windows looking onto the lobby lounge’s water garden to the terrace and alfresco dining area of the Lemon Garden restaurant, the hotel serves up a modicum of natural calm in an enticing yet tempestuous modern capital.
Ranging from Deluxe Rooms to a mixture of suites, the hotel’s 662 guestrooms are elegant examples of Southeast Asian design. Opulent gold headboards fuse with rich burgundy walls and lavish furniture to exude a regal charm and grace reminiscent of the bygone spice trade era. Fitted with impressively indulgent beds, flat screen televisions and broad writing desks, the lion’s share of rooms also enjoy panoramic views of the city’s glimmering skyline.
While the Shangri-La is certainly open to visitors of all stripes, business travellers will feel particularly welcome at the Horizon Club, available here in KL and at the brand’s properties across the globe. In addition to complimentary buffet breakfasts, as well as evening cocktails and canapés, Horizon Club guests enjoy a personalised check-in, access to one of the hotel’s meeting rooms for two hours per day and a morning tea or coffee delivered to their room with their wake-up call.
The thick of it
Just ten minutes’ walk from the iconic Petronas Twin Towers, the Shangri-La is the perfect jumping off point for a tour of the city’s attractions, with the observation deck at Kuala Lumpur Tower, the elegant Sultan Abdul Samad Building and the myriad stalls of the city’s Central Market all within walking distance. Guests in need of retail therapy can easily purge their purse of ringgit at the nearby Pavilion and Berjaya Times Square shopping malls.
After hours spent exploring Malaysia’s beguiling concrete jungle, many will take comfort in the fact that five of the hotel’s eight restaurants serve supper, with a range of global cuisines on offer. A comprehensive wine list complements Restaurant Lafite’s exquisite European bistro-style cuisine, the Zen-like ambience of Zipangu provides the perfect backdrop for an evening of delicate sushi, and the grandiose Shang Palace serves up a satisfying potpourri of Cantonese delights – we’d particularly recommend the braised abalone with sun-dried scallop stuffed in winter melon.
This article was published in the November edition of Southeast Asia Globe magazine. For full access, subscribe here.