Singaporeans love their food. We travel all the way into Johor Bahru despite the horrible congestion at the checkpoints just for food. For those who know, Kuala Lumpur is a also a foodie (and more recently, coffee) haven for us. Let's just say the exchange rate works in our favour for now. On my last visit to Kuala Lumpur, I stayed in a Orchid Club King room at the PARKROYAL Kuala Lumpur which was located next to Lot 10 and a short stroll away from Pavilion (great if you love shopping) - click HERE to read my previous review on the PARKROYAL Kuala Lumpur.
There are three main ways to get from the airport to the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur if you are new to the city:
- KLIA Ekspres (yes the spelling is correct) and LRT
- Prepaid Taxi (below 80 MYR which translates to approximately S$30 for two)
- Arrange for Airport Transfer with the hotel
The KLIA Ekspres is amazing as it gets you to KL Sentral quickly and without much drama since you do not have to be worried about getting ripped off. The problem is KL Sentral is the CBD equivalent and thus, you actually have to change to a LRT or bus (or taxi) to get to the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur. In fact, if you are traveling in a group of two of more, it makes more economical sense to take a taxi - simply approach one of the taxi counters and prepay before giving the slip to the taxi drivers outside. The last option is definitely the most stress-free option of all but you will be paying a huge premium (three times more) for this!
I chose to stay at the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur this time because I remember being very impressed with the location the last time I passed by the Petronas Twin Towers. Actually, my previous stay at the Grand Hyatt Singapore convinced me further to indulge a little this time and therefore, I have opted to stay in the Grand Suite with views of the majestic Petronas Towers from my bedroom and bathroom. Despite the general notion that everything is significantly cheaper in Kuala Lumpur, the rooms at the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur do not come cheap. In fact, they are pretty similar to the hotel prices in Singapore. What you are getting however is an excellent product, superior service and fantastic views (not to mention delicious food but more on that later).
The Grand Suite (which are all corner rooms) comes with 105 sqm of beautifully and carefully-appointed living space (do note that you have to pay a little extra for the view of the Twin Towers). Upon entering your suite, you will find a powder room, work desk and a massive living area. With a harmonious combination of white marble and dark wooden floors, the Grand Suites exude a luxurious charm which will certainly set your mood right for your vacation.
Guests staying in Grand Suites can expect to find a complimentary bowl of fruit platter upon arrival. You will also receive three jar of delicious snacks and two fancy glass bottles of Evian mineral water at the start of each stay. I went through the cookies pretty quickly particularly because they were so good (and I was ridiculously hungry when I got there).
The best part of the Grand Suite has to be the amazing bathroom which has a huge floor to ceiling window that offers expansive views of the surroundings. So if you have taken my advice and have opted for a Grand Suite with a view of the Twin Towers, you would be thanking me right now. That being said, the first thing you realise is probably not the Twin Towers but the ridiculously large circular shaped bathtub which fits two people (at least) comfortably. Hot water comes freely but the tub takes a while to fill up because of its sheer size.
If green sustainability forms the crux of your life values and you do not wish to waste water per se, a separate rain shower can be found in your bathroom for an alternative showering experience. Me? I use both. There is also a small walk in closet for you to get dressed - you will be able to hang your clothes (and put your bags) in here so you do not have to brave the cold to get your clothes in the bedroom as with most hotels. The usual stuff can be found here - ironing board, safe, room slippers, laundry bags and a shoe bag.
The Grand Suite bathroom also comes with two sinks so you do not have to fight in the morning over who gets to wash up first. In fact, since there is a powder room and a bathroom inside, you do not have to fight over anything at all. Also, should you require any additional amenities (ranging from deodorant to a set of free weights even), feel free to request for it at no charge (although you will not be able to bring the set of free weights home - not for free anyway).
Amenities at the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur are provided by June Jacobs which is pretty standard for all Grand Hyatts around the world. One thing to note though - the bottles here are 120ml each (as compared to the 60ml ones I got in Grand Hyatt Singapore). This could be a difference between Club Rooms and Suites across all Grand Hyatts but I can not be certain. If you intend to take home the amenities you use, do note that individual containers should not exceed 100ml if you wish to hand-carry them (or do not have baggage allowance). Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur is extremely generous to replenish them constantly during evening turndown and in the morning. I ended up with over 15 bottles at the end of my two night stay with no baggage allowance at all to bring back any.
Similar to the bathroom, the bedroom comes with full-length windows that gives you incredible views of the surroundings. Should you wish to live in complete darkness, albeit not automatically which I would have liked, the shades can be drawn easily. Like the Grand Hyatt Singapore, the bed is a dream to sleep in. The bed is one sure way to find out whether or not you are in a great or simply average hotel. The bedroom also comes with a separate lounging area that is once again large enough for at least two people. The television in the bedroom also offers a generous selection of satellite and cable channels for your viewing pleasure.
In case you think I am exaggerating about the view from the Grand Suite, this was taken from one of the large windows in the bedroom. You will be able to see the Petronas Twin Towers (which looks a lot more impressive at night - photo of it later!) even while you are lying in bed.
Guests staying in the Grand Suite will also have access to the Grand Club Lounge which is located on one of the top floors of Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur. The Grand Club Lounge offers daily complimentary continental breakfast (or choose THIRTY8 for a full buffet), light refreshments like nuts and drinks throughout the day as well as cocktails and canapés in the evening (which I highly recommend). You will also receive two complimentary pieces of laundry per stay.
The Grand Club Lounge serves a selection of hot and cold food with a view to die for. If you are too lazy to head out for dinner, the food at the Grand Club Lounge makes for a light dinner. If you do intend to head out, Jalan Alor offers street and seafood in a rather local setting. Otherwise, take a stroll to KLCC or Pavilion (via the sheltered and semi-air-conditioned walkways) for dinner instead.
I chose to have a full buffet breakfast at THIRTY8 which is located on, well, level 38. The restaurant offers a panoramic view of the city while boasting tall ceilings, allowing ample natural light to come in. This is definitely one of the fanciest place for breakfast in Kuala Lumpur (in terms of decor and location). The bar at THIRTY8 is also rather popular in the evening for comparatively affordable drinks.
Before anything else, you should definitely go for the Nasi Lemak counter. Forget Mdm Kwan's, this is the place to get your Nasi Lemak fix in Kuala Lumpur, believe it or not! The fragrant coconut rice with a creamy chicken curry - I haven't craved for food (especially not from a buffet) this badly in a long while!
If you crave for more Asian food, the congee station (where you will be able to choose from a wide selection of condiments) is also highly recommended. That being said, the noodles were slightly disappointing to me. Placing a deep fried wanton into a clear broth is definitely a wrong move so skip the noodle station and save your calorie count for something else.
Typical continental and Western breakfast dishes are also available. The hash browns were delicious while I was there but this is really a matter of when you put them on your plate. If you are lucky enough to get them at the right timing, you'll enjoy them a lot more - this should not affect your decision on whether or not THIRTY8 is an excellent breakfast place or not. Also, don't forget the omelette station!
If you prefer something even lighter, you will be delighted to know that at the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur, you will able to create your own salad for breakfast! Avoid the green peas or ask for extra cherry tomatoes - the choice is yours!
There is also a decent-size swimming pool for hotel guests to enjoy. If you want to work out the calories from the buffet breakfast, this is probably a good place to start.
If you are one of those who believe that a hotel should only be a place to rest your head at night since you are out the whole day, the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur is not for you. On the other hand, if you enjoy touches of luxury and believe that an accommodation during your vacation should be as important as your passport while traveling, then there is no other place I would recommend to stay in Kuala Lumpur than the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur. The Grand Suite with the Petronas Twin Tower view does not come cheap a night. The BAR for the suite that I stayed in is 2385++ MYR a night (2767 MYR after taxes or approximately S$1,045 a night) but if you are looking for quality accommodation, this is it. If you are looking for just a basic room at the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur, the BAR is 625 MYR for a Grand King (approximately S$275 a night after taxes). Look out for Advance Purchase rates to save more on the room.