As some of you may already know, I went to Kuala Lumpur for two consecutive weekends in order to complete a status challenge with Starwood Preferred Guest before the official merger that took place sometime in August. Since I have never stayed in an Element-branded property before and the one in Kuala Lumpur looks pretty nice, I decided to book the One Bedroom Skyline Suites at the Element Kuala Lumpur for the weekend. Honestly the suites are really big and the space feels a little awkward since a lot of it is just emptiness but the low room rates here make this property a great choice for budget-conscious travellers.
I actually arrived the night before but since I got to the property really late, I only managed to take the photos the following morning (therefore, the bed is not perfectly-made as you will see in the following photos). As I did not hold any status with the loyalty program then, I was not given an upgrade but I was given a corner suite. The One Bedroom Skyline Suite is massive and it measures approximately 65sqm in size. Honestly, because my suite was located in the corner, it felt a lot bigger as you will see in the photos.
The living room itself is massive and it can easily convert into an event space even though I am fairly sure the hotel will not allow that. If you are a point-chaser (and of course you are), it is definitely worth noting that when staying at an Element-branded property, you will only earn 5 base points per USD under the new Marriott Rewards program - if you are planning to spend quite a bit of money or time, the Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel is located nearby (with a proper executive lounge) and it comes with a similar price tag on most days.
Now some of the rooms and suites at the Element Kuala Lumpur looks out to the famous Twin Towers. Even though the view is not exactly optimum (especially when you compare it to the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur or the Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur), the price tag on this property is in my opinion, ridiculously low for what you are getting.
As mentioned earlier on, there are various pockets of spaces in the One Bedroom Skyline Suite which feel a little awkward to me - that area towards the back of the living room is unusable in my opinion. Honestly, why would I ever hangout there during my stay?! However, with that being said, I have actually booked two suites for this stay (since I needed to clock 18 nights within 90 days as soon as I could) and the other suite actually had a much smarter layout (even though it was probably smaller in terms of its floor size). The bathroom here is also attached to the living room instead of the bedroom which felt a little strange to me since there was only one bath here in this massive suite but more on this later.
If you are traveling with children, you will appreciate the existence of a pantry area in the suite. This is probably one of the USPs of this property since it allows you to cook (or heat up food) in the comfort of your own suite. There is also a coffee machine provided (not a Nespresso machine) in the suite so you do not have to worry about getting your caffeine fix. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Element brand, there are no Executive Lounges (or equivalent) under this brand and therefore, you do not have a place to enjoy complimentary coffee and tea throughout the day even if you are a Platinum Elite member.
The pantry also comes equipped with a microwave which proved itself useful when I had those midnight hunger pangs. A full-size refrigerator can also be found here so feel free to buy back as much snacks and beverages as you want.
Despite being a more value-for-money hotel, the bathrooms here in the One Bedroom Skyline Suite come with both a bathtub as well as a separate shower area. Apart from the fact that the bathroom is separated from the bedroom (which makes it slightly difficult to shower when you have friends or guests over), the bathroom is fully-equipped with things that you will find in a proper 5-star hotel (expect perhaps heated mirrors and steam rooms).
While bath products are provided here in Element Kuala Lumpur they are not provided in smaller bottles (which is great news for the environment) - they can be dispensed in the shower area. Bath amenities are provided by Pharmacopia (which is the same brand that Hyatt Regency uses) and they are relatively neutral in scent if you ask me.
The bedroom of the One Bedroom Skyline Suite comes with floor-to-ceiling windows and it is actually quite a nice little space. Even though I wish for some of that living room space in my bedroom, it is still a decently-sized room with a separate working table. There is also another TV located here in the bedroom so you can enjoy your favourite channels both in bed as well as on the sofa outside.
I am not particularly familiar with Kuala Lumpur (even though I have been there on multiple occasions) but the bedroom that I was in looks out to The Intermark as well as the surrounding areas. Since the hotel is housed within the 275-metre Ilham Tower (fifth-tallest structure in Malaysia), most of the rooms here offer pretty impressive views!
I have seen universal power outlets in many hotels but the Element Kuala Lumpur offers so much more than that - seriously, I found it a little comical that they have provided a power outlet for each type. Honestly, how much money can you save from not making every single power outlet a universal one? You would be surprised at how many recently-completed luxury hotels do not actually have a single universal power outlet in the room - it is shocking!
The One Bedroom Skyline Suite here at the Element Kuala Lumpur comes with a king-size bed and rollaway beds can be arranged for a nominal fee. While the bed was nowhere near as plush as the ones from W Hotel or the JW Marriott, it provided good back support - if you like your beds firm, you will probably love the beds here. Still, it is important to remember that the Element brand is not a luxury brand at all (in fact, this very property right here is a Category 1 hotel) and I really think that the furnishings and finishings are quite impressive for the price tag that it commands.
USB charging ports can also be found by the side of the bed so it is easy to keep your mobile devices juiced while you use them in bed. There is also a small bedside clock where you will be able to set your alarm if required but honestly, who uses them these days when you have got a smart phone on you all the time? While the switches can be found by the bed as well, it is obvious that these are completely functional since they do not look good aesthetically.
I spent most of the day outside of the hotel since there is no Executive Lounge here to chill in but I did manage to come back to a rather impressive view of the Twin Tower. As I have mentioned many times, the room rate here goes for approximately MYR 300 to MYR 400 (under USD 100) a night for a lead-in room so you really can’t fault a place like that. Sure, it is an obstructed view of the Twin Towers but hey if I am interested in a mattress run, this would be one of the first few places that I would think of.
I woke up next morning feeling a little lazy so I decided to have breakfast in the hotel even though my room rate did not come inclusive of it. At the time of stay, I believe that the buffet breakfast was going at approximately MYR 70 per person but I managed to get it at a special rate of MYR 55 when I was checking-in. If you enjoy a selection of local Malaysian cuisine as well as a few international dishes, you will not go wrong here at Trace Restaurant and Bar.
There was a slight miscommunication during my visit however - I was told that the breakfast would run until 11:00AM on weekends but at 10:20AM, I was told that it would end in 10 minutes. At that point, some of my friends (who i have invited to occupy the other suite) were still preparing so I actually had to rush them down to eat. Someone then came by at around 10:30AM to tell me that the breakfast timing was actually until 11:00AM on weekends so there was definitely some confusion going on.
I spent some time by the swimming pool after breakfast - the indoor pool is located on Level 39 and it is actually quite a nice area. Unfortunately for me, the whole pool was filled with family and kids during my visit so it was actually rather unpleasant since experiencing noise in an enclosed area is not exactly my idea of a relaxing weekend. I did not stay for long but I can see how this space could potentially be a nice spot if hotel guests do not scream loudly and splash water all around.
While the Element Kuala Lumpur is not the first property that comes to mind when I think about Kuala Lumpur, it most certainly is one of the most value-for-money stays that I have done. I personally prefer luxury hotels (even better if they are business hotels that come with an executive lounge) and considering how many luxury hotels this city has for a fraction of the price in Singapore, I would most likely stay at another property when I visit Kuala Lumpur next. Do not get me wrong though, this probably is really a steal at this price and the suites are really quite pretty but I would prefer a more central location where I could easily walk to the mall for food or drinks.