Taking in the Bright Lights of Kuala Lumpur

June 17, 2016 Explorer Gabor 0 Comments

Visiting Kuala Lumpur and Ritz Hotel

Arriving at my hotel after 12 hours of travel, then waiting an hour to check-in, the last thing I wanted to hear was the hotel was overbooked.

I've visited KL many times on business and holidays, staying in some great hotels.  On my last visit I was booked into the JW Marriott in downtown KL, surrounded by great places to shop and eat.

It was Chinese New Year and the hotel lobby was crowded with people waiting to check-in. The look of disbelief on my face when told the hotel was overbooked must have been obvious as the check-in staff quickly offered to see what they could do to ensure I had a room for the night.

And they delivered....by offering me a suite at their sister hotel the Ritz Carlton Kuala Lumpur.  I immediately accepted, though I probably would have taken any room at that stage.  Arriving at my room I knew I scored a good deal.  It was beautiful.  A bedroom, lounge, study, dressing area and huge marble bathroom awaited me, along with plates of chocolate and fresh fruit.  This was going to be a nice stay.

Ritz Hotel room Kuala Lumpur
Suite at the Ritz Carlton Kuala Lumpur
Everything about the Ritz Carlton Kuala Lumpur discretely screams luxury.  From the pool, spa and dining facilities, it was beautiful.  Breakfast was a mix of buffet and a-la-carte, with both offering an outstanding selection of western and Asian cuisine.  The only thing not to rave about was the view from my room, which was nice but nothing stunning.

Ritz Carlton Kuala Lumpur View of Cty
View from the Ritz Carlton Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur is one of the bright, modern sparks of South East Asia and a great place to visit if you love food and shopping.  In many ways, KL reminds you of Singapore, with a different touch to it. The glitzy shopping centres have really taken off in recent years and in the heart of the city it's getting harder to find that old-style KL shopping experience that I once enjoyed.

Bright Lights of Kuala Lumpur
Bright Lights of Kuala Lumpur
On this occasion, it was a business trip and my days were fully booked.  Luckily the shops are open at night and I could still indulge in shopping and local food.

Kuala Lumpur street food
Exploring street food in Kuala Lumpur
A short walk from my hotel was the Pavilion, a glitzy shopping mall in Bukit Bintang offering over 500 mostly international stores mixed with a few local ones.  It was decked out in bright lights and decorations for Chinese New Year and still crowded at 9pm on a week night.

Exploring Pavilion shopping mall Kuala Lumpur
Exploring the Pavilion Shopping Mall

Within a short walk, more brightly lit malls were calling me, such as Farenheit 88 and Starhill.   I wandered over to one of my old shopping haunts, Sungei Wang Plaza.   When I first visited KL, this was the place to shop with an extensive array of stores, good prices and fakes galore.  It now pales in comparison to the other malls and, whilst still crowded with locals, it didn't hold the same appeal it once did.  I'm sure within time, Sungei Wang will be replaced with a shinier version, just like the others that have sprung up around it.

Petronas Towers Kuala Lumpur
Catching a glimpse of the Petronas Towers
The best bits:  everything about the Ritz Carlton KL is wonderful - if you can afford it, make this your next hotel in KL.

The so-so bits:  the proliferation of glitzy shopping malls has taken some of the charm away from this area of KL.

If you're planning a visit to Kuala Lumpur, it's worth taking some extra time to visit Penang and enjoy a walk down Gurney Drive.

Looking for ideas and inspiration for your next holiday adventure?  Head over to read my Travel Tips then check out Travel Planning for tips on planning your next family vacation.

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