Monday, March 17, 2014

Hilton Kuala Lumpur

In early January, I was transiting in Kuala Lumpur (KL) for 2 nights after my Dubai trip before enrooting to Bangkok.  I was looking around for an accommodation in KL.  There were quite some numbers of new hotel come up in KL in the past year, such as Aloft, Grand Hyatt and Pullman to name a few.   So it was a bit hard for me to decide on which hotel I should stay.  I was contemplating to try Aloft as I am a SPG Gold. Or even Pullman as I have Le Club and Accor Advantage membership.   However, at the end, I chose Hilton KL, as I realized that my Hilton Honors Gold, is still valid until 2015 and as Gold member I may get upgraded.

I stayed in this hotel few times in 2006/2007.  It was a great hotel at that time, as it was brand new.   So, after almost 7 years, I decided to come back to this hotel again.

The hotel is located just above KL Sentral, which is a transportation hub in KL.  If you take KLIA Express from KLIA, the airport just above the station, very convenient.  However, up to this moment (at least January 2014), there is nothing much around this area.  This landscape may change with the completion of St Regis next door.  I was told that the St Regis complex will also have a shopping complex.

My flight arrived KUL from DXB at 730am.  As it is still very early, I took my sweet time in KLIA before I boarded KLIA Express.  I arrived the hotel at just slightly past 9am.  I went straight to the check-in counter hoping that they will get a room for me.   Yes, they did.  The check in was very smooth and fast.  The room was ready and they even upgraded me to the Executive floor with lounge access. 

I straight away went to my room and put my bag before I went to the lounge for some breakfast.   As the gold member, I can choose either to have breakfast in the club lounge or main restaurant.  What I did notice also that they had made some renovation in the lobby and the restaurant.

The room is very nice.  Although this property is almost 10 years old, there is no obvious wear and tear in my room.  I was later told by the hotel staff that there is a plan to refurbish the room in the near future.

Here are some pictures of my nicest room.

I love the design of the bath room.  It is quite common these days, but I remember in 2004-2005 when I first stayed at this hotel, the "see-through" bath room was so revolutionary :)


the bath room is very nice and spacious.  The open concept I think helps.  The only thing I do not like about the bath room is the shower are.  If you notice from the above picture there is no glass partition between the bath tube and shower area.  Well, not as big deal though.

Also a good use of the space to "hide" the iron board and the luggage holder.

The lounge is quite spacious and nice.  It is also where the Executive floor guest (and Gold and Platinum member?) can check in.

The breakfast choice in the lounge is rather limited in the lounge, and that's why I decided to have breakfast in the main restaurant other than my first day breakfast.   The evening cocktail selection is also quite good.  Here is the lounges pictures and some view of the lounges


 The brown color building is the future St Regis, which is just on the other side of KL Sentral.

Here are some food that being served during the evening cocktails, which I think is quite good selections compare to other lounge that I ever been.  (Well perhaps Marriott lounge is slightly better).


Overall, I am quite impress and happy on my stay in Hilton KL.  I can say that this was probably one of the best hotel stay that I can remember in the recent past.  For almost 10 years old property, I found Hilton KL room is still very good and comfortable.  The lounge is superb and offer a very good variety "snacks" for not so much alcohol drinker like me.  In most of the lounge that I have ever been, the emphasis is mainly on the drink.  The staffs are also quite friendly, I indeed had a few good chat with the staff lounge.  Likewise with the concierge team, they are very willing to help.
The only drawback is the location, not saying this is not good location, but no shopping mall around this area, and hope this will change real soon.  However, this is completed with the easiness to travel around, as KL Sentral is just below the hotel.  You can easily take Monorail, LRT, and Commuter Train and not forgotten the KLIA Express from the hotel.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Road to Mandalay (Part 2)

The might Road of Mandalay boat is awaiting for us at the river bank.  We have to walkthrough this wodden flap which later on we know that it can be considered very luxurious in Myanmmar.

Once we were on the boat, we were greated by the Front Office Team including the Hotel (Boat?) Manager.   The Boat Manager is a Kiwi and other than him and the Head Chef, the rest of the crews are Myanmarese.

There are few types of room, ranging from Governor's Suite, State Cabin, Deluxe Cabin, Superior Cabin and Single Cabin.   I think the majority of the rooms ste State Cabin and follows by Deluxe Cabin.  You can get the comprehensive layout of the room from the official website.

Once we got our key, we went down to our room.  The receptionist is at the main level, and our room was in the basement.    This is the stair from the main floor to the basement level and the hall way to our room

Our room is a Deluxe Room.  The room, I think, is about 22 sqm.  It is very functionality nonetheless.  If you do not look outside, you do not know that actually you are in the boat.   It is equppied by a telephone and TV.  There is not much programmes on the TV anyway.  It has a fully functional bathroom also.  We have warned that the water used for toilet flushing is not treated.  Only the tab water and water for shower are filtered.  If I remember correctly, it is not recommended to use the tap water to even brush the teeth.

The view ourside the room.  There are quite some activities on the rivers.  Apparently, the river is used as a mode of transportation.  There are many pagodas also on the other side of the river.  Anyway this is a Land of Golden Pagodas.


So now, it is time to go touring the boats.   As the other guests were not arriving on the boat, we have the priviledge to look into other type of room.
Here is the State Cabin, Superior Cabin and Single Cabin

It has fully functional gym room to keep you fit through out the journey.  It also have spa for treatment and Clinic and Doctor on board.


Back to the main level which the receptionist is, on the other side, we have piano room and also a lecture room which is used for shows and presentations.   It has also traditional Burmese musical instruments.

 There is also a gift shop on board which you can get souvenir including the Myanmar Longji (Saroong).

It is time to go to the upper deck.  BTW, here is the boat name.

There is a swimming pool on the upper deck including the tanning bed. Here is the few of the upper deck.

The captain and his room.

And other of the crews preparing for our journey

From the upper deck also, you can see there are quite some activities by the local makinng use of the Road of Mandalay base camp for daily activities such as bathing and washing clothes.

 So once all the guests are on board, we were going for lunch.  After lunch we will go to our excursion tour to Mandalay town which I will cover in Part 3.