KL, as those of us who know it affectionately call it, is the throbbing heart of Malaysia. It is home to the Petronas Towers, the world’s tallest twin tower building. KL’s hotels are superb and the street culture is unique, with a tantalising blend of Malay, Chinese and Western influences. To us, It’s like a perfectly blended whisky: rich, sensual and rapidly intoxicating.
For such a memorable destination, KL has sprung from very humble beginnings. Kuala Lumpur literally means ‘muddy confluence’ because the city is set at the point where two tropical rivers meet.
Boutique hotels in Kuala Lumpur
Luxury is almost synonymous with a holiday in Malaysia. But for luxury hotels in KL, you’ll need real insight because there is simply so much choice, not all of which is up to the mark. Our favourite hand-picked hotels are truly the very best. We have narrowed our selection to provide you with our hand-picked hotel preferences when it comes to a sublime boutique hotel in Kuala Lumpur as well as a larger luxury hotel in Kuala Lumpur.
Today, it’s shopping that runs through the arteries of KL. If your credit cards are up to it, you can literally shop until you drop into a trishaw for an exhausted ride back to the tranquility of your hotel. If shopping’s not a joy shared by both of you, be warned: your other half will find that whether it is haggling on the streets of Chinatown or in an ultra-modern mall, there is nothing you can’t find in KL. And to a true shopper, that can be a tempting challenge…
There’s one more thing we love about KL: the sense of excited anticipation that comes with a short stay there: despite the city’s warmth and verve, those tranquil beaches just keep calling you…
Eating and drinking
KL has it all. From street stars to Michelin stars. This is a truly global city which has been transformed into a fast-paced, dynamic Asian powerhouse. The by-product: an explosion of swanky bars and tremendous, albeit expensive, restaurants. The rooftop bar at the Trader’s hotel has the best view, by a country mile, of the glittering lights of KL. Our favourite after a sunset drink or two is to come down to street level and venture into Chinatown for a night of contrasts. You’ll dream about the crispy duck and flat iron beef forever after.
The Malaysian cuisine is not to be missed either. Don’t be tempted to take the easy option and eat in a familiar Western chain restaurant in the comfortable surroundings of a mall. There are so many culinary gems waiting to be revealed in the hustle and bustle of downtown KL.
Out and about
What isn’t there to do in KL? This is a seriously cosmopolitan city with endless entertainment for even the most energetic. Aside from shopping, shopping and more shopping, there are a few must-see places, not least the Petronas Towers – a tourist hot spot but definitely worth the visit and the steep entrance fee.
Central Market is charming and rich in history. Most of the shops are now aimed squarely at tourists, but amid the buzz of the thronging crowds, history and character still shine through. There’s even a DHL kiosk ready with packing boxes to ship your purchases home. It’s easy to walk into Chinatown for a huge cultural contrast. The food is excellent and reasonably priced.
And the Batu caves are spectacular. Situated more than 100m above the ground in a cliff up 272 steps, this Hindu temple complex is other-worldy.
Just a stone’s throw away is KL’s main train station. As with all Asia’s train stations, it’s a frenzied hive of comings and goings amid the beautiful architectural mix of Western and Eastern styles.
We are well traveled but have never had such an exceptional holiday experience. Everything was efficiently organised and from the minute we arrived we were exceptionally well looked after.
Liz , Edinburgh
The destination knowledge and the fine detail you knew about all of the hotels was staggering. Everything ran like clockwork. Thanks guys. I’m telling the world about you.
Start planning your luxury holiday to Kuala lumpur
Whether you are looking for the perfect hotel stay or to create an exciting itinerary tailored just for you, every last detail of your trip with Yonder is carefully crafted, including hand-picked hotels that we adore ourselves
The Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur is perfect. It's big and opulent, if not a little shiny. And if you are going to stay somewhere shiny, you might as well fully embrace it. We always opt for a rather OTT arrival with our uniformed chauffeur, complete with cap, waiting at the airport with the limousine, but not before we’ve refreshed with a cold towel and rehydrated with chilled water.
If you only do three things in Kuala Lumpur…
Reach for the sky in the Petronas Towers, the world’s tallest twin towers building, with a dazzling view of the city from its Skybridge on the 41st and 42nd floors, and a more dizzying view from the Observation Deck on the 86th level! Book in advance.
Wander around colourful Chinatown, a bargain hunter’s paradise that seemingly never sleeps. Deeply immersed in Oriental culture, heritage and history.
Snaffle a bargain in Central Market, a KL landmark. In similar vein to New York’s SoHo flea market – the traditional merchandise here is cheap and includes batik, embroidery, carvings, souvenirs, and sculptures