Have you been following along with my travel tales over on Expedia’s blog? If you follow us on Instagram, you might have seen my adventure to Malaysia in February. (I’ve shared Five Ways To Make A Stopover Romantic and The Groom’s Guide to KL so far so check them out!).
We stayed at three amazing places during our time in Malaysia so there is plenty more about my travels to come, but today? I’m sharing our first stop. The Majestic Kuala Lumpur.
I am a girl that loves old school glamour – give me a bow tie and a champagne coupe and I’ll soon have your number on speed dial. So it was kind of like a little piece of magic when on our first night at The Majestic Kuala Lumpur we sat down to dinner to a live jazz band playing Old Blue Eyes, the waiters moving swiftly around in bow ties with white dinner jackets and a dining room lit by sparkling candlelight.
We arrived from Melbourne just after sunrise, whisked away from the airport in a car complete with reading material, water and even complimentary Wi-Fi. An hour later, we pulled up at The Majestic and the lovely Amy, one of our assigned butlers, met us in the driveway. We were whisked from the car to our suite where our grand living room awaited and so did in room check in. A knock at the door brought ice-cold towels and sweet iced tea. Another? A request for our breakfast order. We kicked off our shoes and knew this hotel was not our usual quick trip affair.
The Majestic Kuala Lumpur is something truly special. Located in the historic district of the city, The Majestic is adjacent to some of the most interesting tourist attractions in the city – the national mosque, the national museum, the Islamic Arts Museum and the Lake Gardens. It’s also right by Central Station.
This colonial style hotel was built in the 1932, and has all the hallmarks of vintage glamour. From the high ceilings, to polished wooden floors and sparkling chandeliers, the 52 rooms in this wing (18 Colonial Suites, 15 Governor Suites and 2 Majestic Suites) each decorated in sumptuous colonial style, but with all the facility of a modern hotel.
Our accommodation – one of the hotel’s Governor suites opened from a large living room with TV, sitting area, complimentary mini bar and working desk, to a private bedroom with dressing table. The bathroom may just be it’s crowning jewel – the black and white chequered floor playing host to a rainfall shower and a claw foot bath (complete with bath salts).
The rooms are beautiful, but the most special part of this hotel is the service – it’s no wonder it’s one of the Leading Hotels of The World. From the check in, in the comfort of your suite, the hand written note from our butler team (who are on call 24 hours a day for you and trained to accommodate your every wish and desire), the free Wi Fi and complimentary mini bar, and the airport transfers. They even provide a driver and car to get you around the city (complete with phone to arrange your pickup).
The most luxurious touch comes to the team simply knowing who you are every step of the way, no more apparent than when we visited reception one day to order our breakfast (delivered at a time of your choosing on silver trays and in western continental or Malaysian style) and asked if we needed to give our room number. A surprised smile and chuckle came out before our butler, who we had never met before, reassured that he knew us and would take care of it.
The nostalgic sense of luxury continues through to the Majestic Wing’s main dining areas complete with chandeliers, colonial style grid ceilings and richly toned furniture.
Housed here, The Colonial Café serves colonial style dinner and lunch every day (dinner complete with live jazz band, featuring the descendants of Maestro Alfonso Sliano) and also houses The Bar. The Tea Lounge, adjacent and at the heart of the hotel, serves light refreshments and high tea with a Malaysian twist every afternoon (complete with live pianist) which had our stomachs positively groaning from decadent pastries and treats and the most delicious of freshly brewed teas.
The less historic but no less special fifteen-story art deco styled Tower Wing opened two years ago offering 253 modern rooms along with Kuala Lumpur’s only large capacity windowed ballroom, an infinity pool and gym and the popular Contango Restaurant. Contango takes the buffet restaurant and turns it into the biggest and best interactive dining experience you’ve known. Think freshly prepared sashimi, traditional Malaysian dishes served piping hot, curry, soups and dumplings (and a western buffet for those who are less adventurous). And when your belly is full, there’s always the ice-cream and dessert buffet completely with toppings, macarons and more delicious pastries than you could eat in a week.
The best parts of this hotel are its hidden secrets. Take the glorious Orchid Conservatory. Orchids that are used in the arrangements throughout the hotel are grown here – the glass walls and ceiling literally filled with orchids and their magenta, saffron and burgundy hues almost glowing. The room is often booked well in advance as a special high tea venue and is even a popular spot for wedding ceremonies.
Another hidden secret, The Smoke House, is the hotel’s very dapper bar, serving up Malaysian inspired and vintage cocktails with waiters in white dinner jackets and a background of modern jazz. The Smoke House has numerous private rooms (available to hire with a private chef) plus club membership available – complete with personalised smoking jacket.
Downstairs, the gentlemen’s club ambiance really kicks into gear. English grooming brand Trueffit & Hill offers up a men’s grooming room with an old school feel, offering gentlemen everything from a classic “royal cut” to a head massage, a wet towel wet shave or the ultimate shaving package. The experience is complemented with a tailor and a shoe shining service. For unwinding, next door is a private theatre room, which screens black and white films all day, and a card room for a round or two to compliment your cigar.
For lovers of day spas, you’ll get a taste of YTL Hotels Spa Village concept with The Majestic day spa, located in a colonial style building next door to the Majestic Wing. It’s set into the hill with its own private pool (also available for use by Majestic Wing guests) overlooking the historical district of Kuala Lumpur.
The “English Afternoon Tea” treatment including a blackberry and cream scrub, a garden berries massage and an English rose natural facial (with a tea bath upgrade available of course!) is a favourite of many guests. But I recommend the Malaya Golden Chersonese couple’s treatment – a tribute to traveller Isabella Lucy Bird’s trip through the Malay Peninsula. A foot scrub kicks us off before a honey and banana hair mask, a coconut scrub for me and a Malaya herb scrub for Mr Polka. This was followed by a lime blossom bath (with herb steam for him) and concluded with a forty-five minute massage – the perfect way to relax after an eight hour flight.
I often get swept up in the glamour of a beautiful hotel – but The Majestic Hotel left me with a sweet sense of being so looked after and pampered during the day, that the magic and glamour of yesteryear would waltz me into the evening hours.
Next time I’ll be packing my sequin evening gown.