Standing tall in the centre of Malaysia’s capital, The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur is a shining beacon of opulence and luxury, providing guests with a glamorous, top-tier experience from the moment they arrive. That’s partially thanks to a sparkling refurbishment of the property that was completed in 2016, giving the hotel the feeling of a grand manor. First-rate services, an abundance of dining options and a standout spa are all part of the appeal here, and The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur works equally well as a home base for exploring this vibrant city as it does a hotel where you never have to step outside if you don’t feel like it.
Situated in Kuala Lumpur’s prestigious Golden Triangle district, the hotel is located near the business and entertainment hub of Bukit Bintang. Major attractions such as the Petronas Twin Towers, Central Market, Suria KLCC and the Royal Selangor Visitor Centre are all less than 20 minutes away by car. Bintang Walk and Starhill Gallery are just five minutes away on foot.
The Ritz-Carlton has 364 guest rooms, including 30 one-bedroom suites, which are generously sized at 722 square feet; other room options are even bigger. If you’re travelling with family, the two- and three-bedroom suites will offer you ample space, but a one-bedroom suite is perfect for solo travellers and couples. Regardless of size, every room comes with full butler service to cater to all your personal needs — a truly standout offering. All rooms are luxuriously appointed with exquisite furnishings that espouse refinement and timeless luxury over trendy design details. The ambience is that of an upscale residence, with generous space and a neutral colour palette that lend themselves to a feeling of tranquility. Across room types, the bathrooms are uniformly opulent, clad in marble and featuring separate tubs and showers, and stocked with Asprey bath products.
Aside from the bathrooms, we particularly liked the plush feather beds, walk-in closets and en suite living room, all contributing to a feeling of unchecked luxury. Even the one-bedroom suite comes equipped with a separate powder room in addition to the master bathroom. Whereas some hotels seem to have a divide between public spaces and the in-room experience, this property offers a seamless experience, in which every space feels equally posh and up to the same standards.
Drinks & Dining
The Ritz-Carlton houses five venues for food and drink: Li Yen, an award-winning Cantonese restaurant; The Cobalt Room, a handsomely designed room where breakfast is served each morning; The Lobby Lounge, where an elegant afternoon tea set is served to the sounds of a live quartet; The Patisserie, a casual space where you can grab soups and sandwiches or coffee and pastries; and, our favourite, The Library, where the menu changes daily and meats are served from carving trolleys alongside a selection of fine wines from around the world. The last of these is also an ideal spot for classic cocktails and, if you fancy, cigars and postprandial drinks in The Smoke Room. Of course, in-room dining is also available 24 hours a day.
You can mix and match dining experiences as you like — and of course, you shouldn’t miss out on trying the local cuisine — but we’d recommend not missing dinner or a Sunday roast at The Library, as well as afternoon tea in The Lobby Lounge, which is a perfectly lovely way to while away the afternoon.
Health & Wellness
For those who like to stay fit on the go, the hotel offers a fully equipped fitness centre with views of the skyline. Aquatic facilities include an outdoor pool and Jacuzzi, while locker rooms have sauna and steam rooms. More interesting, in our opinion, is the spa, which offers a series of unique treatments using supposedly ancient practices for healing and rejuvenation. For the ultimate in pampering, book the three-hour Traditional Royal Malay Treatment (MYR 1,750). The treatment varies slightly for men and women; our experience included a traditional Malay facial, body massage, body scrub, body steaming and, finally, a soak in an outdoor herbal bath that was fragrant with flower petals and kaffir lime leaves. Every hotel spa claims to have the best treatments, but this one genuinely felt like a unique — and effective — experience, and we left feeling completely relaxed and restored.
Given the quality of its accommodations, services, facilities and dining venues, The Ritz-Carlton is undoubtedly one of the city’s best hotels, and it’s operating at its peak following last year’s refurbishment. We’d feel comfortable recommending this hotel for business and leisure travellers, as well as families who can take advantage of the multi-bedroom suites. (The rather posh vibe may not be a great fit for small children, however.) Whether it’s your first time in KL or you’re a regular visitor, this property is a very lovely place to call home for a few days, especially if you have time to take full advantage of its spa.