Elegance Meets Comfort: Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur – Review

By Lauren Ho

10 months ago

An urban retreat like no other awaits

It may be set right in the midst of Kuala Lumpur’s frenetic Golden Triangle, but the Mandarin Oriental’s marbled outpost in the Malaysian capital is far from your classic city hotel. From its soigné rooms with views to thrill and serene spa, to its top-notch dining and easy access to luxury retail experiences, this urban retreat is a knockout blend of elegance and comfort. 

Read the C&TH Guide to Responsible Tourism

Hotel Review: Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur


The real estate adage of ‘location, location, location’ may well have been coined for the Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur. Aiming its crosshairs firmly at the leisure and business sets, there are diversions aplenty. Cosseted by a sprawling 50-acre public park, the hotel rises high over the lively KLCC precinct with the best rooms in the house looking out either towards the 452m-high Petronas Twin Towers or outdoor infinity pool. Cleaving close to the Mandarin Oriental playbook, the rooms are dressed in calm pastel tones, light Chinoiserie furnishings, plush fabrics and all the mod-cons you could point a remote at. And if you can tear yourself away from the panorama outside your window – the glittering nightscape of city’s skyscrapers is really something to behold – the marbled bathrooms and white linen, goose-down beds conspire to keep you happily marooned in your room for the entire stay.

Ornate lounge with large windows overlooking city


The Mandarin Oriental makes the most of its strategic proximity to the city’s main attractions, not least the lively shops, boutiques and local eateries in the Bukit Bintang and Bangsar neighbourhoods, whilst culture vultures will be thrilled by the Islamic Arts Museum and the contemporary art at Galeri Petronas in the Suria KLCC Mall next door. The hotel also organises city tours and excursions to local landmarks and in-the-know spots, but if that all seems like too much of an effort, it pays dividends to just stay in and sign up for cooking classes, whipping up dainty dim sum dumplings and durian pancakes.  Of course, the spa – mood-lit and scented with warm essential oils – is a de rigueur pit-stop for its Ayurvedic head massages, traditional Malay urut, and Chinese meridian-based massages, though it deserves particular applause for its compact but equally indulgent range of therapies for male guests, including waxing, facials, and manicures and pedicures.

Spa treatment room


On the dining front, the Mandarin Oriental lays out an extraordinary smorgasbord. Whether Malay and Indian or Chinese and Eurasian flavours, Malaysia’s famed multicultural cuisines are all within easy reach, with the night hawkers at Bukit Bintang still staking the high ground of culinary excess. The in-house dining options are, of course, first rate with Lai Po Heen leading the charge as the kitchen sends out steaming baskets of delicate dim sum alongside Cantonese standards. Here, seafood is a speciality headlined by the braised abalone and organic bean curd, and coral trout steamed with candied garlic and ginger in soy sauce, whilst regulars swear by the roast duck which, as if the succulent juicy meat isn’t indulgent enough, is served with caviar. If you’re hankering for more international flavours, there’s Mosaic’s global menu, and the Mandarin Grill’s hefty steaks and European wines, whilst the poolside Aqua serves up wood-fired pizzas, tapas and grilled seafood.

Steak board


On every metric, the Mandarin Oriental earns top marks, especially for its almost manic commitment to creating a memorable stay – actually, not an easy task in a city like Kuala Lumpur that already fairly teems with diversions. Needless to say, the service is polished to a fault, a verdict that pretty much applies, from check-in to check-out, to the rest of the hotel.


Deluxe City View Room rates start from RM800. mandarinoriental.com

Images courtesy of Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur

Read More