If you stayed at any of the Mandarin Oriental Hotels, you will know that the high standard of service and quality is what they do best, but is there one property that stands out from the others?
Due to my flight delays, my arrival was just after 8pm and upon arrival, my baggage was swiftly taken from me and I was directed to the large, yet discrete reception to check-in. Once the agent located my reservation and saw that my room came with Club Lounge access, I was immediately escorted to the Club reception on the 24th floor to check-in.
On arrival to the Club Lounge, Bernard introduced himself and offered me a drink of choice. Once check-in was complete, which was super quick, I was directed to my room on the 28th floor.
Located in the golden circle and the ultra-chic KLCC area, the Mandarin Oriental stands prominently as an intuition of class, standards and high-end quality. A stone’s throw away from the world famous Petronas Towers, it is pretty much where you want to be in KL. Consisting of 629 guest rooms, which includes 20 suites and 40 executive apartments, this stunning Mandarin Oriental hotel sets itself apart from some of its competitors within the area.
My reservation was the Twin Towers view room and boy was it impressive. The room was large with ample space to move around without bumping into anything, but the showstopper is the iconic Twin Towers beaming through the large floor to ceiling windows – it felt as if the towers were metres away! Since I arrived late night, the lights of the towers came on, giving you an impressive display of sparkling diamond shaped lights which reflected from the towers.
The room has a large TV, soft seating area and coffee table. It also has a large executive desk and chair with a small collection of office supplies – a great setup for anyone travelling on business. The detailing of the room is non-stop and you can tell how every component and item has been put in place and designed with one thing in mind, the guest. Unlike most hotels, the water was not in disposable bottles but in glass bottles – a great initiative to reduce the use of plastic.
The Queen sized bed is super comfortable and the pillows were just perfect and luxurious, as were the bathrobes and slippers. An iron and hairdryer are also conveniently tucked away in the cupboards. The bedside table had power socket and USB ports – on BOTH sides. if ONLY all hotels did this. Another great detail is the master button on the right side of the bed to switch off ALL the lights in the room – no need to crawl to the other side of the bed to switch off the lamp.
The bathroom is decently sized with a bathtub, walk in waterfall shower and the toilet in a separate area. You also have your usual amenities, and the toiletries; shower gel, moisturisers, shampoo/conditioner and soap by French luxury house, Diptyque. The marble skirt is large, another detail thought out carefully.
Club Rooms and Suites offer exclusive access to The Club Lounge, a sophisticated venue catering exclusively for Club Room and Suite guests. Overlooking the city skyline, MO Club is the city’s largest club lounge where you can enjoy breakfast, afternoon tea and cocktails.
Located on the 24th floor, one of the highest floors, the lounge is generously sized so it doesn’t feel crowded during peak times. There are plenty of tables and chairs so there isn’t a need to rush to get a seat. The seats located near the window are the best seats in the house as from one side you can see the hotel and the pool and other side you get the uninterrupted yet impressive views of the Petronas Towers. There is also a centrally located smoking room which is brilliantly ventilated – no smell of cigar or cigarettes coming into the main floor.
Breakfast is served from 7am–10:30am (sadly due to my jet lag, I missed breakfast the following morning but you will find the usual offerings as you’d expect from a Mandarin Oriental) and throughout the afternoon it remains open for light snacks, soft drinks, tea and coffee and any business meetings you wish to undertake. From 5pm-7pm is happy hour where freshly made canapes and small plated appetisers are served. The bar is fully stocked so any drink is available including my favourite 18yr old Chivas Regal whisky.
What made the lounge experience even better was the staff. They were extremely attentive, supremely professional and knew how to deliver bespoke service. Bernard, the floor manager is very impressive so are his staff including Ramon.
Where to eat
The hotel has 7 restaurants: There are plenty of options whatever cuisine you fancy
- Mandarin Grill – Authentic Italian cuisine
- Lai Po Heen – Classic Cantonese cuisine
- Mosaic – International and local cuisine
- AQUA Restaurant & Bar – Contemporary poolside kitchen
- Lounge on the Park – Morning coffee and afternoon tea
- MO Bar – Whisky, cocktails and more
- The Mandarin Cake Shop – Homemade patisserie and sweets.
After a full day of travelling I wanted something quick and simple so I settled for the Mandarin Grill.
The décor of the restaurant is exquisite and what you would expect in a fine dining restaurant. I was quickly showed to my seat which overlooked the beautifully manicured garden. The menu was comprehensive with authentic Italian cuisine, chefs specials and catch of the day to an ala carte option.
I started off with the pan seared foie gras which was dressed with jackfruit salsa and came with crispy focaccia toast and French port wine sauce, which melted in your mouth. For mains I went for the Wagyu burger and deep fried chips – the burger was brilliantly cooked and came in a homemade brioche bun which was crisp and golden with a soft and bouncy touch. Safe to say it only took 3 bites to finish it.
Before my flight back to London I stopped at the Lai Po Heen. Specialising in classic Cantonese delicacies and dim sum, the inspiration comes from the great ancestral homes of 19th Century Chinese tycoons. It is also rated one of the top Chinese restaurants in Malaysia.
As you walk in the first thing you see are the masterful chefs showcasing their skills in the open kitchen. The décor is stunning with high ceilings and the ornate chandeliers, which gracefully provides a subtle warm light for the room. Shortly after taking my seat, the waitress quickly poured some Chinese tea and handed me the menu. As I was being hosted, I left my colleague, who is local, to order. This is done by circling the items you want – a standard concept in authentic Cantonese restaurants.
The food arrived promptly and it was bountiful. We had prawn dim sum which literally melted in my mouth and the vegetable broch noodle soup was delicious. The bao buns were soft and fluffy but the star dish was their signature black pepper beef tenderloin. The tenderloin was cooked to perfection and the delicious black sauce was a match made in heaven! The restaurant also has seven private dining rooms which is usually booked during the day for lunch meetings since the Mandarin is located in the business area of KL.
In a nutshell
Although my stay at the Mandarin was short, I was impressed by the quality of every product on offer, from the room quality to the onsite facilities – it truly offers the best Asian hospitality money can buy. But importantly I was amazed by the staff, each one I came in contact with was professional, extremely polite and very helpful. I know where I will be staying when I am next in KL.
To discover more, visit: mandarinoriental.com
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All imagery courtesy of Mandarin Oriental.