Previous trip report installments
- Introduction: Maldives and Malaysia in First Class, How I Booked It and What it Cost
- Etihad Lounge and First Class, Washington Dulles – Abu Dhabi
- Premier Inn Abu Dhabi International Airport
- Etihad’s Abu Dhabi first class lounge, and business class Abu Dhabi – Male
- Maldivian Domestic Lounge, Flight, and Boat Transfer to the Park Hyatt
- Park Hyatt Hadahaa Maldives
- Boat Transfer, Maldivian Domestic Flight Kooddoo – Male, and Malaysia Airlines Business Class, Male – Kuala Lumpur
I stayed at the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur in November 2012 shortly after it opened. At the time the opening staff was still working on property, drawing on Hyatt employees from around the Asia Pacific region.
My impression was of a gorgeous hotel, with nice suites, and a friendly staff. But I thought that the club lounge offerings were sparse compared to competitors and breakfast benefits in particular could be improved.
I can think of few cities in the world where hotel breakfast is more copious than Kuala Lumpur but at the Kuala Lumpur Grand Hyatt breakfast was limited to the club (no restaurant breakfast) and the offerings there — while good by world standard — were mostly ‘continental’ and sparse by Malaysian standards.
The great news is that the hotel has gotten better all around in the last year and a half since I last visited. Here’s why.
On the last trip I had been given a suite for my one night stay when the hotel was mostly empty. This trip I had confirmed a suite (details on cost, upgrade method, etc. are in the first post in the trip report series).
There are some hotels where a ‘standard’ suite — what you upgrade into — is pretty modest, two rooms put together perhaps with a couch in one instead of a bed. And there are some hotels where a suite is going to be something special.
In Hong Kong, the Grand Hyatt suites need renovation (the standard rooms are much farther along in the process) but are special because you’re going to have a harbor view.
In Kuala Lumpur the suites are special because they are just downright gorgeous — from the lighting to the views, to the large bathroom with marble, separate sub, and dual sinks. I love, love, love the suites here.
I decided to have the hotel pick me up at the airport. I hotel car for the hour’s drive into the city, I figured, would mean they’d know I was arriving and that would make things a bit smoother after a short overnight flight where I wouldn’t have slept much.
I arrived at the hotel around 8am and was met in the lobby. There was never any comment or question about an 8am check-in.
I was taken up the elevator to reception for my key, they use a sky reception concept, and then you change elevators to go down a few floors to your room.
Not quite as smooth as my last stay where I was simply taken directly to my room for in-room check-in, but still pretty seamless.
And I was thrilled to have a room that was identical to the one from my last visit.
In the entryway there’s a half bath.
The entryway also features the desk area.
The desk had on it a letter detailing benefits for the stay:
I suppose that’s great if you have guests, but I preferred to use the large bath because frankly it’s just a nice room to spend time in..!
The living room is comfortable.
Beside the television in the living area is a bar which is where they set up coffee, complimentary water, and snacks (which were also gratis).
The bedroom is attractive as well, with one feature in particular above all…
… my suite’s bedroom had a view of the Petronas Towers.
The club lounge – something of a disappointment on my first stay – turned out to be a highlight.
The club lounge staff is fantastic. They remembered from my first morning that I prefer half and half in my coffee. They don’t usually stock it in the lounge, but they brought some in from the restaurant and then made sure to have some on hand for the rest of my stay. The club lounge breakfast has gotten more extensive, with hot dishes added (and not just on the limited made to order menu). And Diamond guests can now take the buffet breakfast in the restaurant if they prefer.
The evening spread is also impressive, and they encourage you to make a meal out of their offerings, to try everything and have more. There’s enough variety that you certainly can.
There’s multiple hot food stations, there’s sushi, not to mention desserts. A small sample:
I did try the restaurant’s breakfast one morning, just to see what the offerings were. They’re impressive.
Ultimately I prefer to the environment of the club lounge, the more personalized service there, and the informality which lets you work comfortably, sit and read, rather than just ‘eat and go’. But the complimentary restaurant buffet option in lieu of club is a generous thing for the hotel to make available.
A great hotel, one I’m thrilled with in Kuala Lumpur. There are so many great hotels in the city, and so many that are inexpensive, that this one comes off on the high side (though eminently reasonable by Western standards, or even by standards of major cities in Southeast Asia). Coupled with the ability to confirm a suite, and to have the club lounge or restaurant breakfast as a Diamond though the overall value proposition was fantastic.