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“Grand old lady in need of a facelift” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Istana

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Hotel Istana
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   73 Jalan Raja Chulan | Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur 50200, Malaysia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #39 of 263 hotels in Kuala Lumpur
Jakarta, Indonesia
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
“Grand old lady in need of a facelift”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

Having e mailed the hotel to expect me at 8.30pm it was annoying to wait 15 minutes whilst an inexperienced guy at check-in tried to locate me a room. Eventually they upgraded me to a Club floor (but without club benefits which always seems ungracious). The room was a reasonable size and being on the 18th floor had good views. The bathroom was large, although the bath itself had been crudely patched with white paint. There was a separate shower. The towels were old and there were only two bath sheets. The mini bar was empty - a note offered three very unappertising packages - with no individual choice. There was a Seven 11 three minutes walk away where mixers/juice could be purchased.

I was in a non smoking room and the ban had been adhered to. The bed was comfortable but I had to get two of the four pillows canged as they smelt.

When I arrived, I tried to log on to the free LAN internet. After many attempts, I rang through to be told that it was down but would be fixed within half an hour. After an hour and a half it still wasn't and i had to walk a considerable distance to the JW Marriott to get connected. I had not been informed of this by the check in staff. It was working later that night but was down again the next morning. On their web site the hotel makes much of its interconnectivity!

The corridor carpet was stained and old - not to the standard of a 5* hotel - and this was a club floor.

The bar /lounge is impressive with a very tall ceiling overlooking pretty gardens and the pool area. Drinks were overpriced (US$ 10++ for a single Gin).

The hotel has a private road running up to the entrance - sadly, security fail to patrol it properly and walking down it meant running the gauntlet of pimps and or prostitutes hanging around day and night.

The staff were friendly and helpful with requests. All staff said 'hello' when they passed you.

Its location is good. Close to a monorail station and within easy walking distance of shopping malls and a good choice of restaurants.

With a bit of tender loving care (and some money) it could be great.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HotelIstana, Manager at Hotel Istana, responded to this review, March 12, 2013
Dear Guest,

Greetings from Hotel Istana Kuala Lumpur City Centre.

Thank you for your constructive comments. We will take serious note of your feedbacks and discuss this matter with the management for further improvement.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (444)
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Vienna
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

We stayed here two nights at the end of our honeymoon. Not off to a great start when we were told that the hotel had full occupancy, and our request when booking for a king bed could not be honoured, something about 3rd party websites. We were given an upgrade to the club floor and told it would be easy enough to push the beds together. This proved difficult due to the nightstand, behind which were bare wires and an incredible amount fo dust. The floor was badly stained, and the room/hotel generally very tired looking. The AC was set to 15 when we arrived at night, and it really was like a fridge. It was impossoble to heat the room, and with the AC turned off, the room remained very cold for our entire stay despite 28-30 deg outside. When at reception we heard others complaining of cold rooms. We thought this would be a nice 5* experience to finish a long holiday, but it was terrible considering the price which also increaed from what we booked due to tax and "room servie fee". We found the staff generally indifferent. We had lunch here, the table was dirty, knives and forks placed on dirty glass top, and the food very average. Overall, we were very dissapointed with this supposed 5* hotel.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HotelIstana, Manager at Hotel Istana, responded to this review, March 12, 2013
Dear Guest,

Greetings from Hotel Istana Kuala Lumpur City Centre.

Thank you for your constructive comments. We will take serious note of your feedbacks and discuss this matter with the management for further improvement.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

Thought at this price it would be something more modern... not phones in the bathroom and big old TVs/cupboards. Very traditional setup and old style rooms. Lounge is nice, but pool is also a bit worse for wear.

We didn't have breakfast because the extra cost is super high, and there is much better local food all over that neighborhood

Room Tip: Go out of the hotel and go left and try the indian and thai hawker places. Then check out the big wh...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HotelIstana, Manager at Hotel Istana, responded to this review, March 12, 2013
Dear Guest,

First and foremost, we would like to thank you for your recent visit to Hotel Istana Kuala Lumpur City Centre. For your kind information, our hotel is in the progress of refurbishment which is done floor by floor. Therefore, we seek your patience to experience our hosting in the new phase. Till then, have a pleasant day ahead.

Thank you.
Management
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Perth, Australia
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

The Istana is a reasonable hotel - but don't expect it to be the five star standard as it really is quite old and dated. The carpets are generally dirty as are the bathroom areas and the whole hotel is really in need of an upgrade and refurbishment. However, it is in a good location and is generally well priced. The swimming pool is reasonable. While we were there our room became filled with fumes - we all ended up with a headache. When we complained we were told the room next door was being repainted and we were moved to a different room. The way it was handled wasn't very good, no apologies made and it took two hours to sort out the change. In decor and condition, the room moved to was far worse and the carpets were threadbare.
So all in all, yes it is worth staying at as long as you are aware that the quality etc is not going to be terrific and problems are not handled well.
The breakfast is very very nice with a wide range of choices and the chefs will cook things freshly for you as well.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HotelIstana, Manager at Hotel Istana, responded to this review, March 12, 2013
Dear Guest,

Greetings from Hotel Istana Kuala Lumpur City Centre.

Thank you for your constructive comments. We will take serious note of your feedbacks and discuss this matter with the management for further improvement.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2013 via mobile

Let me just say the hotel lobby/lounge is beautiful and lounge staff very lovely and attentive, it is a grand space and every effort is made to make just a quiet coffee feel like a "grand" experience . . . . . however On our arrival the hotel had no record of our booking made 4months previous to our arrival so we waited after a tiring flight in quite a panic while they telephoned our travel company, where the hotel established they had made a mistake and had got our booking after all. When we got into the freezing cold room that smelt stongly of cigarettes with grubby carpet and chair whole room just felt uninviting, baron and worse than a lot of backpacker places i have stayed at in the past! Asked to move rooms which they promtly saw to, however the next room was identical bar the view which mildly improved. The rooms and corridors in this hotel are in desperate need of refurbishment and let the whole place down they also need to do something about the very strong smell of smoke all over the hotel, i realise smoking is not illegal indoors here but u dont expect your whole suitcase of fresh holiday clothes to stink of smoke when you head to your next destination! Overall poor and disapointing i'm affraid.

Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
HotelIstana, Manager at Hotel Istana, responded to this review, March 12, 2013
Dear Guest,

Greetings from Hotel Istana Kuala Lumpur City Centre.

Thank you for your constructive comments. We will take serious note of your feedbacks and discuss this matter with the management for further improvement.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Lejre, Denmark
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2013

We loved being here, were royally welcomed by the most charming and wonderful girls and guys. Our room was splendid, not only with a grand bed, all the facilities, and great service, but with a fantastic bathroom with bath, high-tech shower, and all sorts of nice little bottles and packages.

Every time we had been out we were warmly welcomed by the charming staff in wonderful clothes, always with a little joke or a compliment.

All our questions could be answered and all our wishes in terms of tours could be acommodated.

Great food at breakfast etc. and, again, fantastic staff to tell us what was what, what we could do on this particular day, and also about themselves and their lives. Friendly, warm, competent.

In short - we absolutely loved it!!!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HotelIstana, Manager at Hotel Istana, responded to this review, March 12, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you so much for sharing your recent experience at Hotel Istana Kuala Lumpur City Centre. We are very pleased to know that you have enjoyed your recent experience with us and hope to welcome you back, soon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2013

I agree with other postings about the location. It really cannot be beat. Surprisingly, the building is only 20 years old though it looks like it is much older (especially the rooms themselves...very dated!). The staff all seemed friendly and very accommodating. The wifi was not great.

My mixed review and reason for such low score is with the cost of the "extras" for the room/hotel. The dining rooms are very expensive. The front door staff will prefer to send you to one of the "executive taxis" -- hotels evidently have some kind of agreement with them. The staff somehow seemed put off that we asked for a regular street taxi (about 1/2 the cost of the executive, blue taxi). But the thing that took the cake was a 20 ringit (about $7.50) replacement cost for a lost hotel key card. Ridiculous!

I'm not sure that I would stay there again.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HotelIstana, Manager at Hotel Istana, responded to this review, March 12, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to post your review regarding your recent experience at Hotel Istana Kuala Lumpur City Centre. We regret for any inconvenience that might have caused.
We look forward to welcoming you back again.

Thank you.
Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Hotel Istana

Address: 73 Jalan Raja Chulan | Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur 50200, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Wilayah Persekutuan > Kuala Lumpur
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#20 Spa Hotel in Kuala Lumpur
#27 Romantic Hotel in Kuala Lumpur
#29 Family Hotel in Kuala Lumpur
#32 Luxury Hotel in Kuala Lumpur
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Hotel Istana 4.5*
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Istana Hotel Kuala Lumpur
Istana Kuala Lumpur

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