never having been to Asia in my life, and knowing I'd need a comfort break between China and Sri Lanka, and travelling on my own, I decided to go to KL as I'd heard that it was relatively safe. I also decided to spoil myself by staying at this hotel. I was not disappointed although things were perfect. I booked directly with the hotel long in advance and got a really good rate.
I arrived very late due to missing a flight connection within China; the flight was inexplicably late (which is not uncommon in China and is quite challenging if it happens on the day one flies out from the country). The reception were very efficient and warmly welcoming despite the hour.
I had asked for a quiet room away from any construction, as other trip advisor reviews had said there was some construction. I saw none. I ended up on the 30th floor with a spectacular view of a petronas tower and the city. Problem: I could hear the disco upstairs at night. The music was incredibly loud: 3 floors away. It was open until 3 a.m. I know, I heard it on the nights I had trouble sleeping
But on my first night, I slept incredibly well as I had an incredibly comfortable king size bed (and also because I arrived so late...). What a wonderful contrast from Chinese hotels! On all four nights there I adored rolling around the wonderful bed. Best bed I had on the entire trip for soft sheets and comfort.
The room was large...including the bathroom (separate tub and shower, marble) and kitchen (full, although I used only the fridge) and living room. Got American channels on the TV, which was good after being stuck with Chinese government regulated channels for over 3 weeks ....
The fan in bathroom was noisy when I ran the a/c, and the repairmen who came when I called told me they had decreased the noise. I laughed and said no you didn't. They agreed that they had not. Games in Asia! Overworked staff as usual.... Another day they took 40 minutes to fix the TV. However, the gals cleaning the room were spectacular.
Although the front desk people spoke English (most of the staff did, although sometimes it was IMPORTANT to remember not to speak quickly or with big words: most of them have studied English but don't get a lot of chance to practice so be considerate and there are no issues!), they were a mixed bag. They were helpful on giving advice but it wasn't always consistent. For example, I was told to take only the blue taxis but at the end of my stay when it was time to return to the airport by taxi, the taxi stand at the hotel wanted $70 vs. the approx $20 I had paid to get to the hotel from the regulated taxi area at the airport. The customer service person at pacific regency said I could then take a red taxi to save money, if I wanted. I had had a very unfortunate incident on day one in KL with a dishonest taxi man (in a blue taxi) and also, given the hotel's advice (and lonely planet's) to ONLY take blue taxis, I found their new red taxi advice odd. Also, the $70 taxi ride could only be in an exec taxi, which I did not need, as I was traveling solo and I don't need a fancy taxi, just a clean and safe one. The front desk said that the taxi company based at the hotel was new; the previous company had not provided good service. Well, the new company is taking advantage of travellers!! A lot of people staying at the hotel were there on business so I suppose they don't care too much, but it cost me over three times to get back to the airport vs what I'd paid on arrival. Get a new taxi service provider!! KL, you need to clean up the taxis some more!
Another time, I told the concierge I was going to the symphony and needed a taxi back after, at night. He said it could not be arranged unless I had a cell phone. (I did not have one because as I Canadian, my phone is locked; my carrier doesn't allow unlocking) So I had to walk quickly home, somewhat fearful, in a light rain, at 11 pm. Another time, front desk told me that the laundry was free, so I did some hand wash quickly and thought I'd fly down to the laundry room (tight schedule) and pop it into the dryer. Well, the dryer was not free! I ended up having to pay a few bucks for that (I had just a very few items), and got more misinformation as to how it worked. I barely had enough time left to get in a swim in the pool before it closed. The staff all need to know what is free and how the service works.
Also the concierge knew me by day three, as I was asking questions re how to get about the city (the streets look like a plate of pasta and the taxis can be slow and/or dishonest), but they didn't mention until day three that yes, there is a free tourist bus. I only found that out from the tourist office a few blocks from the city. That office had no brochures about the service; the hotel had only one copy of the brochure, and hadn't volunteered any info re the bus.
Also, a friendly fellow at front desk told me that i had to be careful walking around the hotel: a purse had been snatched from a guest, on the street a block away, the day before. He also said not to walk in the park around the hotel, although lonely planet guide I had (two years old copy) suggested it would be a nice walk. Not for women! Also, he confirmed that the park around the botanical gardens was unsafe. I guess people on drugs live there and need money. I could have been mugged. Happily being a chatty and friendly solo traveller, when I chatting with staff at the butterfly park they warned me NOT to walk around the park at all, or to the monorail/train. So, KL is maybe like a dangerous American city, in certain places.I am not used to this in Toronto. It was a funny mix: absolutely fabulous modern stores, ethnic areas, modern office buildings, mosques, the incredible bird and butterfly parks, English spoken, confusion re getting around...KL was hot as heck, too! It was the rainy season and I came prepared with a great raincoat, umbrella and outdoor/water shoes. Boy, did it dump! Rain didn't last long and really got rid of the humidity. come prepared if it's the rainy season! Bring sense of humour and enjoy!
I enjoyed the hotel breakfast buffet every morning. It was absolutely fabulous: broad variety, i.e., pastries, omelettes, Asian, Indian, cereal, yogurt and more! Also French artisinal bread in Asia! Staff were absolutely nice and attentive, great view and great place to enjoy your free morning paper (an excellent paper by the way). Great value and solid energy start to the day.
I only ate dinner once at the hotel. I ate in the pub and ordered a soup and chicken satay. Service was confused that night: they said that all of the wines by the glass were from bottles that were already open and I asked could they open a new one seeing that it was $12 a glass? First no, then yes. They then told there was no tofu available for the Japanese soup I had ordered, only bean curd. Go figure that one out! Although I am a middle age lady dining alone, after a few minutes they turned off the Beethoven/classical music I had been enjoying, and put a violent vampire monster film on the TV. Brought me three wrong menus. Brought me a BOWL of peanut sauce when I asked for "lots"...oh well! The New Zealand wine was fantastic and food was good, but then when I tried to pay for the meal $47 for a soup, appetizer, two wines and tax), three restaurant staff told me that my credit card payment had not gone through, could I PIN it again? And again, and again? When I got back to Canada I realized I had been charged 5 times for the meal. Luckily I kept records of who I spoke with that night. I got quite angry since it was after 10 pm, I was tired from a day of touring and two wines; as a guest staying in the hotel, they should have simply charged my room instead of holding me in the restaurant for 15 minutes. The hotel has since fixed the matter but it took me about two hours of hassle when I got home, and some worry about dealing internationally to avoid owing $250 for a small meal for one. Happily they were able to deal with me in English by email to sort it out and were quite apologetic.
Although my first day in KL had been fantastic due to the bird park and butterfly park and morning buffet breakfast, I had a run in with a lying taxi guy. He told me fibs about how the monorail/train service worked. I found it efficient, albeit confusing; friendly KL residents helped me on my way on the train. On day two, I had a bit of culture conflict since I went to Little India on a Friday; lots of guys going to mosques and I got some glares due to my shorts and tank top (sorry as a Canadian women, the heat of KL was incredible I had to dress like that!). I also had trouble getting taxis when it rained, including at night (I pretended to be a guest at another hotel in order to get help from the concierge so I could get home!). The rail transit system was very confusing too, but a challenge I enjoyed. Anyway, by day three I decided to stay in the hotel, and watch movies and enjoy the pool again. Yes, the pool was just lovely! I used it several times. way up on the top of the hotel, completely open aired, with a waterfall on one side; plexiglas walls in the sitting area also helped make it a great view. Nice and large for swimming lengths. Closes at 7 pm like other reviewers have said, though. I avoided kids by going around meal times; no one else was swimming but a couple of Russian smokers over at the bar (it seems they have "no idea" how obnoxious their smoking is to westerners...I ran into them in India in a restaurant...just smoking right beside other diners). Swimming in that fab pool was a good way to vent frustration at the challenges and fears of travelling in KL as a solo woman in Asia for her first time. Great views of the city! While stretching and enjoying the view I happened to figure out how close the hotel was to the petronas tower (the malaysian symphony performance hall is located there: fab performance! not expensive!) and to the hotel I planned to dine at before going to the symphony. I realized that I could walk to the tower and to the hotel and back!! so I used my compass to check it out on foot. To heck with taxis!
Part of my navigational problem was I arrived late at night so didn't have a chance to see the city in the daylight and get any bearings at the start. But KL is smaller than it seems; perhaps the heat discourages people from walking, and the pasta street layout. If you like a challenge with maps and maybe want to bring a compass, see if you can figure out how to walk and monorail it around KL. You won't have to hunt for a taxi or sit in a taxi in a traffic jam, unless you can't figure it out. Or maybe you can figure out how the tourist bus works. It's new and it was set up because some of the taxi guys are dishonest....
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The hotel offers 283 suites, stylishly decorated with its trendy yet comforting feel, complete with modern amenities. Special touches in every suite include the roomy ensuite bathroom with separate shower, 40-inch LCD screen television with selected satellite channels, complimentary wireless internet access and stunning views of the Kuala Lumpur skyline. These suites are also great for longer stays in the cities as they come equipped with a kitchenette, complete with crockery and cutlery as well as a lounge area, but are also perfect for short homely stays. When night falls and it’s time to wine and dine, you don’t even have to set foot out of the building. The Pacific Regency Hotel Suites houses one of the most hip, trendy nightspots in the entire city; Luna Bar. Located on the rooftop of the 34th floor, expect an unparalleled 360˚ view of bustling Kuala Lumpur, topped off with great music, a stylish crowd, the rooftop pool and a chill, relaxed ambience. Choose to dine al-fresco, huddle up in dark comfy spots or be seated at any one of the several bars; whatever your choice, look forward to a night you’ll remember. If you’re in the mood for something spicy and tangy, stop off at the 23rd floor and dine at the Soi 23. Expect Northern Thai cuisine, bursting with exotic flavours that will tantalise your taste buds, available for lunch and dinner. If Thai food isn’t your thing, opt for their ala carte menu which offers local and Western delights, all served while you gaze out onto the KL skyline. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Pacific Regency Hotel Kuala Lumpur
- Regency Kuala Lumpur
- Regency Hotel Kuala Lumpur