MIDTOWN MARVEL

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Published on July 05, 2017 with No Comments

In a city swarmed with five-star brands, St Regis Kuala Lumpur sets the bar high.

Words ANIS RAMLI
Images ST REGIS KUALA LUMPUR

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Credit(s): St Regis Kuala Lumpur

 

City hotels are tricky. Particularly one with a skyline as challenging as Kuala Lumpur. Ironically, it is this very vague and blandly similar city view that suits the St Regis Kuala Lumpur just fine. Far from blending in, the property resolves to make guests look inward. And that is where Starwood Hotel’s ultra-luxurious marquee shines.

“It is certainly the intention,” Wai Sin Choong, St Regis Kuala Lumpur’s Marketing Executive, says in an almost conspiratorial tone, of the unabashed luxury and indulgence that quickly envelop the guest upon entering the property. “Our first foray into the city, we want to stay true to the St Regis brand and the Astor vision of bespoke and luxury service and not disappoint our guests.” And with that, it means guests get assigned to their personal floor butler as soon as they check-in. Just don’t envision stiff, upper-lipped, Downtown service. Because the St Regis Butler Service is both legendary and warm.

The butler will become your much needed ally in the short space you call the St Regis Kuala Lumpur home. Get their help to unpack your luggage and, when you’ve over-shopped with little baggage room to spare, you can look to your butler to pack your goods home with none of the stress or headache. Your butler can also be called upon to serve you your complimentary in-room tea or coffee, arrange your dinner reservations or personal shopping spree, point you to the nearest 24-hour convenience store (in case you have late night cravings). One guest e-mailed ahead of her stay to seek the butler’s help for a surprise anniversary celebration for her partner. The butler did not disappoint, creating photo collages that hung down from the ceiling and dressed the room ready for a celebration. Basically, your butler is your point of contact for anything you need during your stay.

Service aside, it is such a welcome to see rooms at the St Regis Kuala Lumpur exuding character that go beyond the standardised four pillows on the bed and identical brand toiletries. “The brand’s guiding principle remains at the heart of our room designs,” Wai Sin explained. “We remain committed in continuing the Astor’s family vision, yet every St Regis property is also given complete discretion to ensure the rooms reflect, in some ways, our distinctive identity.” No two St Regis property is ever identical, though there will be discreet references to John Jacob Astor IV’s love of polo and Caroline Astor (the mother of St Regis founder)’s favourite gemstone, the diamond. At the St Regis Kuala Lumpur, these details are embedded in all 208 accommodations with horse-hair leather panels accentuating the drawers and diamond-motif carpets dressing every room.

The property also boasts the biggest hotel room in the city; even entry level Deluxe rooms manage to fit in a walk-in wardrobe, luggage space and a sitting area without having you to feint your way around. The most spread out layouts are the suites where, with the Caroline Astor Suite for instance, the abode is transformed into a lofty city apartment, with separate living and sleeping quarters, dining and working areas, an ensuite massage room, a colossal bathroom with separate shower and bath tub. Remede bath amenities and a mirror-integrated flat screen television in the bathroom round up the luxe feel nicely. The suite, with its floor-to-ceiling windows, would do well with a panoramic vista. But this being KL Sentral, guests are surrounded by views of hi-rise condos and office towers. Then again, with the spacious layout and elegantly designed rooms fitted with all the creature comforts, there is little of the outdoor to be bothered with. Best to experience the privileged refuge from the city bustle and snack from the handsome signature Mini Bar Trunk, whose design takes inspiration from Mrs Astor’s many steamer trunks of her travels. You will find it tempting to bring one home.

A lot of thought also goes into the choice of F&B at the property. Case in point: The Brasserie. Rather than replicating a hotel’s tired breakfast spread formula for example, The Brasserie opts for quality over quantity, and is a larger-than-life restaurant that offers foodies a world-pilgrimage culinary tour. Amid the oven-baked goods and freshly pressed juices are cured snowfish and smoked salmon slices. Signature eggs Benedict oozes with decadent crabmeat and hollandaise sauce, and there is also roast beef on the menu! Local favourites with a touch of upscale classiness can be found at Crystal, the rooftop lounge where rice noodles (kuey teow) is fried with slivers of wagyu beef and served with tempura prawns while the humble sup tulang has succulent pieces of prime beef ribs swimming in a decadent and hearty broth. Elsewhere, the property takes pride in being the home to Malaysia’s first outpost of Taka by Sushi Saito of Tokyo’s acclaimed three-Michelin-starred Sushi Saito. This and Ginza Tenkuni are fully up to the hotel’s exacting standards. The Drawing Room is perfect as Kuala Lumpur’s smart-set venue for the legendary St Regis Afternoon Tea. The chocolate shooter with a hint of banana and scones paired with homemade rhubarb jam are unmissable; just be sure to take the time to savour the range of TWG teas.

Despite its luxurious feel, there remains an atmosphere of comfort everywhere you look in the hotel with arresting artworks, dramatic floral arrangements and an immaculately designed lobby. Stay here and you will come to know classy, thoughtful service with enough edge to stave of the stiff, upper-lip predictability.

 

Royal Brunei flies Kuala Lumpur 2x daily. Discover things to do in Kuala Lumpur in www.muhibah.com.bn

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