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Mandarin Oriental is a five-star hotel, boasting a convenient central location for shopping, business and restaurants.
Today, I can't wait to take you around the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, discovering the hotel and the food of its beautiful restaurants. Mandarin Oriental is a five-star hotel, boasting a convenient central location for shopping, business and leisure activities. Situated between the greenery of Kuala Lumpur City Centre Park (KLCC Park) and the iconic Petronas Twin Towers, you are spoiled for your choice of view out of every window of the hotel.
Mandarin Oriental wants to be recognised as providing the best and most luxurious hospitality.
The Mandarin Oriental first opened its doors over fifty years ago in 1963 in Hong Kong, the hotel being the tallest building on Hong Kong Island at the time. It prided itself on high service levels and luxury. In 1974 the hotel began expanding by partially acquiring The Oriental in Bangkok, which already had its own reputation for top quality service and hospitality. Over the next couple of decades the hotel group continued to expand across Asia and then in to the rest of the world. Today the hotel group operates 31 individual hotels in 21 different countries with over 12,000 staff. The hotel group openly admits that they do not want to be the biggest hotel group in the world - they want to be recognised as providing the best and most luxurious hospitality.
The Mandarin Oriental in Kuala Lumpur opened in 1998 and is one of the largest of the group, with 632 rooms, 41 suites and 51 apartments. The facilities are extensive with 6 restaurants and two bars, a gym, its own spa and an infinity pool that has views over the nearby KLCC Park. It has been rated more than once as the best hotel in Kuala Lumpur as well as making it in to the top 100 hotels in Malaysia frequently.
Upon your arrival in the hotel, the first thing you are struck with is the level of service. The employees at the hotel were most kind and welcoming as soon as I made my way up the hotel stairs from my taxi. Though the Mandarin Oriental Hotel is a prestigious and large hotel, I was made to feel welcome straight away. The service of all of the staff was bright and friendly, but of course still very professional as you'd expect from a five-star hotel. In fact, the hotel is famous nation and world wide for its exceptional, personal service.
The Mandarin Oriental matches its high levels of service with luxurious interior design and attention to detail. The lobby is spacious and beautifully maintained, managing to hint at Oriental roots with its design while still feeling sleek and modern. The real wood panels and black polished marble give a sense of grandeur and scale that really suit this historic hotel group, particularly with the Kuala Lumpur hotel being one of their biggest. Unlike some hotel lobbys, which seem perpetually busy and frantic with people, I felt at ease and relaxed as soon as I walked in the front doors. The atmosphere is calm and welcoming which was special to find in such a large hotel.
As you can see, my visit was near to the Christmas period and as I explored my hotel further, I discovered that the hotel had been delightfully and tastefully decorated for Christmas. It's easy to have holiday decorations thrown in your face at that time of year, and I was pleased to say that the Mandarin Oriental had struck a lovely balance between grandeur and subtlety with their decoration. Keeping to neutral gold colours and favouring twinkly little lights over big bold baubles so the hotel felt quite magical.
The Petronas Twin Towers are located just next to the hotel and their iconic silhouette dominates many of the views from the hotel windows. These two spectacular buildings were the tallest in the world for eight years, from 1998 to 2004 and are still the tallest twinned towers in the world. They are one of Kuala Lumpur's most recognisable buildings and are famous around the world for their interesting and impressive architecture.
Each tower has 88 floors and are linked on the 41st and 42nd floors by the Skybridge
The towers were first designed by an Argentinian architect called Cesar Pelli. The first work on the two structures began in 1993. Petronas Towers officially opened on the 1st of August 1999. One interesting fact about the towers is that they hold the world record for the deepest foundations in the world. Each tower has 88 floors and are linked on the 41st and 42nd floors by the Skybridge that you can see connecting them in the middle. This bridge hangs 170m above the ground and I was told that with, clever engineering, it isn't rigidly attached to either building because in the wind they can sway by a couple of meters each way. The bridge is able to 'slide' in and out of each end of its building so it doesn't snap as the buildings move. Scary! I was glad that I was over here looking at the bridge rather than on it because it was quite windy.
A Room with Details
Tastefully decorated with in classic neutral tones with accents of colour, my Club Deluxe Room looked like a very nice, classy hotel room. I really liked it, but it wasn't until I started discovering all of the details that I completely fell in love with it. I said before that the Mandarin Oriental is known for its high level of service and attention to detail, and you really see it in the rooms.
When exploring the cupboards, as you always do in a new hotel room, I found two different bath robes. The white one for drying off and keeping warm straight after your bath and shower, was luxuriously soft and fluffy. I just had to rub my cheeks on it, it was so lovely and soft. The second, in yellow, was for just relaxing in. When I pulled it out and tried it on (I just couldn't resist) I loved the Oriental style and unique, slightly retro pattern. These little things just put you in touch with the hotel's roots in 1960's Hong Kong. Next to the robes was a lovely little touch, a prayer mat for any Muslim visitors using the room. What a fantastic idea to make worship a little easier for their guests.
Moving in to the bathroom I was blown away by the black marble basin and the huge bath and walk-in shower. I would have to relax in that tub sooner rather than later! Clearly the cleaning staff had spent a long time making sure every little thing was perfect, with not a towel, tissue or bottle out of place.
Hidden in another little cupboard was the coffee making machine with every single style of tea and coffee you could imagine. Below that was an extensive mini bar with drinks and snacks so you would always have something to refresh you should you want it.
As the sun rose on my first morning I opened the curtains to find a stunning view of the Petronas Twin Towers. The huge windows of the hotel afford excellent views of the Skybridge, which was nearly level with my hotel room! I suddenly felt very high up. From this close you could get a sense of the impressive scale of the Towers. Even though my hotel room was very high up, I wasn't even half as high as the tallest tip of the Petronas Towers. No wonder they needed the deepest foundations in the world!
My pool to infinity
Set amidst its own tropical gardens, Mandarin Oriental's infinity pool offers views of KLCC Park and the attractive skyline of KL's central business district. With the trees of the park just peaking up over the edge of the pool, I could imagine that I was swimming in the treetops of a rain forest. Except of course for the big modern buildings behind them! But I like to imagine, you know me. The effect of the infinity pool design is amazing and looks like you could just swim off into the horizon. I stayed a little bit back from the edge, actually, just in case!
The pool was just the right temperature and was surrounded by tropical palms and trees, making you forget about the hotel next to you. A perfect spot to come and relax and get away from the chaos of the big city and just take in the view.
A Club Room breakfast
There is a 10,000 square meter man made lake called Lake Symphony within the park with an impressive 43m bridge reaching over it.
The KLCC Park is located right in the heart of the city, and spans over fifty acres of land. It offers a serene retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city and the gardens are beautifully manicured to suit many tastes. There is a 10,000 square meter man made lake called Lake Symphony within the park with an impressive 43m bridge reaching over it. I could just see the bridge from some of the hotel windows and enjoyed watching the people strolling around the park and relaxing. In the lake are impressive fountains, some of which can shoot water over 40m high in the air. The park has over 1,900 indigenous trees and the contrast of the green park with the surrounding city buildings is quite beautiful.
As part of my Club Deluxe Room I was able to use the Oriental Club on the 19th floor. Much smaller than the Mosaic Restaurant where the majority of the hotel's guests are served breakfast, the Club room is a relaxed place to come and enjoy a peaceful breakfast. Though of course as beautifully appointed as the rest of the hotel with art and quality furnishings, the large windows with that view really steal the show. But of course, that doesn't stop the hotel making sure all of the details are taken care of. You feel like you are entering a good friend's private lounge and study area with all of the finishing touches like the little reading area with shelves full of books and beautiful ornaments scattered everywhere.
But I forget, I must get on to the food! Otherwise I wouldn't be Miss Delicious would I? Breakfast was elegantly served in a buffet style with assorted stone and metal dishes holding many of the delicacies. My mouth was watering at all of the bright colours and fresh foods.
When I entered the Oriental Lounge, I was inspired by the view and felt sheltered by the intimate atmosphere. I wondered if the breakfast selection may be smaller than you would find in the main restaurant, and perhaps it was, but I was very happy with the spread I found myself with. I tried to get a little bit of everything. There was eggs, sausages, pastries, fruit, congee and freshly squeezed juices and smoothies. The colours of the foods spread in front of me had my mouth watering and it was hard to stop myself diving straight in to my feast.
With the view for company, I tucked in and tried to take my time over each different flavour. That wasn't too hard to do, it turned out, because I also couldn't stop staring at the beautiful view of KL city right next to me.
The building opposite me was shiny gold. I was trying to see if I could wave at my own reflection in the opposite window - silly me! But it was a bit too far away to see little old me in the reflection I think. Still, I had a lot of fun trying in between mouthfuls of my delightful food.
The classy-casual Wasabi Bistro
In the evening I had five different restaurants to choose from. A hard choice! The Mandarin Grill offers fresh grilled food in a range of different styles and Lai Po Heen offers a high class Cantonese dining experience. There is also Mosaic which offers a varied buffet, Wasabi Bistro with its Californian-Japanese fusion and Aqua with its more casual dining menu.
I decided that Japanese with an injection of American fusion sounded amazing, and a little different too, so it had to be Wasabi Bistro. I wasn't quite sure what Californian-Japanese meant so I wanted to give it a try.
With a range of seating options, Wasabi Bistro caters for busy business men to couples to larger groups. From the more traditional seating of a sushi restaurant, in a line in front of your chefs, to separate booths for larger parties of people, it had a lovely atmosphere. If a restaurant is too segregated then it can lack the lively atmosphere, but if everyone is all seated in one large room it can become too noisy to hold a nice conversation. Wasabi Bistro got it just right, and with all those awards on the walls, I hoped they would get the food just right too!
Well it certainly looks the part! The presentation of the food was as immaculate as the rooms. Time was given to every element of each dish and the presentation was painstaking. As with breakfast, I was struck by the use of colour and contrast in the foods. I couldn't decide what I should try first. The sashimi portions were extremely generous and the sushi was all beautifully rolled and presented.
I have rarely had sashimi this thick before. The portions at the Wasabi Bistro are really big and look how beautifully the nigiri contrasts from dark orange, to white and red, to light orange and finally to white. Simple in concept but elegant in execution, I couldn't wait much longer before I had to make a start on this Japanese fusion food.
The presentation boards here are also lovely. They are simple and rustic which further shows off the clean cuts and bright colours of the food. The slightly rounded edges and weathered look of the wood makes the fish look almost perfect be comparison. My favourite had to be the classic salmon nigiri. The salmon melted in your mouth and I just wished there was more.
The Wasabi Sampler gave you a few different bits from the menu to try. The selection came with ahi poke, mini tofu, spinach with goma sauce, shrimp tempura and rainbow roll sushi. I have to say I really love little tasting plates because I like to experience a lot of different flavours. They also make you appreciate each bite of food just a little bit more than if you had a big plate full. You know you've only got one or two bites to try so you make sure that you savour every single bite.
Finally came dessert. I opted for the very simple ice cream selection. To my surprise, perhaps I shouldn't have been, there was a Wasabi flavoured ice cream! I'd like to pretend like the green ice cream that you see here was me being adventurous and trying that, but I actually went for Belgium chocolate and Pistachio. I just couldn't imagine a type of radish, that's spicy, in an ice cream.
Thank you friends for joining me at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur. It's been so fun to explore the views, the rooms and the restaurants of this iconic luxury hotel with you. My favourite bit would just have to be the beautiful Californian-Japanese fusion of the Wasabi Bistro restaurant, with the colourfully presented sushi, though breakfast with the view of the city has to be pretty close.
I really hope you enjoyed your trip and meal with me. If you did, please leave a comment below and let me know which your favourite picture was and give this post your vote. Of course, if you want more about my food and travel experiences, hit follow on me and we'll explore the world and its foods together.
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