One Day in KL - The Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur
Airport stopovers are renowned for being boring at best.
If you travel often, you’ll know it’s usually hours and hours of nothing but uncomfortable neck-straining sleep, silly phone apps, air-conditioning cold enough to cool a fridge, draining of battery power, a sore derriere, over-priced food and a dodgy (or expensive) wifi connection … all a desperate waste of the time you have between planes. For those of you who are not frequent flyers… well, you’re the lucky ones in this instance, because there is never anything about time spent waiting in an airport that will ever be worth writing home about!
Having caught too many planes to count over the past month, I decided to try something different and actually take advantage of a stopover. I had 14 hours between the arrival of one plane in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and the departure of another flight to Male, Maldives.
A quick tour or exploration of the city seemed inviting, but tiring. A shopping trip or rainforest walk seemed like a dangerous gamble with time. A day trip to a lush green oasis near the heart of the city, a buffet breakfast, French fine dining experience for lunch, a five-star suite to rest my head in, a refreshing blue swimming pool to cool off in, cocktails and canapés, and being pampered with full body massage and spa treatment, seemed like the Goldilocks of all options - just right.
Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, you are a weary traveller's blessing!
I immersed myself in the look, feel and vibe of the city, and the reality that Kuala Lumpur is, making my way to the station to get the express train into the heart of the city. It was so easy and convenient, and I started to ”feel” the part of excited and curious traveller on a little adventure. I proudly found my way on my own to the local taxi rank and continued on. Kuala Lumpur was a really easy city to get around in, even as the sun was only just rising.
I arrived at the grand entrance of the hotel early in the morning. My door was chivalrously opened for me as I stepped out of the taxi. Two friendly, smiling faces welcomed me warmly and escorted me into the lobby for check in. Heavy eyed, I was promptly passed onto Daniel, who kindly showed me to my room.
A large, spacious room on the 16th of 28 floors, overlooking the city and it’s hustling ambience. A welcome note, fresh fruit bowl and a small box of chocolates awaited me on the dining room table. A bed softer than goose feather and bigger than my regular bedroom seemed to be whispering my name invitingly. The room was large enough to live in, with its own study, spare bathroom, bar, lounge room, spacious bedroom, lady's vanity for powdering, wardrobe and a bathroom equipped with a television. Stained timber framed the interior and created a royal vibe. Fit for a queen, and perfect for a stay between connecting flights or a holiday or…. forever!
A buffet breakfast in the exquisite Shangri-La Horizon Club Lounge started off my short stay splendidly! I love food, and with a large variety of coffee, tea, fruit, toasts, cereals/muesli, yoghurt, baked goods, sweet treats, sushi, bacon, eggs, curries, hot breakfasts, French toast, pancakes, waffles or even requested breakfasts available. Of course, all of this was to be enjoyed accompanying a view overlooking the busy city beneath, so I was in heaven. The Club Lounge is also equipped with mezzanine boardrooms for guests to request at their desire. Also, after five daily, cocktails are served here and you can relax and unwind in style.
The Horizon Lounge is reserved for executive and premier suite guests, however the Lemon Garden Café is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and for all guests. The Lemon Garden Café showcases a HUGE buffet of mixed cuisines; Chinese, Malaysian, French, Indian, Italian, Japanese, Thai and western.
The Shangri-La also has other food and beverage facilities scattered throughout the hotel:-
Lafite: a classic French fine dining experience.
Shang Palace, an extensive menu of Cantonese dishes served in a restaurant that overlooks the lush green gardens of the hotel.
Zipangu, a Tokyo-style brasserie perfect for pre-dinner drinks, with an amazing array of stacked glass wine bottles.
Arthurs Bar and Grill, a Manhattan Bar themed catch-up spot, perfect for small gatherings and celebrations; and last but not least,
Lemon Garden To Go, a deli café with breads, pastries and desserts, salads, bbq beef, meats and noodles all available for takeaway or for something to grab-on-the-go.
A visit to the Shangri-La Hotel health centre, pool and spa is yet another blessing on ANY day. Especially when an hour-long, full body massage is one of many options available at the spa!
A selection of four different scented oils are presented to you upon arrival for your personal selection. After you have decided on one, you are shown to your private massage room, provided with a robe, disposable underwear and slippers and the treatment commences with a relaxing foot massage and scrub in a warm water foot bath. Next, you lay down on the massage table and are treated to a full 45 minutes of rejuvenating, full body massage therapy including a head and scalp massage.
There are multiple other activities available at the Shangri-La Hotel for you to indulge in, including a large modern gymnasium, refreshing pool and a tennis court. I chose to wander and enjoy the beautiful gardens and the exquisite little nooks and courtyards I stumbled upon as I explored. It was an amazing way to spend a stopover in the city of Kuala Lumpur – a unique combination of Malaysian hospitality, luxury, relaxation, tranquility, wholesome food and fine dining, activity and culture.
The people were wonderful and friendly, and as I was driven back to the airport at the end of the day, I really felt that I had just had a mini-holiday.
What a wonderful experience and luxurious option for a stopover.
Of course, I want to go back to the Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur. I have been spoilt and one day is really not enough. I really only got a glimpse of how amazing time there can be, but it certainly whet my appetite to return one day.
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