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US1 BILLION PROJECT IN MELAKA KLEBANG

This blogspot is being created to compliment our main Tourism Melaka website at www.tourism-melaka.com.

We hope to write our comments and views on the development of the tourism sector in Melaka so that old cultural jewels can be retained and new ones generated to attract more visitors to our Melakan shores.

For us to continue our journey, we like to invite visitors to pen their comments and views so that we can create a sustainable and vibrant tourism sector in Melaka.

Enjoy.

TW Kang

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ROSARY CHAPEL AT JALAN BUNGA RAYA PANTAI TO BE RESTORED

This blogspot is being created to compliment our main Tourism Melaka website at www.tourism-melaka.com.

We hope to write our comments and views on the development of the tourism sector in Melaka so that old cultural jewels can be retained and new ones generated to attract more visitors to our Melakan shores.

For us to continue our journey, we like to invite visitors to pen their comments and views so that we can create a sustainable and vibrant tourism sector in Melaka.

Enjoy.

TW Kang

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7th International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

More than 200,000 both local and international visitors are expected to be at the annual Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta on 12-15 March 2015 to enjoy the psychedelic skyline.

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The fiesta, now in its 7th year, celebrates its exciting exhibition and activities dedicated to all age groups from 7 AM-9 PM. The event provides a fun day out for everyone and the perfect spot for parents to plan out their school holiday destination.

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Visitors are invited to this free event to get a chance to experience in the fiesta’s eight areas. Hop in the tethered balloon rides; enjoy picnic style breakfast while balloons fly over you; for the adventurous at heart, don’t forget to visit the Extreme Zone; and to keep you energized and well-fed, a revolving cast of food stalls and trucks are waiting to serve you at the Purple Zone.

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A new area this year, MyBalloonClub, will offer an option to visitors who would like to break away from the crowds and indulge in a gourmet breakfast buffet with the best picturesque view. To ensure a peaceful ambience, organizers limit the number of guests per session per day.

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To find out more information on the event, call 03–7981 8712 or check out the fiesta’s website http://www.myballoonfiesta.com and follow the Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/myballoonfiesta. Your real-life airborne adventure awaits!


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Shopping Mall Christmas decoration in Kuala Lumpur

Just like every other year shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur compete for the best decorated Christmas themed mall around November/December. Top10around.com has made a nice video with the top 10 most beautiful decorated Christmas themed malls in Kuala Lumpur. It’s no surprise that our favorite Pavilion is listed as as #1.


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What’s on in March

Here comes March! How time flies by! If it’s March, it must be time for the Formula 1 Malaysian Grand Prix and 1Malaysia GP Sale – a great month for lots of action on Malaysia’s racing and shopping circuits! Besides these two signature tourism events, March is also the month for multi-coloured hot air balloons in various shapes and sizes to take to the Putrajaya skies in the annual Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. Meanwhile, the Le Tour de Langkawi 2015 race from Langkawi to Kuala Lumpur will keep cycling fans on the edge of their seats. Besides sports, culture enthusiasts will have plenty to fill their days with events such as the Mah Meri Ancestors Day Festival, Chap Goh Mei Celebration, and Chingay Parade Festival. To give you some ideas of what to do this month, here’s a line-up of well-balanced events for tourists, both local and foreign, to enjoy in Malaysia. Plan your trip well, or engage the services of a licensed tour operator/travel agent.

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Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta (HABF)

Enjoy a spectacular scenery as beautiful helium balloons decorate the Putrajaya’s skyline during the Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. Photo enthusiasts and selfie lovers will have the time of their lives snapping away during this colorful spectacle, while other visitors can experience viewing Putrajaya from a bird’s eye view with the ‘Helicopter Joy Ride’ attraction! Don’t forget to bring your picnic mats to the picnic area, where you can pick up a bean bag and choose a spot to laze with a stunning view of the Putrajaya lake, while enjoying your preordered meal from the ‘Balloon and Breakfast’ menu!

Date : 12-15 March
Venue : Monumen Alaf Baru, Precinct 2 Putrajaya
Website : myballoonfiesta.com

Mah Meri Ancestors Day Festival

This annual festival of the aboriginal Mah Meri attracts many international visitors. The Mah Meri tribe of Selangor celebrates Hari Moyang (Ancestor’s Day), a celebration about giving thanks to the spirits for all the good things that had been bestowed upon the villagers. It is celebrated by offering prayers and blessings to their ancestors especially to Muyang Gadeng, a female spirit guardian. Mah Meri people are skilful with craft work, their weaving skills are seen showcased in the neatly woven skirts, headbands and sashes worn during the celebration. This three-day festival features a special dance called Mayin Jo-oh, to invite the ancestral spirits to join the festivity. The men would wear wooden masks and perform with movements to reflect their daily routine which includes fishing and farming, while the women make music from bamboo, viola, drum, and brass gong.

Date : 7 March
Venue : Mah Meri Cultural Village, Pulau Carey, Selangor
Website : mmcv.org.my

Le Tour de Langkawi 2015

Asia’s premier cycling event, Le Tour de Langkawi 2015 is back! Featuring 22 international teams, the race goes through states namely Kedah, Perak, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan in one of the biggest events on the UCI Asia Tour Calendar. Organised by Human Voyage Sdn Bhd, the 20th edition of Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) from 8 to 15 March 2015 is set to cover more than 1,000km over 8 stages. The race will kick off from Malaysia’s legendary island of Langkawi on 8 March for an eight-day journey to Kuala Lumpur via the east coast and Genting Highlands.

Date : 8 to 15 March
Venues : Kedah, Perak, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Pahang, Terengganu, Kelantan
Website : ltdl.com.my

Penang Sports Club International Soccer Tournament

This is the Veterans 7-aside football tournament that attracts footie stars of yesteryears including former international players who are still actively involved in the game. A total of 44 teams around the world will participate in this tournament, including teams from Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Australia, Maldives, China, Brunei, Hong Kong and Europe.

Date : 7 to 8 March
Venue : Penang Sport Club (PSC), Georgetown, Penang
Website : pgsportsclub.com.my

Chap Goh Meh Celebration

Chap Goh Meh is celebrated on the 15th night of the Lunar New Year and it is also known as the Chinese Valentine’s Day. On this night, with the full moon shining down, young ladies of marrying age venture out to popular sea promenades to throw oranges into the sea, wishing for a good soul mate. In Penang, the celebration takes place at the Esplanade waterfront. Enjoy delicious Penang Street food as well as games, performances and a grand fireworks display.

Date : 5 March
Venue : Esplanade, George Town, Penang
Website : visitpenang.gov.my

1Malaysia GP Sale

The 1Malaysia GP Sale is held in conjunction with the annual Formula 1 Grand Prix race event. This event is one of the three great sales of the year besides the Malaysia Mega Sale and the Malaysia Year End Sale. Stores around Malaysia offer great bargains and discounts. Visitors who plan to attend the Formula 1 races should set aside some time to enjoy a shopping-spree.

Date : 14 March to 5 April
Venue : Throughout Malaysia
Website : tourismmalaysia.gov.my

Raptor Watch Week

Raptor Watch is an exciting event for birdwatchers. Enthusiasts converge at Tanjung Tuan to watch the annual migration of these birds of prey on their journey back to the northern hemisphere.
Organiser: Malaysian Nature Society

Date : 14 March
Venue : Tanjung Tuan Lighthouse, Melaka
Website : msnraptorwatch.wordpress.com

LIMA’15 Tourism Carnival

The biennial event organized by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Malaysia and is held in conjunction with the Langkawi International Maritime Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA 2015), a dedicated exhibition for defence, civil and commercial applications.

Date : 17 to 21 March
Venue : Langkawi Island
Website : motac.gov.my

International Drum Festival

Drums are one of the signature products in Malaysia’s tourism products. This festival showcases various drum performances and drum-making workshops to share this art of craft-making and playing to the new generation. This programme not only promotes Malaysia’s great culture but is also a platform to hand down drum-making knowledge to the younger generation. Without this effort, Malaysia may lose the art and know-how of this craft that is popular amongst tourists.

Date : 14 to 15March
Venue : Stadium Sultan Muhamad IV Grounds, Kota Bharu, Kelantan
Website : tic.kelantan.gov.my

Formula 1 Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix

Catch the blazing action of high speed rubber burning on one of the world’s most challenging tracks as the 2015 Formula 1 Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix returns. This season, eleven teams and 22 drivers will be competing at the world’s hottest race in the Grand Prix City of Kuala Lumpur.

Date : 27 to 29 March
Venue : Sepang International Circuit, Selangor
Website : formula1.com


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7 reasons why you should not miss the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

The 7th Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta (PIHABF) is set to once again thrill Malaysian and international visitors alike with flight, fun and food. Mark your calendars from Thursday to Sunday, 12-15 March 2015, and prepare to get sky high with all the action. The fiesta returns to its home in Precinct 2, Putrajaya for four consecutive days from 7 AM – 9 PM. ¬From returning favourites to first-time features, be sure to keep a lookout for these 2015 activities and attractions!

7 Reasons Why You Should NOT Miss the 7th PIHABF (#myballoonfiesta)

1. Night Glow with Fireworks

As one of the favourite annual highlights, this year will see Night Glow held over not one, but two nights. Watch the hot air balloons come alive as pilots ignite their burners, transforming their balloons into glowing bulbs set to float across the evening sky. Top it off with music and a spectacular fireworks finale on 14th and 15th March.

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2. Van Gogh Balloon

Headlining the balloons is a first-time feature in Malaysia, the Van Gogh balloon. This special hot air balloon that will be celebrating its 150th anniversary, pays tribute to the famed post-impressionist European painter who played major influence on 20th century art.

3. Picnic Area

By pre-ordering a savory ‘Balloon Breakfast’ set, enjoy a relaxing picnic with a stunning view of Putrajaya lake as you watch the morning flight of hot air balloons float across the blue sky. With food and Doof bean bags provided, all you need to bring is a picnic mat!

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4. Helicopter Joy Rides

Once in a lifetime opportunity to experience Putrajaya from a bird’s eye view, the Helicopter Joy Rides are the fastest selling online tickets! This year will feature a brand new chopper with business class interior including a carpeted floor, large windows, air-conditioner and leather seats brought to you by Amin Faried (M) Sdn Bhd. This stunning aircraft seats up to 6 passengers excluding pilot with rides lasting between 5-7 minutes.

5. Extreme Zone

Fancy a little sport while you visit the Fiesta? Outdoor and extreme sports-enthusiasts can make their way to the Green Zone to participate in the various kid- and adult-friendly activities including Sky Rider, Paintball, Spider Jump, Space Spin, Archery or have a tumble in the hamster roll. Also be sure to check out the opportunity to walk inside a gigantic hot air balloon!

6. Food Bazaar Area

Need a snack or cold drink to freshen up while you scour the Fiesta grounds? Visitors without a breakfast package need not worry about coming to the Fiesta on an empty stomach, as the food bazaar area is sure to hit the spot with the various delicious offerings from stalls by Rock Tulips and food trucks by Fried Chillies. Featuring an all-new look this year, the Bazaar area will feature a market fare with special appearance by local celebrities organised by KL CallingXoosha.

7. FIRST TIME EXCLUSIVE: Premium Tethered Rides with MyBalloonClub

Balloon enthusiasts as well as those in search of a unique breakfast experience can look no further. MyBalloonClub is a premium treat whereby members can break away from the crowds to enjoy a picturesque viewing of the hot air balloons flying against the blue sky while listening to live jazz music and dining on a gourmet buffet breakfast.

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Ramada Plaza Dua Sentral, Kuala Lumpur

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Ramada Plaza Dua Sentral Kuala Lumpur is a luxury 5-star hotel located just outside Kuala Lumpur’s city centre. The hotel has been built just a few years ago and everything about it looks brand new. The lobby is very well designed, just what you would expect in a 5-star business hotel. The reception staff is friendly yet above all efficient. There is always someone you can talk to. When you walk towards the main counter, there is always someone greeting you. The same applies to the concierge; always ready to advice or help out.

Rooms at Ramada Plaza Dua Sentral

Every single room, 357 in total, is magnificent. There are no standard rooms; it starts with Deluxe. The interior decoration is very classy and all rooms are fully equipped. There is free Wi-Fi throughout the whole hotel, the rooms included. The signal is good and the speeds are high. Connecting to the internet is easy; no time-consuming hassle where you constantly having to log in again and again. Wi-Fi works at the swimming pool too, convenient when spending a day at the pool.

The deluxe room contains a large bed and a nice bathroom. The mattress is of very good quality, and a modern flat screen TV hangs from the wall. An entertainment service is available providing the latest movies and series. Each room has multiple sockets and a usb-port making the charging of gadgets an easy task. The ‘One bedroom suites’ are huge and decorated with style and class. They contain a living room with adjoining kitchen, a bedroom with adjoining bathroom area with a large bath, a rain shower and a wardrobe with safe. The kitchen has a refrigerator and a sink. There even is a coffee machine that uses coffee capsules, perfect for making your own coffee in the morning, before having breakfast in the breakfast area.

Several rooms are connected with each other; perfect for families with children. Because the hotel is relatively cheap (for a 5 star hotel), you can easily book two rooms when traveling with your family. The family suite is also a possibility; this is a two-room apartment with 3 beds in total (one King and two Queen sized beds).

Breakfast

Next to the lobby there is Kembali Kitchen; a local restaurant where breakfast is served in the mornings. Breakfast is elaborate; with a broad choice of several local and western dishes. As usual there is an egg counter where you can have an egg of your choice prepared. Being a business hotel, most guests have their breakfast quite early in the morning. If you visit Kembali Kitchen after 8.30am, chances are that there are no crowds.

Pool with stunning view

Unlike many other hotels in the centre of Kuala Lumpur, Ramada Plaza Dua Sentral has a beautiful swimming pool and large children’s pool to offer. The square infinity pool is very beautiful. From the edge, you have a stunning view of the metropolis Kuala Lumpur. The children’s pool is located next to it and offers a truly breathtaking view of Kuala Lumpur’s city centre (with a magnificent view of the Petronas Twin Towers and Menara KL Tower).

Restaurants

There are two restaurants to be found in the hotel; Hugo’s at 6 and the renowned Grill 582. Hugo’s at 6 is located right next to the swimming pool; some tables are at the edge of the pool (providing a magnificent view of night-time Kuala Lumpur). The menu is internationally orientated (Mediterranean) and includes several tasty dishes, among other some delicious pizzas. I tried the Tandoori Pizza; especially recommended by the Chef. If you are with two people, you can easily share a pizza as it was quite big in size.

At Grill 582 you can go for semi-fine dining. As delicious luxury food is not that expensive In Malaysia we can surely recommend a visit to Grill 582. The restaurant won three medals at the Malaysia International Gourmet Festival 2014, something the whole team at Grill 582 was very proud of. After having dinner at Grill 582 you can enjoy a drink at the lounge bar that is located next to it at the 2nd floor.

Punch Bar Lounge

Punch Bar Lounge is the hotel’s bar. It can be found on the 2nd floor by elevator or staircase at the lobby. The atmosphere is very pleasant and it offers an extensive list of liquors and cocktails. For example, I enjoyed a wonderful 12 years old Maccallan for the reasonable price of RM28 (they had an even older one but this one was much more expensive). The lounge bar is beautifully decorated and if you are lucky, a piano player will be playing beautiful music pieces. Next to the lounge bar the biggest climate controlled cigar room of Kuala Lumpur can be found; the Grand Trinidad Cigar Divan. For true cigar lovers this is the place to be. Here you can try over 200 cigars and they enjoy special offers like a complimentary glass of Cognac or Whiskey with a cigar.

Free shuttle service

The hotel has a free of charge shuttle service to some popular destinations in the immediate vicinity (KL Sentral, KLCC, and Mid Valley Megamall Gardens). The fact that the hotel is not lying in the city centre is not a real issue because with the shuttle service you can be in downtown KL in no time. Furthermore, there are always taxis waiting to bring you to other destinations in and around the city. If you have a rental car you can park it in the spacious parking lot for a mere RM8 a day. The hotel is located right next to a major highway; it won’t take you long to reach one of the main roads going out of Kuala Lumpur.

How to get there

Ramada Plaza Dua Sentral can best be reached by taxi. Every taxi driver knows the location of the hotel. If you have a rental car, you can drive to the hotel yourself and park the car in the hotels’ parking bays. If you are traveling from KLIA/KLIA2 then it is best to either take a direct taxi from the airport, or to take the KLIA Ekpress first to KL Sentral, from where you can take a short taxi ride to the hotel (only 5 minutes from KL Sentral, and a one-way trip shouldn’t cost more than RM10).

Our final verdict

Ramada Plaza Dua Sentral is a very pleasant 5-star hotel. Even though it is a business hotel, tourists will have a great time staying at one of the wonderfully designed rooms. Their standard ‘Deluxe rooms’ are very spacious and beautifully decorated. Because the hotel is located just outside the city centre, prices for a stay are very affordable. The location is not a problem because of the free shuttle service. Travelers going for the best price/quality ratio will have a splendid time in the hotel. For the best view, ask reception for a room with a view of KLCC. The view is even better when you stay at one of the higher floors. We had a great stay at the hotel. We were lucky; our room was upgraded to a suite with separate living room and kitchen. We had an amazing time, and would definitely consider staying there again. Keep an eye out for great hotel deals, as a room in this hotel is sometimes sold for 3-star prices.

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Location

Transport

Convenient

Overall

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Pullman Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur

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Bangsar is one of the most popular expatriate districts in Kuala Lumpur. At the edge of the district lies the hip and trendy business hotel Pullman Bangsar, part of the well known Accor Group. The hotel lies directly along the highway that brings you downtown KL in less than 10 minutes. Opposite of the hotel is the Bangsar Convention Centre located, a big contributor of hotel guests.

Pullman Bangsar is a modern business class hotel with similar stylish interior like the other Pullman hotels. It is a 5-star hotel with a sleek design, and it contains 513 rooms. When you enter the beautiful lobby, you are immediately welcomed by the pleasant and more importantly very efficient staff. To the right, there is a cozy lounge bar with the restaurant behind it. To the left a small coffee bar named Petit Café with great coffee and delicious pastries.

Rooms

Rooms are large and nicely decorated. The view is magnificent from every floor. This is because the hotel lies on a hill, and also because the second floor is high due to the enormous lobby (so floors start at a much higher altitude). The standard Deluxe room was very large, with a beautiful bathroom and a glass wall separating the bathroom and the rest of the room (which you can darken with a rolling blind). In the bathroom, you will find a nice freestanding bath, with a separate shower area containing a nice rain shower.

The bed is very comfortable; especially the mattress was of high quality (you would not expect anything less from a 5-star Pullman hotel). The pillow service is very nice; on the nightstand there was a card showing different kinds of pillows. By calling room service, you can order the selected pillow. Also, a nice touch was the flashlight on the nightstand; perfect for midnight errands without turning on the light. The bedside lamps are made for dimming, which is nice if you want to read before sleeping. There is also an iPhone dock on the nightstand.

The minibar was only partially full; leaving enough space to store your own drinks. There is a safe to keep your valuables. And there is complimentary Wi-Fi of course as you would expect from a 5-star business hotel. Sockets are suitable for all kinds of plugs; no need to bring an adapter for foreign plugs. Guests staying on higher floors (Executive Floor) have access to the executive breakfast area, with a magnificent view of the city. Here you can enjoy your breakfast and read a paper or magazine. Now and again the hotel has sharp deals for stays in one of the executive rooms (keep an eye out for the best deals at Agoda.com).

From the higher floors, you have a spectacular view of the southwest of Kuala Lumpur; with all the suburbs in the distance (among others; Petaling Jaya, Bandar Sunway and Bangsar). On the other side of the hotel you have a view of the city centre; though partly hidden by a few large office buildings (like the enormous Menara TM skyscraper) situated directly next to the hotel.

Breakfast

Breakfast was of an extreme good quality, with a huge quantity of breakfast dishes to choose from. Dishes ranged from local dishes (like Nasi Lemak) to European and American inspired breakfast sets. Then there was a bread alone section, with different types of breads, spreads and delicious snacks and desserts. There was even a huge vertical honeycomb, where fresh honey was dripping off for you to enjoy. Two Bean-to-Cup coffee machines can be found there; so coffee lovers do not have to drink local coffee but enjoy a freshly brewed cup instead.

The whole breakfast area in restaurant LINK was huge, with well over 50 tables. Even during crowded times like breakfast on a day of full occupancy still leave enough available tables for you to sit at.

Dining options

Downstairs, next to the lobby the open-kitchen Mediterranean restaurant La Cucina can be found. All dishes are prepared in a large open kitchen, in plain sight. The kitchen is an island in the middle of the restaurant. They also have a brick oven for the most delicious pizzas. Prices vary from RM30 to RM60; which is very reasonable. We were lucky to be able to try a few of the chefs’ specials; they were all really delicious. I can definitely recommend having dinner there, even if you are not staying in the hotel yourself. La Cucina is opened daily from 11am to 3pm, and from 6.30pm until 10.30pm.

Another restaurant where you can have dinner is LINK (same place where you have your breakfast in the morning). Here you can enjoy lunch and dinner inspired by international cuisine. The restaurant is open daily until 10pm.

Lounge bar

Next to the restaurant lies The Lounge, a wonderful lounge bar where you can enjoy live music 5 days a week. Prices of drinks vary from RM10 to RM60, relatively cheap compared to other lounge bars around KL. Cocktails cost RM35, a glass of 12-year-old Macallan RM45. The bartender surprised us with his signature cocktail; the tasty Flaming Lamborghini. In the back you can enjoy a cigar at the Cigar Lounge.

The Petit Cafe is located nearby the lounge bar; it is a cozy cafe that serves tasty snacks besides a great cup of coffee.

Pool gym

There is an beautiful swimming pool, with nice deckchairs. The swimming pool looks out over Bangsar South; an enormous urban centre with shopping malls, several offices and multiple residential areas. You will also find the Bangsar Convention Centre there. Next to the swimming pool there is a gym, containing a large number of exercise equipment.

Free shuttle service to numerous destinations within Kuala Lumpur

The hotel is situated just outside KLCC (Kuala Lumpur City Centre). There is a free shuttle service bringing you to several destinations within the city. The shuttle bus goes to downtown KL (KLCC Bukit Bintang), but also to the nearby situated shopping mall Mid Valley Megamall The Gardens (one of our personal favorites). Then there is a service going to Sunway Pyramid and KL Sentral (for the train to KLIA KLIA2).

Across the hotel, you will find the subway station University; but because of the busy crossing in-between, it is better to walk to the subway station Kerinchi (a 5 minutes walk from the hotel). This subway line will bring you to KL Sentral in 5 minutes, to Pasar Seni in 8 minutes (Chinatown) and Suria KLCC (Petronas Towers) in 10 minutes. Metro tickets can be bought at the station.

Another option is to take a taxi right in front of the hotel. If there are no taxis waiting, you can simply have the concierge order or hail one for you.

Car park

Below the hotel, you will find a car park, where hotel guests can park their rental car for free. With a rental car you will soon find yourself on one of the main roads leading out of the city; it runs directly along the hotel.

Affordable 5-star hotel

Most travelers prefer to stay in the city centre while visiting Kuala Lumpur. The disadvantage are the substantial prices you will have to pay while there are very luxurious hotels just outside the city centre at reasonable prices. Pullman Bangsar is a good example; you will be staying in a 5-star hotel for a fraction of the price you will pay for a similar hotel in the city centre. The shuttle service makes it easy to get anywhere you want to go.

Our final verdict

Pullman Bangsar is an excellent hotel at very affordable rates. The standard rooms are already very spacious, the executive rooms are the height of luxury in this business hotel. The location is not its strong point, but the free shuttle service certainly makes up for this. If you are looking for value for your money, Pullman Bangsar is definitively the best choice.

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Gourmet

Services

Location

Transport

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Doubletree by Hilton, Kuala Lumpur

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Everyone knows the Hilton hotel chain; you can find a Hilton hotel in almost every holiday or business destination in the world. Doubletree by Hilton is a hotel chain under the Hilton group. Often they are luxury 5 star hotels with a modern interior and trendy vibe. In Kuala Lumpur, you can also find a Doubletree by Hilton. This luxury hotel is right in the centre of town, located in the Intermark office and shopping complex. Doubletree is a business hotel but because of its excellent location also very suitable for tourists, who want to discover the city in a few days.

Check-in

Checking in with Doubletree by Hilton is very comfortable. At arrival, there is always someone waiting for you to take your luggage. Once you are in the lobby (on the second floor that you can reach by escalator), a hostess will welcome you, to take your details and help you along. During check-in you are offered a signature Chocolate Chip Cookie, freshly baked, that has to be eaten while it is still warm to enjoy it to the fullest. This is Doubletree’s way of welcoming each guest into their hotel. CARE (Create A Rewarding Experience) is the hotel’s central idea; a well thought-out program to offer every hotel guest the ultimate stay. We agree that the service from the moment of walking in was fantastic. Business travelers may already be used to a service like this, but tourists will be amazed.

Rooms

In total, the hotel has 540 rooms and suites. Standard rooms come in a normal variant and a Deluxe variant; both are very spacious and the latter provides a view of the city centre. In the rooms you will find a worktable, a safe and a mini bar. There is free Wi-Fi through the whole hotel and also in the rooms (if you need super quick internet there is an extra fee). The mattress is of a superb quality and the pillow service (you can order your desired pillow through room service) is a fantastic extra touch.

The room we stayed in was fantastic. It was very well designed and had a pleasant vibe. The mattress slept great and we were lucky to have a stunning view from our room. Though we are that much into watching television in our room; the tv was huge with many channels (including movie channels) to chose from.

Suites are large and contain a bedroom, a living room with work table and a large shower and bath. Furthermore, there are executive rooms available; with access to the executive lounge on the 35th floor where you can quietly enjoy your breakfast or coffee while reading a paper or magazine. From the executive floor, you have an impressive view of Kuala Lumpur’s city centre. The small accompanying terrace is ideal for taking spectacular panoramic photo’s ( a tip: when you are staying in a regular room, ask at reception if you can take some pictures from the terrace).

Breakfast at Makan Kitchen

Guests that do not have access to the breakfast facilities at the executive floor will enjoy their breakfast at buffet restaurant Makan Kitchen. Here you will find a huge variety of breakfast dishes, ranging from European and American breakfast, to delicious local breakfast dishes (again, based on the three main kitchens).

Please remember that between 8 and 9 am it can be very crowded in Makan Kitchen. Also, you may have to wait for the elevator. When you come after 9 am, it probably will be much quieter as the businessmen have left for work. I you arrive before 8 am it usually is much more quiet too. A tip is to take the elevator upstairs and stay in it when going down.

Stunning pool

The swimming pool is on the 11th floor, as is the gym. The swimming pool is big and beautifully designed. Next to the swimming pool there is a shallow children’s pool. The swimming pool is filled with salt water; conveniently making the use of chemicals unnecessary. There are enough showers around the pool to rinse yourself after your swim.

Highly rated restaurants

The hotel has two restaurants, Tosca on the 11th floor and Makan Kitchen on the 12th floor. Tosca is an Italian restaurant with many Mediterranean specialties. The restaurant is located next to the swimming pool.

Makan Kitchen is a popular buffet restaurant in Kuala Lumpur. You will find the three kitchens of Malaysia there: Malaysian (and Peranakan), Chinese and Indian. Every kitchen has an island of its own, in them are chefs preparing dishes. Around the island, there are plates with deliciously prepared fresh food. The restaurant always gets good reviews, and it is the ultimate way of trying all the well-known Malaysian dishes. From Makan Kitchen you have a breathtaking view of Kuala Lumpur.

Lounge and food store

Next to the lobby you will find the big Axis Lounge, with a bar next to it. Here, great live bands will perform regularly and the lounge will be full with people during a show. Directly behind the lounge there is a small coffee placed The Food store. Here you can also buy snacks and sandwiches to take up to your room.

Intermark mall

Within the big Intermark complex you have the Intermark Mall with several shops, restaurants and a few ATM’s. Directly below the hotel there is a Plan B and a Dome; two popular lunch places. Just a little further you can find the coffee shop Juan Valdez; they serve delicious coffee. Also a San Francisco Coffee can be found within the complex. In the basement, there is a large supermarket and a food court with different small eateries.

Distance to KLCC

Doubletree has a free shuttle service to several destinations in the hotel’s vicinity. In front of the hotel there are always multiple taxis waiting to bring you anywhere you want to go. Remember that the main road near the hotel usually is very busy, especially during rush hour there are many traffic jams. Suria KLCC and the Petronas Towers are about a 15 minutes walk from the hotel; partly underground because going to the mall Ampang Park is easy through the underpass below the Intermark building. Under the hotel lies subway station Ampang Park, from where you can take the subway to several destinations. One station further is KLCC station with the Petronas Twin Towers above it. Chinatown and Kl Sentral (from where you can take the train to KLIA/KLIA2 and to where the luxury mall NU Sentral is located) are also along this line.

How to get there

Getting to Doubletree by Hilton is easy. Every taxi driver knows where to find the hotel. You can also take the metro to station Ampang Park. From there it is only a few minutes’ walk to the hotel entrance. If you arrive by rental car, you can park it for a small fee in the hotels’ parking garage (accessible from entrance C at the rear of the Intermark complex).

Our final verdict

Doubletree by Hilton is a magnificent 5-star hotel with a beautiful and quiet appearance, where you will enjoy a lovely stay. It is centrally located and the most important attractions of Kuala Lumpur are easily accessible. The rooms are big and beautifully decorated. As you may expect from a 5-star hotel everything is perfectly organized combined with great staff and a modern vibe. Staying there is not cheap but for anyone who enjoys a bit of luxury it is worth every penny. The food (breakfast) is truly fantastic, rarely did we see such an elaborate assortment of breakfast dishes.

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Anggun Boutique Hotel, Kuala Lumpur

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You can find an enormous variety of accommodations in downtown Kuala Lumpur, ranging from big luxurious hotels to small-scale hostels and BB’s. A few very nice boutique hotels can be found there too. Anggun Boutique Hotel is a beautiful, small-scale, and most importantly, very affordable hotel in the popular district Bukit Bintang. At that price, you can hardly do any better, location wise.

The entrance is somewhat hidden between several shops and houses. Once inside the wooden fence you can immediately tell how nice it looks. The lobby is beautifully decorated; it reminded us of a typical Balinese interior. They welcome you most pleasantly on arrival and checking in is quick and efficient. At the desk, you can find several brochures of attractions in de surrounding area, including a map of eateries well worth a visit and all close by.

Rooms

The rooms are stylishly decorated. You understand immediately why they call it a boutique hotel. Everywhere you experience the Balinese atmosphere. The beds are beautiful, and there is a lot of eye for detail. The shower is in a connecting room, and it looks very nice too. Though the rooms are not big, there is a big closet (with safe) next to the bed and a desk with a TV and minibar. In the whole hotel – including the rooms – is free Wi-Fi and enough sockets for charging your appliances (you will need an adapter). Of course, there is an A/C.

Changkat Bukit Bintang party scene around the corner

Anggun Boutique Hotel is situated along Tengkat Tong Shin; a few minutes walk away from the popular nightlife district Changkat Bukit Bintang. In the immediate surroundings of the hotel, a lot of accommodations for backpackers can be found, making the whole area fun to be for tourists that fancy a bit of nightlife action. Changkat is a street full of bars and restaurants. In the streets behind, there are also many venues. At night, there is always a lively and cozy atmosphere.

In close vicinity of KL’s food heaven

On the same street where Anggun is situated you can find various eateries, a few small supermarkets and some massage parlors (some dodgy, some quite good). Directly behind Tengkat Tong Shin lies Jalan Alor; one of the most popular food streets in Kuala Lumpur. Here there are many dozens of local restaurants, crowded the whole day through. Especially at night it is crowded, and very popular among tourists that are staying in one of the many surrounding hotels and guesthouses.

Near KL’s most popular malls

All the big shopping malls of Bukit Bintang lie about 5 to 10 minutes walking distance from the hotel. Pavilion KL is about 10 minutes away and Low Yat Plaza (gadget-mall) some 5 minutes away. The more luxurious restaurants are all inside the shopping malls.

How to get there

The hotel is easily accessible by taxi; every driver knows how to find it (also directly from KLIA/KLIA2). Taking the subway is another excellent way to get there. If you come by KLIA Ekspres from KLIA/KLIA2, you can easily transfer to the monorail at KL Sentral (by walking through Nu Sentral shopping mall). From monorail station Bukit Bintang it is about a 5-minute walk.

Our final verdict

Anggun Boutique Hotel is a magnificent place in downtown Kuala Lumpur. Bukit Bintang is one of the nicest districts to stay in, besides dozens of enormous shopping malls, there are many restaurants, bars, and local eateries. The hotel is very pretty, especially if you take the perfect location versus the reasonable price into account. The hotel is situated in a very crowded area and at night you can hear the cars in the distance (not annoyingly so but you do hear them). If you are looking for a great hotel in the city centre, then you should really take Anggun into consideration.

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