Think of Kuala Lumpur and the image that springs to mind are of the soaring twin towers amidst other modern skyscrapers. With rapid industrialisation, traces of her British colonial history are gradually fading into oblivion. However, the Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur is attempting to change all that. This newly opened 5-star hotel is a beautiful restoration of the old Hotel Majestic, which was a gathering place for the colonial elite, unrivalled in its prestige and luxury back in the colonial days. Today, a stay in the Majestic wing allows one to experience a touch of the colonial heydays, including having a personal butler attached to the room! Recently, I was fortunate to be invited to stay in this iconic hotel.
the hotel's facade
Upon arrival, the butler warmly ushered me to the room for the check-in procedure – a simple affair that took only five minutes! I was hosted in the “Governor Suite”, and I certainly felt like one! The huge room reflects an impeccable balance between colonial extravagance and modern luxury.
Elegance is certainly the theme of the room, right down to the finest details. A great example is the miniature classic clock on the bedside table which simply oozes class. The complete Crabtree and Evelyn toiletry set certainly complements the luxury experience.
crabtree and evelyn toiletry set
There was also no lack of features to pamper the guests in the room. Included in the room rate is a complementary minibar, which has a wide assortment of wines, beers, juices and soft drinks. For the IT-savvy travellers, this is a room where you will be spoilt by the availability of numerous power sockets to recharge your gadgets. However, the most impressive for me was the butler service. The butler attached to my room was highly attentive and often went out of her way to meet my needs. Case in point, when I needed a local SIM card, she arranged a private transfer to the nearest mobile shop. In addition, she did the research and patiently explained to me all information about the SIM card. Before I left, she even gave me a mobile phone to contact the hotel should I face any issues. With such meticulous arrangements, it is difficult not to feel pampered! To top it up, one can even have the breakfast in-room, and of course served by the personal butler!
the butler serving breakfast in bed!
There are also ample facilities to keep one indulged without leaving the hotel premises. A step into the Majestic Spa, inspired by the art nouveau style of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s famous Willow Tearooms, immediately transports one back into the golden heyday of Malaysian colonial history. To go with the flow, I chose the “English Afternoon Tea” spa experience and certainly didn’t regret it. The combination of the berries and moistures rich cream scrub, aromatic garden berries oil massages and fragrant English rose natural facial was a highly rejuvenating experience and significantly raise my expectation of future spa experiences.
the majestic spa – look at the symmetry!
The men can also check out TrueFitt & Hill located at the basement of the Smoke House. This barbershop, officially recognised as the world oldest barbershop with its roots in 1805, offers a wide range of grooming treatments and services designed to groom gentlemen to perfection. I was really impressed by the knowledge and technique of Aras, the barber. Through mere observations of my hair, he immediately understood about the history of my hairstyle and asked insightful questions which elicited my hairstyle preferences. I was immensely satisfied with the final hairstyle. Besides the barber, the Smoke House also contains a cigar room, which provides smoking jackets specially imported from England. There are also the game room and screening room if one would like some entertainment.
a day at the barber
This English luxury experience would not be complete without an English afternoon tea. In the afternoon, one can enjoy a selection of pastries and aromatic tea at the tea lounge. To enjoy tea with friends on the comfortable cushion is certainly a great way to spend your vacation!
selection of pastries for afternoon tea
Just beside the Tea Lounge, the Colonial Café also offers a peaceful setting to have your main courses. Staying true to the hotel heritage, the menu includes many authentic classical English and Hainanese cuisines from the colonial era. Even for beverages, the Fentimans Curiosity Cola, originating from England in 1905, is a refreshing change from the usual mass-market Cola. As for the mains, my Baked Honey – Glazed Cod Fish was large in portion and one of the best I've ever had. The tender Hainanese Chicken Chop and delicious Baked Seafood Crab Shell were my other favourites in this café.
inside of the colonial cafe
the succulent baked honey-glazed codfish
hainanese pork chop
baked seafood crab shell
For those who want to be close to such colonial heritage but prefer modern contemporary rooms, the tower wing is an attractive option. The wing holds contemporary rooms with modern luxurious facilities. Personally, the most appealing feature was the television in the bathroom – I can imagine soaking in the bathtub while enjoying my favourite soccer match! On the ground level, Contango is a contemporary restaurant with an open kitchen interactive concept. Here, it serves international cuisines in buffet style with the chef often going the extra miles to customise dishes aligned with the guests’ tastebud. Other facilities available in this wing are a 24-hour gymnasium and a swimming pool.
contango’s open kitchen concept
there’s local cuisine…
also a wide japanese selection, including several kinds of sashimi
This 5 star hotel is also conveniently located close to the KL Sentral and some of the most famous sights in the city such as the old Moorish style railway station, the National Museum and National Mosque. On top of the private transfer, the hotel also provides a complementary coach service to the Starhill Gallery, a beautiful and luxurious shopping mall in Bukit Bintang.
To conclude, this weekend stay at Hotel Majestic Kuala Lumpur is an amazing experience. This has to be one of the few hotels in Malaysia that one can fully immerse in the beautiful colonial vibe while being surrounded by modern luxurious facilities. Most importantly, the excellent and highly personalised service is what made the stay truly memorable. From the butler who foresaw my needs, to the customised cuisines at Contango open kitchen to the warm sincere greetings from every staff member throughout the stay, there was no lack of such positive examples. If you ever want to experience the life of a colonial British governor, this has got to be it. There is only one downside of a stay here – you would not want to step out of the hotel to explore the city!
The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur
5 Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin,
KL City Centre Malaysia.
50000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia