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Review: the W Kuala Lumpur hotel

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This is our review of the W Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

I have stayed at a lot of W Hotels recently. Just a few weeks ago I was at the W Amsterdam (review here); the W Kuala Lumpur is my 5th in 12 months and my first W in Asia.

If you’re not familiar with the trendy W brand then I suggest you start with our guide to W Hotels, which gives a bit of history and background to the hotel chain. Fundamentally, however, W Hotels are supposed to be a design-led luxury brand targetting a younger audience than you might find at, say, a St Regis or Ritz Carlton.

W Kuala Lumpur

In general I do like W Hotels, although they can sometimes overstep the mark from cool to garish with their emphasis on bold colours and bright designs. My favourite W remains the W Ibiza (review here), which I think showcases the brand’s playful nature combined with slightly more sophisticated room design.

Marriott offered us a stay to support my recent trip to Malaysia with Malaysia Airlines. Yesterday I reviewed the Shangri-La Rasa Ria resort in Sabah, Borneo which was totally different in every way.

The hotel website is here.

Where is the W Kuala Lumpur hotel?

Like the majority of international hotels, the W Kuala Lumpur is located in KLCC, the area around the landmark twin Petronas Towers:

W kuala Lumpur location

It is quite a schlepp form the airport which is over 50km from the city centre – depending on traffic your journey can take upwards of 50 minutes by taxi (or Grab, Asia’s Uber, which I recommend.) Fares are around £20 one-way.

It is a good neighbourhood to be in, although the W is more on the back of the KLCC; that gives it an excellent view of the towers but means it is a slightly further walk from the park than, say, the Four Seasons Kuala Lumpur hotel which I reviewed on my last trip.

Check in at the W Kuala Lumpur hotel

I arrived late after my flight from Kotu Kinabulu and was checked in immediately. The lobby is on the eight floor of the hotel, whilst floors 1-7 are the hotel car park. Parking is free if you are a hotel guest, as is standard at most hotels in KL.

W hotel Kuala Lumpur lobby

My luggage was taken off me on arrival and promptly delivered within thirty seconds of checking into my room, so kudos to that. Nothing is worse that waiting in your room waiting for your luggage to arrive.

Rooms at W Kuala Lumpur

I was given a Spectacular Room, which one category above the entry level Wonderful Room. The only difference, as far as I can see, is the view: Spectacular Rooms get views on the Petronas Towers:

W hotel Kuala Lumpur view

In total the hotel has 150 guest rooms. I was on the 21st floor; the lower 22 floors make up the hotel, with the remaining 33 floors part of the W Residences.

At 42 square metres they are a good size. First up is the wardrobe, which features a luggage rack, clothes rail and safe:

W hotel Kuala Lumpur wardrobe

After this is a console table with a typical W mini bar featuring larger ‘mini’ bottles of spirits and other goodies:

W hotel Kuala Lumpur room entrance

and

W hotel Kuala Lumpur mini bar

Tea and coffee making facilities are artfully concealed behind a frosted glass door. You have a Nespresso machine as well as Jing tea bags:

W hotel Kuala Lumpur coffee

After this you have a bar-stool height desk space:

W hotel Kuala Lumpur desk

The room then opens up. As you can see it is very spacious:

W hotel Kuala Lumpur Spectacular room

The king size bed takes centre stage with a mirrored pixel-inspired artwork above:

W hotel Kuala Lumpur king bed

There are generous bedside tables on both sides, plus plugs and the electronic room controls, including electronic blinds:

W hotel Kuala Lumpur bedside

I found the lighting controls to be a bit finicky – I’m not sure how it’s done but they didn’t always behave as intended when I used them. There’s also no master light switch at the room door, which is a bit annoying.

Opposite the bed is a large 43″ TV which can be hidden by closing the sliding mirror door:

W hotel Kuala Lumpur TV

In the window you’ll find a chaise longue, coffee table and small armchair:

W hotel Kuala Lumpur chaise longue

Thanks to the room’s generous proportions it manages to get a lot in without feeling tight. There’s always loads of space.

The bathroom is to the right of the bed, and features a large bath tub plus separate shower:

W hotel Kuala Lumpur bathroom

A triangular sink is on the right, with two mirrors:

W hotel Kuala Lumpur sink

The toilet is at the end and features a sliding door. There is also a mirrored door to the bathroom you can close to shut the whole thing off from the rest of the room.

Toiletries are the standard MOMO W Hotel toiletries. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: these are some of my favourite hotel toiletries (the EDITION’S Le Labo ones also score highly).

W Dubai MOMO toiletries

By now you may have noticed a running theme: the room is rammed to the teeth with mirrors. There are mirrors on virtually every surface, which may make the photos a little disorienting. It is quite funny just how many there are – at any one time you can see yourself from virtually every angle regardless of where you stand, especially in the bathroom.

Pool, gym and spa at W Kuala Lumpur

The leisure facilities at the W Kuala Lumpur are spread across two floors. The pool and gym are on the 12th floor. Here is the gym:

W hotel Kuala Lumpur gym

The outdoor pool is an impressive size and has some great views of the Petronas Towers. It’s a shame it isn’t an infinity pool! It was certainly loved by the many families at the hotel – I don’t think I’ve seen so many children at a W Hotel before.

W hotel Kuala Lumpur pool

There is also a covered but open-air pool bar, which hosts club nights once or twice a month:

W hotel Kuala Lumpur pool bar

There is plenty of seating around the pool and pool bar but a real dearth of loungers. There are just six day beds – everything else is a mix of cafe-style chairs. Some more loungers would have been nice.

The spa facilities are on a lower floor, with a big reception with two brass humanoid figures that made me jump when I first saw them!

W hotel Kuala Lumpur spa

There are at least 10 treatment rooms as well as two gender-specific ‘sanctuaries’ featuring steam room, sauna, hot tub and shower, changing and toilet facilities. They are great facilities but it’s a shame they’re not on the same floor as the pool so you can go between the two.

I had a lovely exceptional massage by one of the therapists at the hotel (sadly I didn’t catch her name). She was able to find all my areas of tension and worked it right out.

Breakfast and dining at W Kuala Lumpur

There are a couple of restaurants at the W, including Flock, Yen and the Woo bar next to the lobby:

W hotel Kuala Lumpur Flock

Breakfast is served at Flock, which has a range of seating including out on the balcony with views of the Petronas towers, which I enjoyed. There is quite an extensive buffet:

W hotel Kuala Lumpur breakfast buffet

The cut-your-own hydroponically grown salad leaves are very eye-catching, although possibly more of a gimmick than a practicality:

W hotel Kuala Lumpur breakfast salad (2)

There’s plenty of choice, from salads:

W hotel Kuala Lumpur breakfast salad

…. cold cuts, smoked salmon and cheese:

W hotel Kuala Lumpur breakfast cold cuts

…. plus the usual yoghurts, pastries, cereals etc. When it comes to hot food you also have a huge choice, from traditional Malaysian style dishes such as Nasi Lemak to an egg station.

W hotel Kuala Lumpur breakfast hot station

My favourite was the build-your-own soup station:

W hotel Kuala Lumpur breakfast noodle station

Plus congee, dimsum, bao and other bits and bobs. It’s a very good breakfast. I went all in on a savoury breakfast and had the noodle soup and bao:

W hotel Kuala Lumpur breakfast noodle soup

For dinner, Flock operates an a la carte menu and I tried the scallop sashimi which was fantastic:

W Kuala Lumpur Flock scallop sashimi

…. plus the Sabah lobster curry:

W Kuala Lumpur Flock lobster curry

Duck breast:

W Kuala Lumpur Flock duck

…. and prawn salad:

W Kuala Lumpur Flock prawn salad

As you can see, portions are pretty big. I think the restaurant could benefit from moving towards more of a sharing plate menu with slightly smaller portions – there was so much to try but the quantity of each dish was just a little too much.

Conclusion

The W Kuala Lumpur hotel is a solid option when staying in KLCC. Rooms are bright and spacious, as long as you don’t mind seeing yourself a thousand times in all the mirrors!

I particularly liked the extensive breakfast which has a range of stations where you can get cooked to order Asian and western options including noodle soups, egg dishes and traditional Malaysian options.

Cash rates start at £135 per night in June or from 30,000 points per night. You can find out more, and book, on the hotel website here.


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Comments (79)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Mark says:

    Genuine question Rhys, how do you feel in a country where the persecution of homosexuality is still very present?

    • Daniel says:

      As a gay man, I have visited KL twice and loved it…walked around in the humidity and seen the caves twice.
      I think each individual makes their own choice about ‘supporting’ a country with values different to their own incl the UAE, China etc.

      I have never experienced direct homophobia on my travels per se and indeed shared a king bed in Deira, Dubai with a male friend.

      Like I say, each individual needs to make up their own mind about this but I can only recommend KL, the UAE etc for the experiences I have had and completely understand why others would be disinclined.

      You are either ‘discrete’ and accepting of less open-mindedness or don’t go I guess.

      • Michael C says:

        Fully agree, Daniel.
        I love Malaysia/Singapore (where I used to live), but would I visit Dubai? With the family, probably not.
        But how many of us visit countries that have the death penalty (e.g. USA) or gratuitously torture animals?
        All has to boil down to case-by-case individual choices.

    • Gordon says:

      You will find the answer your looking for in the comments section of the review Rhys submitted of the Sandals Royal Barbados resort….

      • astra19 says:

        I remember that discussion from the time. It doesn’t quite surprise me but it certainly disappoints me somewhat that the standards of tolerance and acceptance are so low for some LGB people – “fine in the resorts”, “not a problem in the hotel”, “just ignore X outside the hotel”, “the government is not the same as a private business”. It’s a headache I’d rather avoid, and I’m not going to spend thousands in a place where a local who was like me isn’t going to be treated anywhere near as well.

        • Gordon says:

          I totally agree….

          • astra19 says:

            I just accept there are places I’m not going to visit. I don’t really care. the Gulf States, Maldives, Mauritius, etc. They’re not getting money from me.

        • Rob says:

          On that basis I don’t recommend various hard drinking Yorkshire cities after midnight on a Friday either.

          • astra19 says:

            It’s not the same, and honestly Rob as much as I respect you and this website it really doesn’t sit well if a straight person is telling someone how to feel. I wouldn’t tell a woman about sexism or an Asian person about racism.
            Individual ignorance is not the same as governmental persecution.

          • Rob says:

            Rhys is in Doha this week and perfectly fine about it. You need to make your own personal call on what you’re happy with, of course.

          • Nick says:

            Life is very different in 2022 than it was 20 years ago. I’m not sure where you get your perspective from.

          • Jake Jones says:

            I get what you are trying to say, but that’s insulting.

        • Gordon says:

          @Daniel you would love Thailand and Vietnam,Very welcoming. Traveled with my son 6 years ago to both for a month. Thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
          Been back a couple of times since.
          Gran Caneria is a favourite destination for my son also….

    • Comrade Chag says:

      Everyone has a price. Rhys’ price is x amount of free nights/Avios/points.

    • Rhys says:

      The world would be a very small place if I only went to LGBT-friendly places.

      Even countries where gay marriage is legal can vary widely. I wouldn’t necessarily feel particularly safe in parts of the USA, either.

      Ultimately we all have to decide what we feel comfortable doing, and KL has a pretty active gay subculture going.

  • F says:

    Why do reviews start with ‘this is our review of’ is it some SEO technique?

  • Marko says:

    Hi Rhys,

    What seems to be missing from your reviews in general is the bit about the service in the hotel. We want to know how the service was / if there were any issues. This is particulary important for 5*.
    Thanks

    • aseftel says:

      I don’t think you can reasonably comment on the service when they know you’re there to review the hotel.

      • Rhys says:

        To be fair, most of the staff don’t usually know. (The exception is a hotel like the Four Seasons, where the whole staff know the name of every guest etc)

        Generally, if I don’t go out of my way to mention the service then it’s average for a hotel of its calibre – neither spectacular not disappointing, just what you would expect.

  • ChrisC says:

    “Nothing is worse that waiting in your room waiting for your luggage to arrive”

    Other than having to carry it yourself??

    • Dubious says:

      I much prefer to carry it myself.

      I once waited nearly 30 mins after arriving at my room for my luggage to arrive (the staff very much encouraged me to use the luggage service when I was at check-in). This meant I couldn’t start my shower and rush to dinner (just before the lounge closed for the day) as my clean clothes were in the suitcase…

      I ended up going to the lounge in some rather mucky gear.

      • JDB says:

        It doesn’t give the right impression of a decent hotel if guests are carrying their own luggage into or within the hotel; it suggests a serious service failure – it should disappear at the front door into a service entrance. Obviously, they do need to deliver to the room it in a timely manner.

        • AJA says:

          I’m not bothered by seeing guests pulling their luggage around a hotel, after all most do when checking out anyway. That doesn’t ruin the ambience of the hotel for me especially as I choose hotels where check in should be quick and discreet anyway. As you can tell I’m not a fan of the hotel check in queue.

          I’d rather be given the option of choosing to do my own carrying especially as I invariably travel only with cabin bag sized luggage even on long haul and for longer trips I use hotel laundry facilities. Seems ridiculous to let a hotel porter transport that up a few floors when I’ve lugged it from the airport. That said I do realise that it is the porter’s job and do tip generously when they do cart my luggage to my room (less generously if they take some time to do so).

          • JDB says:

            They do collect luggage from the room as well! I agree re queues; fortunately I can’t remember when we last had to queue. We expect to be taken straight to the room and do any check-in formalities there.

        • The Savage Squirrel says:

          I don’t give a toss about the hotel’s “impression”. By all means have the facility, but as an able bodied guest who packs relatively light I’d much PREFER to just sort out my own luggage myself and get on with my day all the soomer.

    • Panda Mick says:

      I find that having your country invaded a little worse than waiting for your luggage to arrive.

      Agree with others on the tone… Let’s not end up being “view from the wing” or “loyaltylobby”, yeah?

      • Sean C says:

        What? This is within the context of a hotel review, I’m sure Rhys can think of plenty of things worse than luggage not appearing on time out in the wider world.

        • Panda Mick says:

          Was making a point that there are bigger things to worry about. But having your reservation cancelled, finding a band of wondering minstrels in your room already, finding that there’s a wedding party in the hotel that will keep you up till 5am because of drinking in the corridors (I’m looking at YOU Hilton Fashion District NY) are much bigger issues

  • Jake Jones says:

    Rhys, I’ve just scrolled to the bottom and not even read this nonsense, to please say: “get over yourself”. It’s getting embarrassing. Reign in it please

    • T says:

      People have opinions, and well within their right to voice them! There is not one offensive word used in any of the responses so far. People need to….get over themselves because of voicing an opinion?
      Bit harsh.

  • mradey says:

    i’m enjoying Rhys’ double entendres. What with attractive holes yesterday and a ‘happy’ masseur today. Role on Thursday.

  • Jake Jones says:

    So, I’m sat in Rio having got a steal of a fare in First, which clearly I didn’t post here because BA remove it… Like all the deals. Viscious circle type thing. HPS is undoubtedly a fabulous forum, but I feel that we are very swayed to the complimentary crap Rhys and Rob are offered. Marriott particularly for 6 months or more. No one without status will ever get those rooms. So the
    reviews are pointless. Sort it out lads. Too many jollies.

    • Yuff says:

      Shame travelling in F didn’t brighten your mood…….lol

      • Jake Jones says:

        Haha. Broken seat, broken TV…. May explain things. Normal BA shite. HfP is fab but just needs to find it’s feet. Full respect to the fab Rees and Rob 😊

  • Kev M says:

    Some of the reviews of late do seem to be quite self-indulgent and are somewhat lacking.

    • Jake Jones says:

      To be honest, should you not book without any status and do a review based on that? See what most of us get? As I’ve said before, this site is great, but I feel it’s seriously losing it’s direction.

      • Kev M says:

        Agreed. Far too many jollies of late that really add little value to the site.

        I suspect this won’t stop until every W hotel has been reviewed. What value does this actually add?

        headforjollies.com

      • Tom says:

        A one category room upgrade and free breakfast etc. is something you can get without status a lot of the time at higher end hotels (just book through Virtuoso / the hotel scheme / Amex FHR etc.). If you have decent Marriott status in Asia you’d probably be expecting more than a one category upgrade from a base room generally.

        I agree generally with other’s comments, however, that I don’t really want to read ‘reviews’ that are just of free hotel stays and flights; it has effectively reduced most HfP reviews to the equivalent of a newspaper travel section. I would rather HfP added some advertising and had a policy of paying themselves. I mainly just scroll through the pictures these days, which at least Rhys does a good job with.

        • John T says:

          There is already advertising all over the site.

          Most travel publications do not pay for their own travel. It’s all a massive back-scratching exercise.

          • Rob says:

            As it happens there are a couple of grumbly reviews from me coming up. The problem is that grumbly reviews sound like a wealthy old guy’s self indulgent rant (I am typing this at 5.15am in the Park Hyatt New York – a $2,000 room – and grumbling to myself about not having a jug of fresh milk in the mini bar for my coffee) and aren’t a lot of use either to people who simply want an overview.

            A free stay usually involves meals, spa treatments etc and you get to see the full property in action. When I do them on paid stays it’s usually ‘didn’t eat there as we went out with the kids’, ‘didn’t go to the spa as my wife wanted to go shopping’, ‘didn’t get to see this’ etc. I’m not spending £150 on a dinner purely to put a couple of pics in a review if my kids would be happier in the £10 pasta place down the road and hell will freeze over before I pay for a hotel massage.

            There are merits in both approaches and we do both.

            The reason we are back-to-backing reviews at the moment is that Rhys and I are both away and we’ve been storing up stuff to make life a bit easier. It will quieten down from next week.

          • The Savage Squirrel says:

            “a wealthy old guy’s self indulgent rant”

            That’s what we visit this site for, though 😉 😉

      • rob keane says:

        he didn’t book it, he was given it…status or not, marriott knows he is doing a review.

      • Rhys says:

        But lots of people have status!

        You’re probably in the minority if you don’t 🙂

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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