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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.

  • Gordon says:

    The breakfast set up looks nice, I visited Barcelona recently, There’s a W hotel there beachside that is supposed replicate the Burj khalifa in Dubai…. But it did look dark and uninviting from the beach. This review has whet my appetite Rhys I am off to Indonesia (Singapore & Bali) in 3 weeks they have announced that they are dropping pre departure testing which is great news.

    • Matt says:

      I’m in Bali atm. Weather is amazing. The Belmond Jimbaran is amazing in deluxe pool villa. Shame I had to pay for tests by a few days. Enjoy your upcoming holiday.

      • Gordon says:

        Sounds fantastic. Thanks for the update. Enjoy the rest of your stay 😎

    • Panda Mick says:

      You will still need to wear a mask in public in Singapore. Mandatory indoors and even in some of the outdoors restaurants (whilst not eating). Not fun in 30C+ weather. Other than that, there was no scanning of covid passes and the “TraceTogether” app never recognised that I’d actually entered the country

      • Gordon says:

        Thanks for the info. But Yes I am aware of the face covering policy as it stands.Believe me I’ve been checking on Indonesia’s covid rules regularly since booking a year ago….

      • tom says:

        +1

        Its not that bad, I’ve just come back from a week in Singapore with work. When walking outdoors there is no requirement to wear (although the locals seem to keep it on). Inside the office or a mall you have to wear, but there is that lovely cold aircon, so no issues. When sat in Clarke Quay one evening, no one was wearing whilst sat outdoors, and at no point where were told/asked to – buit that might be as we had drinks in from of us.

        The only place I was asked to show my passes was boarding my flight at LHR.

  • Mouse says:

    Good comprehensive review, thanks Rhys. To my aged eye, the rooms look like the Changing Rooms team has been asked to tart up an Ibis room on a budget of £500!

  • Entitled says:

    Rhys – I’m off To Penang and KL is a couple of weeks. What was life like as a tourist in post COVID times?

    • Rhys says:

      Not much different, to be honest. Masks in indoor spaces etc. Pretty normal otherwise. Some clubs etc still closed/in the process of opening.

  • Nick says:

    For those who don’t fancy the very long trip in a taxi, there’s a fast and frequent express train from KL airport to the city. Many times more comfortable.

    • Alex Sm says:

      Yes, I was about to say – the trains are amazing there. We took a brand new air conditioned train to the newly refurbished central station and then a seamless change to the monorail to KLCC. Highly recommended

  • Sean C says:

    JFC there’s a lot of people getting out of the wrong side of the bed this morning. W Hotels aren’t really for me but I still appreciate the reviews. It’s almost like the reviews might even give me an impression of what it’s like to stay at these places, even if I don’t have status, I’m pretty sure there’s not separate pool or gym for Uranium card holders. *giant eye roll out to all the haters this morning*

    • AJA says:

      I misread Ukrainian for uranium in you post 😀 I’m sure they’d love to be travelling to Malaysia rather than being known as the country invaded by Russians, ironically also responsible for downing a Malaysian airliner there.

  • jkay86 says:

    Typo- state capital of Sabah is Kota Kinabalu, instead of Kotu Kinabulu, which does have connotations of bodily hair to it 😉

  • AJA says:

    The pool looks nice but the lots of children and lack of loungers comment is really off-putting.

    Not sure I like the decor of the hotel either, just a bit too being for me. On the plus side the food and that breakfast spread does look good. I am a fan of a decent hotel breakfast.

    Apart from the Petronas Towers what is there to do and see as a tourist in Kuala Lumpur? I guess most people stay a day or two at most in the city before and after heading elsewhere (like to the hotel reviewed yesterday)

    • jkay86 says:

      Batu Caves – impressive Hindu temple within a natural cave complex, the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia, Royal Selangor for a pewter making tour, night markets, plenty of food options (if you’ve got broader tastebuds), many temples. Nonetheless most of the attractions are outside KL

      • AJA says:

        Thanks. Never heard of any of those. But you’ve confirmed my suspicion that’s the city is more a stop over enroute to elsewhere

    • Rhys says:

      There isn’t a huge amount to do in KL, admittedly. You can spend a weekend there and feel like you have ‘done’ it. Much more businessy than Bangkok.

      • Alex Sm says:

        Cooking classes are amazing there – some can last up to half a day and you won’t notice how quickly time has passed!

  • rob keane says:

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

    Bed bugs, no A/C, No hot water, things being stolen from the room, waiting for luggage is really worse than any of these ?

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

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