The Majestic Hotel KL, built since the 1930s, is a posh YTL classic hotel considered by many to be the Grand Dame of heritage hotels in this part of the world. It has served dignitaries, politicians and super stars, being one of the elite few to be included among the prestigious collection of hotels known as among the ‘Leading Hotels of the World’. Therefore, it was with a great sense of anticipation when we were invited to The Majestic Hotel, Kuala Lumpur for an stay. What gave us the grandest impression is not only the grandeur and colonial-era charm but the seemingly humble interactions that have left an indelible impression on us. So, we’ve decided to use these experiences as a prelude to our recount of staying at the magnificent Majestic Hotel KL.
The kids: From the restaurant to the café, the lobby to the corridors, the staff at The Majestic Hotel KL are remarkably good with kids! Considering that this is one of the most luxurious hotels in a cosmopolitan city like KL, we certainly didn’t expect this level of warmth. In fact, we were much afraid that with our little Buddy would be chided for the occasional excitable screams when he wandered around the hallways but all of those were unfounded. At meal times, the waiters, waitresses were so attentive, speaking to them and acknowledging them. Granted these moments did not last long as they were also busy with other guests, the fact that they made the effort made the difference.
The sincerity: It’s one thing to offer a service but it’s another to do it with sincerity. Here at The Majestic Hotel KL, you can see it and sense it from the warm smiles, the gentle bows, the kind gestures and those friendly eyes in every greeting and interaction (on that note, everyone seems to know and greet us by our last names!). Throughout our short 3D2N stay, we felt so welcomed, so heartwarmingly special. It felt as though we have come home to a hotel that has known us for years.
The carton boxes: The night before our flight home to Singapore, we were struggling with how to bring home the Chinese New Year delicacies given to us by my Mum-in-law. So gingerly and apologetically, we tried calling the concierge at close to 11pm to ask if they have a carton we can use. We were prepared to be given a used carton or very much to pay for a new one if they offer us.
Within half and hour, a smiling young concierge staff appeared at our room door with a new carton, complete with a roll of packing tape in hand and even went a step further to ask if we needed any help with sealing the box. We were pleasantly surprised but sheepishly declined since it was close to midnight. As the room door closed, it symbolically sealed our strong positive impression of the hotel.
Accommodation at The Majestic Hotel KL are housed in the art deco style Tower Wing and the original part of the building known as the Majestic Wing. The Junior Suite we stayed at the Tower Wing was stylish, modern and exudes a classical charm with its four poster bed and plush bedding. But what appealed to the two kids most was the bathroom which came with its own free standing bathtub. Needless to say, they were granted their wish of night soaks before bedtime. It was quite comical to see little Buddy enjoying his baths so much.
The Orchid Conservatory
This is the very first hotel we’ve stayed in which has its own orchid conservatory. It’s so special to step into the air-conditioned conservatory and be surrounded by so many varieties of beautiful orchids. We took the chance to snap some family photos for memory’s sake. The hotel also serves afternoon tea inside the conservatory (advance reservation is needed). The Orchid Conservatory would make such a beautiful venue for intimate celebrations like wedding solemnisations too.
Dinner (Buffet) at the Cantango:
The main restaurant at the Hotel Majestic, Contango has many surprises.
We had our first meal at the Hotel Majestic right here at the Cantango. The first thing that surprised us was how big this restaurant actually is. The front entrance doesn’t do the restaurant justice – walk right in and you would see that it’s divided into three large parts demarcated by 3 large service islands with staff preparing the food and dishing them out right in front of you.
We’ve had our fair share of hotel buffets but the selection here were really a class above – from fresh Sashimi to the crackling thin-crust Pizza, from the North Indian Paneer dish to the Tempura. And the desserts…simply heavenly! Every dish we sampled were very well prepared. It is no wonder that even on a weekday night like this the place was packed with corporate executives and families.
Apart from the food the other surprise is how warm, approachable and attentive the staff were. For a restaurant that was running at full capacity the evening we visited, the staff was top notch – able to anticipate our needs while those at the serving stations were gamely engaged with the guests in casual conversations. Impressive! A must try would be the Ox tail Soup, the Tiger Prawns, Sashimi, Japanese Grill, Tempura, Pulut Hitam (Glutinous Black Rice Dessert) and Ice–cream.
Breakfast at the Contango:
After a satisfying night’s rest at our exquisite Junior Suite, we were ready for breakfast. Breakfast is served at the Contango but this time, in a far more intimate atmosphere, we were able to enjoy the hotel’s modest selection of international food. From cold cuts to piping hot dim sum, sausages to fresh fruit juices, these are all welcomed selection of the hotel’s breakfast spread. Delicious and well-prepared. We particularly like that we could get freshly blended fruit juices and among others, freshly cooked noodle dishes and authentic Malaysian breakfast items.
Service again was top notch. Never missing a beat in anticipating their patron’s needs. We’re starting to miss this hotel even before we leave.
The Majestic Spa:
As discerning travellers we’ve enjoyed and experienced spa and massage treatments around the world, from Bali to the Bosphurus, but it takes the massage experience right here in the Majestic KL to remind us of what true pampering means. As husband and wife, there are the odd things we disagree on but when it comes to the massage treatments we experienced at the Majestic Spa, we both unanimously give an ‘That was excellent!’ verdict.
Angie and I each enjoyed a 90-minute session of massage in a couple room. The session started with a foot-bath using lavender infused water and ended with a sea-salt scrub. Every step of the way the treatment was not rushed and our respectively masseuse highlighted the items used and its significant. We were pleasant surprised to note that some of the treatment ingredients such as the lavender, was produced by the hotel’s own English Garden. Impressive!
One would expect most hotels of the Majestic’s stature to pamper with conducive venue –one that is quiet, comfortable and exuding a sense of calm and serenity and it was so however what is truly luxurious would be the finer touches, literally, that the masseuse gives. It’s hard to explain in words of the finer but significant touches which the masseuse would fold the towels, caress our muscles while giving the long firm strokes of the Malaya massage – the hotel’s signature massage treatment. Angie, who enjoyed the Aromatherapy massage, agrees wholeheartedly that the massage session made the day for us. If you can get someone to care for the kids, this is certainly worth the while and would be perfect pampering treat to cap off your KL trip.
Lunch at the Colonial Café:
We had our lunch at the Colonial Café which serve a mix of western and local Hainanese dishes. Located at the Majestic Wing, having a meal here is a distinctive experience one can only savour at The Majestic Hotel KL.
The meal was simply delicious and no effort spared in giving guests the freshest of ingredients –oh the forest freshness of the mushrooms to the thick, yet tender and juicy slab of choice tenderloin. The mushroom soup was made from 3-types of fresh mushrooms while the lobster bisque sparks a myriad of smokey, deep, rich flavours.
While the food standard there was exceptional, the service level also stood out. The café supervisor Joel and his team made sure we and the other guests were well-served without intruding into our privacy.
Day 3 saw us taking a much slower pace here in KL. After a late breakfast at the Contango, we hopped onto the hotel’s free shuttle service to nearby Mid-Valley Mega Mall: a large upmarket shopping mall 10 minutes away from the hotel. Apart from this, the hotel’s complimentary shuttle also ferries guests to Starhill Plaza and KL Sentral – the capital’s main train station which services trains from the International Airport as well. How convenient!
After spending a good part of the afternoon shopping, we returned to The Majestic Hotel for their afternoon tea at the Colonial Café.
Afternoon Tea at Colonial Café:
Holidays are made of these: moments that ‘force’ us to slow down and enjoy one another’s company. Nothing does that better than having an English tea, complete with scones, clotted cream, fresh strawberry jams accompanied by canapés and cakes. One word describes it: Heavenly.
Indeed, not only was the fellowship memorable –being able to have the family sit down with the matriarch of the home, my mother, and enjoying some fine English tea experience. Having it at the Colonial Café certainly enhanced that experience. We chatted, we laughed as we shared stories over the fine items being served in a bespoke serving stand while we sipped away at our beverages served in fine bone china while seated on plush old English sofa. What bliss!
Teatime at the Colonial Café offers an intimate place to reconnect and recharge. Where the passing of time is slowed down and we rediscover the beauty of face to face conversations…much like how it was like in the 1930s.
Every evening, guests can unwind over a drink at The Bar and enjoy jazzy performances by the live band formed by the descendants of the legendary Maestro Alfonso Soliano, a musical family whose traditions date back to the nation’s history. Another thumbs up for the hotel!
The Majestic Hotel, KL is an outstanding member of the ‘Leading Hotels of the World’ – a small and exclusive class of hotels par excellence. It’s one thing to proclaim your association or even to hang a plaque to announce it; it’s another to deliver that promise. For us, The Majestic Hotel KL over-delivered through the sincere and finer touches exhibited by its staff member and its quality experiences. The Majestic Hotel KL has lived up to its name in the test of time and will continue to do so.
Information on the Hotel:
Situated opposite the old railway station on the historical mile of Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin, The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur includes the original Hotel Majestic, an iconic 1930s colonial heritage landmark which has served as an integral part of the city’s vibrant past; playing venue of choice to glamorous social get-togethers, historical events and as a luxe home-away-from-home for visiting dignitaries. The hotel is conveniently close to Kuala Lumpur Sentral Station and its express link to Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Kuala Lumpur City Centre and the Golden Triangle are just twenty minutes away by car.
This luxurious art deco hotel is the only one in Kuala Lumpur to be included in The Leading Hotels of the World’s luxury hotel collection. Opening on December 1st 2012, The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur is positioned to share the glamour, heritage and success of its predecessor as a YTL Classic Hotel. For more information, visit www.majestickl.com.
Disclaimer: We were invited to experience The Majestic Hotel, KL for the purposes of this review. All photos, videos and opinions are, as usual, ours. No monetary compensation was received.