In October 2018, I checked into the Park-View Junior Suite at Four Seasons Kuala Lumpur, which is located in the bustling Golden Triangle neighbourhood and overlooks the KLCC Park. The 209-room hotel, takes up the first 21 floors of the 65-storey Four Seasons Place Kuala Lumpur, which also comprises The Shoppes, a six-floor luxury retail and dining shopping platform, as well as 242 Private Residences from the 22nd floor onwards.
The UTW (“Under Ten Words”): Ultra-luxurious property with great dining options and celebrity sighting potential.
The must-dos (if any): Dine at Yun House, have drinks at Bar Trigona.
FOUR SEASONS KUALA LUMPUR
The hotel immediately establishes its hyper levels of luxury the moment you set foot into the ground floor lobby, playing it all high ceilings, generous brass and cream marble. As you traverse the halls and corridors of the hotel, you pass the occasional sculpture or pottery, each possessing a certain degree of importance in its isolation of showcase. The never-ending mirrors and reflective surfaces play on your spatial perception, and you are drawn into its sense of expanse and opulent infinity.
In terms of aesthetic, the hotel feels like a cross between two new Bangkok properties I checked out earlier this year – the very luxurious Waldorf Astoria Bangkok and the minimalist classiness of Park Hyatt Bangkok.
I had initially booked the 58-64sqm Club Premier Park-View Room, but on account of how the stay was to celebrate a birthday, I was graciously upgraded to the 74sqm Park-View Junior Suite. (The hotel also prepared a birthday cake as well as lined the bathtub with rose petals for me, which was very kind and thoughtful.)
Overlooking the verdant and water-centric KLCC Park, and with Executive Lounge access, the Park-View Junior Suite pairs brassy accents with broody shades of grey in its brand of understated opulence. The suite features a bedroom with corner floor-to-ceiling windows, a lounge area with a dining table, as well as a mini-bar with coffee and tea-making facilities (teas are from Harney & Sons). There are automated systems linked to the sheers and drapes for all the windows in the suite.
The bathroom features both a rainfall shower as well as a bathtub next to the window, while the toilet boasts an impressive Kohler automated flush system panel. There is a power socket next to the vanity for your ease of hair-drying. Amenities are from Roja Parfums, which is widely recognised as one of the world’s most luxurious fragrance houses.
A distraction from the luxury of the proceedings is how noticeable it is from the inside that the exterior facade of the hotel is fairly dirty. Construction scribbles are left on internal window frames and panels without being painted over. An attempt to take a picture of the view from the suite is affected by exterior murkiness. I do hope they resolve these issues before the official opening of the hotel in November 2018.
The hotel’s pool and 24-hr fitness centre are situated on Level 7A, along with the hotel’s The Spa and related amenities like the steam and sauna rooms.
The Spa includes eight individual treatment rooms, including two treatment rooms designed for couples and an ultra-luxurious Spa Suite, as well as a hair and nail salon. The treatments are not your usual garden variety pressing and prodding sessions – think 24-Carat Gold Facial, a Gemo-Thermal Salt Body Polish (whatever that means) and the Meso BT-Lift, a non-surgical face lift which purports to reduce the appearance of fine lines. The indulgence and self-love is real.
Celebrity sightings were abound at the pool – I shared the same water body with a famous Malaysian actress as well as a Malaysian actor, model and TV host with some 3.9 million Instagram followers. (That’s his sexy back in the second photo!) In addition, a world-famous diva purportedly stayed a week at the hotel after her first night at Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur. The star quotient is pretty awesome.
The hotel serves breakfast at Curate, the hotel’s all-day interactive and pork-free restaurant. The customary cereals, cold cuts, eggs and Western breakfast, juices, fruits, milk and pastries are present at the buffet line. In addition, regional sections such as Malay (sample: Nasi Lemak), Indian (sample: Lamb Malasa), Chinese (sample: Steamed Chicken Siew Mai) and Middle Eastern (sample: Batata Harra, a Lebanese vegetable dish, and the intriguingly-named Foul Mudammas made with fava beans, olive oil, onion, garlic, and cumin) are available for your international breakfast experience.
The noodle station presents yong tau foo-esque ingredients such as fishballs, stuffed eggplant and bitter gourd in different soup bases such as prawn, vegetable and chicken soup.
Decadent by Four Seasons, the hotel’s dessert bar and cafe, is situated not within the hotel itself but at the basement level of The Shoppes at Four Seasons Place, serving up handcrafted sweets including pastries, macarons, cakes, chocolate brittle and gelati.
The Lounge is the hotel’s sophisticated lobby lounge, being an ideal setting for tai tai-esque languid afternoon tea sessions.
Pool Bar & Grill serves up Middle Eastern mezze and drinks in the day, transforming into a stylish and laid-back shisha lounge and grill when night falls.
Serving both traditional and modern takes on Cantonese cuisine, with a razor-sharp focus on style and presentation, Yun House triumphs on its own merits beyond its Four Seasons association. The 5th floor venue itself is arrestingly chic and modern, playing it all deep colours, plush seats and dramatic walls (some textured, others wallpapered).
I had my initial reservations about Yun House, in no small measure due to the pork-free nature of the proceedings. (Is pork-free dim sum, dim sum?) However, at the end of lunch, I realised that at no point during the meal did I miss the absence of oink.
An uber-luxe element often finds its way into each dim sum dish, and while in some instances such element merely serves as fancy wallpaper for some added class (Steamed Crystal Shrimp Dumpling with Fish Roe), in others the element does bring something surprising in terms of taste or texture (Steamed Chicken and Seafood Dumpling with Abalone).
My favourite was the Steamed Foie Gras Dumpling with Scallop. Like Willy Wonka’s three-course dinner chewing gum or similar, the dumpling brings you to different taste and textural places in those fleeting seconds it spends in your mouth – the initial sweetness of soft scallop is quickly overridden by the burst of briny saltiness from the roe, and then the firm crunch of prawn and the pasty endeavour of the earthy, rich foie gras have a bit of a showdown. Masterful.
I would skip the more ordinary looking dishes such as the Wok Fried Carrot Cake with Spicy Scallop Sauce and the particularly heinous Rice Roll stuffed with Dough Fritters and Dried Shrimp, which deserves a vicious dropping through a trapdoor on a television gameshow for its aridity.
Discreetly tucked behind the back of The Lounge on Level 6B, Bar Trigona has already taken the Kuala Lumpur cocktail scene by storm, not just because of its outlandishly lavish interiors (which has more reflective surfaces than a house of mirrors), but also because of the quality of tipples involved.
Helmed by head bartender Ashish Sharma, formerly from the renown and award-winning Manhattan Bar at Regent Singapore, Bar Trigona – named after a stingless Malaysian bee – proudly champions local ingredients such as honey from the eponympius bee. These efforts are most spectacularly presented through the tequila-based Bitters & Smoke cocktail, which is dramatically poured from a clear bottle containing a giant honeycomb into your cocktail glass. Prepare the phone cameras in advance.
The bar bites are as sumptuous as the furnishings – the Lobster Satay plays it indulgently soft and mushy like a Guang Liang track (that’s a Malaysian Chinese singer – Malaysian Correspondent) while the slightly spicy Trigona’s Nasi Lemak is a chic and ballsy (oh brother – Pun Police) tribute to its source material.
Situated at Level 7B, the Executive Lounge plays like a posh private study, with a more casual outdoor seating area overlooking the pool for an al fresco experience. The lounge offers a modest breakfast (Nasi Lemak is a safe and reliable choice) and afternoon tea selection, as well as evening cocktails and canapes.
Cocktail hour is always my favourite part of any executive lounge experience. The Executive Lounge serves up one dish at its hot food station each evening, with Smoked Duck Aglio Olio being the featured dish during my visit. The Vermicelli and Yam Pastry, while not being particularly fancy, did their job and then some, and being the hardcore cheaponana that I am (that’s colloquial for cheapskate – Vernacular Advisor), I saved money on dinner by hitting them hard.
The selection of spirits was fairly limited, making evening cocktails a relatively subdued affair. I made my own Negroni, although admittedly I was not sure if guests are supposed to. (Despite it being a quiet evening, nobody came to ask for my order or offer a menu, which was strange.) They served pretty good Pol Roger champagne though.
I have reservations about Malaysian hotels due to the liquor controls and ingredient limitations involved, which inevitably affect the executive club lounge and dining experience. However, this hotel has been quite the exception on many fronts, and is likely one of the best luxurious properties in Kuala Lumpur. It remains to be seen if new hotels in Kuala Lumpur (or existing ones which I have not experienced) can rival the hotel in its luxe opulence and dining quality standards.
There is an on-going 15% Introductory Offer on all room rates, as well as the possibility of an exclusive offer of USD$100 F&B credit when you book directly through the website.
Four Seasons Kuala Lumpur
Four Seasons Place
145 Jalan Ampang
50450 Kuala Lumpur