In September 2019, I checked into the King Deluxe Room at Alila Bangsar, which is situated between Brickfields (Kuala Lumpur’s own Little India) and the trendy Bangsar neighbourhood. The 143-room property is a bridge away from Bangsar LRT station, 45 minutes from the airport, and a ten-minute complimentary shuttle bus ride away from Bangsar’s popular dining offerings such as PULP by Papa Pahelta, VCR, Antipodean, Breakfast Thieves, Jaslyn Cakes and Alexis Bistro.
After the recent acquisition of the Alila brand by Hyatt, World of Hyatt members are now able to accrue and redeem points at all Alila properties.
The UTW (“Under Ten Words”): Sky-high zen and minimalist, contemporary chic in Bangsar.
Must Dos: Enjoy the beautifully appointed room, take a nice long shower, order in-room dining, take copious amounts of photographs of the property.
Designed by Shanghai-based architectural design firm Neri & Hu (also behind Taipei’s Kimpton Da An Hotel and The Shanghai EDITION), the hotel is perched atop the highest floors of the sleek, dark-clad monolithic mixed-use development The Establishment. Once you step into the lobby on the 41st level, you are immediately enveloped by a strong sense of calm – the soaring three-storey garden atrium which greets you blends fresh white walls, woody and leafy trees, abundant natural lighting and wood, stone and brass textures in a package that is minimalist, zen and warmly inviting, almost evoking Aman Tokyo-type feels.
A flight of concrete steps from the reception area lead down towards the beautiful, Japanese-inspired open-air swimming pool in the middle of the 40th level, with an accompanying wooden deck of sun loungers probably intended less for sun worshipping and more for lazy mid-day lounging. The atrium also houses a spacious fitness centre as well as various dining concepts (rooftop social bar Lido, French restaurant Entier, American glamour-inspired bar concept Pacific Standard Bar as well as The Pool Bar), all of which offer pleasing city views through tall windows.
Guest rooms are located between levels 35 – 40. One of the hotel’s unique features is the Alila Living Room on each room level, a social area at the lift lobby where you can enjoy complimentary beverages, pastries and snacks (although hotels like Rosewood Hong Kong have since taken that concept and dialled it up to eleven).
KING DELUXE ROOM
Boasting soaring windows which welcome glorious amounts of sunshine and offer uninterrupted views of the city, the King Deluxe Room adopts the same minimalist and zen design aesthetic as the lobby, with its white walls and blonde woods punctuated by distinct black lines and brass accents. A clear partition separates the bedroom from the spacious living room area which is furnished with sofa seating, coffee tables, a dining table and an ironing board. The pantry and minibar is curiously unstocked, save for coffee bags and tea blends (from unassuming local brands Aik Cheong and Boh respectively) as well as large glass bottles of drinking water.
Instead of offering paper menus, the property offers room service and other amenity services via the television console. Although I was tempted by the Halibut Fish & Chips as well as Spicy Jumbo Prawn Aglio Olio, I eventually went for the Crispy Big Chicken Nasi Lemak (MYR 43). The positively gargantuan-sized fowl had an indulgently formidable girth and length which would trigger appreciative oooohs while the delectable okra was coated with an irresistible lao gan ma chilli that threatened to steal the limelight, although the hearty experience probably staved off nasi lemak cravings for at least three months.
The bathroom adopts a decidedly edgier approach with white tile walls, stone sinks and light-framed mirrors. The rainfall shower is commendably powerful, and the energising experience makes up for the conspicuous lack of a stone bathtub. Bathroom amenities are from their in-house Alila Living brand, and are provided in large refillable dispensers.
Breakfast is served at Entier, a French restaurant helmed by Japanese chef Masashi Horiuchi who had previously worked at the Michelin-starred L’atelier de Joel Rubuchon. The breakfast experience includes a small buffet of pastries, cold cuts, fruits and juices along with your choice from five different breakfast sets – International (eggs, beef bacon, chicken sausage and buttermilk pancakes), Oriental (pan-fried chicken dumplings, chicken congee with soft-boiled egg, fried noodles), Malay (nasi lemak with chicken rendang and curry puff), Indian (roti canai with chicken curry, vegetarian dhal and vadeh) and Vegetarian (steamed mixed vegetables, roasted potatoes, vegetarian dhal and tomato chutney).
Pacific Standard Bar serves up playful tipples inspired by classic cocktail recipes and old-world American glamour (sample cocktails: Bel Air Fizz, Billboard Martini, Hollywood Highball) in a chic and sophisticated setting. During my stay, I had the Pandan Fat Fashioned (house-made copra fat washed rum, sweet vermouth sous vide with pandan, house-made kaffir lime cordial) from the seasonal “I Love MY” menu to commemorate Malaysia Day, and it was quite the potent beverage to kickstart a fun night out in Bangsar. Unfortunately, the two other bars in the hotel – rooftop concept Lido and the poolside The Pool Bar – were unavailable during my stay due to the haze situation.
Helmed by Sam Neoh who used to head the popular P.S. Cafe concept in Singapore, the popular ground floor casual dining concept Botanico + Co serves an extensive menu of sharing platters, pizzas, Western and Asian mains as well as desserts in a lushly landscaped setting.
Given its attractive price point, beautiful interior design and unique sky-high calm, Alila Bangsar is highly recommended as an accommodation choice while you are in Kuala Lumpur.
58 Jalan Ang Seng
Kuala Lumpur 50470