Whether you’re a frequent business traveller or out on a family holiday, finding the perfect place to stay is often difficult, especially in cities offering a kaleidoscope of choices. If you’re planning a trip to Kuala Lumpur, here are 5 insider tips to keep in mind:
- Traffic jam can be a nightmare: Stay somewhere with easy access
Many cities in Southeast Asia are known for their traffic jams, and Kuala Lumpur is no exception. Nothing is more frustrating and time-wasting than being stuck in meandering traffic. For work trips or city tours within the Golden Triangle, the heart of modern Kuala Lumpur, consider hotels that allow you to hop on and off the light rail transits (LRT) and monorail stations for easy and quick access.
- The best form of rejuvenation and invigoration: Mother Nature
In the words of John Muir: “In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” Always pick a place that is near to a park or nature reserve to wake up to a relaxing view, or to unwind amidst busy days of meetings or sightseeing. Scientific studies by physician Eva Selhub and naturopath Alan Logan have shown that just spending 20 minutes in vegetation-rich nature improves your vitality and gives you the emotional resilience against the hard knocks of life.
Thankfully, despite Kuala Lumpur being the capital of Malaysia, it is not entirely a concrete jungle. Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve – Kuala Lumpur’s only surviving primary tropical rainforest, and Taman KLCC for example, are two parks in Kuala Lumpur that offer you that much deserved respite from the hustle and bustle of city life.
- English is not the official business language: Be prepared
For all travellers especially, it is important to know that English is widely used in service industries but it is not the official business language. You will have better luck being understood in Bahasa Melayu (or Malay). As such, to ensure your needs during your stay are well understood and taken care of, always pick a property that is managed by a reliable hospitality company with local or regional portfolio.
- Stretch your Ringgit: Get far more for less
Choose your accommodation wisely: If you do not need a grand ballroom, designer carpet or chandelier for your family vacation or business trip, then pick an accommodation that comes without it. Look for hotels that offer packages to give you value for money e.g. family packages for trips with the family, room with breakfast options, etc. Those will help you save more than a ringgit or two.
- Stay on plan: Stick to hotel restaurant
It is undisputable: Malaysia has one of the best local street food especially in their pasar malam (night market) such as Jalan Alor in Kuala Lumpur. However, just a word of advice: If you have an all-important meeting or if the vacation is an annual family time together, it is recommended to stick to a hotel with a restaurant to avoid any disruptions to plans especially for breakfast which is irrefutably the most important meal of the day. For those with a strict diet, consider the option of an apartment or an apartment-style hotel that comes with a kitchen or kitchenette.
With these 5 tips to help you pick the perfect accommodation in Kuala Lumpur, there are several hotels and apartments you could consider. For example, there is Oasia Suites Kuala Lumpur (opening in April 2016) which is a hotel with apartment suites located in the Golden Triangle at the foot of Bukit Nanas, and walking distance to Bukit Nanas monorail station; and Sri Tiara Residences, which is located on a charming hillside in the exclusive neighbourhood of Taman Seputeh with close proximity to Mid Valley. Check out Far East Hospitality at http://www.stayfareast.com for more information. For further details on Oasia Suites Kuala Lumpur, visit http://www.stayfareast.com/oasia.
Elaine Seah is a veteran traveller, frequently shuffling between Singapore and Malaysia for work-related trips over the past 10 years. She is the Group Director of Brand Incorporated (http://www.brand-incorporated.com), one of the leading boutique consumer lifestyle public relations agencies in Singapore and Malaysia.