Sunway Putra Hotel Kuala Lumpur Launches “Stay-Kawtim, Makan Unlimited!” Package

Staycations don’t have to be pricey affairs.

If you’re keen to explore the city over the weekend, book a stay for you and the whole family at Sunway Putra Hotel Kuala Lumpur, which has just recently launched its new “Stay Kaw-tim, Makan Unlimited!” package, offering unbeatable value at an affordable price. Priced at just RM238 nett per room per night, the package combines:

Superior King Room

  • A 2D1N stay in a Superior Room for two (2) adults and two (2) children (under 12 years old), inclusive of breakfast.
  • An 8-hour eat-all-you-can spree of a la carte orders with over 25 specialties to choose from including Malay, Chinese, Indian, Western and vegetarian favourites and appetising selections for children starting from 12.00pm at the Coffee House.
  • A minimum of RM100.00 in redeemable cash vouchers from participating tenants plus amazing discounts and offers at the adjacent Sunway Putra Mall, which is directly linked to the hotel.

*Terms &Conditions apply.

Chicken Chop

eat all you can on ala carte orders! 

The all-inclusive staycation package is perfect for families and friends who want to take the opportunity to explore Kuala Lumpur’s Diamond Triangle and rediscover the city’s many hidden gems. The package is available for stays on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and on Public Holidays, while bookings are to be made from now until 31 August 2020, for a stay period from 14 August to 27 December 2020. While the check-in time is at 3PM, guests can arrive from 12pm onwards to start their 8-hour Makan Unlimited. Make bookings now at www.sunwayhotels.com/sunway-putra/offers/stay-kawtim-makan-unlimited. or call +603 40409888 / email spkl.reservations@sunwayhotels.com.

4 REASONS TO STAY AT SUNWAY PUTRA HOTEL KUALA LUMPUR

Convenient Location

Sunway Putra Hotel Reception

The 5-star, 650-room hotel is nestled in the heart of KL’s Diamond Triangle – known for its vibrant streets lined with trendy cafes and bars, bustling markets and landmarks – making Sunway Putra a great base for your exploration of the city. Aside from being close to hotspots like KL Sentral, Publika, Mont Kiara and Bangsar, the hotel is also conveniently linked to the PWTC LRT station, so you can hop on and get to the KL city centre in Bukit Bintang in under 10 minutes. You can also opt for a semi-guided tour of KL via the Hop-On Hop-Off double decker tour bus.

In short, SPHKL is close to the action, but away from the crowds.

State of the art Facilities 

Fitness Centre

Swimming Pool

Spacious, comfy rooms with top notch amenities, a swimming pool with gorgeous views of the city, a gym where you can work up a sweat (in air conditioned comfort!) – the hotel has got it all. You can indulge in delicious food at the Coffee House as well.

There’s an award-winning mall just steps away 

Sunway Putra Hotel Mall Link

The hotel is part of an integrated development and is direclty linked to Sunway Putra Mall, a shopping haven with eight floors that host over 300 international and local brands. Shop to your hearts content, enjoy the recreational and entertainment facilities such as cinema, indoor children’s playground and karaoke centre, and tuck into delicious food from over 80 renowned F&B outlets and specialty restaurants.

Safety is of the utmost priority 

Regular Sanitisation in key hotel areas

Let’s not kid ourselves – we are in the middle of a pandemic. But given that everyone adheres to SOPs and hygiene practices, there’s no reason why we can’t go for holidays to help boost the local economy. To ensure complete guest safety, the hoel has implemented new normal standard operating procedures (SOPS) and enhanced is hygiene practices and procotols. The Sunway Safe Stay programme, which is implemented at all Sunway brand hotels, incorporates five pillars of safety and hygiene comprising over 30 protocols of heightened cleaning practices – so you can check in and stay with peace of mind.

DID YOU KNOW? 

With the resumption of interstate travel within Malaysia, Malaysians can take advantage of the personal income tax relief of RM1,000 on expenditure related to domestic tourism and hotel accommodation – more reason to enjoy holidays locally. The period for claiming the income tax relief has been extended to 31 December 2021.

Also announced as part of the National Economic Recovery Plan by the Government of Malaysia in June 2020, a service tax exemption on accommodation and related services has been extended to 30 June 2021. Hotel rates are now quoted nett in Ringgit Malaysia (RM) inclusive of a 0% service tax. Additionally, an exemption of tourism tax (TTx) will be given to all foreign tourists staying at any accommodation in Malaysia until 30 June 2021.

SUNWAY PUTRA HOTEL 

100 Jalan Putra, 50350 Kuala Lumpur

General inquiries: +603 4040 9888 or email spkl.enquiry@sunwayhotels.com

 

*Photos courtesy of Sunway Putra Hotel Kuala Lumpur

KLoe Hotel – Kuala Lumpur’s Latest Boutique Hotel For Creative Nomads and Travellers

Earlier in February, I had the privilege of attending the launch of  KLoe – Kuala Lumpur’s latest boutique hotel. Located just a stone’s throw away from the city’s Golden Triangle area, the 85-room hotel is designed as a celebration of artistic pursuit – and it shows through the painstakingly curated art pieces, creative decor, and warm and friendly service. The name is a playful portmanteau coined after the capital city’s colloquial initials and the Greek word  for ‘tender, young shoot’.

Kloe Hotel

In a saturated industry that often involves the same old offerings, KLoé’s bold architecture and interior design is a breath of fresh air. Being a homegrown brand, the team has also worked to ensure that they collaborate with local brands and artisans to come up with a hotel that reflects Malaysian contemporary art and design.

Unfortunately, the timing was horrible, as not long after its opening, the movement control order came into place. As an independent hotel group without the backing of a major international hospitality chain, I can imagine that it’s going to be tough for the team at KLoé. Having visited the place first hand, I can tell how much effort and love went into creating a thoughtful and beautiful space for guests to unwind.

Since there is a call to #supportlocalbrands after the quarantine is lifted, here are six reasons why you should check in for a stay at KLoé after the MCO:

Rooms are designed to be comfortable, and to inspire

Kloe Hotel

KLoé’s spaces are designed not just for how they look, but how they feel to guests. Rooms are awash in cool, calm tones of duck-egg blue and sage to put its inhabitant’s mind at ease. Copper-trimmed open storage and vanity counters, coupled with bespoke mid-century furnishings give the rooms a modern, understated feel.  Lending credence to the saying that luxury is in the touch, real oak floors and hand-poured terrazzo tables are featured in all rooms. Savvy globetrotters will find all their necessities covered – from apps to mirror your devices and in-house designed city guides, to artisanal snacks and amenities by cult Australian skin and bodycare brand Aesop.

A celebration of local artistry

KLoé has worked with a local curator to furnish every guest room with original pieces of art, and commissioned artisans to create the hotel’s ​objets d’art ​, from  hand-thrown ceramic lampshades to handcrafted desks that fit snugly in each room.The hotel’s lobby, given the warmer moniker ​The Living Room ​, is a light-filled space housed under a  greenhouse roof. Curl up with a good book from the floor-to-ceiling  bookshelf, browse through the rotating showcase of artisanal crafts or share a 10-foot communal table with a fellow traveller or a co-working city native. Among the locally crafted art and furniture brands and artisans are Lisette Inc, Bendang Studio, thirty3eleven, Stephanie NG Design, Metisse Maison, Aureole Design and Wynk Collaborative.

Made by creatives, for creatives 

Kloe Hotel

The highlight at KLoé is its five one-of-a-kind Lofts, each outfitted to celebrate a particular creative pursuit, whether its art, music, food, plants, or books. To achieve this, KLoé teamed up with five different personalities, all of whom are well-respected thought leaders in their respective fields, to design the lofts’ guest experience.

Kloe Hotel

In ​Room to Listen​, guests will find a vinyl collection curated to suit an array of musical tastes. The mid-century modern room features a built-in sound system centred by a vinyl turntable, and lounge furniture for you to sink into. The room is curated by Rudy La Faber, a creative director in advertising, DJ and owner of left-field music venue Fono, as well as founder of music collective Public School.

Kloe Hotel

Kloe Hotel

(Above) Room to Draw; Joee Cheong 

Unleash your inner artist in ​Room to  Draw, curated by artist and creative entrepreneur Joee Cheong. The room is built as a cosy work studio equipped with brushes, watercolour and acrylic paint, canvas and sketchbooks. If the love of nature fuels your soul, check in to the ​Room To Grow, a verdant conservatory-like loft, curated by and featuring terrariums by Ohsum Mossum founder Ronnie Khoo.

Kloe Hotel

Kloe Hotel

(Above) Room to Grow; Ohsum Mossum founder Ronnie Khoo

Kloe Hotel

You may have seen Singapore-based celebrity chef, food writer and host Sarah Huang Benjamin on TV – she’s also the curator behind Room to Taste.  While you won’t be able to cook per se, the room celebrates all things gourmet and epicurean, with a communal dining table, a collection of cookbooks, and a personal pantry of artisanal produce plus a bespoke kitchen counter with ingredients to prepare your own snacks and drinks.

Kloe Hotel

Last but not least, my favourite is the Room to Read, curated by Nazir Harith Fadzilah, founder of independent bookshop and event space Tintabudi. Inspired by the modern charm of independent bookstores, the room features floor to ceiling shelves of books dedicated to art, culture, philosophy, poetry and literature. The armchair in the room is good enough to sleep in!

Delicious food 

Kloe Hotel

In a country where food is central to the cultural experience, KLoé hopes to distinguish itself as a  destination for dining and conviviality. ​Lucky Coffee , owned and operated by KLoé and sister to the neighbourhood cafe LOKL Coffee Company in KL, offers sandwiches, ready meals, nitro drinks, and other specialty coffee beverages in ​The Living Room. ​

Kloe Hotel

Monroe

Kloe Hotel

Meanwhile Monroe, a breezy California-styled bistro, serves comfort food based around  family and community. To further elevate its dining experience, KLoé is partnering with Empire Eats Group from Singapore to bring its award-winning tasting room and cocktail bar The Secret Mermaid to KLoé, where it will offer the largest selection of American spirits in Kuala Lumpur.

Health and Wellness 

Kloe Hotel

KLoé houses ​B.est Mind & Body ​that will offer a holistic approach to fitness and mindfulness  through a range of yoga, meditation, and fitness sessions.​ ​Alternatively, take a refreshing plunge into the adjacent pool, or have lounge in one of the many comfy and Instagrammable poolside cabanas.

Kloe Hotel

Malaysian Hospitality

As an independent hotel, KLoé’s team of hosts are empowered to better their guests’ stay  in personal ways and are always willing to provide an insider’s guide to the city.  Ng Ping Ho, Managing Director of Kindness of Strangers, the group that owns KLoé Hotel said:  “At KLoé we hope to provide what we believe true luxury really is: a haven where you are shown kindness; where time moves slowly, so you can linger, reflect, connect, and be inspired to explore  your creativity through art, design, music and food.”

Kloe Hotel

Rooms start at RM400++ per night. Book and stay until May 31, 2020 to enjoy 30% off published rates.

KLoe Hotel 

227 Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Reservations: +603-2772-1313 (24 hours)

kloehotel.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hotel Review: Citizen M Kuala Lumpur

Hey guys! Sorry for the lack of updates – I had my wedding ceremony over the weekend and it was crazy. Now that it’s back to regular programming, I’m procrastinating by blogging instead of doing actual work, lol.

N and I recently checked into Citizen M Kuala Lumpur, a stylish boutique hotel in the heart of the city. This is the Dutch brand’s first hotel in Southeast Asia, so we KL-ites are pretty blessed! All Citizen M hotels share the same thing in common, namely location + comfort at an affordable price.

VIDEO REVIEW AND MY NASALLY VOICE: 

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We start off with the self-check in process, which is done at computer terminals at the foyer. The process is seamless, convenient and totally automated. All you have to do is key in your details, pay by card or app, and get your room cards.  For the non tech-savvy, fret not as there are actual humans on hand to assist.

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Doing away with the conventional rigidities of five-star luxury hotels, the hotel is quirky and fun, with cool inspiring spaces that are designed to appeal to a younger crowd. The lounge area boasts a modern and contemporary look, its open spaces blending into each other seamlessly. Every nook and corner seems to be occupied by some amazing art piece/installation or other, so Instagrammers will have a field day.

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What I imagine my home to be like. It actually reminds me a lot of the Lyon Housemuseum in Melbourne!

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Our room is small but cleverly designed and furnished to make it look more spacious – almost like a studio apartment. The platform bed is flush against the window, with blinds for privacy and to shield against the sun. Both the bed and the pillows are extremely comfy – not too soft (which tends to give me back aches) nor too rigid. Of course, the view of the street is awesome – I feel like I’m in New York, surrounded by towering skyscrapers!

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Room amenities include a safe under the bed, a mini fridge, and these cheeky toiletries. Since the hotel is pretty tech-driven, you get a tablet that acts as a command centre for everything in the room, including the blinds, lighting, temperature as well as media such as TV and radio. There is also a ‘mood pad’ which allows you to select different ‘moods’, such as one which darkens the room and plays relaxing sleep music, and another that helps you to focus if you need to work. You can even adjust the lighting in the bathroom to suit different moods.

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Breakfast is served at the lounge/foyer. They don’t have a restaurant per se, so you can basically sit wherever you want.

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The selection is not fantastic, but what they do have is pretty tasty. For our meal, we had cold cuts of ham and cheese, bread, pastries, dimsum, chicken sausages and cereal with milk and fruit juice. They also serve salad, nasi lemak and porridge.

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The bar island where you can grab a couple of drinks after dark is the most striking fixture of the lobby, thanks to the chess-like black and white tile flooring and red bottles at the top.

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Bold, quirky and colourful best describe Citizen M Kuala Lumpur’s eclectic design. There is literally not a single corner that isn’t Instagrammable! In a way, it is also like an art gallery – N and I had a lot of fun looking and admiring each of the pieces, including:

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Portraits of famous artists and designers such as Yayoi Kusama and Frida Kahlo made from folded paper art 

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Hand sculptures depicting different gestures. I interpret them as a ‘story’ whereby everything starts off with A-OKs and likes, before ending in a handshake. Once the deal is sealed, the last hand flips the bird (I find it hilarious that they used an actual figure of a bird as part of the installation lolol)

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You also get some sexually suggestive installations…

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…along with something more blatant lol. Well, it IS a Dutch brand…

I am curious as to how a cock ring with a buzzer works. Aren’t you?

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A whole collection of popular fiction and rare titles for the bookworms

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The Mezzanine floor above the lounge is equally quirky and stylish. The meeting rooms are located on this floor, as well as workstations. The feeling is like that of one of those hipster co-working spaces in the Sillicon Valley, complete with sofas and stuff.

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That being said, there are some cons to Citizen M KL. If you’re looking for the full experience of a traditional five star hotel then look elsewhere – the hotel does not have facilities such as a gym or pool. Parking is another con: if you’re driving, the only place you can park is on the street (if you’re lucky) or at the open-air carpark next to the hotel, which charges RM12 per entry (additional RM7 if you’re staying overnight.) There isn’t much security since it’s an open-air space.

If you’re from out of town and not driving, Citizen M has an excellent location. It’s steps away from KL’s famous food street, Jalan Alor, and the glitzy shopping district of Bukit Bintang is just a couple of minutes away. There’s also a 7-11 downstairs if you need to grab some Indomie to satisfy your late night noodle cravings.

Rooms start from RM220++ per night.

CITIZEN M KUALA LUMPUR

128, Jalan Pudu, Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Bookings: Website

 

Review: Rest.Pause Rainforest Retreat @ Janda Baik, Pahang

Happy CNY, everyone! The Chinese New Year lasts for 15 days, so I’m not too late with my wishes! 😛

This year’s celebration was a little different. Instead of the usual balik kampung to Ipoh, the fam rented a bungalow in Janda Baik, Pahang for a 3D2N stay. Tucked among hills and greenery about an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur, the area is a popular tourist spot for those who like relaxation and nature.

Our accommodation was called Rest.Pause Rainforest Retreat – and it did not disappoint.

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Built on a hill slope, the house was spacious and beautifully designed, with all the comforts of a modern home, surrounded by lush greenery. There was a nicely kept garden at the back with its own fish pond, as well as a natural stream. There was also a caretaker on hand to take care of all our needs during our stay. He lived in a small but immaculately kept house just next to the main building, and kept the fattest chickens I had ever seen.

(Above) Spacious living room, complete with comfy couches, a large-screen TV and a selection of DVDS to watch. Tall wooden sliding doors opened up to the verandah, allowing for plenty of sunlight to filter in. The place was airy and bright.

 

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The dining area where we had most of our meals was outside on the verandah, affording us scenic views of the garden and surrounding jungle. It was lovely especially in the morning when a mist shrouded the trees and there was a cacophony of chirruping crickets and birds.

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Insert obligatory vain photo here.

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Our welcome drinks of sweet and fragrant pandan water.

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They also prepared a gift basket of snacks; peanuts, instant noodles and Mamee.

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There were four rooms in the bungalow – two on the ground floor, and two upstairs. Ideally, the house should fit a maximum of 15 people – we had 25 ._. They were still really accommodating and even prepared extra mattresses and pillows. Some of us slept in hallways and living rooms.

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View of garden from staircase window.

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One of the rooms upstairs. The setup was basic but comfy. The springy mattress wasn’t good but I slept on a thin one on the floor. Super comfy and cooling!

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Room shared with Moo, Pops and the Bro. I like small spaces and tight corners so you can guess which bed I ‘booked’ immediately upon entering the room. 😀

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The thing I liked most ? THEY HAD A MINI LIBRARY!!!! The bookworm in me shrieked with pleasure when I saw the cupboard of volumes just waiting to be flipped and caressed and devoured (figuratively speaking, of course). There were also some board games on the shelves underneath: UNO blocks, congkak, poker cards, Monopoly, chess.

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Picked up a gem of a book called Shantaram; but it was a long novel so I couldn’t finish it within 3 days. 😦

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Venturing out to explore the garden. Caretaker’s house (right).

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View of the bungalow from the garden.

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Bougainvilleas in bloom.

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Dinner on the first night was hotpot. The place had all the facilities we needed, included cutlery and pots – all we had to do was bring the food. It felt really warm and comforting to enjoy hotpot in the cooling weather!

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Breakfast the next morning was prepared by the caretaker and his wife – simple but tasty fare of fried eggs, sausages, toast and beans.

Janda Baik is close to many tourist spots, including Genting Highlands, Bukit Tinggi, Bentong and a couple of waterfalls. I wanted to stay in and read but the fam was bored so we drove up to Genting Highlands. It was my first time playing slot machines at the casin; it might have been beginner’s luck but I won some money – enough to treat the fam to a good lunch.

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Dinner on our second night was BBQ – the caretaker set up the charcoal and stoves for us on the front porch. The aunties also made a killer lap mei farn (rice with waxed meats).

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Breakfast on our final day was fluffy pancakes with honey and butter – washed down with steaming mugs of coffee and refreshing glasses of orange juice.

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I’d highly recommend Rest.Pause to those who love nature, and those who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city without driving too far. The Wifi is pretty wonky, which prompts you to tear your eyes away from the screen for awhile, and reconnect with nature, family and friends (in my case, I still had my nose in a book so, shrug). Everything was provided for – kitchen facilities, entertainment such as books / TV, even mosquito repellents and insect cream – so all you have to bring is yourself and the food. Travel is best by car as there is no public transport in the area. Cycling seems popular but I don’t recommend it as the roads are windy and narrow.

A stay at Rest.Pause costs approximately RM1,000 per night.

Bookings: rest-pause.com

REST.PAUSE RAINFOREST RETREAT 

Lot A293, Sum Sum, Jalan Tanarimba Pine, Tanarimba, 27540 Kampung Janda Baik, Pahang

 

Staying In A Capsule Hotel – Riccarton Jonkerview, Melaka

Capsule hotels were first mooted in Japan, during the economic boom of the 1980s. The concept came about as a solution for salarymen who needed a place to crash for the night after work and socialising into the wee hours of the morning. ‘Pods’ in these hotels often comprised of a basic, single bed, and perhaps a TV.

While they’re still used for this purpose today, capsule hotels have become a novelty for many travellers, especially backpackers, as they are cheap and provide a better semblance of privacy as compared to traditional shared hostels. The concept can now be found all over the world, including Malaysia.

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My (work) trip to Melaka was on a tight budget (the company wasn’t paying for it), so when I saw a promotion on Agoda for the Riccarton Jonkerview Cottage capsule hotel going for just RM36 per night, I snapped it up faster than Thanos. I was also curious as I had never stayed in one before. There were some hiccups at check-in, as the front desk staff was new and didn’t know what to do (her senior had to prompt her every step of the way, from asking for ID to asking for deposit payment), but nothing major.

There were lockers at the lobby where we had to store our shoes and put on house slippers, for cleanliness reasons. If you have baggage, there are larger storage lockers in the common area as well. Being the paranoid people that we were, we decided to stuff our backpacks inside the pod itself.

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The common area had a couple of chairs and tables + a water dispenser. Bathrooms were shared, but I have to say that everything was super clean and they had all the facilities: warm shower, shampoo, etc.

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Our pod was an upper one. My knees groaned in protest each time I had to climb up and down (which was fairly often to go to the toilet). I had a sudden feeling I was getting too old for this. That being said, the design was definitely interesting and unique. They looked more like space pods than anything else.

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The inside was surprisingly spacious, equivalent to a queen-sized bed. The mattress was thin but firm, and each pod came with a blanket, two pillows and towels. On the side of the panel was a small safe, light controls (you can switch the lights to different colours and have a rave party inside, I suppose), air conditioning control, USB plugs and a small mirror.

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There was an Android TV but their Wifi wasn’t working. Wi-Fi was only available at the lobby.

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When your s/o is more engrossed with playing games than cuddling with you. 😡

We didn’t spend that much time inside the pod since most of the day was spent exploring.

Now this has nothing to do with the comfort and cleanliness of the place and more to me being a spoiled brat, but I couldn’t sleep the entire night. I’m a light sleeper, and the sounds of the creaking (when people got up to use the bathroom, etc.) kept jolting me awake – but I guess it would have been the same if it was a hostel or shared dormitory. Being so close to the action can be a con, as there was loud music blasting away even at midnight, and the walls are thin enough that you’d hear it as if it was inside the pod.

If you’re used to staying in backpacker hostels and don’t mind the noise, the Riccarton Jonkerview Cottage Hotel is a steal. It’s also an interesting experience for anyone who has never stayed in a capsule hotel.

PROS

  • Convenient location (literally steps away from Jonker Street, close to Dutch Square)
  • Clean
  • Shower, locker facilities
  • Towels provided

CONS

  • Noisy
  • Limited parking (there is parking behind the hotel, but it’s usually full. We had to park one kilometre away).
  • No breakfast options, but there are plenty of restos and coffeeshops in the area

RICCARTON JONKERVIEW COTTAGE HOTEL 

No.3, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Taman Kota Laksamana, 76450 Melaka

Phone: 06-281 1691

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Review: Alila Bangsar – A Zen-Like Oasis in The Heart Of The City

Tucked in a quiet corner of the Brickfields neighbourhood in Kuala Lumpur, Alila Bangsar is a relatively new boutique hotel by Singapore-based luxury hotel and resort chain Alila; the brand’s first in Malaysia. The hotel has been gaining a steady clientele, mainly business folks and couples looking for a chill place to relax within the city, but still close enough to business and entertainment hubs.

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N and I checked in for a weekend staycation, and I was very impressed by the hotel’s distinctive look and design. Modern and zen-like, the lobby on Level 41 was decorated with lots of greenery, and there were floor to ceiling windows which allowed for plenty of sunlight to filter in + offered great views of the surrounding skyline.

We checked into a King Bed Studio Room with Balcony, which was extremely spacious at 38 square metres. The design followed the same vein as the rest of the hotel spaces, with lots of wood, as well as calming, subtle white and beige tones with darker accents.

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Among all the places I’ve stayed at, I think this has got to be my favourite hotel room by far! I’d be happy to come home to a studio apartment like this, to be honest. 🙂

I liked how areas such as the bathroom and the ‘balcony’ (essentially a small living room/work space) were partitioned, but still very open so as to give a sense of added space. Everything was also neatly tucked away, like the fridge and tea/coffee making facilities in the cupboard next to the TV. The warm, ambient lighting added to the overall cosiness.

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A very Instagrammable workspace

 

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Large bathroom with not one but two lighted mirrors!

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I liked the fact that the rain shower and the toilet were separate. No bathtubs since they’re big on being sustainable/environmentally-conscious here. Which means you don’t get the tiny bottles of shampoo and whatnot, but instead refillable pump bottles. They also don’t use plastic bottles, so you pour water from a glass bottle when needed.

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The King-sized bed was so massive I think four thin people could have fit on it! Pillows were soft and fluffy, as was the duvet although it was a tad too warm even when the room temperature was set to 20 degrees. In-room facilities were good too, with many channels to choose from and plenty of plug points for charging, ironing board, weighing scale, laundry bag, bathrobes, etc.

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Guests will find an Alila bag in the room. If you have any items you’d like to leave behind such as clothes, you can put it in the bag and place it into a receptacle/bin on the ground floor. The clothes will then be recycled or donated. The bag can also be purchased for RM35.

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After checking out our room, we made a beeline for the pool, which is located on the 40th floor surrounded by a stunning three-storey atrium. This is one of the hotel’s prettiest spaces, surrounded by loungers and decorative plants to evoke a resort-like vibe, with sky-high views of the neighbourhood. The pool is not covered so you will not be able to swim when it rains (exactly what happened to us after about half an hour in the water).

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Night view.

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Dinner that night was at Botanica + Co, the restaurant downstairs which serves Western and Asian fare. Our order of a seafood pizza was ginormous:  loaded with shrimp, mussel, squid and cheese. Quite tasty.

Unfortunately we did not manage to visit the bars. For those who would like a sip or two, Alila Bangsar has two very nice bars; Pacific Standard on Level 41, and Lido on the rooftop.

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Woke up early the next morning refreshed after a good night’s sleep. Time to hit the gym! The hotel has a small gym. Not exactly state-of-the-art, but adequate, with mostly cardio equipment.

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Okay, we know the real reason we worked out was so we could eat more at breakfast! Morning meals are served at Entier, which doubles as a French semi-fine dining restaurant for lunch and dinner. The chef used to work at a 2-star Michelin restaurant under world-renowned celebrity chef Joel Robuchon, so he has some serious chops.

Entier offers breakfast set meals and a small buffet selection; which I think is great as it reduces wastage.

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Buffet consists of typical breakfast items: cold cuts, pastries and breads with jams, cereal, cookie, salad and fresh fruits.

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Loved the cold cuts ! Especially the smoked duck and the salami.

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N had the Western / Continental set which consisted of scrambled eggs, chicken sausage, beef bacon and potatoes with mushrooms and cherry tomatoes, baked beans and a pancake with strawberry jam. I had the Asian set of congee with fried crullers, mihun goreng, soft boiled egg and chicken dumplings. Tastewise, not particularly impressive but pretty tasty.

All in all, there are a couple of things that I think they could improve on, but it was still a very enjoyable stay. If you’re looking for a calming, resort-like setting that is still close to the city, then Alila Bangsar ticks all the boxes.

What I Liked: Amazing design, contemporary spaces, the whole ‘sustainable’ vibe, very comfortable bed

What I think they can improve on: Service; staff are eager to please but seem a little inexperienced. Also I don’t think this is something they can ‘improve’ on but the lifts are pretty troublesome. There is a lift from the carpark to the ground floor, then one from there to the lobby, and then guests have to take another lift from the lobby to their rooms. So a total of 3 lifts just to get to my car or out of the hotel to the nearby LRT station.

Shuttle services are available to places such as Mid Valley and KL Sentral.

Rooms start from RM430++ per night.

ALILA BANGSAR 

58, Jalan Ang Seng, Brickfields, 50470 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

Reservations: alilahotels.com/bangsar

 

 

Review: Kea Farm Homestay @ Brinchang, Cameron Highlands

N was in town recently, and the fam and I thought it’d be perfect to show him some of our local sights – so we booked a short weekend getaway to Cameron Highlands. It has been five years since my last trip, and boy oh boy has the place changed. Even back then, it was losing its charm because of the huge influx of tourists – but now it’s just super commercialised, the hills have been stripped bare to make way for development (they’ve even got a shopping mall now. Good news for locals, I guess?) and it’s BLOODY HOT IN THE DAYTIME. We talk about going up to CH for some ‘fresh air and greenery’ but it’s no different from being in KL these days. Sigh.

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It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go to CH at all – you just have to plan your trip carefully. I suggest going on a weekday to avoid the insane crowds, and you’ll have a lot more time to explore the attractions comfortably. As for accommodation, there are plenty at Ringlet, Tanah Rata and Brinchang, CH’s three main towns. Staples would be Copthorne, Avilion, and if you’ve got money to splurge, one of those fancy English-style cottages – but this time around, we went for an Air BnB; and a pretty unique one at that. It doesn’t even have a proper name other than ‘A Rustic Wooden House on Hillside’ – which is exactly what it is.

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To get to the place, drive through the Kea Farm market and make your way through hilly roads until you reach a cluster of homes at the top of the hill. The rundown-looking wooden house (complete with slanting roof, lol) is situated right at the end of the road, close to the edge of the slope. Don’t be fooled by appearances – despite its deceptively small-looking exterior, the inside is extremely spacious, able to accommodate up to 10 guests at a time.

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We’ve seen pictures of the property from the website, but were still blown away by the interior (the owner, Tony, is an interior designer). Like most traditional village houses, the walls, beams and flooring are all wood, paired with modern touches such as block colour furniture and tasteful paintings. I think a lot of effort has been put into giving the place a ‘vintage’ element, from the display of old household items to the old flip-style light switches.

The living area is also extremely cosy, and the best part for me was the large selection of comics and books stuffed into shelves underneath the seats. Now all I need is a hammock and I won’t even need to go out exploring.

Oh wait, they have one of those too lol.

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The dining area at the front is equally cosy, with a long wooden table and benches to comfortably seat a large party. The glass roof provides plenty of natural light in the day, while at night, a warm glow emanates from the light bulbs, hung from the ceiling in glass jars.

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For those who wish to prep food, the place has a kitchenette with a fridge and microwave, as well as cooking and dining utensils.

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As for rooms, there are three – two on the ground floor and a ‘loft’ accessible via a ladder. The beds are equipped with mosquito netting. You’ll want to use these – I foolishly thought mozzies won’t be active in cold weather, and woke up in the middle of the night itching all over lmao.

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The back room.

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N and I immediately called dibs on the loft, coz it’s something I’ve only seen in Western films and I really wanted to experience sleeping in one. The two queen-sized mattresses up here are soft and comfortable, as are the pillows and comforters which kept us warm and snug throughout the night. There are more books up here if you want to do some bedtime reading.

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Millennials, fret not – the place has WiFi!

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As the sun sets, so does the temperature, plummeting to below 20 degrees. And what better way to warm up than with a hotpot?

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Time to unpack the ingredients we brought up from KL  – simple fare like fried fuchok, noodles, cheese balls and meat balls and pork belly. The veggies and corn we got fresh from the nearby market. Feel free to utilise the portable stove available here to make your hotpot! 🙂

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Evening view from the house.

One thing to note is that sounds carry easily here. Someone talking next door sounds like they’re talking right next to your ear, so you might want to keep it down after dark.

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Before checking out the next morning, we went for a morning walk around the vicinity – only to be greeted by a friendly, enthusiastic doggo. He sprinted up and placed his front paws on my chest, wagging his tail furiously. When I didn’t pet him (didn’t want to wash my hands again) he gave a most heart-wrenching whimper 😦 But then he perked up and decided to give us a ‘tour’ of the village, following us as we made our way around the houses.

The view is beautiful in the morning, especially on one side where you can see a quaint wooden house in the distance which was used as setting in a local film.

Pros

  • Clean, amazing interiors
  • Cosy and spacious
  • Beautiful views
  • Books everywhere
  • WIFI
  • Kitchen facilities

Cons

  • -Far from most attractions, difficult to get to unless you have your own car
  • -Lots of mozzies, make use of mosquito netting
  • -Very poor sound proofing

You can rent Tony’s Kea Farm Homestay for RM300 per night.

Hotel Review: Lanjut Beach & Golf Resort, Kuala Rompin, Pahang

Think weekend getaway, think places like Penang, Malacca, Ipoh or Langkawi.

Kuala Rompin probably wouldn’t be on top of the list –  but this laid back town in Pahang is inherently charming and full of hidden gems. Being close to the sea, river and forest, there are loads of activities to enjoy, and the best thing is that the area is not over commercialised (yet) –  so it’s perfect for a quiet, relaxing family getaway or a couple’s retreat.

Tucked by the beach within the idyllic Kampung Lanjut village is Lanjut Beach & Golf Resort, which opened its doors in July 2018. The 196-room resort boasts a contemporary design, with plenty of facilities and its own 3.5 km private stretch of beach where you can – get this – see dolphins (if you’re extremely lucky) !

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Upon entering, visitors are greeted by an expansive double height lobby and tasteful interior deco that blends the contemporary with traditional Malay elements. Just next to the lobby is Cafe Strada, which carries freshly baked pastries, snacks and coffee. 

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Rooms are set surrounding the main courtyard, which boasts two swimming pools – a half Olympic-sized one for the adults and another one for children, with slides and fun water fixtures. There are a variety of rooms to choose from, such as the spacious Junior Suite or the Superior Twin Room, which comes with connectivity options for families.

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My superior triple room with a pool view came with a double bed and a single bed – ideal for small families or a group of friends. The room was cosy and comfortable, with sleek wood furniture, TV, dressing table and cabinet.

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Welcome chocolates and cakes! + tea and coffee making facilities.

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Toiletries. No tub, but there was a nice shower.

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Tea time! The Anjung Brasserie Coffee House offers a mix of mouthwatering local and international favourites. Our tea time spread consisted of various sandwiches, pastries and finger food. 

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The mini mushroom/chicken pies were deliciously addictive! Food was fresh and tasty.

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After the meal, we were taken on a tour of the facilities. Aside from leisure, Lanjut also caters to business travelers, with meeting rooms and spacious ballrooms that can be set up for anything from weddings to corporate events.

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Take a stroll at the resort’s private beach, which features a unique ‘mirror’ phenomenon at certain times of the day. Reminiscent of the Salar Uyuni salt flats in Bolivia, the sand has a reflective quality at low tide, mirroring the blue sky on its surface. The results are mesmerising, to say the least.  

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Although the beach is not suitable for swimming, beach side activities such as volleyball can be arranged. The manager also told us that on certain days and if you’re very very lucky, you might see dolphins frolicking about in the waters around dawn!

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Come evening, tuck into a scrumptious seafood dinner buffet at Anjung Brasserie and have your fill of fish, shellfish, shrimp, squid and more, fresh off the ice, straight onto the grill/into the wok, and onto your plate. The chef will prepare it to order and in a variety of sauces. There is also beef, chicken wings, sausages and other meats.

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Assortment of pate + cold boiled mussels and shrimp/crabs.

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Had my fill of squid and bamboo clams in black pepper sauce. Seafood was fresh and cooked just right. Clams were very meaty as well.

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Range of pastries and desserts.

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Went to bed stuffed and had a good night’s rest listening to the waves lapping on the shore. 😀

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The next morning we were up bright and early for an excursion to the golf course, where we drove ourselves around in buggies. Golfing enthusiasts will be delighted to know that the resort has an 18-hole par-72 golf course located just steps away from the resort’s accommodation. The wide green is well maintained, with different types of terrain. 

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Caddy showing the member of the group how to swing. Needless to say there was a lot of laughter and a whole lot of thwacking the golf club into the ground.

Even without leaving the resort premises, there are loads of activities to do within Lanjut, such as beach sports, swimming and golfing. A spa and gym is slated to open in 2019. Other fun recreational activities, such as fishing, jungle trekking, firefly watching and clam picking can also be arranged at request. 

Rooms start at RM220+ per night.

LANJUT BEACH & GOLF RESORT

Kampung Lanjut, 26800 Kuala Rompin, Pahang, Malaysia

Tel: (+609) 415 8888 or email infolanjut@pnbcommercial.my

lanjut.my 

*I was invited to review the hotel as part of a media trip for work. Views here are entirely my own.