Hotel Review: Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur

With its grand, sweeping staircases and elegant interiors, Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur has long been considered the grand dame of five star luxury hotels in the city. Having been around for a number of years, the decor was getting dated – so the hotel underwent a multimillion-dollar facelift, with refreshed dining concepts and more rooms.

Weekend getaway, here I come!

The first thing that greets guests upon entering is the grand lobby, complete with sparkling multi-tiered chandeliers, tall cavernous ceilings and elegant decor. The hotel is best known for its wide, sweeping staircases that lead from the ground floor up to the ballrooms, making it a popular venue for weddings and photoshoots.

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N and I checked in to our Club King room, which was not only spacious but offered a beautiful view of the city. Boasting 42 square metres of space and a comfy king-sized bed, the room’s modern interior was well furnished, with hues of beige, gold and grey. There was a small work table and sofa bed by the floor-to-ceiling window, as well as the usual amenities: large-screen TV, tea and coffee making facilities, Wifi, etc.

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A thoughtful little welcome gift that was much appreciated 🙂

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Luxurious bathroom with bathtub and separate shower, lighted makeup mirror, all the works.

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Lunch was at the cheerful all-day dining Essence, which features a good selection of local and international fare. Aside from a cold cuts counter, sushi island and dessert island, the space also hosts a noodle bar where you can customise your own noodles to your liking. Not to be missed is their signature curry laksa, which has a rich, savoury broth with just the right amount of kick to get you sweating, and the chicken satay.

After lunch, you can opt to explore the city, or make use of the myriad of facilities available at the hotel, such as the 24-hour fitness centre, the spa (book in advance to avoid any disappointment, as they tend to be quite full), or the swimming pool with its daybeds, cabanas and gorgeous view of the Kuala Lumpur Tower nearby.

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Tuck into a scrumptious, full-course dinner at Sheraton KL’s Chinese restaurant, the aptly named Celestial Court. The restaurant is currently having a promotion called The Fabulous Big Feast, which offers all-you-can-eat ala carte dining for RM148nett per pax, with a minimum of two persons.

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If you still have space, adjourn to the lounge near the lobby for some drinks and music.

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Night view of the city from our window.

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Morning saw us back at Essence for breakfast, with a slightly different line up which included breakfast fare such as pancakes, sausages and ham, porridge, noodles, pastries and cakes, and roti canai.

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After another dip in the pool and some lazing around in the room, it was time for lunch again (seemed like we were just eating the entire time of our stay, lol) at Villa Danieli, the hotel’s Italian restaurant, which was in a standalone building on its own. I wrote a separate review of the place, so check it out here !

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Ending with a nice warm cup of tea at the Club Lounge before our late check out, we were treated to a beautiful day view of the KL Tower atop Bukit Nanas.

It was certainly a relaxing weekend, filled with lots of delicious food! The service was impeccable and we were left wanting for nothing throughout our stay. Best of all, it’s located in a more quiet part of town, but still offers easy access to the bustling Golden Triangle area via the monorail which is just steps away from the lobby.

SHERATON IMPERIAL KUALA LUMPUR

Jalan Sultan Ismail, 50250 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

Reservations: +603 2717 9900

Website

Hotel Review: Sheraton Petaling Jaya – Perfect For Staycations

Gone are the days when staying at hotels and resorts only happened when you were travelling somewhere. Today, more and more city dwellers are opting for ‘staycations’ as a lifestyle – that way you avoid the crowds of tourists, and can still get in some much needed R&R. One of these places is Sheraton Petaling Jaya.

Relatively ‘new’ on the block, having just celebrated its first anniversary, the hotel is close enough to Kuala Lumpur for an easy commute, but just far enough to offer a quieter, more relaxing environment in a suburban district – perfect for families and couples looking for a quick getaway.

 

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We checked in to our Sheraton Club King Room, which also offers guests exclusive access to the Executive Club Lounge. The room was spacious, cosy and welcoming, which is one thing I love about the Sheraton / Marriott brands – they’re luxurious but not intimidating. There was a work table near the window, a couch for lounging and a wide flat screen TV with a good selection of channels. Beds were super comfortable, what with the high linen thread count, fluffy pillows and soft but firm mattress.

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The bathroom had a shower area + tub, luxury bath amenities and lighted make up mirror. Shades can also be lowered for privacy.

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Welcome gifts ! Look at how cute that elephant towel is ❤

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Gift box with pampering goodies – candle, soap, loofah and bath bombs (which I immediately put to good use).

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Embarking on a tour of the hotel, we were taken to the function halls and spaces where business meetings, events and weddings are held. There are a total of 14 event rooms, boasting a total event space of over 21,000 square feet.

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The well-equipped glass walled gym, which is open 24 hours. As Sheraton PJ is the tallest building for miles around, guests are guaranteed panoramic views of the surroundings. Nothing like working out to a view! Towels and water are also available.

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If you prefer swimming, the hotel has a small pool on the rooftop, just next to their bar, Sala. While the limited space means you won’t be able to do laps or anything, it’s still nice to take a dip while taking in the sights. Right beside it is a smaller pool for children.

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Meanwhile, the executive lounge is an excellent place to unwind that’s quiet and cosy.

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When it comes to dining options, diners are spoilt for choice, as Sheraton PJ has several restaurants, such as Feast, which offers local and international flavours. The bright, cheerful space was also where we had our lunch, with the lofty ceiling giving it a sense of room.

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The Chinese section, which offered fried oyster mushrooms in oats, Kam Heong mussels and clams, as well as braised mushrooms.

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Seafood on ice. Overall, the food was fresh and tasty, and there was a good variety of choices. For non-staying guests, they are also open for buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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If Chinese cuisine is what you prefer, then head on to Yue, which specialises in classic Chinese dishes. For lovers of Japanese dishes, there is Miyabi, serving authentic options such as teppanyaki, sushi and sashimi. (Separate reviews for each up soon, so stay tuned!) 

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Evening found us at Sala Bar, where the hotel had arranged for a special create-your-own-cocktail session for us with the bartender. Not a big alcohol drinker, but it was fun putting together the different ingredients and mixing them in the bar shaker. Recipe as below if you want to try making your own! 🙂

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Crisp – a refreshing concoction with spicy, tropical flavours.

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View as the sunsets.

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A toast to a great stay!

SHERATON PETALING JAYA 

Lorong Utara C, Pjs 52, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Reservations: 03-7622 8888

Website

 

Review: Ramadhan Buffet – Selera Nostalgia @ Four Points by Sheraton Puchong

In Malaysia, the month of Ramadhan is a big deal, seeing as how a majority of the population is Muslim. During this time, the community fasts from dawn to dusk, breaking fast in the evening. Back then, it used to be a much simpler affair with home-cooked meals but today, what with hectic lifestyles and increasing purchasing power, more people are opting to eat out. In recent years, hotels have tapped into this demand by offering buffet dinners, usually centered around traditional Malay cuisine.

I got to attend a preview of Selera Nostalgia at Four Points by Sheraton Puchong recently, which aims to bring diners on a ‘nostalgic tour across Malaysia’s favourite dishes’. While the menu is mostly Malay-centric, our country’s diverse ethnic makeup and cultural influences means that diners will also find Indian, Chinese and Western dishes – over a hundred selections!

Cosy dining area with warm lights and intimate seating arrangements. Could do with a better layout of the buffet line though because it was all over the place – appetisers and desserts at the same counter,  the Nasi Kandar stall tucked into a somewhat hidden corner, a random spot where there was fried snacks and keropok. 

The main buffet line: Rice, noodles, meat and seafood-based dishes served in woks. There was spring chicken with briyani spices (ayam dara masak briyani), beef stew with coconut cream (daging masak gulai), Malaysian oxtail soup (Sup Ekor), prawn mee, curry laksa and more.

Nasi Kandar stall, with various sides.

Malay salads aka ulam-ulam.

The Rojak corner, where guests can personalise their own plate of rojak – a fruit/vege salad mixed with a sweet/salty shrimp paste and topped over with chopped nuts and other condiments.

You can also customize your own salad with various local curries and sauces!

The live cooking station where chefs made ‘Roti John’ – a hotdog-like bun stuffed with fried omelette and filling such as sardine, tuna and chicken, grilled on a skillet.

Briyani rice, cooked in herbs and spices.

Noodle station where the chefs make your dish to order.

Other items available on the menu include steamed vegetables with peanut sauce (gado-gado), roasted chicken salad (kerabu ayam panggang), glutinous rice with beef floss (lemang dengan serunding), fried chicken, fish roe, crabs, prawns and squid, fish curry, cihcken in soy sauce and lamb kurma. There was so much to try it was impossible to have a taste of everything. Here’s what I tried:

Keropok lekor ! These fried fish snacks were a big part of my childhood and oh-so-addictive. The one here had a firmer texture but tasted great with sweet chilli sauce – crispy on the outside and springy and chewy on the inside.

Cucur udang – flour/shrimp cakes that were airy and light, but a tad on the oily side.

Otak-otak (literally brain brain :D), fish/seafood paste wrapped in banana leaves and grilled. The version here had a bright red colouring and tasted like crab meat sticks.

I found the goreng-goreng (fried items) a tad disappointing, as they were soggy and oily. There was fried chicken, shrimp, fish and crab.

Meal was redeemed by the excellent roast lamb, which was tender, pink and just right without an overly gamey smell. It wasn’t too fatty either, and paired well with mint /black pepper sauce. Went back for seconds! 😀

The Chinese-style yong tau foo, which comprised of beancurd and various vegetables stuffed with fish paste, was served with soup and tasted pretty decent.

Local fruit corner: cempedak, nangka (jackfruit), longan, jambu air, rambutan, mangosteen, papaya, etc.

Dessert section: dates, pudding, cakes, ice-cream.

Traditional Malay kuih and snacks: chips, pineapple tarts, peanut snacks, dodol, kuih koci, etc. Also sweet green bean in coconut milk, jackfruit and sago simmered in coconut milk and palm sugar. 

All in all, the food was decent, but it would have been nicer to have a selection of international cuisine, as those were rather limited.

The Selera Nostalgia is available from 27 May to 24 June, at RM140nett per pax and RM70 nett per child (4-11 years old). Early bird discounts are available for those booking from 10 April to 29 May at just Rm100 nett per pax. You might also win yourself a chance to stay at and dine at the hotel. 🙂

 

Reservations: +603 5891 8888 or email eatery.puchong@fourpoints.com.

THE EATERY @ Four Points by Sheraton Puchong 

1201, Tower 3, Puchong Financial Corporate Centre,

47100 Puchong, Selangor, Malaysia

Celestial Court, Sheraton Imperial KL

These pictures have been lying around for so long I almost forgot that I went for this Chinese New Year food tasting at Celestial Court, Sheraton Imperial KL.

Well… as they say, better late than never. So even though the promotion is over, guests can still hop on over there to try their daily dishes. The food is pretty tasty!

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For starters, we had the traditional Yee Sang (Chinese salad) tossing, which is to invite good tidings for the year. It is usually served with slices of carrots, radish, crackers and pomelo, before the mix is poured over with plum and  fish sauce. The version here also jellyfish, monkey head mushrooms and banana. Refreshing and an interesting blend of textures.

We also tried the Yu Sheng with 20 Head Green Lip Abalone and Snow Pear in Traditional Style and Celestial Court Boston Lobster with Peach Yu Sheng, which had a whole lobster hugging a fuzzy peach.

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After that cold and refreshing salad, it was time to warm the tummy up with a nice soup – Braised Superior Bird’s Nest Broth with Assorted Seafood and Spinach. I was a bit surprised as birds nest is usually boiled into a dessert. The spinach was minty whilst giving the broth a jade-green colour. Birds nest, made from the saliva of swallows, is said to be very nutritious and has been used in beauty and health remedies for ages.

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Thick Broth with Baby Lobster, Shredded Jade Abalone, Dried Scallop and Sea Cucumber had that savoury, starchy taste similar to shark’s fin soup.

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One of my favourites, even though it was super spicy: Sauteed Fresh Scallop and Sliced Cuttlefish with Flower Fungus and Garden Greens in Spicy Beijing Sauce. There was chewy cuttlefish, crunchy flower fungus, fresh veggies and moist, meaty scallops. The sauce was spicy without overpowering the sweet taste of seafood. Perfect 10!

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Equally good was the Braised 20 Head Green Lip abalone with Goose Web, Sea Cucumber in Superior Brown Sauce. It was my first time trying goose web, and the feet was braised to such tenderness that it melted off the soft bones almost instantly.

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Another awesome dish? Duo Combination of Tiger King Prawn, Deep fried with Spicy Chilli Salt and Sauteed in Sichuan Style. Juicy, succulent and large tiger prawns fried to crispy perfection, complemented by a spicy sauce, garlic and spring onions. What more can one ask for in life?

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The larger serving so that everyone could share.

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Last but not least in the lineup of savoury dishes, Braised Authentic E-Fu Noodle with Seafood, Dried Oyster and Bean Sprout in Abalone Sauce. We didn’t know that noodles could be cooked so well – it was bliss with every bite. The abalone sauce gave it a sweet and savoury touch, allowing the silky noodles to slip down the throat; while the shrimp was juicy and springy, oysters big and succulent, and veggies fresh and crunchy.

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For desserts, Double-Boiled Bird’s Nest with Red Dates, Sweet Pear, White Ginseng and Snow Fungus. Nourishing, but not my favourite as I felt it was too sweet.

Celestial Court, Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur 

Opening hours: 12noon to 2.30pm, Mon – Sat

Sundays and Public Holidays, Dim Sum brunch from 10.30am to 2.30pm.

Dinner: 6.30pm to 10.30pm daily.

Tel:  03-27179900 ext 6933, or visit http://www.sheratonimperialkualalumpur.com/celestialcourt