Christian Tavelli, recently-arrived GM of the doyen of Kuala Lumpur KLCC’s luxury hotels, Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur, is a true globalist. Born in Buenos Aires, he travelled the world before spending some years running the iconic The Ritz Madrid for Belmond. Management passed to MOHG and that is why, now, he is in the capital of Malaysia as part of Mandarin Oriental’s coterie of luxury-oriented on-site leaders.
Absolutely on the edge of KLCC’s gorgeous park, and connected to KLCC’s extensive retail, this 23-year old, 30-floor hotel is neighbour to the famous 88-floor Petronas Towers. Some when choosing one of the 629 rooms, opt for views over the Towers, and the ark. Personally I would, also, go for one of Club rooms for access to the extremely spacious 24th floor lounge, with breakfast, afternoon tea and evening cocktails included.
My only caveat about this most stylish hotel is trying to drive there. A friend offered to be a chauffeur and after 20 minutes of following what seemed like Esher’s endless 1953 artwork ‘Relativity’ we admitted defeat and I walked the last 300 metres. Next time I will rely on local knowledge of a cab driver.
Once there, the stay was perfect. Memories abound of dim sum at Lai Po Heen, and my ribeye at the Mandarin Grill – plus yoga and working out in the glass-walled fitness centre, overlooking the park and next to the third floor pool area.
At any hour, 24/7 for the cool of summer nights, there are always, also, trainer-clad locals doing circuits of the park’s running track. And during its opening hours, there is always the lure of the 320 superb shops on six floors of Petronas Towers, complemented by several other nearby retail malls reached underground or by pedestrian-friendly shaded walkways set high above the traffic. Within a few minutes’ walk, too, you find both an indoor oceanarium and a science discovery centre, plus an art gallery and the country’s first concert hall, home of the Dewan Filharmonik Orkestra.