With Malaysia opening her borders to all and sundry when April rolls around, would an escape to a city oasis be on the cards for you? I decided to take the plunge before the tourists make a beeline for our iconic Petronas Twin Towers and booked a stay at the Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur. Imagine taking a stroll through one of the best kept city parks in Malaysia while being a stone’s throw away from the Twin Towers and a unique shopping experience at Suria KLCC?
It is without a doubt that business hotels in the city have taken quite a hit ever since numerous lockdowns were enforced a couple of years ago. Beach resorts and other nature-themed accommodation have fared much better, seeing an uptick in bookings as Malaysia. You do not have to be an Einstein to see why that is so, as everyone would prefer to laze away on a beach with the sun beating down on their backs or while the days away in the midst of a tranquil rainforest as opposed to remain stuck in the city, surrounded by skyscrapers.
Traders Hotel hopes to offer something different from your regular business hotel, being strategically located in KL’s Golden Triangle. This 4-star business hotel is connected to the KL Convention Centre and is a stone’s throw from the KLCC Park, making it a clear favourite back in the days where tradeshows and social events were regularly hosted next door. Right opposite the hotel rises the majestic Petronas Twin Towers.
Check-in can be done at the lobby that is located on the 5th floor, while those who booked a Club room or suite will be able to check in at the Traders Club Lounge on the 32nd floor. As I had a Club room that faced the Twin Towers, I was whisked up by one of the 6 elevators to the 32nd floor.
But for the view…
The hospitality industry is a very competitive one. From time to time, you see newer boutique hotels that boast interesting design concepts end up gracing the Instagram accounts of influencers. What can older hotels do? A refurbishment is always a costly exercise, what more now when money is tight.
Traders offers modern-looking rooms – assuming you go back in time by two decades. There is the usual minibar, work area, closet, tea and coffee making facilities, but the nicks and scratches on the wooden furniture clearly show how the place has aged.
The bathroom comes with a tub and a lighted sink which can be over-the-top, while the green plastic bin simply did not fit the look and feel of the overall design. What’s more, there were no plug points on both sides of the bed! This is not something that I am used to, so I had to charge my devices overnight by the work desk.
However, pull back the drapes and all is forgiven! The breathtaking view that greets you simply cannot be beat. You have a commanding panorama of the surrounding areas. Right below would be the KLCC Park, and the Twin Towers will surely invoke a magnificent gasp regardless of the time of the day. It is an unforgettable experience to sit and observe the changing colours as the evening transitions into the night.
Stuffing myself silly
The award-winning SkyBar continues to be one of the city’s popular rooftop bars on the 33rd floor, where you can choose from a range of creative cocktails while drinking in the beauty of the Petronas Twin Towers from its cozy cabana booths. FUZE is currently located at the SkyBar, serving contemporary Pan Asian cuisine that challenges conventional flavours and style to deliver a culinary twist. Don’t worry, you will not find anyone swimming in the pool while you are trying to enjoy your evening, as the pool is closed when dinner is served at FUZE.
Sharing the same space as FUZE is the swimming pool that spans nearly the length of the floor. One can imagine the kind of wild parties thrown there pre-pandemic, where it is now a far more muted affair as you sink into one of the numerous cabana booths for a private tête-à-tête while indulging in your favourite poison.
A more traditional spot for dining would be Gobo Chit Chat. This is where breakfast is served, in addition to their famous seafood buffet. An ala-carte menu with a variety of local and international dishes can be ordered during odd hours when you get the munchies. Coffee machines ensure that I received my daily caffeine fix during breakfast, and the floor staff ensure that different dishes are refilled promptly when it begins to run out.
If you prefer to grab your grub quickly, there is On The Go which is located on the ground floor. On The Go offers a variety of sweet and savoury food options that include sweet pastries, homemade Korean Buns and even a personalised beef burger creation. You can also get your caffeine fix from the barista or settle for freshly squeezed juices to kickstart your mornings before that important business meeting.
The Land of Smiles
You won’t find any glum looking faces here throughout your stay. While the hotel might be tired and is due for a refurbishment exercise, you don’t have to go to Thailand in order to be greeted by smiles everywhere you turn. It is the people who make the place amazing. Everyone is more than happy to oblige your request. At the breakfast buffet, even Chef Unaver went around, striking conversations with guests, while the floor staff were attentive to my needs. Some of them even recommended selected dishes that are on the menu. The service offered is on par with other 5-star Shangri-la properties across Malaysia, which is nothing to be sneezed at.
You can choose to take a leisurely stroll through the KLCC Park to Suria KLCC itself when the shopping itch needs to be scratched, or opt for the complimentary buggy ride there should you want to live a pampered life. I did not have to wait long for the buggy at both stops regardless of the time of the day.
Traders Club Lounge: Is it worth the extra money?
Regardless of whether one is here for business or leisure, having access to an oasis of calm when required is always welcome. The Traders Club Lounge sits one floor below the swimming pool, where you too, can drink in the glorious view while you take a respite from the sweltering heat outside.
The Traders Club Lounge offers all-day beverages and snacks whenever you feel peckish (cookies and peanuts, in case you were wondering), while the evening session serves canapes and a free-flow of alcoholic beverages to help you relax. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of seeing the skyline change as evening turns to night and the variety of food served in the evening session is more than enough to keep you well-fed until the next morning.
A family would be at home here as much as a business executive. There are enough facilities to keep you occupied if you are reclusive, with adequate dining options, easy connectivity, and a myriad of shopping and entertainment options surrounding you. Couple that with a high standard of service, and you have the perfect recipe for a memorable stay.
Most of all, the killer view is something that money cannot buy elsewhere, even if the rooms in other establishments were fit enough for royalty. This is the trump card that Traders Hotel holds over surrounding hotels in the area, and it should be experienced at least once in your lifetime.
Disclosure: This stay was sponsored by Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur but does not sway the writer’s opinion in any way.