“A vision of W Hotels”
Fun, funky and frivolous, the atmosphere at Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral is certainly more of a diversion than seriousness. It is however ideally located and fitted for business, so those contemporaries, whose chosen stress relief might be a good dance-off with the Wii Just Dance workout, might be perfectly suited to this W inspired little sister.
Next to Sentral Station, Aloft is literally 28 minutes to the airport. With direct check-in facilities with Malaysian airlines, you can wheel your bags across the road and be done with the luggage handling hassles of flying in mere minutes. It’s not just handy for business travellers either. Tourists too benefit from the railway location. The LRT and monorail easily reach most tourist destinations and, the shopping and dining hubs of both Bangsar and Mid Valley are just around the corner by taxi. Brickfields, with its plethora of Indian eateries and culture, is a short stroll across the road, and other internationally reputed hotels (along with their choice of restaurants and bars) are just next door. For those driving, multiple entry parking is charged at RM5 per day for in-house guests.
Fun appears to be the central theme of the hotel, and everything from the rooms, to the dining options, to the staff seem to be infused with it. Beginning with the reception, talent greets you by opening the roped off check-in desk, alluding to a feeling of importance – as if walking down the Oscar’s red carpet where the pathway is kept separate from the fans and media.
To the right of the front desk is the re:mix lounge. Well lit with natural light during the day and funky lamps in the evening, the area is set up to invite interaction for those seeking it. A pool table, low sofas and bar stools are arranged encouraging conversation and, the colourful furniture and bright artworks stimulate a sense of light heartedness.
|Another area to meet and mingle|
Immediately behind the reception is re:fuel, the 24/7 grab-and-go self-serve bar. Light meals, munchies, drinks and a coffee machine ensure you won’t go hungry, or thirsty, anytime of the day. Directly to the rear, is an open business centre with multiple computers and printing facilities. The youthful nature of most guests is drawn out with a giant Wii console and, throughout the day, adults have been witnessed engaging in a dance-off with the Wii’s Just Dance Workout.
|Hours of Fun at the Waiting on the Wii|
The atmosphere of festivity continues in the elevators where music videos make the ride seem much shorter with some foot-tapping and booty-shaking absorbing the ascent. Hallways are lit with multi-coloured rectangular lampshades and, vibrant paintings dot the walls.
Once in the room, the typical welcome fruit bowl is replaced with a tray of candies. A rainbow of sugar-coated chocolates fills a glass bowl and marshmallows branded with Live @ Aloft are ready for the devouring with black plastic forks in each one. The Anytime/Anywhere button on the telephone is the 24-hour service line and another example of how high-spirits are steeped in even the smallest details of the hotel.
|Not Your Usual Welcome Bowl of Fruit|
Our room, on the 21st floor, was small but adequate. Generally, though, I imagine most guests seek out Aloft as an excellent base for business or exploration, not to hang out in the room all weekend. It is perfectly positioned to get out and about, yet a comfortable place to return to in the evenings.
|French Press Coffee – yay!|
Rectangular in shape, the room composed a bathroom and bedroom. Some hanging space for clothes, a toilet and shower covered by a sliding door (one opens the other closes) and, a basin with good mirror lighting, formed an efficient use of space. Dark grey tiles and frosted glass carried through the modern look from the rest of the hotel to the sleeping quarters.
|Bliss Bath Products – we like the reusable containers – reducing waste and impact on the environment|
A firm bed was dressed with a fluffy white comforter and perked up with some stripy bolster cushions. The pale silvery-blue carpet blended well with the two-toned grey walls and a piece of Malaysian artistic commentary, titled The Gluttony Corps, forked out a little humour in the décor. L-shaped floor to ceiling windows looked out immediately over a construction site, and beyond to the picturesque city skyline with the KL and Petronas towers poking the heavens. Black-out blinds fit snugly into the window seams, beige in colour with a stripy border mimicking the patterned bed pillows. A desk and lounge chair fit neatly against the wall allowing some different seating options.
Rooms are about 90% sound proof and the pumping beats from the rooftop bar on weekends can be faintly heard until about midnight. If you’re a very light and/or early sleeper, earplugs might be advisable to begin your dreams. Aloft hotels are smoke-free which is a very pleasant bonus as far as we’re concerned for accommodation in this region.
A 42 inch LCD TV, plug ‘n’ play jack pack, free WiFi, mini-fridge and safety box provide all the modern amenities you’d expect. Raised toilet seats, shower chairs and wheelchairs however, are some of the extra features available upon request making rooms more accessible for the mobility challenged. Kids get to have a little special treatment too with camp aloft giving children a bed-in-a-bag and treats, turning an ordinary hotel stay into a memorable experience.
A pool and gym provide release for the active. The gymnasium is furnished with the latest in cardio and resistance machines and, a shelf of free weights. It’s accessible 24 hours with your room keycard and looks like a glass box on the fourth floor. Encased by windows the space feels open. It’s shielded however by plants and an adjacent skyscraper so at the same time feels private. The infinity lap pool overlooks the city and is conveniently located next to the bar.
Nook is the all-day dining location and most room deals include a buffet breakfast in this restaurant. Natural light streams through the windows and a palette of white, silver and light green adds to the brightness. It’s a happy place. Smooth, clean lines with lofty ceilings might look a tad sterile or industrial to some, but both hubby and I appreciated the spotless atmosphere. The morning spread includes much of what you’d expect from an international buffet with the addition of a few entertaining touches. A make-your-own Ais Kacang station equipped with an ice-shaving machine, bowls of beans, corn and jelly and, a bucket of syringes filled with condensed milk and syrups, awaits the playful. The egg station sees the usual suspects of scrambled eggs and fry-ups, but an Egg Dog platter (tray of hot dog buns filled with omelettes) is a catchy twist.
WXYZ Bar and Mai Bar provide sufficient locations for a night of jollification. The lobby level outlet features regular live bands and the rooftop scene proffers city views overlooking the pool with a DJ spinning the latest beats. Thursday nights offer free drinks for the ladies, but most evenings Happy Hours are quite generous in their time and beverage options.
|Mai Bar and Splash Pool|
Prices for rooms at Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral start from a very reasonable RM270 per night. Both tourists and business travellers alike should be delighted with the location, comfort and upbeat atmosphere of this hotel.
Reason to visit Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral: convenient location, vibrant fun atmosphere, comfortable and reasonably priced, a great option for both the business traveller and tourist alike.
Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral
5 Jalan Stesen Sentral
50470 Kuala Lumpur
+6 03 2723 1188