Hotel Maya – A soaring atrium, elevated walkways and vast walls of glass give the Maya an aesthetic edge over other four-stars. Rooms are crisp, clean and comfortable, with everything you need, including access to the guest- only Sky Lounge where complimentary drinks and snacks are served every evening. There are indoor swimming and hydrotherapy pools opening up to Kuala Lumpur’s ever morphing skyline; a terrific little spa and a clutch of casual restaurant s. The kicker, though, is the location, close to KL’s newest clubbing district, Electric Boulevard, home to some of the best nightlife found anywhere in the city.
Anggun Hotel – Set in a former Chinese shop-house on a leafy street around the corner from the city’s best-loved foodie neighbourhood, Jalan Alor, the Anggun offers a delicious slice of old KL. To say the rooms are petite would be polite. They are quite lovely, though, with natural stone tubs, glazed sinks, shuttered windows and art works. The rooftop terrace offers a delightful spot for breakfast. For your other meals look no further than the end of the street, where you’ll find rows of stalls selling aromatic black beef balls, chilli-topped chicken rice and steaming bowls of hokkien mee (goopy noodles drenched in soy sauce) at about £2 a pop.
Rainforest Bed And Breakfast – For all its many luxury properties, there are budget options too, and this B&B, hidden under a thick veil of tropical foliage in buzzy Bukit Bintang, ticks all the boxes. Guests are greeted with courteous staff and wafts of frankincense, while rooms are simple but atmospheric, with teak beds, tiled floors and spacious, spotlessly clean, white marble bathrooms. If you’re after more than a tea-and-toast brekkie, head for a traditional nasi lemak (coconut milk rice) from the street stalls on Jalan Alor.
Villa Samadhi – Boutiques are still a rarity in KL but this 21-room hideaway is a sweet spot. The thatched roof; lanterns and tropical foliage carry a sense of the Balinese. Some rooms have outdoor hot tubs, others direct access to the swimming pool and all are extremely spacious with calm, minimalist, dark-wood interiors. Birdsong accompanies a divine a la carte breakfast, while in the evening the candle-lit terraces and soft glow of the swimming pool are wonderfully romantic.
Traders – Cesar Pelli’s iconic Petronas Twin Towers turned 20 in March and there’s no better place from which to gawp at them than Traders Hotel, sitting right opposite. Traders’ recently refurbished rooms— in creams, mossy greens and pale woods — are capped by a 25-metre swimming pool on the 33rd floor, alongside the Sky Bar, one of the city’s most popular nighttime hangouts— be sure to book a table at least a day ahead. Also on the doorstep is Kuala Lumpur’s biggest shopping mall, the Suria KLCC and the lush City Park, as well of stacks of bars and restaurants. First-timers couldn’t be better placed to take the city in.
The Majestic Hotel – A heritage hotel straight out of the golden age of travel, the Majestic is all neo-classical columns and art deco detailing with white-gloved doormen to boot. Inside, the building has been split into two; there are tiled floors, Persian rugs, white wood panelling, Chinese lamps and swirling wooden fans in the original 1930s building, and swathes of black marble, giant Gatsby-esque chandeliers and a lively buffet restaurant in the new 12-storey tower wing, it’s located in one of the city’s most fascinating neighbourhoods, opposite the marvellous old Malayan Railway Station, a Moorish-inspired beauty.