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Monday 11 April 2016

Little things add up to a great stay in Kuala Lumpur

There are certain things that are non-negotiable for a city hotel. 

It has to be within walking distance of they key destinations; to have friendly, helpful staff, a comfortable bed, a shower that works and fast, free wifi.

All the rest tends to fall into place if a hotel gets those basics right - and that is certainly the case at the excellent Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre Hotel and Residences, a property that was until recently part of the Japanese Prince chain. 

Probably the most noticeable feature is the staff - almost uniformly bright and sparky. The staff vibe is more that of a niche boutique property than a large city hotel. 

The main Kuala Lumpur attractions, including the Petronas Twin Towers, the shopping on Jalan Bukit Bintang (a bit of a building site right now) and the gourmet cuisine of Jalan Alor (Food Street), are just a gentle stroll away, but the hotel is well placed for those who don't want to hear the roar of traffic 24 hours a day. 

There is also a monorail station at Raja Chulan, just six minutes walk from the hotel, putting the entire city within easy reach - even a trip to Little India takes just 15 minutes by monorail; far faster than taking a taxi, as they are easily halted by traffic. 

The hotel has excellent on-site business facilities, should you wish to do some work during your stay, and two excellent restaurants (both of which were surprisingly quiet) - the Chinese Tai Ze Heen and Japanese Enju. There is also an excellent buffet breakfast on offer at Eccucino on the ground floor. 

There are regular food promotions; A Taste of Indonesia buffet from May 20-29, for instance, or all you can eat dim sum at weekends until the end of June. 

There are all the five-star touches; the modern Sompoton Spa, a good-sized pool next door to the hotel in the Residences, a pleasant garden, and a good-sized gym.

There is an attractive lounge with cold beers and great snacks but, unfortunately, the current singer sounds like a strangled cat and I had to vacate. 

There are 179 standard rooms, 140 deluxe rooms (mine had a stunning view of the Petronas Towers), 62 premium de luxe rooms, 41 executive rooms with access to an executive lounge throughout the day, and 23 up-market suites.

The shower was a delight - ultra powerful - and the room toiletries were top class. 

I liked little touches like coffee machines and free water - and excellent old-style concierges.desk with maps and useful information.

The serviced apartments are in the separate Residences building next door, along with a funky "Living Space" that is an alternative for light breakfasts and small meetings 

This is a very good hotel with upgrades planned to make it more Pullman in style. The way the staff interact with guests, however, lifts it from good to great. 

Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre Hotel and Residences, Jalan Conlay, 50450 Kuala Lumpur. +603 2170 8888.           

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