2 Nov 2007
KL Plaza Suites, Bukit Bintang, KL , Malaysia
Apartment
A$329/£142 week
3° 4'12.66"N 101°36'27.85"E
2 Bedrooms
Full Kitchen
Timeshare
Rental week

 

KL Plaza Suites are 60 1, 2 and 3 bedroomed apartments within the KL Plaza apartment building in Bukit Bintang. The building has 2 towers with a couple of hundred apartments, mostly privately owned or rented, and sits on top of a small (by KL standards) shopping mall. It is directly opposite the brand new ultra posh Pavilion and the exclusive Galleria Malls. We couldn't be bothered with finding a bus when we arrived at Puduraya bus station - we paid about double what we should have (just under A$3/£1.20), but we were tired, it was raining and as I say couldn't be bothered. On leaving we had more time and energy and found a bus back to Puduraya easily enough just underneath the monorail station.

I'd read some very mixed reviews about the Plaza Suites, so wasn't sure what to expect. We were off to a great start with the best apartment in the house - the city facing corner unit on the top (20th) floor. The apartment was absolutely huge - around 1,300 sq feet which is about 120 sq metres (about 13 squares to anyone in Australia). There wasn't a great deal of furniture in the lounge, and what there was seemed squashed into one area making the room seem bare and uninviting. Same thing in both bedrooms, although I suppose large apartments will always have a lot of dead space as the rooms are so deep. Overall, the apartment had a bit of a run down feel - nothing a lick of paint and new sofa covers and some pictures on the walls wouldn't fix, but very clean. There was only one bathroom (very much early eighties chocolate brown). The water pressure was almost zero and showering was a testing time.

Hotel room

After working out the layout of the apartments across the corridor (which were privately owned) we worked out that the original two 3 bedroom apartments had been split into one 2 bedroom and 3 rather small one bedroom units, which explains the odd layout and lack of a second bathroom. There was a full kitchen including a washing machine although as we've discovered during our time here, in Malaysian apartments full kitchen tends not to include a conventional oven - we're told it's to do with insurance premiums. There was a microwave and rice cooker along with a 4 ring cook-top, a couple of pots and pans and utensils, full dining setting for 6 people and a ¾ size fridge. Oddly, there was no running hot water in the kitchen, but instead of a kettle was one of those big urn-like contraptions that are so popular in Asia so it wasn't a problem.

Disappointingly, the TV had only local channels, and equally disappointing was the WiFi access, available only in the business centre and, at A$3.30/£1.40 per hour, rather expensive - especially with so many free connections from the coffee shops downstairs. Unfortunately we couldn't pick any of the signals up from our room as we were on such a high floor.

The bed was very comfortable, as were the pillows and the air conditioners did a good job to say they were covering such large areas and that the apartment was right in the line of fire for afternoon sun. As well as the air conditioners, there were very effective ceiling fans in all rooms. A balcony (no chairs, but complete with a collapsible washing line which came in really handy) was just off the kitchen and made for a great spot for watching the world go by at all times of the day and night. The location made the apartment a bit noisy, but being smack in the middle of the city you have to expect the sirens and traffic will be going 24 hours a day, and of course construction sites and noises seem to be a permanent feature in any city around the word. As is the case in so much of Malaysia, security was very visable - they had to release the door lock to let you into the lift lobby.

Peter made good use of the OK gym and the sauna and steam room, while the swimming pool had only a few beds around it and they were plastic with no foam mattress and no shade, so we gave it a miss mostly. There was an uninviting seating area just outside reception (not really a lobby, just a room) which nobody seemed to use and a children's playground.

The location can't be faulted - on top of a shopping mall, within a 2 minute walk to 3 other huge malls and all the western chain restaurants and coffee shops you could ever want, as well as a lot of upmarket local ones. A 2 minute walk out the back way takes you a million miles from tourist KL and to heaps of Indian and Chinese canteens and food stalls. There are supermarkets in the basement of all the malls and 24 hour convenience stores in every direction. Well within walking distance are bus and monorail stops and tourist restaurants featuring the food of just about every country in the world, as well as all the shopping you can handle.

About 15 minutes walk away are the magnificent Petronas Twin Towers with it's KLCC mall complete with uncountable shopping and eating opportunities. If you haven't had enough shopping, Chinatown is about a 25 minute walk, and Little India about 35 minutes. We gave Chinatown a miss and were surprised to find ourselves the only western tourists in the markets of Little India (not Brickfields, the predominantly Indian area which all diligent backpackers cross off their list of things to do). Not as much pirated goods as Chinatown, but not as busy or crowded and the stall holders were much more reasonable and not at all pushy. Of course, if you don't want to walk there are innumerable buses and taxis to take you to any of these places.

So, would we come back here? If we wanted and could get a massive 2 bedroom apartment in the heart of the city for $330 per week - yes, but we definitely wouldn't pay advertised nightly rates as we really don't need that much space and I believe we could probably do better elsewhere.