Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral

Prologue

Facade2_AloftKL   Facade1_AloftKL

We needed to make a quick trip to Kuala Lumpur recently and decided to try out a new entrant to the city’s hotel scene – Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral. Taking the stylish, design-focused DNA of W Hotels in a select-service environment, Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ Aloft brand has buzzed the locations it has opened in. We review its latest (and largest) property in Southeast Asia, opened just slightly over a year ago.

 

Location / Accessibility

Location_AloftKL

The hotel is a recent addition to the KL Sentral development in Kuala Lumpur’s Brickfields district, conveniently located adjacent to the integrated Stesen Sentral transport hub from where the city’s airport rail link and metro systems are accessible under one roof. While still some distance from Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) and the Petronas Twin Towers, the property is ideal for travellers headed for the Malaysian capital’s other precincts including Petaling Jaya, Putrajaya and Shah Alam.

 

Arrival Experience

Lobby1_AloftKL   Lobby2_AloftKL

Getting off the KLIA Ekspres train, we found signage to the hotel noticeably lacking despite it being adjacent to the station and the Nu Sentral mall, which was on the opposite end from the airport rail link entrance/exit. There was also no direct connection between the mall and hotel, with guests having to exit the mall and walk along the sidewalk to the entrance exposed to the elements.

 

Entering the lobby, we were directed to the Aloha desk for registration where a pleasant agent proceeded to complete the check-in formalities. In-line with the brand’s light-hearted positioning, the interaction with the friendly agent was light-hearted and fuss-free as our room type was confirmed, breakfast and internet access information conveyed before our keycards were handed over.

 

Guestrooms

Guestfloor1_AloftKL   Guestfloor2_AloftKL

Our room was on the 15th floor of the hotel, which was high enough from the ground, yet avoiding the upper floors that tend to impacted by noise from the party scene at the popular rooftop bar. Whimsical artwork lined the guest corridor as we made our way to the end of the hallway, which although short could be better illuminated given how the largely gray-coloured carpet made it look darker.

Guestroom1_AloftKL

Guestroom2_AloftKL   Guestroom13_AloftKL

We had booked a King-bedded Aloft Room for our stay and were not disappointed. Despite this being the lead-in room category, the space was large and cleverly utilized with the workdesk, couch and television set next to the window to allow natural light, while the comfortable bed (together with its soft pillows and bolsters) was positioned opposite. We liked how the designers have included a local touch with a Malaysian-style cartoon above the bed, which not only serves to reinforce its light-hearted branding but also introduces the culture of the land.

Guestroom3_AloftKL   Guestroom4_AloftKL

Guestroom5_AloftKL   Guestroom6_AloftKL

The bathroom adopted an open-plan configuration with clever use of sliding doors to maximize space, where purple mosaic and gray floor tiles offered a hip colour combination that continues the design identity of the room. Situated directly behind the sleeping and living areas, it was brightly lit and well laid-out having the toilet and shower stalls side-by-side, adjacent to the large vanity and dressing area.

 

Amenities were plentiful, with sufficient towels and toiletries supplied. Bliss shampoo and shower gel accompanied the shower providing good water pressure and temperature for a very rejuvenating bath, although these were from wall-mounted dispensers rather than individual bottles for environmental considerations.

Guestroom9_AloftKL   Guestroom10_AloftKL

Guestroom7_AloftKL   Guestroom8_AloftKL

With Aloft, the bathroom area doubles as the wardrobe and storage space for room amenities including the electronic safe and coffee-/tea-making facilities. We found this nicely done as it clears the clutter from the living area, but some guests may not fancy walking into the bathroom for their morning coffee. Further reducing the clutter is the fact that the traditional guest service directory and in-room dining menu were reduced to a booklet instead of large leather folios, together with the wall-mounted electricity sockets and connectivity ports contributing to a clean desk surface.

Guestroom12_AloftKL   Guestroom11_AloftKL

Tucked below the flatscreen television is a mini-fridge deliberately left empty. Ditching the traditional minibar items, guests are encouraged to purchase snacks and drinks from the self-serve pantry in the lobby, an arrangement we prefer given how the minibar is exorbitantly priced and items are often on the verge of expiry in most hotels.

 

Dining

Nook1_AloftKL   Refuel1_AloftKL

Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral has a sit-down restaurant, Nook, serving a la carte and buffet selections all-day. Offering international and Asian fare, the restaurant pays homage to its identity with the inclusion of many Malaysian favorites such as “Sarawak Laksa” and “Ice Kachang”. On the ground floor and a staple of Aloft hotels around the world, the re:fuel by Aloft self-serve pantry retails a variety of light meals and beverages. Open 24 hours daily, guests can grab a salad or instant noodles anytime and have the cost charged to their room bill.

WXYZ1_AloftKL   MaiBar1_AloftKL

At the far end of the lobby is the W XYZ Bar, designed as a relaxed hangout by day and transforming into an electric destination bar when night falls. The venue hosts the Live at Aloft music series, showcasing local indie performers on weekday evenings. For a more eclectic time, head up to the Tiki-themed Mai Bar on the rooftop. Since opening last year, the venue has hosted numerous parties and events, quickly becoming a fixture on the KL party scene.

 

Facilities

Ballroom1_AloftKL   Tactic1_AloftKL

InTouch1_AloftKL   InTouch2_AloftKL

6,483 square meters of event space is spread between 2 floors of the hotel, comprising a large ballroom and several 7 Tactic meeting rooms. Travellers who need to stay connected will also find workstations at the In Touch section of the lobby, in addition to the complimentary wireless internet access. We found the connection speed to be rather quick, but due perhaps to the hardware set-up, users had to reconnect to the network as they moved around the different areas of the hotel.

Splash1_AloftKL   Recharge1_AloftKL

Heading up the recreation facilities is the rooftop Splash infinity pool, the venue for a refreshing swim in the morning to views of the KL Sentral development and the Petronas Twin Towers in the distance. The property a also boasts the Re:charge gymnasium, while the lobby area offers a pool table and xBox console for guests preferring a more relaxed time.

 

Service / Staff

We found the staff at Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral to be generally polite, but reserved. We were checked-in by a friendly gentleman on arrival, but other staff members were less forthcoming during our interaction. Given the positioning of the brand, we had expected a more spontaneous and outgoing approach. Having said that, smiles and greetings were often present and tasks completed efficiently, which proved adequate during our short overnight stay.

 

Verdict

Looking at the Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral in its entirety, the hotel makes an excellent choice to stay while in KL. A superb location with connectivity to the city and beyond, superior hard product and competitive pricing make it a tough act to beat for business and leisure travellers for value.

 

Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral

5 Jalan Stesen Sentral

Kuala Lumpur 50470, Malaysia

+60 3 2723 1188

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