Hilton Petaling Jaya, Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia

I live in the UK.  The UK is a very, very long way away from the Hilton Petaling Jaya.

I was travelling alone on business and had flown from Newcastle to Dubai and then onto Kuala Lumpur.  I paid for the budget taxi (not dodgy or falling apart – perfectly functional) in the airport and then followed the signs for the cars.  The heat hit me as soon as I got out.  I removed my heavy winter jacket and tried really hard to stay awake during the 40 minute journey to the hotel.

As my taxi pulled up the bellboy appeared and helped me with my luggage.  The hotel lobby was cool (in an air-conditioned way, not trendy) and I walked right up to the counter.  I am a Diamond Hhonors member (Hilton’s frequent guest program) so could have checked in upstairs.  I was reminded of this by the clerk – I didn’t see the point in going upstairs to come back down so I just asked him to carry on.

He wore a badge that read ‘Training to help serve you better’.  This was probably apt – he wasn’t your standard Hilton clerk – he didn’t ask about newspapers, my journey or anything else actually.  Nor did he welcome me back… He did take a credit card swipe of 2500MYR (about £550) for an 11 night stay which is probably about right.  The room rate was being billed direct to the company but came in at just under £60 per night.  This rate turned out to be pretty good value.

I was given the choice of an Executive room or a ‘newly refurbished’ room.  I asked which he thought was better and he quickly came back with the latter.  Off I went.

As I entered the lift I was reminded how close to the equator I was – the lift did not have air con and the short journey upstairs took way too long!

I located my room and found 2 maids in it – one adding a welcome gift (Chocolate) and one smiling at me.  They left as I arrived.

The room was indeed modern and was furnished in dark tones.  There was a desk in one corner, bed in the centre of the back wall, and floor to ceiling windows.  The bathroom only had a shower but this didn’t concern me.  There was both a Western style toilet as well as an Eastern receptacle.

From the window I could see some restaurants (Local food from Syeds, a Pizza shop and Steakhouse which I never tried) across the street along with a supermarket.  There was a fairly busy road to cross to reach them, but I later found out, that by taking a deep breath first, I could manage.

I took a long shower and felt much better.  I needed to find a local SIM card for my phone so I skipped the shop in the lobby (who wanted to charge a lot more than he should) and went for a wander around the area.  Cross the road from the hotel, turn left and then turn right down the hill.  You will pass Chutneys and next to it Restroan Rokaro (Chinese Karaoke club).  Keep walking down and there is a phone shop on the corner.  These guys were really excellent and went out of their way to sort out my SIM cards for iPad, iPhone and another for a colleague who was due to join me.  Just remember and take a passport as every Malaysian (MY) SIM needs to be registered – even PAYG.  I stopped in at Chutneys for a pretty good curry and then went back to the hotel.

There was a small fridge in the room that had some wine, beer and juice.  There was also some junk food available in the drawer just above.  There was lots of room available for my own stuff – I put the 2 free bottles of water they gave me each day in the fridge overnight so it was cold for the next day.

I went to bed and having not slept for far too long I assumed I would sleep… I didn’t.  There was an incredibly large aircon unit outside my window which made a noise.  I think it made a lot of noise but my colleague (who ended up with the room right next door to me) didn’t think so.  Just beware – you may want to bring some earplugs, or something to get you to sleep if you are not used to noise.

Breakfast was mad here.  I mean really mad.  There was so much food I didn’t know where to start.  There was your normal Hilton stuff – cereal, bread, eggs, hash browns, omelettes etc. and then Malaysian stuff (curry, rice, coconut broth), Indian stuff (chicken curry, lentil curry), Chinese stuff (dim sum) and even some Japanese Sushi.  I never managed to get my body to agree with eating curry at 6:30am but my colleague tried everything and rated everything highly (the Cucumber juice being the notable exception…does that surprise you?  Have you ever said “I fancy a nice glass of refreshing Cucumber juice”?  I haven’t either…).

I went out for the day and retuned to find my nightclothes neatly folded and all of my bathroom items laid out nicely with a green mat underneath.  I thought this was a pretty nice touch and I started leaving a 5 MYR tip for the maid each day which seemed to increase the complimentary water count to three.

Exec Lounge here was tired.  It felt old and clearly was, although it gave you a nice view of the traffic leading into KL.  There was a free bar here from 6pm till 8:30pm every night (I think – it certainly didn’t seem very long); Heineken was available along with a keg of Carlsberg which guests kept refilling their glass from (and sharing all their germs in the process).  Wine (which my other colleague didn’t rate well) was available along with a limited selection of spirits.  The food in the lounge was pretty good, during my stay there was Lasagne, Dim Sum, Satay sticks, Potato Puffs, Chicken and lamb in a number of disguises along with your normal selection of cold rolls and nibbles.  You could easily have eaten enough here to skip dinner which is handy to remember if you have travelled a long way.  Remember that all the hot stuff is removed when the bar closes so get in quick.

I did see a few guests who arrived late were allowed a beer outside of the normal opening hours so don’t be shy to ask if you arrive late.

Uncle Chili’s is a bar / club within the hotel which is a very cool place to be if you are a local. They have live music most nights and a resident band.  Prices here are expensive – £6 for a beer, but they do have a happy hour.  Smoking is allowed here (long way away from UK regulation) but the air con is good enough that it’s not a problem.

I enjoyed my stay at the Hilton PJ.  It was a little out of town but really easy to get to with a LRT (think DLR/light rail) station within 10 minutes’ walk.  Taxis here are very, very cheap however KL does have a traffic problem so take a peek out of the Exec Lounge window to check the situation before jumping in.  Taxis that wait outside the hotel are Premier Taxis which cost literally double that of a budget cab.  The prices here are still very cheap compared to the UK (premier taxis start at 6 MYR which is approx. £1.20 and go up in .20MYR increments which is about 4p.  Don’t get in any of the cabs which loiter on the main road just outside the hotel – they will happily try to charge 10 times or more than the real fare).

The concierge team here were excellent; I didn’t have a requirement for them to source me anything unusual but I reckon they would try their best with any request.  If you are a Whisky lover (Scotch, not Bourbon) then it’s very expensive to buy here with many types of malt simply unavailable in Malaysia.  Consider bringing a bottle of something with you to leave for a new friend – I promised the concierge that I would.

Top tip – ask for a refurbished room.

Hilton Petaling Jaya, No. 2 Jalan Barat Selangor, Darul Ehsan, Petaling Jaya, 46200. Website


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