Hilton Hotel Kuala Lumpur: Convenient Luxury
The area around Kuala Lumpur’s Sentral (Central Station) is finally living up to its name, becoming a centre of business, shopping, and leisure activities in the Malaysian capital. While the long-favoured Golden Triangle continues to exert its magnetic pull on visitors to KL, the dynamic and dramatic changes in the vicinity of the city’s principal railway station indicate the growth in importance of transport hubs as related to tourism and the resulting benefits that come with it.
Hilton had the foresight to build its glamorous hotel back in 2005 in what was then a tourism desert. Located right across the street from Sentral, Hilton and its twin tower, Le Méridien, helped drive growth in the area by providing luxury accommodation for the many business visitors who came to work on the very projects that helped propel the Sentral area to the forefront of Kuala Lumpur’s tourism scene. The hotel itself is a dream for guests, with the highest standard of excellence in accommodation, service, and culinary experiences in its various F&B outlets. Those guests lucky enough to visit during the Mid-Autumn Festival have the chance to try Hilton’s famous mooncakes, packed in specially designed boxes which are redesigned every year.
Though the number if highrises around Sentral seems to increase by the week, the old-time feeling of areas nearby are remarkably well preserved. Kuala Lumpur’s Little India is a great place for a stroll, if just to see the elephant fountain and the permanent street decorations. Down a small sidestreet is the atmospheric Buddhist Mahal Vihara, an important venue for the city’s Sinhalese community. This small temple complex does not exist for visitors but rather for locals, which makes it all the more authentic as a cultural experience. On the same street, Jalan Berhala, are several fine examples of European colonial architecture that have so far survived the building boom taking place only a few streets away. Jalan Berhala lies to the south of the Hilton; to the north is the lush greenery of KL’s expansive Lake Gardens.
All that local touring can work up an appetite, so it’s a good thing there are so many appealing options for food and drink at Hilton KL. The grill at Graze serves perfectly prepared fresh seafood and aged steaks straight from the special, salt-lined refrigerator; Chynna creates an evocative ambience for the enjoyment of modern Cantonese cuisine; Iketeru, the domain of Japanese Executive Chef Ricky Kamiishi, serves exquisite dishes for connoisseurs of the best of Japanese dining. These outlets supplement the all-day dining available at Vasco’s, the casual but delicious light meals at Oro Café, and the outdoor dining poolside at Boardwalk. A nap after lunch or a good night’s sleep after dinner await in the hotel’s recently renovated rooms and suites, chicly appointed to please guests accustomed to distinctive accommodation.
It is less than 30 minutes by high-speed train between Kuala Lumpur International Airport’s railway station and Sentral. For visitors stopping over in KL between point of origin and final destination, the convenience of the KLIA Ekspres train from the airport to Sentral places Hilton at the top of the list of favourite hotels when in transit, even if just for the day.