I still can’t believe that we stayed in the wonderful 5 star Renaissance Hotel in the middle of Kuala Lumpur for $120 AUD per night, including breakfast for two people. We paid 360 MYR (exchange rate with the AUD is currently 3 to 1) and feel it was extremely good value. We had stayed in the Traders Hotel, another 5 star hotel near Petronas Towers recently and paid double that amount per night. Whilst the Traders Hotel had a better view of the Towers, the Renaissance equalled it in every other aspect. That said, the Renaissance is only about a 15 minute walk to the Petronas Towers, and the view from our room was still wonderful.
We had a pleasant surprise on checking in, when the clerk informed us that we would be getting a room upgrade to an Executive room on the 20th floor and a view of the Petronas Towers. Are there any two words you want to hear more than ‘complimentary upgrade’? It was a shame we were only staying for the one night as this is the kind of hotel that oozes quality and luxury.
The hotel boasts all of the amenities you come to expect from a top quality establishment with full spa facilities, a pool, free wifi in all rooms and a fitness centre.
Our stay coincided with the month of Ramadan, which saw the local Muslim population fast for the hours of daylight. This places extra importance on the evening meal, and the hotel were providing a special Ramadan feast buffet each evening during this month. Whilst passing the dining area we were taken aback by what looked like a whole lamb being carved by a chef and a fairly extensive buffet. Upon enquiry we discovered the Ramadan connection and decided to give it a go. As guests we had 30% off the (fairly expensive) 150 MYR per person charge, bringing it down to about $33 AUD per head.
The buffet was perhaps one of the finest we had ever tasted, a real mix of eastern and western foods. Everything from numerous curries, rice dishes, seafood, the aforementioned roast lamb etc, and many dessert options. Certainly worth the money considering we were hungry and could take as much as we liked.
When leaving the buffet some time later we were given wristbands to wear, not quite sure why, we asked the waiter. He told us that the Malaysians like to eat fruit as a dessert after meals and that they had set up a fruit stall outside the hotel where buffet participants could go and eat fruit. This seemed odd at first until he told us that the fruit of choice here is Durian, and it is banned from inside the hotel. Just how bad does a fruit have to be to get banned from a hotel?
I have tasted Durian twice previously, and each time found it to be . . well . . revolting. I had never tasted fresh Durian however, and decided that I should give this much maligned fruit another chance. The staff member at the fruit stall informed us of the different grades of Durian, and this was, of course, the best. So against my better judgement I asked to try some fresh Durian. I have to say that I didn’t think it possible, but the fresh Durian actually tastes worse than my previous tastes of Durian desserts. Now I know millions of people, particularly in Asia love this fruit, but for the life of me I can’t see why. It remains the worst thing I have ever tasted in my life, and after three attempts, I’m sorry Durian but I will not be trying a fourth.
After a perfect night’s sleep on what Corinne described as the best mattress she had ever slept on, we were given a late check out to tie in with our flight later that day. The breakfast buffet was as extensive and delicious as we had now come to expect.
We now had around 5 hours to explore Kuala Lumpur, and to try and fit in as much as possible we decided to take the Hop On Hop Off tourist bus. We bought our tickets from the concierge and made our way to the bus stop across the road. You can read our review of this service here.
So it was time to say goodbye to the Renaissance Hotel, one last duty for them to perform by calling our airport taxi, and we were on our way. We had a lovely, all be it brief stay. Truly affordable luxury in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.
Find the best deal, compare prices, and read what other travellers have to say about The Renaissance Hotel at TripAdvisor.