We love to root for the underdog as much as anyone, and we delight in exposing small independent hotels to a wider audience. But like the mainstream pop radio hit that, despite yourself, you just can’t stop humming, sometimes the big hotel chains get it exactly right.
The fact is, you haven’t known proper service until you’ve stayed in a Far East megahotel like the Mandarin in Kuala Lumpur, where sheer expertise and hospitality overkill trump any desire for the idiosyncratic charms of a boutique hotel. Start with the location, in the shadow of the 88-story Petronas Twin Towers, and connected to the KLCC shopping center, with views of the city center park. To that add the sheer extravagance of the humblest doubles, not to mention the almost unspeakable luxury of the Mandarin Oriental Club floors, and throw in a dash of some of the most devoted service in any hotel we’ve ever seen, and you’ve got a recipe for success.
No fewer than five restaurants grace the property itself, from Cantonese to sushi to Continental cuisine, and leisure facilities include almost anything you’ve ever seen in a hotel, from a full-service spa and outdoor pool to tennis and squash courts. Business facilities, of course, are world-class, and you can’t fault the location, for business or pleasure—even the Petronas Towers have a concert hall on-site, home to the Kuala Lumpur Philharmonic.
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