Alila Bangsar is a contemporary lifestyle hotel that showcases the balance of an energetic vibe in a tranquil environment. Located in the Brickfields district of Kuala Lumpur, also known as Little India. An oasis in the city with pocket gardens surrounding its lobby, amenities, and swimming pool.
My very first stay in an Alila branded hotel can be summarised in two words, surprisingly great. My initial impressions weren’t positive, its location while nearby KL Sentral is in a rather obscure neighbourhood, a residential area. Upon arriving the ground floor lobby, I was greeted by a hotel staff who promptly requested for my booking confirmation, it was an informal procedure, a quick glance for my name which he then radioed to a colleague on the other side, most probably communicating to the actual front desk of my arrival. The ground level reception was dimly lit, you could even say mysterious but spacious albeit with a double-height ceiling to accommodate an artificial tree in the centre. After a minute he then guided us to an express elevator, pressed the button for the sky lobby and returned to his post at the reception desk. Initially, I didn’t understand the process but every thing came to light once I arrived the sky lobby on level 41.
The elevator doors opened to a bright and airy lobby, a much more welcoming atmosphere. Waiting by the elevator was a front desk associate (Amer, if I remember correctly) who greeted me by name, after which he introduced himself and welcomed me to the Alila Bangsar. He didn’t hesitate to try to assist with my luggage, I politely declined. He asked for my passport and to my surprise he ushered us to the guestroom elevators, which serve levels 36 to 41. In-room check-in isn’t really something I expected, apparently it’s their standard procedure. I usually only ever have in-room check-in when I arrive with the hotel’s limousine, definitely a positive surprise.
Measuring just 38 square meters, the Studio King features a clean and minimalistic design which enhances the sense of space. I love the liberal use of the wooden texture, from the floors to the walls and furniture to accents, even the frames that hold the glass panels which divide the bedroom from the sitting area are wood. The overall look and feel of the room is relaxing, an oasis far from the usual city hotel setup.
The bathroom while not featuring a bathtub has a spacious shower closet. A large overhead rain-shower setup provided a strong and stable water pressure and temperature. Bathroom amenities are presented in wall-mounted dispensers which may be a negative for some, but I was more than happy to have a generous supply and not having to deal with the usual small plastic containers. Alila Hotels and Resorts prides themselves in leading numerous sustainably campaigns that reduce environmental waste. Large glass carafes of water instead of tiny plastic bottles and pump bottle amenities are just some front-end examples.
Located near the bed and in the centre of the room, the standard closet with integrated luggage rack is convenient to access. Storage space is rather limited in this configuration, but it’s not a deal breaker. I do appreciate the thick rounded wooden hangers with a proper hook unlike the common ball top hangers (anti-theft) in other hotels.
The large vanity counter with stool and a dual mirror setup is really nice. In addition, a sliding door to bedroom can be opened to allow natural light to enter this corner of the room. Yes. The bathroom has two entry ways, one from the foyer and the other from the bedside, both have a sliding barn door for privacy. The toilet closet is behind another wooden sliding door for your comfort.
The 50 inch TV is flushed to wall framed in wood, details such as this complete the design. The sitting bench underneath the TV is a nice area to prepare your shoes and tuck them underneath when not in use. As you can see there is a partition between the bedroom and living area – the work desk and and a sofa by the window are somewhat isolated, a quiet space of sorts.
A growing hotel design trend in the 21st century is the utilisation of window space, an emphasis on bringing the living area closer to natural light. The concept of scenic bathrooms usually reserved for resort proprieties are now starting to be a standard in luxury city hotels.
Alila Living Room
The Alila Living Room is a communal lounge concept located by the elevators on every guestroom floor. Stocked with chips, popcorn, etc. for snacking and juices, and cold teas in the fridge. The bar also features an coffee machine and a drinking water dispenser for you to refill your in-room carafes. During my stay, the Alila Living Room was always well kept and stocked albeit that the hotel wasn’t very busy. In the morning, guest who are in a rush can pick a quick meal from the basket of fresh pastries and fruits before leaving the hotel. I appreciate the generous setup of the Alila Living Room concept, another great surprise.
Alila Bangsar has 4 dining concepts: The Botanica + Co on the ground floor next to the driveway entrance, The Pool Bar on level 40 by the swimming pool, The Pacific Standard Bar and Entier (All-Day Dining) on level 41.
Entier located on level 41 (sky lobby) is a casual French restaurant with a distinct Japanese fashion house vibe. I love the window-side tables entertain with a panoramic view and the morning sunshine. The breakfast setup is a mix of a buffet and a la carte, guests that have breakfast included in their room rate are entitled to one set breakfast (per person) in addition to the continental buffet.
There are 5 set breakfast options, namely International, Oriental, Malay, Indian, and Vegetarian. Other items on the menu beyond the set breakfast incur a surcharge. The continental buffet showcases a selection of cereals, freshly baked pastries, a salad bar, and various cold cuts. The self-serve drink bar have juices, milk, and some flavoured water on offer. I stayed for 2 nights, which means I had a sample of 4 sets, the International breakfast set being the most filling and the Malay set being the most satisfying taste wise.
Alila Bangsar is a hotel you’ll love for its premium approach to hospitality and innovative concepts that are not only generous but are also eco-friendly. I had my apprehensions with its location and neighbourhood as with time that all faded, the hotel has become the destination.
Alila Bangsar Kuala Lumpur is now participating in the World of Hyatt loyalty program and is now bookable through Hyatt.com and on the World of Hyatt mobile app.