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Review: aloft, Kuala Lumpur

The towering aloft Kuala Lumpur hovers above Sentral, the main transportation hub, its neon lights illuminating the rooftop bar and they sky above.  This is the largest aloft in the world, and as of this review it’s bran spanking new.

As you would imagine, this aloft embraces the same modern spirit as all others.  It covers all the bases, but like other alofts it’s not about luxury.  The rooms are about the average size, have a small refrigerator and include the typical amenities including hair dryer, coffee maker, in-room safe and two complimentary bottles of water each day.

The restaurant, Nook, is decent, but not fabulous and it’s a little pricey (of course not in US terms as almost everything in Malaysia is cheaper).  The wxyz bar, located in the lobby, serves some decent smaller plates, but the prices are a little high compared to what you’ll find outside of the hotel – which is never a surprise.

The hotel’s main highlight just might be the roof-top infinity pool.  It offers killer views of Kuala Lumpur and the hills surrounding town, and is a great place to spend half a day soaking up the sun.

The Re:Charge gym is small but it’s complete and offers a couple treadmills and other cardio equipment as well as free weights.

The staff, or ‘talent’ as they’re referred to, do a good job, but since the hotel is new they are still working out a few kinks.  It seems breakfast can be a little hectic for them and they easily get behind in refilling the buffet or getting coffee.  The breakfast buffet is decent enough and includes a lot of regional favorites as well as some western items.  Again, it’s not the best aloft buffet we’ve had, but it does the trick to fill you up in the morning.

The hotel’s location may be one of the best things it has going for it.  While it’s not near great restaurants, bars or tourist sites – it is located directly across the street from Sentral, which is the main transportation hub for the city.  There you can catch an easy bus, train or cab to go just about anywhere.

If you are looking to get to the aloft from the Kuala Lumpur airport – take the bus.  If you’re flying into the low cost terminal simply grab a $8.00 MR aerobus or jetbus ticket and hop on the bus for the one hour ride to Sentral.  It’s like taking a cheap cab as it takes you straight to your destination by dropping you off literally across the street from the aloft.

In addition, KL Sentral is home to a number of restaurants including the typical fast food joints like McDonald’s and Subway and some local, food-court style eateries.  Sentral also has several convenience stores, a pharmacy and some little souvenir and clothing shops.

Overall, a stay at the aloft Kuala Lumpur is comparable with a stay at other alofts, but it’s location and cheaper price tag make it a good choice.  If you’re looking for something a little more focused on luxury and service, I’d suggest the Le Meredien or Hilton, which both sit directly across from the aloft and Sentral station.