The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur – Undeniably Ritzy !

DEFINITION: impressively fancy or stylish
ORIGIN: Ritz hotels, noted for their opulence
First Known Use: 1920

I was recently in Kuala Lumpur for work and at the end of my long and hectic day of business meetings it was a treat to stay at the Ritz Carlton Kuala Lumpur. Like all the hotels under the Ritz brand, the KL property too found that perfect balance between flamboyance and restraint. Its location, it is downtown in the Golden Triangle business district just a stone throw away from upscale shopping malls and the best restaurants in KL, gives it instant cachet.

My spacious premier suite with its soothing neutral color palette, soft furnishings, large walk in closet, practical wooden desk and fabulously welcoming king bed was a haven of calm. But I noticed, when I peeped into an adjoining room while walking down the corridor, that even the regular rooms were large and well appointed with substantial marble clad bathrooms that have huge rainforest shower heads, oversized soaking tubs and double sinks- which are essential when the Mr. or Mrs. is travelling with you. Of course, my suite and the other rooms were also equipped with all the modern amenities that today’s jet-setting travellers require, from a large flat-panel HD TV to super fast Wi-Fi and electronic panels that control the lights and the AC. But this is to be expected from arguably the world’s leading luxury hotel brand. The stand out features for me were the spa, with its exceptional treatments, the pool area, which offers calm and space, the breakfast buffet, which was elaborate and delicious and Li Yen, the hotel’s in-house award winning Cantonese restaurant which is on the must try list of all the city’s food lovers and serves the most sumptuous dim sum for lunch.

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Now, usually when you stay at a hotel like Ritz you almost take the service for granted. After all, service is in the brand’s DNA. Still, the impeccable service at the Ritz Carlton KL deserves a mention. Having dealt with countless hotel professionals during my numerous check-inns I have become a keen observer of hotel staff. I feel you get to know the success of an organization by the attitude of its employees. Granted there are those employees who seem dejected in every company they serve, which honestly reflects more on their personal demeanor than the organization as a whole. However, more or less the best litmus test of a company is its personnel . Now the hospitality industry requires its staff to turn on that megawatt smile more than most other sectors. Thus one can conclude the success of a hotel is more dependent on the conduct of its staff than other firms. The truly successful hotel manages to provide the kind of atmosphere where its workforce is genuinely passionate about their job and has earnest concerns about the guest’s comfort, which creates a naturally hospitable environment. And when I find a hotel that oozes these qualities during my travels, I am sure to recognize and appreciate it. At the Ritz KL every employee had a warm and sunny smile. My personal butler was happily available to cater to my every whim. The concierge was knowledgeable and enthusiastic, always giving me numerous options of how to spend my evening. What was even better was everyone in the property seemed to know me. They all addressed me politely by my last name with a twinkle in their eye and a smile on their faces. But the beautiful paradox is that even with this kind of recognition there was a keen intimacy in the hotel. The hotel in fact is so observant of its guest’s privacy that there is a hidden private entrance for visiting celebs and politicos.

Being in the travel industry, I am jaded by travel. Even then the Ritz Carlton KL surprised me with both its wonderful amenities and its unbeatable services. Its exquisite air of grandeur, its class and comfort make it undeniably ritzy and the ultimate place to stay in Kuala Lumpur!

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