Review: Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel, Malaysia

The term "Renaissance" brings to mind a rebirth of European art and literature in the 14th to 17th centuries. The exterior of the entrance to the Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel - with its triangular roof, and tall columns and symmetry about their vertical axis - does portray a flavour of this period in European history. Once inside, guests would immediately be transported to modernity, as the West Wing of the hotel has just completed a renovation not long ago.

The East Wing, on the other hand, is closed for renovations from 2019; from my understanding it will be rebranded into another property. Guests should thus be mindful of old reviews describing the East Wing and the pre-renovation West Wing of the hotel. Nearby is the Dang Wangi LRT and Bukit Nanas monorail stations, and the hotel is also a short walk away from the Petronas Twin Towers and the surrounding KLCC park, which are undoubtedly the must-go places in Kuala Lumpur.

Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel

I did the usual check-in at the front desk, where I was presented with a Marriott Bonvoy elite welcome gift of either 1,000 points or snacks and drinks. The check-in agent was nice to remind me that those same snacks and drinks would be available at the lounge during the cocktail hour, and I thanked him for his very rational suggestion. He also upgraded me to the Club Executive Suite, which was very much appreciated. Other benefits include a few pieces of garment pressing, and use of the meeting room on the club level, which I did not utilise.

Lobby area, where the Renaissance-style roof and columns can be seen behind the glass

Part of the lobby area

There are in total 44 suites and 356 rooms in the West Wing. The Club Executive Suite was located on a club floor (levels 24 to 27) and spanned the size of two standard rooms, for a total of 59 square metres of space. It was all very new and good views can be enjoyed from both the living area and bedroom.

Club Executive Suite, bedroom with king bed

Club Executive Suite, living area

The bathroom has a separate shower and bathtub, and was stocked with sufficient amenities.

Bathroom with separate shower and bathtub

A simple plate of fruits also made for a healthy and practical welcome amenity.

Fruit plate as welcome amenity

For those with access, a visit to the Club Lounge on level 25 is of course necessary, and I was pleasantly surprised to find a special staircase that connect the club floors together, eliminating the need for a one or two storey elevator ride, which might have taken more time. There is also a few sofas as sort of a "social area".

Staircase connecting the club floors

The lounge is actually rather small for a hotel of its scale, and fortunately my visit was neither during the peak season nor did it coincide with special events. Thus, I had a good choice of seat options, although I suspect that guests might have to be asked to consider sharing tables during cocktail evenings of very peak periods. Seats by the glass window offer a rather close view of the KL Tower. The service was warm, and I also had a pleasant conversation with the hotel's Executive Housekeeper, who was eager to reach out for my feedback on the room.

Afternoon tea at the Club Lounge, Level 25

Table seats and window-facing seats

The best part about club lounges is arguably the evening cocktail hour; for this hotel it takes place from 5.30pm to 7.30pm, available to club room occupants or otherwise the elite member plus one guest. All the basic spirits were available, plus wine and beer. A promising selection of hot food, salad and deserts complemented the free booze. There was also a live noodle station with toppings of your choice, although I would suggest you save some space for savouring some Malaysian cuisines at perhaps the Jalan Alor area for dinner.

Free booze

Spread of deserts available

Live noodle station

While the lounge is slightly modest in size, almost everything else was certainly big. This perhaps might not be surprising if you consider the fact that the East Wing (which also had its own lounge for its guests) had 510 rooms, and thus the common facilities like the pool, fitness centre and spa were designed for a total of 910 rooms in mind. Indeed, the swimming pool is described as Olympic-sized according to Marriott, which was probably true if calculated by area.

View of the pool and tennis court from upstairs

The pool with poolside dining

The fitness centre is probably among the biggest that I have seen for a hotel, with a slightly overwhelming selection of cardio and weight equipment; from my understanding, the fitness centre is independently operated and also shared with non-hotel customers, although it was not at all crowded when I visited.

The mega fitness centre
Free weights

A steam room, sauna and Jacuzzi is located within the fitness centre, segregated by gender.

Steam room, sauna and Jacuzzi

Breakfast was available at either the Club Lounge or main restaurant named Evolution Cafe. The former probably provides more exclusivity with a smaller selection, while the latter grants the full selection. I opted for the latter, and was rewarded with a good spread of food with all that you would expect for breakfast and brunch.

Bread and pastry corner

Fruit and yoghurt

Buffet breakfast at Evolution Cafe

Overall, the hotel actually looks much better inside than it does from outside. The major plus points are an enormous pool and fitness centre, which when combined with few guests (because of the East Wing closure), make for a very good experience. A minor comment is that although the hotel was very recently renovated, the rooms do not feature USB ports for charging, unlike at the Four Points by Sheraton Kuala Lumpur Chinatown, where several were available. I also tried to borrow a USB cable on the Marriott Bonvoy app and from staff at the Club Lounge, but was told that this was not available. Better remember to pack it next time!

Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel is located at the northeast intersection corner of Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, 50450, Malaysia.


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