After 4 days in Singapore (where we did a grand total of ZERO sight-seeing), it was time to leave for a side trip to Hong Kong. However, as we were flying via Malaysia Airlines, we decided to do an overnight in Kuala Lumpur as our flight to Hong Kong was at 0915. Our check-out at the Mandarin Oriental Singapore was very smooth, performed at the Club Lounge and we had also arranged hotel limousine transfer to the airport. It was very nice to see that the same limo driver who had picked us up from Changi Airport when we arrived, would be looking after us today.
Check-in at the Malaysia Airlines desk at Changi airport was very efficient and so was clearing immigration and security – all without requiring any priority passes. We would be departing from Terminal 2 today.
Soon enough we made our way to the lounge to grab a snack while we waited for our flight. Malaysia Airlines has sadly closed their own lounge in Singapore and instead are now using SATS Premier Lounge which is a shared lounge with a few other airlines. Unfortunately, we did not have that much time on our hands otherwise we would have hopped across to Terminal 1 to use the BA/ Qantas Lounge instead.
The SATS is actually a fairly pleasant lounge. There is a small buffet of mainly vegetarian dishes (it is also used by Air India) which were fairly tasty and plenty of comfortable seating. We didn’t spend too long in the lounge – after grabbing a small plate of fried noodles and vegetable curry, we made our way to the gate where boarding was called.
We would be flying the same 737-800 we took when we got to Singapore. The taxi out of Changi was fairly short and we were soon airborne. A hot meal was offered to us (crazy given that this is only a 50 minute flight) which we both declined as we were keen to get some grub once we arrived in KL.
Once we had landed in KLIA, we made our way through to immigration which is very speedy and then on towards baggage reclaim. Our baggage were the first to pop out and I am glad that the staff at KLIA have greatly improved the efficiency of baggage reclaim as this used to be one of the biggest negatives of what was otherwise a very efficient airport experience.
I had booked for us to stay at the Hilton (Sentral) in Kuala Lumpur partly because of how close it is to KL Sentral station – literally opposite the train station. KL Sentral station is connected to KLIA by a very efficient express train, the KLIA express (think of it as being similar to the Paddington Express), which runs every 15 minutes during peak hours. One of the benefits of travelling via the KLIA express is that if you are flying Malaysia Airlines, you will be able to check your baggage through for your flight from KLIA, which will prove handy for us the following day as we were lugging around quite a few suitcases. Despite all the horror stories you hear about Malaysian public transport, the KLIA express was very clean and fully air conditioned AND running to time!!!
Once we arrived at KL Sentral, we were greeted by porters who helped us with our baggage to the Hilton Hotel. Saves us lugging around our 5 suitcases! Check-in at the hotel was performed at the front desk and was very efficient. We had been upgraded to Grand Execute Suite which was a sweet bonus. Even if we hadn’t, hotel rooms in Malaysia are fairly cheap and spacious compared to the prices I am used to in England or Hong Kong so you can easily get a fairly big room at a relatively low price.
Our room was very spacious with a large living room with a dining table, a walk-in wardrobe and a bedroom with views of the nearby lake (and KL traffic). There is a small adjoining area between the living room and bedroom which is used as a work area. A welcome fruit basket had already been set up for us when we entered.
It is very hard to judge our stay at the Hilton Sentral as we were only there for such a short period of time and could not make use of many of the facilities that were available such as their gym, spa and swimming pool. The rooms themselves were well appointed although had a very corporate feel to it. Lastly, although our room also came with complimentary buffet breakfast, this would not be something that we could make use of this visit as we had to check out fairly early. This is a great hotel if you are doing a quick stop-over in KL but if I had more time to spend, I would definitely choose to stay in a hotel in KL City.