Inside Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur’s Urban Oasis

Arriving at the ground floor of a chic modern building in the middle of downtown Kuala Lumpur is simply the beginning of the urban oasis experience. 

Minimal, ivory floral panels catapulted to an ultra high ceiling. This is only the start. Catch a high-speed elevator up to the 53rd floor, and that’s where the glamourous lobby resides. Or one might say, where the Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur experience truly commences.

It’s not uncommon to feel submerged right off the bat. Massive glass windows emanate the sense of floating in the sky, along with some of the city’s most iconic structures.

While checking in, there are fragrant choices. Oils, and scents for the room. How about amber for tonight, and rose for tomorrow? How about a different scent for every night. A freshly concocted local juice is brought upon a wooden tray, along with orchids and a Malaysian snack. This is how an urban oasis experience kick starts the right way. The Banyan Tree way.

Entrance to the hotel.
Entrance to the hotel. PHOTO WENDY HUNG
Aromatherapy.
Aromatherapy. PHOTO WENDY HUNG
Welcome treat
Welcome treat. PHOTO WENDY HUNG

LOCATION

Situated in downtown’s posh Golden Triangle, Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur is less than a six-minute walk from the flashy Pavilion Shopping Mall. Within walking distance from the hotel are several iconic attractions, including: Petronas Twin Towers (KLCC Twin Towers,) KL Tower (Menara Kuala Lumpur,) KLCC Park, monorail station Bukit Bintang, Aquaria KLCC…and many more. Not to mention, a slew of other malls are also nearby, like: Fahrenheit88, Suria KLCC, The Weld Shopping Center…etc.

View at Vertigo Bar.
View at Vertigo Bar. PHOTO WENDY HUNG

BRAND & DESIGN

The Banyan Tree brand was birthed in 1994, originally derived from the philosophy that banyan trees have been a sacred focal point in numerous Asian villages for thousands of years, where locals and travelers often met. Banyan Tree’s mission, from the start, has always been to beautifully integrate natural luxury and sustainable hospitality.

Akin to its international hotel group’s signature mark, the Kuala Lumpur property boasts Asian-inspired designs and style exemplified throughout the entire premise.  Beige, taupe, copper screens, chestnut furnishings, cream marble comprised of a tranquil balance to deep hardwoods that root floor-to-ceiling glass panels. By partnering with Konzepte+Design International Sdn. Bhd. and Studioaria, earthy tones and understated opulence are executed through glistening chandeliers and light velvet chairs.

Entrance to the hotel.
Entrance to the hotel. PHOTO WENDY HUNG
Aromatherapy.
Aromatherapy. PHOTO WENDY HUNG

RETREATS & SUITES

The hotel features 55 rooms and suites, between 55th and 57th floors. But guests are ultimately transported to a personal spa inside suites that feature large egg-shaped tubs and rainforest showers with LED lights that shift in various colors.

Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur
FACEBOOK Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur

The extra bonuses arrive in the form of welcome snacks: a delectable plate of multiple chocolate dipped cake pops, and colorful fruit bowls showcasing the country’s vibrant agriculture. Guests are gifted with dragon fruit, ground cherries, kiwis…just to name a few.

Bath with a view.
Bath with a view. PHOTO WENDY HUNG
Bathroom in suite.
Bathroom in suite. PHOTO WENDY HUNG

Every room and suite offers magnificent views of the city, either of the Petronas Twin Towers or the KL Sky Tower. Referred to as either a “retreat” or a “suite,” guests can choose between: Banyan Retreat (549- 678 square feett with an epic view of the city skyline, sleeping two with either a king-sized or two twin beds, an oval bathtub and all other standard amenities,) Signature Banyan Retreats (678-721 square feet with a a pillow menu and an aromatherapy set,) Signature Sky Retreat (581-721 square feet with a premium chromotherapy shower and burner for essential oils,) Sky Suite (667 square feet with additional living area and a bedroom with the view of the Petronas Towers,) Sanctuary Suite (969 square feet with a private pool,) Sky Sanctuary Suite (1,249 square feet with chromotherapy shower, sauna, pool, and a walk-in closet,) or Banyan Tree Suite (“the ultimate retreat in the sky” – a split-level 2,153 square feet duplex with a private pool, a dining room, and access to Banyan Tree resort host service.)

Bedroom view.
Bedroom view. PHOTO WENDY HUNG
Tub with a view.
Tub with a view. PHOTO WENDY HUNG

VERTIGO BAR & VERTIGO TOO

Needless to say, Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur is home to one of the trendiest bars, if not THE trendiest, in the city. Vertigo is the highest rooftop bar in all of Malaysia, making it the most ideal hotspot to indulge in an artisanal cocktail, such as: Mount Genting (gin, dry vermouth, lime juice, lychee, raspberry syrup, egg white,) or Gula Melaka Mojito (rum, lime wedge, spearmint, soda water, gula melaka which is palm sugar made from saps of coconut palms,) and Lemongrass Caipirinha (dark rum, lime juice, sugar, fresh lemongrass.)

Vertigo Bar's cocktail.
Vertigo Bar’s cocktail. PHOTO WENDY HUNG
Artisanal cocktail at Vertigo Bar.
Artisanal cocktail at Vertigo Bar. PHOTO WENDY HUNG

Delicious drinks can be accompanied by Malaysian savory dishes, like: Salted Egg Popcorn Chicken (boneless chicken thigh, curry leaf dip) and Satay Mortar (traditional Malaysian grilled beef & chicken skewers, served with peanut sauce, nasi impit, cucumber, shallot.) All is to be enjoyed with the extraordinary view of a nostalgic sunset as the glitzy backdrop of sparkling Petronas Towers and the Pavilion Mall.

Satay snacks.
Satay snacks. PHOTO WENDY HUNG
Salted egg popcorn chicken snack.
Salted egg popcorn chicken snack. PHOTO WENDY HUNG

The rooftop hotspot is extended to Vertigo TOO, a late-night hangout with a live DJ as it elevates the open-air nightlife experience to a whole new level on the 60th floor. With an even more expansive 360-degree view of the bustling Golden Triangle, Vertigo TOO is a panoramic venue for fun events. The best part about both venues is that they welcome guests who aren’t staying at the hotel.

Vertigo TOO
FACEBOOK Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur

HORIZON GRILL

Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur’s key restaurant, Horizon Grill, is situated on the 58th floor and spotlights exquisite European cuisine, seafood and specifically outstanding prime cuts of meat.

Luscious cuts of meat at Banyan Tree KL.
Luscious cuts of meat at Banyan Tree KL. PHOTO WENDY HUNG
Prepared by chef Francesco Fedrighi.
Prepared by chef Francesco Fedrighi. PHOTO WENDY HUNG

Led by Executive Chef Filippo Abisso and Chef de Cuisine Francesco Fedrighi, the high-end grill house combines the chefs’ European backgrounds with Asian influences. Its current Japanese Beef Series takes meat lovers through a journey of gourmet tastes with whole or partial Japanese origin.

The Omi A5 Sirloin, for instance, is made from Japanese black cattle grown in Shiga Prefecture with the longest history up to 400 years. Or the Mizayaki A5 Tomahawk is a wagyu born, raised and processed in the prefecture of Miyazaki. Carved from the rib, known to be marbled with large chunk of fat in the middle which melts like butter when grilled.

Prior to the meal, the wait staff arrives to offer various choices of knives for the selected steak. Orange, teal, red, or yellow. The presentation itself might well rival the beauty of the knife display.

Rooftop restaurant Horizon Grill.
Rooftop restaurant Horizon Grill. PHOTO WENDY HUNG
Prime cuts of meats at Horizon Grill.
Prime cuts of meats at Horizon Grill. PHOTO WENDY HUNG

In addition to prime cuts, Horizon Grill’s menu also features Caviar Selections, like the Iranian Beluga and the Baeri. Followed by tasty hot appetizers: Hokkaido Scallops, Oyster Rockefeller, or Foie Gras. Besides Catches of the Day or Boston Lobster that highlight the stellar menu, the Australian Lamb Ragu Tagliatelle also cannot be missed.

Hamachi appetizer at Horizon Grill.
Hamachi appetizer at Horizon Grill. PHOTO WENDY HUNG
Horizon Grill.
Horizon Grill. PHOTO WENDY HUNG

Horizon Grill is also where breakfast can be devoured, with lines of sky-high tables surrounded by the breathtaking view of the city. Like most five-star hotels, Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur provides an abundant breakfast buffet with cereals, DIY porridge station, pastries, breads, fresh fruits and hot food stations. Taking center stage is a honey comb, sweetly representing one of Malaysia’s finest exports.

Breakfast porridge.
Breakfast porridge. PHOTO WENDY HUNG
Breakfast honeycomb.
Breakfast honeycomb. PHOTO WENDY HUNG

But Malaysia’s foodie authenticity shines through with local breakfast options like: Banyan Tree Signature Nasi Lemak (fragrant rice cooked in coconut milk, sambal, fried anchovies, cucumber, fried peanuts, pan-fried egg,) Indian Tadka Dhal (yellow lentil, hand crushed garlic, cumin, dried red chili, carrot,) and Traditional Malay Curry Mee (diced boneless chicken thigh, pearl shell, lemongrass, ginger, garlic, bean sprout, bean-curd, coconut broth, chili sambal.)

Breakfast with local cuisine.
Breakfast with local cuisine. PHOTO WENDY HUNG
Breakfast with a view.
Breakfast with a view. PHOTO WENDY HUNG

HEALTH & WELLNESS

In need of a spiritual awakening? The Banyan Tree Spa integrates holistic approach with traditional Asian healing therapies by offering Thai and Balinese massages, anti-aging facials, foot relaxology and even a three-hour wellness ritual with scrubs. The goal is to provide “Sanctuary for the Senses,” which is an apt reference to the sacredness of banyan trees.

Spa Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur
The Banyan Tree Spa. FACEBOOK Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur

The serene spa journey begins with cleansing of the feet ritual, soaking in water with burgundy rose pedals. After the incredibly relaxing massage, it’s instructed that the oils are not to be washed off completely. Meanwhile, the masseuse gently wipes the entire body with a hot towel, keeping just enough oil essentials on the revived skin and muscles for healing purposes.

Pool view.
Pool view. PHOTO WENDY HUNG
Hotel pool.
Hotel pool. PHOTO WENDY HUNG

Nearby the spa is a 24-hour gym, fully equipped modern machines and weights. Similar to the common theme that carries through the entire hotel, the gym also overlooks a city view from high above, making intense workouts a little less painful.

The open-air pool might just be the other crowning jewel of Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur, with its spectacular view of the Petronas Towers as well as the Sky Tower. Plush lounge chairs and multiple pools on the edge of the 53rd floor creates a sense of luxury from high above.

STAFF & SERVICES

The service at Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur is unmatched, not only does the front desk offer multilingual capabilities in Chinese, English and Malay; the staff breaths through the famous Malaysian hospitality. It’s laidback, kind, calm. It’s always with a smile.

For the ultimate experience of an urban oasis in Kuala Lumpur, there isn’t possibly another option.

Wendy Hung

CEO, FOUNDER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

As the founder of Jetset Times, Wendy is an avid traveler and fluent in five languages. When she's not traveling, Wendy calls Paris and Taipei home. Her favorite countries so far from her travels have been: Bhutan, Iran, and St. Bart's because they were all so different!