The magic of the towers

by Sarah Box

This story is part of our 'Funniest hotel experiences' series, featuring tales from luxury hotel guests which were sent in for our recent travel writing competition. Photo by Flydime.

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Luxurious and exquisitely furbished, the hotel we stayed at in Kuala Lumpur also gave us a fabulous light show with a difference during our first night on holiday.

Located in the Golden Triangle – the Malaysian capital's entertainment and shopping hub – our hotel had a futuristic backdrop of cutting edge skyscrapers which nestled comfortably next to ancient Chinese houses and ornate colonial mansions. A beguiling park led up to the hotel entrance while food hawkers and fortune tellers shared the streets with brightly coloured temples and exclusive malls.

Hot and dusty after our flight, my husband and I were unsure that we should even be guests as we stepped into the lobby, the latter a resplendent display of marble, glittering coppery floor and wow-factor orchids. The amicable concierge put us at our ease with a genuine warmth that the Malays are famed for and displayed excellent local knowledge when we asked how to locate various sightseeing places.

But it was the surprise that greeted us from our 23rd floor room which was to prove a truly wonderful and memorable welcome. Directly opposite spacious windows, an astonishingly impressive panorama of the Petronas Towers - the world’s tallest twin structures - propelled into the sky, shimmering bronze tones of light in a pre-storm sky. We even observed the pinnacle, an eight-point Islamic star which represents harmony between people and heaven. Transfixed, we sat silently for an hour taking photographs!

Once we stirred from our reveries, we appreciated the fine touches that made our room extra special. These included a traditional copper lantern and mantelpiece from the Malaysian region of Malacca; cushions and bedlinen in sumptuous ochre and burnt orange hues; even a custom-carved door handle with an intricate Malay 'Kris' dagger design, considered to bring good luck. A writing desk was a special homely touch; next to the window I had geometric ribbons of glass flowing from the Petronas Towers as creative inspiration.

We challenged ourselves to find another amazing panorama and were delighted with views of KLCC Park from the infinity pool. Unusually, you feel as if you are swimming right into the park, with views of tropical trees and plants giving extra meaning to your wellbeing. Another striking feature right next to the hotel was the Lake Symphony, two fountains curvaceously shaped as a diamond ring. At nightfall, the Lake Symphony flashed glittering colours in playful sequence to music – with that magic no need for Disneyland!

The Petronas Towers were also the backdrop for our wonderfully romantic private dining. Room service was rather a gourmet tasting menu. Malay satays followed by roast duck, wontons and Asian greens noodle soup – classics from Nyonya cuisine which is a decadent blend of Chinese and Malay cooking. And I’ve even kept the souvenir bookmark that was left on my pillow that first night, with its philosophical quote about inner radiance on it. A great hotel that gave us the light fantastic!

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