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“What a lovely hotel...”
Review of Hotel Istana

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Hotel Istana
Ranked #22 of 349 Hotels in Kuala Lumpur
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 26 January 2011

My partner and I stayed at the Hotel Istana at the end of December for one week.

What a fantastic hotel! Everything about this hotel was lovely.

The buffet breakfast was just delicious. There was always a huge variety of food and it never ran out.

Our Club Suite was promptly and professionally serviced every day. The nightly turn down service was a nice experience. The staff were always helpful and always so happy to see you and help you.

The location is perfect. Everything was just a short walk.

Excellent coffee close to this hotel at the Pavillion shopping centre. Also, if you need washing done there is a place just down the road called Happy Laundry. It was really well priced, and the best quality. Our clothes were ironed, on hangers or folded (as per our requests) and delivered back to our hotel the same day.

We'd definatley stay at the Hotel Istana again and recommend it!

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank RCBSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,081 - 3,087 of 3,945 reviews

Reviewed 24 January 2011

We booked here for 5 nights to round off a month travelling in Vietnam, thinking we were going to have a 5 star experience...how wrong we were! First, we were moved rooms 3 times at my insistence as in the first the toilet and safe didn't work and the shower was mouldy, the second had the most disgusting shower basin I had seen for very long time, with the sealant peeling, mould everywhere, the grout black..it was really disgusting! The third room was passable. In room is an old clunker of a TV with limited channels. Next pool..ladies bring a swim cap as the amount of chemicals in this pool is crazy! It totally ruined our hair, and we needed treatments for 3 continuous days to restore the moisture. Food..buffet breakfast was good, but the coffee terrible. Room service, good but don't touch the mini bar or you pay nearly $6US for a can of coke. We had planned to go to the day spa, but they don't allow children under 16, so that was out. Next, concierge and front office...not good at all. We arrived exhausted and were directed from the car to the front desk for the checkin procedure, of which there is none! This hotel is very large, with 2 wings and multiple lifts. We were given our room key and left to find our own way to the lifts (not visible from front desk). They didn't tell us about where any of the facilities or restaurants were. It was very disappointing and we didn't feel like guests at all. No free wifi available, unless you are on the business floor, or you pay $7US an hour for it, and then only in the lobby. Not happy with this at all as in Vietnam there was free Wifi everywhere. Overall a very disappointing end to our holiday. We will never stay there again and don't recommend it. Not value for money. The pictures on their website of the lobby and pool area are accurate and the lobby is beautiful, but overall not worth the cash.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled with family
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Thank Kjun01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 January 2011

Visit to Hotel Istana was through our own finding as our trip for December 2010/January 2011 was for Malaysia Singapore and Bali. After 11hours flight from NZ and an hours drive from KLIA we were greeted with a smile from concierge and the front office staff. Bit of misunderstanding and given twin bed instead of Deluxe, didnt have enough energy to complain at night so slept in. First thing in the morning spoke with Manager on duty and Mr. Rooben, very patient, understanding and humble person listened to our woes and apologised for the mishap and immediately upgraded to an Ensuite during a very busy Christmas/New Year period. So off we went for buffet breakfast and Tamansari Restaurant i would rate the best hotel breakfast i have had, with not only friendly staff smiling and serving you but with the range and taste it had to offer.
Our 2 more nights after we had travelled from Singapore and Bali to Malaysia definately made us stay at Hotel Istana because (1) friendly manager (2) Tamansari Restaurant.
Lots of Malls, petronas tower, china town and little india nearby and great food every where and reasonable taxi fares for tours or contacting tour operators.
Not sure in the end to rate the hotel a 5 star but duty manager Rooben definately 5 star

Arul/Santosh

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Monarul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 January 2011

We stayed at this hotel for 2 nights based upon the reviews from tripadvisor .As suggested I booked club rooms for the family of 4. Large rooms with great bathrooms, spotless and the most wonderful service you could ask for. The club lounge is an assett with food and drinks and internet access on tap. The private check in and check out made for speedy arrival and departure and the staff throughout the whole hotel were very welcoming and attentive. A small problem with our shower head was attended to in 5 minutes by a plumber . Cant speak highly enough of this hotel. We will stay here again .

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled with family
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Thank Denhop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 January 2011

I have stayed at the Mandarin Oriental (club room), The Ritz-Carlton (suite with club lounge access), Crowne Plaza and Melia. All were pleasing, but there is something about The Istana that made it stand out over the others for a true KL hotel experience. One was the amazing eastern decor and service of the huge lobby lounge and the other was the simple yet most pleasing ambiance of the non-pretentiously comfy club lounge. Those lounge room table chairs are definitely designed for lounging and most relaxing while enjoying the club floor breakfast and evening drinks & snacks. Club guests can have the choice of having their complimentary breakfast at the club lounge or at the lobby restaurant. Feel free to order eggs done to your request in the club lounge too!

Club Room: spacious and does not have one of those over-sized amours or other too-big-for-the-room furnishings. In fact, the furnishings are minimal in a positive manner. The bathroom is huge! It wins an award for having one of the best and most well placed full-length mirrors. Bath + separate shower with excellent water temp & pressure. Bed linens and bath towels are in immaculate condition. Another, small, but impressive and appreciated aspect was that the room door unlocked simply by tapping the plastic card on the door (no insertion required)! Nice touch (pun intended) Istana! There are two computers in the club lounge for complimentary use of guests. lastly on the club floor is a shout out to the lounge attendant, Dino, who I appreciated so much for his eagerness to please myself and all other guests! I hope Istana promotes him!

The hotel has a spa and fitness center (accessed from the east wing... by the sports bar). Spa and fitness center are in the same area and offer separate men and women locker rooms with dry and wet steam rooms along with a cold water jacuzzi that is available to men on certain nights and women on other nights. Cold water, but warm once you are in the water. Very strong jet streams. The only pool is an outdoor pool. Small but adequate and offers poolside service from the lounge bar.

Lobby Lounge: The best lounge of all the KL hotels I have entered. Huge, but welcoming. The live band in the evenings is enjoyable. Ella, at the bar is a wonderful asset to the hotel. Anything you want or need and she will make certain it happens!!!

Location is very good. There is a monorail station just a short walk from the hotel. One can also walk over to Bukit Bintang in a short stroll. Another asset is that Luxury Tour & Travel bus service from/to Singapore/KL stops at the door of the hotel. Most convenient and a very nice coach line. From Concorde Hotel on Orchard in Singapore to The Istana and back =s door to door service.

Negative TA Reviews: After reading the non-positive reviews I determined that they are isolated incidents that can happen at any hotel; including five star hotels. There may be worn rooms at the Istana. I do not know for certain. Anyway, I recommend the deal of the century and that is to book a club floor room. I do not designate The Istana as a five star hotel. But nor do I believe that the other KL hotels I've stayed at meet that level of acclaim. In the meantime, I personally declare The Istana to be the best KL hotel for its eastern/KL ambiance and decor.

I wanted to grade it a five on the TA grading system, but (I am now reserving such a grade for an ultimate hotel experience) a TA four out of five is my new five.... my TA five will mean six!

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled solo
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3  Thank Bette M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 January 2011

After reading the reviews on this hotel I was worried about the standard of the hotel. Although the bedrooms feel a bit tired and in need of decoaration it did not spoil our stay. The hotel staff could not of been nicer and the facilities were excellent. The hotel is central and also has monorail right outside to travel to other areas e.g. Chinatown.
The breakfast was delicious and there was a lot of variety.
The only negative was the cost of drinks at the hotel, which were very expensive compared to the surrounding establishments.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled with family
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Thank madrid2375
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 January 2011

I came to stay at the Istana after an unexpected change in plans. The staff were incredibly friendly and helpful, and when I explained to them that I was waiting for my passport to be couriered from Beijing, they were very accommodating of the fact that I was renewing my room online each day, hoping my passport would arrive and I could leave KL for Langkawi. This meant that they had to check me out and back in each day, and they did it without complaint. The day I broke down and cried when I realized I was stuck in KL over the weekend, one of the reception clerks took me over to the lounge and brought me a complimentary drink and stayed with me until I was able to collect myself. The reception staff and concierge also provided me with all kinds of information to make my holiday as pleasant as possible under unexpected and trying circumstances.

The first room I was given was very nice, but there was some mould in the corners of the shower (8th floor). I went down and asked for another room and they provided it right away (11th floor). This room was ok for cleanliness, but you must realize that it is not a brand new hotel, so there were stains on the tile and a few cracks in the shower, but the washroom was clean. The bed was comfortable, though probably more firm than what westerners are accustomed to. The pillows and linens were great. I think they could do a better job wiping down surfaces and vacuuming (one of the night tables was not wiped properly and there were a couple of hairs on one of the sofa pillows, but I have a serious eye for these things and most people probably wouldn't notice). Noise was a little bit of an issue as my room was next to the housekeeping station, but since I was up early anyway it didn't bother me. I never heard any of the other guests on my floor.

Internet is extra, but that is standard for this type of hotel. The fitness room is good (the one time I used it) and the pool is really nice. I love that this hotel is right next to the train, and I recommend that you get a "Touch-and-Go" pass if you are staying for more than a couple of days. With it you can go pretty much anywhere you want, and when you get back to the Istana the staff will greet you with a warm welcome. They have a really great cover band that plays around 8pm each night and the group is quite talented and diverse. They play in the lobby of the hotel which is in the old grand style with very high ceilings. I never ate at the restaurant (tight budget) so I can't comment on the food, but there are a ton of restaurants nearby at the Pavilion Mall and Bukit Bintang so you will find something you like.

I hope this review is helpful and not too long. All in all, I really enjoyed my stay there. I agree with others that this is not a five-star hotel anymore, but compared to what I paid at the Sheraton for my first few days, the cost was much lower, too. So you have to take it all in stride. If you want perfection, then pay more. If you want a good deal in a nice hotel with a wonderful staff, then you should be happy at the Istana. And a few notes to people: first, do your research! If you arrive in the middle of the night during some festival and the hotel is full of people and then there probably will be some confusion about your special requests and that could happen anywhere, even in Canada (the Winter Olympics is a good example). If you book a cheap cruise then complain because it's rainy season then it's your own fault for not researching! And a request to families, if you take your kids to the pool, please be mindful of the folks who are there to relax and don't let the kids hog the pool and make a racket for hours on end! Just wanted to spread the word, thanks!

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled solo
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Thank Panacat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Istana

Address: 73 Jalan Raja Chulan, Kuala Lumpur 50200, Malaysia
Region: Malaysia > Wilayah Persekutuan > Kuala Lumpur
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#13 Spa Hotel in Kuala Lumpur
#16 Romantic Hotel in Kuala Lumpur
#21 Family Hotel in Kuala Lumpur
#22 Luxury Hotel in Kuala Lumpur
#23 Business Hotel in Kuala Lumpur
Price Range: £48 - £77 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Hotel Istana 5*
Number of rooms: 515
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Istana Hotel Kuala Lumpur
Istana Kuala Lumpur

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