Cool doesn’t even begin to describe Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral. Part of the Starwood Hotels family, the Aloft brand follows in the footsteps of the W, its trendsetting sister property. Billed as ‘A Vision of W Hotels’, Aloft is cool at a steal – an affordably priced version of the W. Pared down as it may be (in comparison to the W), Aloft lacks nothing when it comes to service and style. Opened in March this year, the 482-room hotel is currently the largest Aloft property in the world and poised to be the envy of other city hotels in its class. The hotel also boasts an enviable location in the vibrant Sentral business district, mere steps away from the Kuala Lumpur Sentral transportation hub and colourful enclave of Little India.
The interior of the hotel is a work of art in itself. A warehouse chic-inspired lobby gives visitors a taste of the Aloft brand. Guests may be surprised to see exposed air-conditioning ducts, but fret not; the stark fittings are not a work in progress but the signature style of Aloft lobbies.
At the reception area or Aloha Desk, the talent (staff) greet guests behind a circular table inspired by a deejay’s console. The über cool vibe of the hotel had me hooked right from the get go and I found myself exploring the lobby area instead of heading to my room after checking in.
At the re:mix lounge, modular furniture can be positioned to suit the comfort of guests and, a pool table adds to the laidback vibe. The easylike-Sunday-morning design sense carries on to the brand’s signature w xyz bar. Quirky works of art are displayed on the wall leading to the bar, functioning as a gallery space for artists to exhibit their masterpieces. The bar itself is a cozy space that serves creative beverages and hosts indie acts. I sampled the recommended techy-tini – an innocuous sounding but absolutely divine concoction of Cîroc vodka, citrus spritzer, muddled red grapes and chardonnay that gave me a mid-afternoon buzz!
More art greeted me on my way up to the first floor, this time in the form of an eco-friendly wall covering beside the escalators. Vaguely reminiscent of an extra-large egg carton, the 3D wall art made of Viro® all-weather wicker fibres offers a space-age feel! Heading up to my room, I passed even more artwork – vivid elephant-inspired prints by Malaysian artist Yusof Gajah lined the hallway. Inside the cool confines of my spacious Urban Room, a caricature of a local scene above my bed put a smile on my face as I entered. Every room in the hotel features these comical interpretations of local culture by cartoonist Kit ‘Antares’ Leee, making guests feel right at home.
Rooms at Aloft may appear sparse, but I appreciated the clean and uncluttered feel of the space. Furniture is kept to a minimum though every room has the requisite work desk, and a comfy chaise. Soaring 11 foot ceilings give the rooms a loft-like impression and add to the sense of spaciousness. The bathroom space was cleverly designed with a spacious shower, huge vanity and glass-mirrored closet. No bathtubs here but I didn’t miss that. The hotel also offers entry-level Loft rooms and, at the other end of the price spectrum, Sweet and Breezy suites that are 49sqm and 69sqm each.
Don’t be suprised to find your mini-bar empty. At Aloft, you are encouraged to stock your mini-bar with your very own selection of food and beverages from the hotel’s re:fuel outlet in the lobby. Re:fuel’s ‘grab and go’ concept is also popular with guests. Simply pick from the pre-packaged meals available 24-hours a day, reheat in a microwave that’s provided and you’re good to go. If you don’t like your food pre-packaged, head to Nook, the hotel’s all-day dining outlet. Its refreshing décor of white with apple green accents invigorates the senses while the extensive menu of local and Western favourites caters to varied taste buds.