Review: Exercise, Swim, Enjoy…Repeat at the Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur


My stay in Kuala Lumpur was an opportunity to enjoy the best of South East Asian hospitality, excellent spa treatments, and lush tropical outdoors. If you are lucky enough to stay at the Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur, here is what your daily routine could look like.

Bright fitness center with Technogym equipment

Just after waking up, I made my way down to Floor 3 where the Spa and all recreational facilities are located. A personal trainer greets you as you walk into the fitness center and from then on you can either receive his advice or workout on your own, like I decided. In a white décor of Chinese wood panels and large picture windows looking out to the pool, the KLCC Park, and the Petronas Towers, the fitness center has the latest Technogym equipment. There is also a vast free weight area and a nearby yoga studio offering classes. The gym at the Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur is certainly one of the best hotel gyms I have visited thus far.

After a quick shower and breakfast, time to head back to Floor 3 and discover more about the Spa. South East Asia is known for curating some of the most amazing spa treatments and Mandarin Oriental is no stranger to that. The Spa in Kuala Lumpur, very much like other properties, has forged its reputation on delivering direct and tangible holistic wellbeing: science-backed, but authenticity-driven.

One of the 6 private treatment rooms

Malaysia is a land of luxuriant rainforests, tropical flora, and exotic spices. The Spa at the Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur uses the synergies created by these 3 elements to fashion unique, result-oriented treatments. The Spa offers 6 treatment rooms including 2 couples rooms. Breaking the rules of pure and simple white spa design, Mandarin Oriental shaped a truly Malaysian heaven: rich patterned batiks, warm colors and ornaments, and this unique indigo blue I wish I could replicate.

I opted for the 2-hour-22-minute Tropical Rainforest body massage, inspired by nature and delivered in the serene atmosphere of this downtown spa. As I walked into the spa, I was escorted to a private room with a silver and indigo décor. The spa assistant offered me a cold towel and a choice of local teas; the gold rosemary tea sparked my interest and didn’t disappoint.

Gold Rosemary tea and treatment oils

My lifestyle consultation form (general information about treatment routines and habits, allergies, etc.) completed, I changed and started exploring at my own pace the relaxing lounge, whirlpool, steam room and sauna for about 30 minutes.

Enjoy the facilities at your own pace during 20 minutes before your treatment

The Spa assistant then found me and escorted me to the private treatment room while explaining the different steps of this sensorial journey. The first step is a traditional ritual where the host cleans the feet of a guest with fragrant soapy water. My masseuse then rang a Tibetan bell, signifying the beginning of the treatment. Second step: she allowed me to discover the products she would be using: I smelt the coffee scrub, the spices and the lemon and ginger oil. Smelling those scents awakens your senses and built up my excitement. The third step is the coffee scrub, made to exfoliate the skin, all over the body. The fourth step consisted of a spice scrub and thermal blanket wrapping for 20 minutes, the time to let the spices act on the skin, during which she performed a soothing head massage. Step five: full-body oil massage. For this part of the treatment, the masseuse used movements and techniques from the aborigines of Borneo, combined with circular motions to imitate the wind in the rainforest. The Tibetan bell rang again and I knew the treatment was over. I stayed at the spa a few extra minutes, enjoying freshly infused tea. Leaving the spa, I felt not only relaxed and pampered, but also more knowledgeable and aware of the products, their ingredients and their effects.

Next on my hedonist list of the day was the swimming pool. Skies had finally cleared up, no storm in sight. Walking out on the deck, I was greeted by a pool attendant who set me up in the front row, facing the free form, edgeless pool overlooking lush KLCC Park and the striking skyline. Being on the park, you don’t hear any city noise, only tropical birds – and we all know how vibrant developing cities are around Asia. The landscaping on this roof deck matches perfectly the lushness of the park and gives “urban oasis” its real meaning. Here again, the staff is welcoming and goes above and beyond to make sure guests are kept hydrated, protected (high-end sunscreen can be found at the bar) and happy. Chilled towels, ice water, and fresh pineapple are passed around regularly.

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Landscaped rooftop with 2-level pool
The Pool Lounge overlooking KLCC Park

When it got too hot, I walked inside to try the indoor golf room. Book one of the 3 stands and practice your swing on 48 world-class courses. If St Andrews and Pebble Beach are on your bucket list, now is your chance!

Also available is a full-size Formula 1 simulator that puts you in the driver’s seat at the most iconic race tracks. I may know the streets of Monaco by heart, I still need some practice to operate a F1 in those curves. I guess I still have time before Monaco F1 week end of May.

The sun is setting and city lights are coming up. The ideal time to play tennis. Joining the likes of the American Club in Singapore or the Belmond La Samanna in St. Martin, the Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur entered into a partnership with Peter Burwash International to be the first in Malaysia to offer guests the services of the acclaimed tennis management company. From beginners to pro, resident coach Angel will direct and challenge you.

It was a busy day in Kuala Lumpur. But it was a “me day”. The best ones. Rare are the city hotels that can claim such a consistent and top level leisure experience. Set in incredible surroundings, the Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur constantly raises the bar of Spa and leisure services to satisfy experienced travelers and the happy few local members of its Club.

Where: Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur,
Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Phone: +60 3-2380 8888

Note– The critic was invited by the Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur. But all the opinions expressed herewith are his own.

GeoffreyGeoffrey Ravoire
Founder of UNITIATE, Geoffrey is a Marketing Expert, Luxury Specialist and Hospitality Enthusiast. Wherever he goes, his early career and personal interests have always helped him nurture and cultivate a passion for the Travel and Leisure industries. French born, Geoffrey has accumulated an extensive experience abroad, thanks to regular visits to foreign countries but also thanks to years of expatriation. Currently based in Chicago, Geoffrey has already lived and worked in New York, Shanghai, Singapore and Monaco. You can meet Geoffrey on Twitter and Linkedin.

10 Gym
9 Spa
9.5 Pool Deck
9 Activities
9 Service
9.3