50200 Kuala Lumpur
On our latest visit to Kuala Lumpur, just for a change, we decided to see what a serviced apartment had to offer over a conventional hotel.
Fraser Place isn’t exactly right on top of the KLCC, but it’s certainly within easy walking distance – seven minutes, according to the bell-boy who brought us to our apartment. We found it a pretty easy walk, and fortunately it’s uphill on the way there, downhill (with the shopping, after being fed and watered) on the way back. On the map it looks as if it could be in a limbo area between the KLCC and Bukit Bintang, but we noticed plenty of bars and restaurants along the road on the way up to KLCC. It’s a pretty lively area considering that so much of it is given over to tower blocks.
The apartment itself (Fraser Place’s smallest – the Studio Deluxe) was well appointed and modern, and finished to a generally high standard.
First on the right as we came in through the door was a kitchenette. You might almost call it a kitchen, if it weren’t for the limited cooking facilities – which is absolutely fine since you’re not going to be preparing any banquets in it anyway. There was a two-plate induction hob (amazingly fast; we tested it with a mugful of water in a saucepan, and it had it up to the boil in seconds) and a combination microwave/grill, plus a toaster, kettle and coffee machine, with enough pans, utensils and crockery to be able to rustle up a decent meal for two without too much bother. More importantly, there was a decent-sized fridge too – plenty of space for food and drink.
The bathroom was generously sized, with a bath and separate shower cubicled off from the toilet and washbasin. The shower had the usual flexible hose with holder, but it also had a large ceiling rose for a rain shower for those who prefer that style. The water pressure was good and strong for both hot and cold, although it should be noted that the water heater switch is right next to the light switch – don’t make the mistake of turning it off!
The bedroom was typical city hotel room-sized, which means that much of the floor space is taken up with the king-sized bed (quite a high bed, at that). It was equipped with most of the entertainment electronics you might conceivably want – including a decent-sized widescreen TV, a natty little hi-fi, and a DVD player. Unfortunately the layout in our room was a bit weird – the two-seater settee is on the wall next to the television (and the bell-boy put our large suitcase on it, so clearly he recognised that it was of virtually no use as somewhere to sit). There’s free WiFi, but only one connection – so if like us you’re travelling as a couple and both of you want to be online, either one of you is going to be disappointed (at least for as long as the other is hogging it), or else you can pay RM60 for 24 hours for an extra connection. £12 seemed too steep for us, so we shared the connection – you can switch between different machines.
Breakfast was included in the price too. Like breakfasts in a lot of places in Malaysia, it’s a pretty average breakfast – unless, that is, you like beef bacon, turkey ham and chicken sausage, or the ubiquitous nasi lemak. There were also three cereals, a choice of local fruits, and sliced wholemeal and white bread with butter and a choice of jam, marmalade or honey. The coffee was very good, though.
It was a pretty good place to stay, all things considered. It was probably the kitchenette that made it for us; even though it wasn’t huge, it was still a sight better than hunching up over an occasional table with a penknife and a paper plate trying to assemble a makeshift sandwich.
Overall rating: 4 out of 5
There’s a good chance we’ll go back – and having had the experience of a serviced apartment, we’re quite likely to try that option more often in the future.