Locking the Colonel’s door I walk past the line of luxury cars parked outside the Grand Hyatt hotel. I should feel a little embarrassed leaving a 30-year-old agricultural vehicle alongside a fleet of uber-modern German automotive icons, but I don’t. To me it fits. You see there’s something ridiculously cool about owning a classic car that feels equally at home in a farmyard as it does outside a yacht club or a 5* hotel.
I’ve never needed a lavish lifestyle and am usually more than happy to curl up in a sleeping bag around a campfire, exposed to the elements. But when the opportunity to experience a salubrious stay over in Kuala Lumpur came our way I wasn’t going to say no.
I’m not the most extravagance-savvy person out there and struggle to tell the difference between a goose-down pillow and a polyester one. But after spending two nights gazing out at the Petronas Towers from behind the golden glass of the Grand Hyatt I’ve picked up a few things that separate the outhouse from the penthouse when it comes to hospitality in the land of five golden stars.
You know you’re living the life of luxury when…
THE CONCIERGE TAKES UP AN ENTIRE FLOOR: In most hotels you check in at street-level where anyone off the street can just waltz in. Not so at the Grand Hyatt – heaven forbid! Instead you’re escorted to the express elevator and whisked up to Level 37 and the sky lobby for a panoramic view of the city whilst your particulars are taken down.
YOUR BATHROOM FEATURES THE LATEST GADGETS: There’s nothing like a bit of tech-trickery to divert me from jumping straight in the shower and this is no ordinary bathroom! With a panoramic view of the city skyscrapers every Tom, Dick and Harry can gawp at you soaking away in the bath suds. But if you’re not up for putting on a show then a flick of the switch and the entire bathroom window (made of LCG – Liquid Crystal Glass) frosts up hiding your decency from the world outside.
YOUR DINNER BECOMES AND ENTIRE THEATRE PRODUCTION: Restaurant Thirty8 covers the entire top floor with expansive views of the city skyline, the floodlit towers and fountain light show far below. Once you’re sitting comfortably the staff twirl around you with choreographed efficiency ensuring every aspect of your night is just as it should be. To top it all off the head chef visits the table, just to check the steak is perfectly cooked. Dessert arrives covered by a bowl of smoking dry ice, where it’s unveiled to reveal the chocolate extravagance hidden within. After dinner a personal tour of the kitchens seals the deal and completes the final act of the show. Who needs the West End for drama, this is where it’s at!
BREAKFAST TAKES CHOICE TO ANOTHER LEVEL: I mean seriously, having the first meal of the day spread over two levels with three service stations?! It took me half an hour just to work out what to eat! Four flavours of freshly-made pancakes, six flavours of muffins, two types of bircher muesli and more juices and shakes than a Byron Bay hipster café. I ate more breakfast than dinner.
THE GYM LOOKS LIKE THE BRIDGE OF THE STARSHIP ENTERPRISE: I’ve never been a gym junky. Trying to out-bench press the person next to you, or catching yourself perving your own guns (my tiny things don’t even show up) is a huge turn-off. I steer well clear.
That is until I walked into the state-of-the-art gym at the hotel. Not a soul in sight and equipment is so advanced it wouldn’t look out of place in the 2050 remake of Knight Rider. My love of gadgets and fitness combined.