Kuala Lumpur is one of my favorite cities in Asia but unlike Bangkok, it’s a bit lacking in the world of fabulous boutique hotels. After staying in huge high rises and backpacker-filled guesthouses, I’d begun to despair of finding a single one worth recommending. So on a recent trip through KL, I reached out to my pool of contacts for suggestions and two words bubbled to the surface: Villa Samadhi.
Tucked away in a quiet district of KL with tree-lined streets, embassies, consulates, and other discrete office buildings, Villa Samadhi feels worlds away from the bustle of city life. Yet when I went for a morning jog, I was at KLCC park with a view of the Petronas Towers within ten minutes. I could have walked in less than twenty. With taxis and ride sharing services like Uber and Grab available and a public transportation network of trains and buses, getting to and from the hotel is a breeze.
When I checked in, my plan was to head out for a walk and explore the area. I ditched that idea immediately as the hotel was simply too beautiful to leave. My room, a Luxe Crib, had a tub the size of a plunge pool and a verandah facing the swimming pool.
Throughout the hotel are items from the owner’s personally curated art collection. I love unique touches like those and that all the wood floors and furnishings are reclaimed, repurposed, and handcrafted, many by the orang asli, one of Malaysia’s indigenous peoples. Each room has its own layout and decor, and some are absolutely massive. Mine was certainly bigger than one woman needs but oh, how I enjoyed having so much space.
Once I’d verified that the swimming pool is, indeed, swimmable and the loungers perfectly suited to their task, it was nearly cocktail hour. Every day at 18:30, guests gather at the open air bar for a complimentary drink. This is no chain hotel cocktail hour where your choices are beer and mediocre wine. The house wines are Italian, the cocktail menu includes classics and some new twists, and the bartenders know their stuff. I opted for the G&T with kaffir lime and cucumber and did not regret my choice.
My love affair with Villa Samadhi continued in the morning as breakfast is available all day long. The buffet of continental items goes away at a reasonable hour but if you want your à la carte selections at noon, no one’s going to question you. If I’d arrived on an international flight the night before, I would be over the moon at this. As it was, I wanted to check out the buffet to see what local treats were on offer. Anything wrapped in a banana leaf peaks my curiosity. For a small hotel, the selection was impressive with international and local options including roti canai with dal, a dish that causes me to gain weight every time I visit Malaysia.
There are only twenty-one rooms at Villa Samadhi and children under 12 are not allowed making it the perfect spot for a honeymoon, anniversary, proposal, or anyone who wants a luxurious tranquil hideaway in Kuala Lumpur. I haven’t mentioned all the in-room treats, the massage therapist, or the guest-only restaurant. There are, I suppose, some things best left a surprise.
Having seen more of KL’s hotels than I can count, I have no qualms with declaring Villa Samadhi the best boutique hotel in Kuala Lumpur. Its combination of charm, service, luxury, design, and location set it worlds above the competition.
If you’re interested in staying at Villa Samadhi or traveling to Malaysia, send me an email or give me a ring at the London-based travel company I work with (UK 020 7112 0019). Rates begin at £150 per night and you can learn more about the hotel here.