By Jeremy Khalil on June 22, 2018
Sofitel Kuala Lumpur Damansara is a swanky new 312-room international class five-star hotel that is part of an 8.5-acre integrated development by Guocoland that also comprises twin luxury condominium blocks, two corporate office towers and a lifestyle mall, located in the heart of the affluent Damansara Heights neighbourhood.
Designed by Wilson Associates, the hotel’s interior is proportionally elegant and urbane, an embodiment of Franco-Malaysian aesthetics, style and culture manifested through the marriage of French contemporary opulence with Malaysian motifs that can be seen throughout the hotel. The most visible artistic elements would be the distinctive local icon wau bulan (moon kite) alongside the world-famous Eiffel Tower vectors depicted on wrought iron feature panels at the lobby and certain areas throughout the hotel to suggest the French art de vivre (art of living).
It is obvious that both property owner and Sofitel spared no expense in their attempt to possibly take their guests’ breath away, or at least leave them in awe. “It is Sofitel’s intention to make guests’ stay unforgettable and making them want to return,” claims the exceedingly pretty and sharp Marketing & Communications Manager Pugeneswary Mudukasan as she took the Gaya Travel Magazine team around for inspection. Based on how the hotel is designed, we could roughly deduce that the French are passionate about life, sensuous, philosophical and expect high standards yet remain grounded at the same time.
The rooms at Sofitel Kuala Lumpur Damansara are blessed with oversized beds that are sumptuously inviting, especially the ones that are king-sized; but after having said that, even the single beds for twin-sharing under the lead-in Luxury Room category are unusually large and could even fit two persons of average built. Ranging from 43 to 105 square metres, the guestrooms feature Sofitel’s signature MyBedTM bedding concept, strong Wi-Fi connectivity, and premium in-room amenities by Lanvin and Hermes. Guests are able to manipulate their rooms’ lighting with various lighting options to further enhance their comfort. The rooms also come with various plug points for the convenience of travellers who lug around various electronic and electrical devices.
Guests, especially well-travelled ladies, would surely appreciate the hotel’s extraordinarily plush towels, which they do not need to ask for extras because Sofitel seems to have a policy that all guests are entitled to receive generous number of towels in their rooms. Vanity mirrors with black Rococo-inspired frames grace the rooms to remind guests of the property’s French origins and flair, since Rococo style first emerged in France back in the 1700s.
To the more athletic and wellbeing-conscious, the hotel boasts well equipped state-of-the-art fitness centre. Also on the same floor, guests are able to find the impressively spacious male and female changing rooms that come with their own steam room and sauna.
Business travellers and corporations requiring space to hold events or functions are able to utilise the hotel’s six meeting rooms and pillarless 1,100-metre squared Wau Bulan Ballroom that can accommodate up to 800 guests for sit-down dining.
One feature that is unique to every Sofitel property the world over is its candle ritual held every day during sunset as an homage to the Parisian lantern-lighting practice that began in the 17th century, which earned the city the moniker ‘City of Lights’ because it was the first city in Western Europe to ever install lanterns in lighting its streets and alleyways at night. As for Sofitel Kuala Lumpur Damansara, this ritual is held daily at 7:00 p.m., expressed in the way of a theatrical candle-lighting performance by the hotel’s own staff to signify the end of the day and the time for guests to wind down.
Guests are highly recommended to take the rooms that grant them access to the exclusive and posh Club Millesime executive lounge on Level 22, affording guests the chance to enjoy the bird’s eye view of the surrounding Damansara Heights neighbourhood. Club Millesime’s exclusivity can be strongly felt through its exquisite interiors and staff’s sharp attentiveness. As guests step into the space, they are welcomed by the cleverly conceived chandelier that represents the collection of Sofitel doormen’s hats hovering above.
I can see myself spending the whole time at Club Millesime if I do not feel like doing anything else because it is the place where I could simply take in the place’s contemporary chic while imbibing my favourite beverages that come free-flow. This executive lounge also serves intriguing breakfast menu comprising ala carte comfort dishes that complements the buffet spread. To me, Club Millesime serves up one of the best wholesome salmon eggs benedict in town. Another must try is the scrumptious Foster French toast.
Club Millesime provides a smart smoking area in the form of an open-air balcony that comes complete with upholstered low-slung modular benches and tables with ashtrays for smokers’ convenience; however, since there were no smokers during our visit, and even though we are not smokers, we decided to gloriously lounge at the space from late afternoon until dusk while enjoying our beverages and books in hand for a refreshing change.
One experience that guests should not miss at Club Millesime is the chance to enjoy the Le Gouter platter served for afternoon tea, which is different than the typical British tea time delights. The platter – which consists of comfort snacks like cookies, crepes and baguettes – intends to bring out the guests’ inner child because it is normally served to the French children after returning from school to tide them over until dinner.
Sofitel Kuala Lumpur Damansara is home to five food and beverage outlets: Kwee Zeen, its all-day dining restaurant that serves Pan-Asian cuisine; Wan Chun Ting, which translates as Ten Thousand Springs Pavilion offering authentic Cantonese and Imperial cuisine; Le Bar, which serves fine French wines that are sure to fascinate not just oenophiles but also tea aficionados since it also serves afternoon tea in style; Sofi’s Deli, where guests could savour French-inspired in-house patisseries; and Nizza, the hotel’s refined yet casual French-Riviera-inspired outlet with chic pool deck ambiance reminiscent of the Cote d’Azur coastline offering hearty Mediterranean cuisine.
Lunch at Kwee Zeen is an uplifting experience since it offers Malaysian and French culinary offerings with meats that are tender and dishes that are flavourful. Guests are encouraged to savour the homemade ice cream served at the outlet; our favourites are green tea and banana ice cream.
Dinner at Wan Chun Ting is a wonderful affair amidst smart opulent setting characterised by East-meets-West decor constituting Chinese-inspired silhouettes, traditional art pieces, intricate fabrics, fine embroidery and gold damask velvet. This outlet also boasts four private dining rooms with plush furnishings. Gaya Travel team recommends the steamed Soon Hock fish, braised sea cucumber and mushroom, and salted egg yolk fried lady’s fingers with curry leaves.
The following day, guests should also return to Wan Chun Ting for lunch, this time to savour its delightful and halal dimsum! Each and every dish served is innovative, scrumptious and gratifying, not only to the palate but also to the soul, leaving diners feeling happy afterwards.
Opened since 22 November 2017, Nizza – a restaurant that seats 135 diners at a time – is decked with colours like earthy beige and glittery gold that reminds of sunset bouncing off in its interiors, including blue-and-white flooring that evokes the sea and skies to bring cool and calm comfort. When dining at Nizza, diners are able to witness its chefs showing their prowess in the preparation of the outlet’s specialties such as duck liver pate, white sturgeon caviar, truffle and mushroom croquettes, bouillabaisse Cote de Opal and lamb sausage pissaladiere. Handcrafted cocktails and fine wines, combined with the restaurants’ elegant and relaxing atmosphere, perfectly complement the cuisine.
Since the French takes their pastry seriously, Sofitel Kuala Lumpur Damansara ensures that guests are able to get their hands on the hotel’s array of pastries at Sofi’s Deli, which are all made using sophisticated French culinary techniques but infused with local flavours such as chilled puff with Asian flavoured ice cream, pandan kaya opera cake and colourful macaroons.
Undoubtedly, Sofitel Kuala Lumpur Damansara is indeed the kind of stay in Kuala Lumpur that makes you want to say c’est magnifique (it’s magnificent) from the moment you check in until the time you check out. The Gaya Travel team enjoyed our stay so much that we did not even venture out of the hotel during our three-day and two-night stay, except for a quick tour around Damansara City Mall since it is just next door. For those who are sophisticated, well-heeled, epicurean and sybaritic, Sofitel Kuala Lumpur Damansara is definitely that one place they should be heading to when being in Kuala Lumpur.