What’s old is new is at the recently renovated Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur. The staple of Kuala Lumpur’s luxury hotel scene in the 90s, it defined an era of dark teakwood furnishings and . Dated? Don’t they know it. The hotel has recently completed extensive multi-million dollar renovations to unveil a brand new look glowing with natural light and contemporary furnishings.
Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur sits along Jalan Sultan Ismail, an area familiar to most for its central coordinates. The hotel is placed right opposite Quill City Mall (use the bridge!) and next to The Row, another comeback destination in the city albeit in the food and beverage industry. If you chose to venture out for more sights, you’ll find a number of quaint cafes, bars and restaurants in close vicinity including Common Grind and Lima Pulo.
Style & setting
With its new look, the hotel parts ways with dark decor to make space for contemporary furnishings in only the lightest, brightest of colours. Wooden fittings have been replaced with glass or marble, accented with the odd pop of colour here and there like a royal blue cushion or a yellow flower.
The genesis of the hotel, once known as the ‘grand dame’ of the city, is honoured with its original staircase. Its regality begins at the lobby, spiralling all the way upwards to the third floor and past the tea lounge and grand ballroom. Plus, it’s one of the biggest wedding draws for the hotel, where couples and photographers find it to be the perfect spot for a picture.
Splash out a little for the Club Suite, with appointed living spaces for work and relaxing, a separate bedroom where we recommended establishing as a no-technology zone, and even a tiny little walk-in closet/makeup parlour. Interesting to note is that unlike many hotels, especially those in the luxury category, Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur nods towards Malaysian dining and culture with packets of Old Town coffee stacked in the mini bar. While the rooms retain its original marble flooring and most of bathroom fittings, the room doesn’t shy from its newly instilled playful vibe — think circular tables for work stations, minimalist art pieces and sweet treats waiting for you upon check in. All guests of Club Rooms get automatic access to the Club Lounge on the 38th overlooking the KL Tower, but it’s the happy hour drinks and exclusive breakfast spread that really draw you in.
The Sheraton brand revolves around creating a comfortable, welcoming space for people to gather. And in Malaysia, what’s more accurate that gathering over good food? Restaurants have been refreshed as well, including the famous Celestial Court. The Chinese restaurant is popular for corporate dinners and celebrating important occasions with the family, and it’s easy to see why with Chef Ho Boon and Dim Sum Chef Ken Liew’s culinary flair. Some new items appear on the latest menu, including Double Boiled Wild Duck Consommé with Korean Ginseng, Roasted Marinated Lamb Rack with Mint Chutney, and Soft Shell Crab with Crispy Rice and Spicy Sauce.
Another favourite is Villa Daniele, a standalone Italian restaurant with a Tuscany feel. The restaurant has welcomed a new chef, Fedrico Bozzo from Genoa and delightfully, he brings with him a strong sense of Italian culture that has influenced the menu in many ways. Everyone loves Sunday brunch, and here they do it Mama Mia style with a la carte pairings like beetroot gnocchi, risotto and slow cooked oxtail.
Our favourite restaurant has to be Essence, where lunch commands a buffet spread. Live cooking stations and theatrics of the chefs aside, the buffet is impressive because of its amazing Asian cuisine. Chef De Cuisine Azhar has shared recipes learnt from his grandmother for a nostalgic Malaysian menu, alongside international spreads including Japanese cuisine. The best thing to eat here? The daily special at the laksa station is always a hit.