GETAWAY IN THE CITY
In search of a quick break that doesn't require much travelling, Adelina Tan checks in to Alila Bangsar for a staycation.
A respite from the hustle and bustle.
“Arriving at destination” my navigation app prompts me as I drive up to a grey building. From the outside, it blends into the KL Sentral skyline in the near distance – but row upon row of wooden panels, laid out in a grid, hint at more to this gleaming façade.
As the lift's doors open up to the 41st floor, my eyes immediately jump to the clump of trees in the middle of a bright and airy space where dark marble and burnished gold fixtures juxtapose against inviting white armchairs. Home for the night is Alila Bangsar, which occupies the top floors of this mixed-use development.
Check-in is fast and paperless with an iPad, and soon, I'm being led to my Deluxe Studio. But first, a quick stop at the Alila Living Room. Located on every floor, it's where guests can help themselves to free-flow refreshments and local snacks (think gem biscuits and crispy muruku) throughout the day. In my room, I'm immediately taken by the spacious bathroom – the shower, toilet and sink are separated for convenience. There's even a living area with a table and sofa, so if you're bringing the kids, they'll have space of their own to play in.
REST AND PLAY
With a bridge connecting the hotel to Bangsar LRT station, it's well-placed for exploration. As for trips to nearby malls in the neighbourhood and Mid Valley, the hotel provides a free shuttle service. Guests may also sign up for Alila Experiences such as yoga, cooking classes and city tours at an additional cost.
After relaxing sunset cocktails at Pacific Standard Bar and a delicious French-Japanese dinner at Entier (the other dining option is Botanica + Co), I snuggle in bed and set my alarm clock for an early start with asana yoga at 9:30am, just across the road at Mayi Yoga. It's invigorating yet relatively gentle, which I'm thankful for after the heavier-than-planned breakfast – I couldn't resist polishing off the scrambled eggs, sausage and fluffy buttermilk pancakes in the international set; it was that yummy!
A post-yoga swim is probably also not the smartest idea (as my aching muscles could attest after), but it's hard to resist the siren call of the pool, fringed as it is by tropical-style landscaping and luxurious loungers that are more resort than city hotel. Here is also where the cityscape views are largely unblocked – peering at the snaking roads and ant-sized cars below, you can't help but be reminded that the world is filled with possibilities, while trivial worries are but specks in life's narrative.