French wine, seafood, charcuterie & cheese board. One could think we’re back in France. After a wonderful month in Marseille, it wasn’t easy to adjust to Asia. We missed France a lot so we found a way to enjoy a taste of it in Kuala Lumpur – we booked ourselves for 2 nights in Sofitel Kuala Lumpur Damansara.
Room type: Junior Suite
Price:from $225 (US)
Our corner Junior Suite (#1107) was spacious and nicely decorated. I liked the calming vibe the room had.
It had a small hall with a walk-in robe on one side and a generous bathroom on the other. Then the room featured not only a coffee/fridge area and a big desk with 2 chairs but also the Sofitel Mybed (which is one of our all-time favourite hotel beds), a reading chair in the corner and there still was a lot of room left for activities.
Let’s talk about the bathroom first – Sofitel does them very well. Every area – shower, bathtub, toilet – is separate and offers privacy. The sink has a lot of countertop space so there’s no problem where all the cosmetics, shavers and other amenities can go. And speaking of space – isn’t it nice when the toilet has a nifty little shelf to put down a phone, book or whatever you bring there with you? Also, the Lanvin amenities I was raving about after our stay in Singapore, were also available here.
The walk-in-robe had hanging space on both sides, a full-length mirror, iron & ironing board and more than enough hangers. Comfortable for two people without big luggage but I’m not sure if there would be somewhere to put our large suitcases if we had them with us.
The coffee-station area had a Nespresso machine with a couple of different kinds of capsules, a kettle, complimentary water and a minibar (although the mini bar fridge wasn’t complimentary for Club guests like it was in Sofitel Singapore).
The desk had a good size for comfortable laptop work and there was a universal power socket with USB on the side. The WiFi could be better – 7Mbps upload & download is not enough these days. I like that there are 2 chairs so we both could seat there at the same time.
The Sofitel signature bed with adorable pillows needed no introduction. I did my usual bed-jumping test as soon as I got into the room but I knew it’s going to be just right – the soft-but-not-too-soft kind.
The air conditioning was powerful but not loud and what’s more important, not directed straight onto the bed, which means we were able to keep it on at night without disturbing our sleep.
There wasn’t much in terms of views though, which is a shame as we had windows all around the bedroom. Anyway, opening the heavy curtains would be a pain as they are to be operated manually, so maybe that’s better the views weren’t tempting me to do so.
Welcome treats appeared in the room when we were out exploring – it was rather standard fare of fruits and box of chocolates. The turndown service, which once again comparing to the one in Singapore, wasn’t as exciting. A fresh bottle of water was placed on the bedside table but there was no special good-night-treat or sleep-well tea blend.
Food & Drinks
Our time in Sofitel Kuala Lumpur Damansara was spent pretty much entirely on eating and drinking with just a little bit of working and sleeping in between. I’m not complaining!
The dinner on our first night was a treat. Chef Jasper welcomed us and said he prepared a set menu for us, which made us very happy because after a quick look at the extensive menu we had no idea how we ever decide what to try. When you visit Nizza I recommend asking for the chef’s recommendations.
Our feast started on a very high note, with the best focaccia ever – it had a beautiful texture with vine tomatoes popping with flavour and dipped in pesto it was excellent. No pressure chef following this one! Next, we got a huge charcuterie & cheese board. Everything was imported from France, Italy and Spain and together with the bottle of red we ordered (Réserve Spéciale Pinot Noir that would go well with meat, cheeses as well as seafood) we were instantly relaxed and felt like we’re back in Southern France.
To follow that, we were presented with an appetizer: cod (super flakey with crispy skin), Spanish octopus (soft and with a nice charred aftertaste), Australian scallop (grilled to perfection), salsa verde and cauliflower puree. Work of art visually and taste-wise.
Food coma was slowly starting to creep up when perfectly-timed lemon-lime sorbet arrived in front of us. Awake, with palate cleansed, we were ready for the main: lamb with cumin jus, veggies (carrot, yellow carrot, onion, asparagus, beetroot, capsicum, radish) and potato gratin. The meat, which was carved for us, was nicely done, juicy and with a lot of pink still there. The cumin jus was a great addition – it made the classic and familiar roasted meat & veg dish a bit more oriental.
To finish it off we had a little bit of theatre with our dessert when it arrived under a dome and a smoke was gradually released from underneath it. There were 3 cups of smoked chocolate (white, dark and milk) with fruits and cake slices to be dipped in it. The dark chocolate (which was the most smokey one) was the winner for us.
A wonderful meal that still makes me smile when I think about it.
Kwee Zeen is the main restaurant on the ground floor where the breakfast is served and where we also visited for a seafood buffet dinner.
The breakfast selection is very extensive – perfect for picky eaters not so good for indecisive people. As usual, we raided (and rated) the bakery section first. We like to start our breakfasts with croissants, pastries and coffee, which is the way French do it. Kwee Zeen’s pastries performed well and thankfully weren’t soggy which often seems to be the issue in SE Asia. After the sweet breakfast was done and dusted, we settled for some poached eggs with salmon and freshly squeezed juices.
Friday nights are seafood buffet nights at Kwee Zeen. There are the cold options of sushi, sashimi, prawns etc but also hot meals and fish grilled to order. But once I hear fresh oysters calling my name I couldn’t look past it. Well, ok, I tasted a couple of other things but to start and to finish my meal I indulged in oysters. The dessert section also got me – fruit sushi and crème brûlée (in a big pan that I wanted to claim whole for myself) were my favourites. If you have seafood cravings mark Friday in your calendar and come for the buffet.
The club on the 22nd floor is one of the perks that come with the Junior Suite. And it’s the place we spent a lot of time at. There’s breakfast followed by refreshments, afternoon tea and sunset cocktails.
Breakfast offers a small buffet spread with all the essentials plus à la carte menu featuring dishes with eggs and some local flavours – no bacon or pork sausages though. Truffle egg benedict is a great choice.
Le Goûter – afternoon tea – starts at 3pm. The tea set consists of a tray of treats (sweet and savoury) and a pot of tea. Delightful afternoon pick me up.
Then, just 3 hours later, it’s Apéro Chic time. Sunset cocktails & canapés (officially called canapés, but in reality, the food is aplenty and can easily substitute a lighter & earlier dinner) are offered for 2 hours and shouldn’t be missed.
The welcome drink comes in the form of a voucher redeemable at the Le Bar. I like that concept as it does mean you can do it whenever you want during your stay (it’s not forcing you to drink quickly during check-in when you really just want to go to your room) and you can pick whatever drink you want. We went for the signature cocktail, prepared by the head mixologist Joel. The drink wasn’t too sweet and on the refreshing side – it had gin, St.Germain, Thai basil, fresh lemon juice, vanilla syrup and champagne.
Nespresso is featured throughout the hotel (which was also the case in Sofitel Singapore). I’m very happy with a personal Nespresso machine in the room, which allows me to get a caffeine hit in the morning and people don’t have to see & deal with a caffeine-deprived version of Aga but I really wish there was a professional barista with a proper coffee machine. Even if available only in the club during breakfast-time, or breakfast until lunch. Maybe something to consider, Sofitel?
After the first look at a map, Damansara seems to be located rather far from all the action but in reality, it’s just a quick (and inexpensive) cab ride away from KL Sentral.
The hotel with a couple of high rise buildings and a small shopping centre are all a new development (with more to come around) and some drivers had troubles locating the right way to the hotel despite the multiple signs pointing to it.
The cheerful bonjour every member of the staff was saying to us multiple times a day didn’t feel as weird and out of place this time. Maybe because we came from France just 3 weeks earlier or maybe we weren’t taken by surprise like the first time we stayed at an Asian Sofitel. And staying on the topic of cheerfulness – the staff at Sofitel Kuala Lumpur Damansara are all great. They are attentive without being obstructive and are very professional but at the same time friendly. I need to mention Rushi who works in the Club Millésime. He was an absolute delight – has an exceptional memory (I really appreciate when people remember my drinks of choice and I don’t really need to order – they just appear in front of me and are exactly what I want at a given time) and can brighten the room with his smile.
The spa is another place that I highly recommend visiting – not only for a great massage but also for the decor – it’s really beautiful.
Sofitel Kuala Lumpur Damansara offers all the comforts we expected with the service exceeding our expectations. Come for 5* luxury, stay for the food & cocktails.
Disclaimer: We were hosted guests of The Sofitel Kuala Lumpur Damansara but our opinions weren’t influenced by anyone and stay, as always, honest and our own.