Extra Photo Gallery: Room | Pool | Restaurant
On Jalan Ampang, opposite the Zouk night club. The closest LRT station is at KLCC, or if you are arriving by KL Monorel, the closest station is at Jalan Dang Wangi.
I had quite a history with this former Park Plaza International Hotel and Grand Maya Hotel. When I put a review of the hotel under the old management, I received a complain letter from the current General Manager, I. Z. Melvin (who by the way received a lot of press exposure when the newly-refurbished Hotel Maya came into being a few years ago). Basically the hotel GM wanted my write-up on the previous Grand Maya Hotel to be removed because it did not do justice to what they had done to the current Hotel Maya. I eventually removed my article, though I stand corrected on the fact that during the time of my review back in 2002/03, the hotel indeed was under the old management. Fair enough, with so much being said and told about the "new" Hotel Maya, I finally got the chance to stay here.
Impressive is probably an understatement. As soon as I stepped foot on the lobby, I was already impressed with what the management had done to the hotel. The check-in and reception counter is just impressive, with open-desk interface between the officers and the incoming patrons. No more hidden computer screen behind the counter like other hotels. All these whilst overlooking superb tropical greenery outside the floor-to-ceiling window. One more interesting concept that I found here and not at other hotels was that the check-in officer would be the one who sends you up to your room. In my case, the lady showed me the way from the reception, opened the room door for me, and politely asked if I needed anything extra for the room. In theory, the hotel had done away with the idea of bell boys showing you the way to your room whilst carrying your heavy luggage, or housekeeping ladies knocking on your door to check everything is OK. Fabulous!
Let's talk about the room. Classy. Modern. Elegant. Minimalist. I think I ran out of words to describe it. Let's just say I totally agree with Hotel Maya's status as a "boutique urban resort" of Kuala Lumpur. There are 207 rooms in Hotel Maya, including 107 suites. Naturally, I could only afford a Studio room, but really, I should not complain much. I loved everything about the room. Its timber flooring, its contemporary and Zen furnishings, its sliding writing desk and its glassy walls throughout the room. In fact, for some of my acquaintances who had stayed here before, among the features that they could remember is how much the hotel make a full use of glass and mirrors to enhance the room appearance.
In general, each room is equipped with DVD player, coffee-cum-espresso maker, IDD phone, safe deposit box, complimentary broadband internet access, WiFi, flat-screen TV, built-in wardrobe, etc. The bathroom uses an open concept - by that I mean it is separated from the bedroom by nothing but a see-through glass wall. Of course, for privacy, you can use the curtain. The shower area is also done in a minimalist concept and probably has a touch of Japanese influence of wooden bath floor and granite stool for a great showering experience. It helps also that the bathroom features a rain shower concept, hence every shower that you make will be a fulfilling one.
So, the room gets my thumbs up. Will the swimming pool make up to the mark? The answer is a big, fat yes! The swimming pool is beautifully done, unlike the ones in many city hotels throughout Malaysia. It is not too big and not too small. Having the world's biggest swimming pool is nothing if it is not done tastefully. Hotel Maya scores highly in my book for having delectable tastes without overdoing it. The pool is surrounded by bamboo walls. Very unique, and wouldn't burn a hole in their wallet to do this. Then, there are plenty of cushion chairs apart from the common pool chairs. Again, very simple and practical - if you are wet, you will sit on the pool chair, if you are not coming for a swim, the cushion chairs work perfectly for a relaxing time. And get this, the pool is no ordinary pool. This so-called Hydrotherapy Pool is actually heated, hence the warm tingling sensation of the water really left me rejuvenated. There are also a series of water jets along the side of the pool that effectively acts as a massaging medium. It was almost like a heated jacuzzi, only better, and bigger.
Whew, this is quite long. From the way I write this so far, it is a given that Hotel Maya will get my elusive 5-star rating. Or wouldn't it? Read on please.
Hotel Maya boasts five F&B outlets. Not an astounding statistic by any standard, but it is safe to say all of its outlets are done tastefully when it comes to interior design and food selections. The main restaurant here is the Maya Brasserie, which is opened all-day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Opposite the Maya Brasserie is the Still Waters, which offers a fusion of Euroasian-Japanese flavours. Ramah Tamah is described as being a bright, yet cheerful little deli, which certainly justifies its name, which means "friendly" in English. There are two lounges in Hotel Maya. The one at the lobby is quite common, but the Sky Lounge at 20-something-th floor up provides a spectacular view of the Petronas Twin Towers.
Finally, I wish to relate to my experience while having my buffet breakfast (OK, buffet is not the correct term) at Maya Brasserie. It goes to show how the hotel had taken the extra miles to please its guests. The buffet spread available on the counter top was limited to pastries, fruits, cereals and milk. I was wondering where were the rest of stuff (read: nasi lemak, roti canai, meehon goreng and all the sinful stuff we Malaysians chow down our throat every morning). It turned out that for the "hot meals", Maya Brasserie gave a selection of 10-15 dishes that will be freshly prepared upon our request. One could order as much and as many times as one wishes. So there, it is practically a buffet too, only better! In fact, my first meal was a plate of salmon pan-fried to a perfection, along with side serving of healthy salad and lemon. Then, I decided to order a beef steak covered by a sunny side-up egg, before I finally decided to retire from the food fest. An ingenious concept with no food wasted. And the food came quick too, so there was no question of long waiting time. I guess it worked well for the hotel.
Finally (yes, one more paragraph, I promise!), I noticed that I. Z. Melvin, the General Manager, was also having breakfast at the Maya Brasserie. I bet he does that everyday in some sort of the management's attempt to gauge into the guest's perception of what is being served. He surely didn't notice that his photograph will appear on this website, but really, there is no such thing as a bad press, eh?
Kudos to Hotel Maya!
Inventive. Innovative. Extraordinary. If only I could give out 6-star rating for this.