48 Hours In
48 Hours In... Kuala Lumpur
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So, you've been to NY and LA, but have you been to KL? Malaysia's tropical-modern capital Kuala Lumpur is a heady mix of megamalls, markets, temples and skyscraping towers.
Sleep: For a sultry sanctuary in the leafy embassy enclave, book into 21-room boutique hotel Villa Samadhi. Ultra-private bedrooms, lantern-lit paths and a curvy central pool make for a relaxing retreat; free WiFi helps if you're working. Luxe Cribs and above feature private plunge pools or Jacuzzis, and Sarang's also have kitchenettes.
Shop: Two of KL's biggest malls, Suria KLCC and Bukit Bintang, offer smart bargains during their regular sales. If upscale boutique treats are more your speed, head to the fashionista-thronged suburb of Bangsar, or to the Lee Rubber Building at 145 Jalan Tun H.S Lee, where fans have hailed Peter Hoe Evolution & Beyond (+60 (0)3 2026 0711) as Malaysia's Shanghai Tang.
Snack: Hip Kiwi- and Aussie-inspired Antipodean Café, at 20 Jalan Telawi 2 in Bangsar, is a top spot for brunch, with stellar sandwiches and scrambled eggs. Fancy a serious caffeine fix? Make for Artisan Roast Coffee at the TTDI centre at 4 Lorong Rahim Kajai 14; they've also got a new Bangsar outlet at 2 Jalan Telawi Satu.
See: Get a feel for Malaysia's multi-culti arts scene at the National Visual Arts Gallery or snap up south-east Asian pieces at Valentine Willie Fine Art. More heady visual thrills await at the 86th-floor observation deck of Petronas Twin Towers or walk across the Skybridge at levels 41 and 42.
Stroll: For an atmospheric stroll, teamed with some down-to-earth shopping, check out the vigorous haggling of the street traders in Chinatown or KL's Central Market. Fans of our feathered friends will love wandering around the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park, a huge covered aviary just five minutes from KL Sentral station.
Spa: Enjoy luxe pampering sessions at the two-floor KL Spa at the Mandarin Oriental, open daily 10am until 10pm. Facials, mani-pedis and massages are yours to command, including trad Malaysian-style treatments. Local alternatives include Vila Manja day-spa and the popular Hammam Baths.
Savour: Toting a giant silk lantern, Mandi Mandi restaurant at Villa Samadhi serves Malay and Italian cuisine at lunch and dinner, with tables overlooking the pool. The hotel's owners also run three other chic KL eateries: Tamarind Hill, on Jalan Sultan Ismail, whips up Thai and Burmese food, while nearby Neo Tamarind tempts with mod-Thai bites and cocktails. Tamarind Springs dishes up Malaysian and pan-Asian specialties in the jungle-clad outskirts of town.
Sip: Rooftop Bumbung Bar at Villa Samadhi makes a sexy perch at sunset, when the hotel plies guests with free canapés and cocktails from 6pm to 7pm. Further afield, poolside SkyBar on the 23rd floor of Traders Hotel stars wow-worthy city views.
To book any of Mr & Mrs Smith's stylish boutique hotels visit www.mrandmrssmith.com or call the expert Travel Team on 1300 896 627. Smith guests enjoy exclusive extras at all stays.