KUL: Kuala Lumpur Malaysia Airlines Business Class Lounge
Often called a hidden and unexpected gem, Malaysia Airlines' Golden Lounge is often listed among the Top 10 best airline business lounges in the world. Alas, this is generally by people who haven't had to suffer actually being in the lounge which has gone badly downhill over the past few years.
After taking the train to the main central rotunda of the international satellite, turn behind you, and take the lift or stairs upwards (hidden behind the pillar near the burger bar), along the corridor to the large impressive lounge entrance, behind the urns and the hotel-foyer style entrance. Business Class and Sapphire oneworld members turn left, and left again to the (only) bar, or right to the where there are computers and a meeting room with a laser printer. In here is the best selection of newspapers (much better than in the main lounge).
Then you head up the ramp to the main Malaysia Airlines Business class lounge Kuala Lumpur.
And what a lounge area. On the business class side, the first thing you notice is the space - it is an impressively large and frequently empty lounge. Alas because of this, it resembles an out-of-work RSL club in Australia, complete with swirly carpet and daggy chairs. This is odd, as the lounge was revamped as recently as 2013, and yet still managed to maintain a down at heel image, which is quite hard.
Indeed, once inside the Malaysia Airlines Business class lounge Kuala Lumpur looks like a fairly dull airport lounge: it really isn't anything to rave about. The whole area is under a classic swooping roof that supposedly resembles a Malay temple, with no less than 43,000 sqaure feet of space, with seats for 326 passengers in the Business Class zone.
As you first enter, you'll see a small dining area on the right, with two serving hatches, and then on the left on the upper level racks and racks of shabby seats, all in two plus two around a coffee table. Sockets for laptops are hard to find by these seats.
There is a lower level close the windows, and here there are three seats in a row close to smaller tables: this is definitely the area to be - at least seats here get a view - but the seats are in a lighter shade of fake suede, ans whoever specified suede for these lounges should be fired, as they are very tired.
Back on the main level, there is a raised wooden area rather like a stage on which there are stark upright wooden chairs around the second dining area: these seats wouldn't look out of place in Ikea, with wooden laminate floors and all. There are two more serving hatches here, for the fish and the noodle bar respectively.
The main body of the Malaysia Airlines Business class lounge Kuala Lumpur is then separated with a wooden divider that acts as a refectory table. Here there is some more heated food and fridges with cool soft drinks: you may need them as the lounge gets pretty warm.
On the right hand (inland) side of this divider there are some bright yellow squashy seats, and further in some neater leather ones: this is bar far the best place to sit in the lounge, as this area gets far less traffic, and hence is nowhere near as worn.
Right at the back of the lounge is the 'relaxing' zone, with a sauna with a relaxation room, and massage chairs. This spa is called Ayer - the Malay word for water, and the prices are astronomical. Beware that staff seem to assume that you know it isn't free, so won't mention the price until they ask for your credit card at the end.
FoodFood is a major disappointment in the Malaysia Airlines Business class lounge Kuala Lumpur: while there is choice, compared to the delights of Singapore or Thai lounges the quality is pretty lousy, although if you are used to the 'delights' of American style lounges, it may seem like a haven.
In the morning there is as buffet with packets of cereal, and croissants, plus a hot breakfast with chicken sausages and scrambled eggs.
Later in the day, there are hot dishes under the silver covers in the main part of the lounge, with a couple of curries in two hot tourines, plus two soups and fried rice and noodles.
Alternately if you head back into the 'small' dining area, there are a couple of trays with hot mini quiches and hot pies.
There is also a small salad bar with rocket, ham and cheese. There are also sandwiches (under the plastic covers), pastries, nuts and crisps.
However the one redeeming feature of the Malaysia Airlines Business class lounge Kuala Lumpur are the two cook to order food bar. In effect a noodle bar, you can order meals to be made for you, such as wonton chicken noodle soup. Although these aren't very good, and typically are just a bowl of noodles with a large slice of chicken on top. There is no obvious menu, so you have to ask the staff to list what is available that day. There is also a fabulous ice cream bar with lots of flavours, but again this isn't advertised.
There are a couple of TV screens here - and occasionally they show sports too, however for most of the time they are switched onto local Malay news channels for the three bar staff to watch: it is rare they have customers, and even rarer that one sits at the bar and actually wants to watch the telly.
The other odd thing about the bar, is that there are virtually no drinks on display, or with a menu of what's on offer. Sure, you can ask, and you'll be offered a can of Heineken, but that's about it. There is actually a decent spirit selection: alas, it's pretty poor for wine.
The bar is also very gloomy: with black walls and ceiling, and indeed a dark grey floor, and minimal lighting. No wonder few people head into this fetid and dull space in search of something to get spaced out with.
Business FacilitiesThere are some relatively slow computers in business centre in the Malaysia Airlines Kuala Lumpur Golden Lounge, where you can access the internet. There is a combined printer and copier. There is also a meeting room here, and a vastly better selection of newspapers than in the main lounge.
In the main lounge, there are two main newspaper stands, on the near wall and right on the furthest wall by the fire exit: here is the stand with foreign newspapers.
There is good free wifi in the lounge, which isn't that quick, but it has a very stable connection. The password is on a small Perspex stand in at the bar.
BathroomsThere are also showers; indeed, more than that, there is a sauna with a relaxation room, and massage chairs.
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