KUL: Kuala Lumpur Malaysia Airlines First Class Lounge
The Malaysia Airlines revamped flagship Golden Lounge complex at the hub at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) is just above where the trains take you to the Satellite terminal: once off the train - or in transit - you have to find the small hidden escalator opposite the rainforest boardwalk, and then double back along the balcony to get to the vast lounge reception desk: this is the most impressive part of the lounge. Business goes left, while First Class and oneworld Emerald go right: indeed, if you have a Platinum Card you can also go right and into the Platinum Room. Beware that if you have a British Airways Gold Card you will often we waved left into Business - in fact you should be permitted into First.
The Entrance to the Malaysia Airlines First class lounge Kuala Lumpur seems impressive enough: you walk up a gentle ramp or up the glowing steps past some impressive stainless steel ball artwork, and through the huge glass sliding doors. At the top there are some very impressive chairs in what seems like the lobby: in fact this is the main event within the lounge, for the rest of it is basically one long room with a dining area and a few seating areas with sofas or large arm chairs.
However compared to the down-at-heel atmosphere on the business side, First seems like a clean haven of comfort, particularly since the 2013 revamp which saw the fountain - which ran the entire length of the lounge - removed, mainly because it was guaranteed to have you running to the bathroom.
There are plenty of works of art (in small illuminated alcoves), and fresh cut flowers, in Malaysia Airlines First class lounge Kuala Lumpur. There are large, squashy, arm chairs and sofa in racks of four seats around a coffee table, under giant palms in small pots. Power Sockets (square pin UK type) are under the metal flaps by the window. There is a great - if slightly obscured - view from the floor to ceiling windows.
At the back of the lounge the first class lounge has nap rooms - and these are pretty good with a bed and even a duvet. At the far end of the lounge are the shower rooms.
The Malaysia Airlines KLIA Satellite First Class lounge claims to be one of the best lounges worldwide. And it would be too, if only the place didn't resemble a care home on the South Coast, with pretty Spartan facilities. Food in particular is a major issue. There is a walk up buffet running down tables on the left which has the usual sandwiches, and an impressive range of canapés. But that's pretty much it in the main lounge.
For real food and fine dining you have to head out of the lounge, back to the entrance, and left into the proper five star restaurant. The entrance, with its sail cloth, is like something from the Arabian nights; you'll be escorted to a table with waiter service.
FoodWithin the main lounge there is a walk up buffet table, with both western and Malaysian options. But it really isn't very impressive for any lounge, let alone an international first class one.
On the plus side, there is a freezer with Ben & Jerry's ice cream.
For real food in the Malaysia Airlines First class lounge Kuala Lumpur you have to head to the restaurant by the entrance. Food is very good here, with dishes on demand. Typically there is steak, pasta, lobster, or a fish dish. Normally you can get a five course dinner here, starting with canapés and ended with a selection of deserts. Alas the menu isn't displayed outside the door - you have to ask for it.
BarThere is no bar in the Malaysia Airlines First class lounge Kuala Lumpur.
For any kind of drink in the lounge, you have two options - walk out of the lounge and all the way to the bar in the Business Lounge, which is pretty seedy, or try and grab a waitress who will slowly - very slowly - get you a drink. They never seem to know what is available from the bar, and typically offer options that are either 'white or red' when it comes to wine. All this from a First Class lounge at the hub of a major airline. It's pretty poor.
Business FacilitiesThere are no business facilities in the Malaysia Airlines First class lounge Kuala Lumpur.
There is however free wifi.
There is also a magazine rack, on the strange U shaped magazine rack: if you love glossy titles with the words MBA, Inc, Corp, Biz or Fortune in the title you will be well at home.
BathroomsThe bathrooms in the Malaysia Airlines First class lounge Kuala Lumpur are the only genuinely good part of the lounge. They are excellent. Right at the back of the lounge, they have shower rooms with a full amenity kit.
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