The Luxe List 2012, Malaysia: Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur

It’s been almost a decade since an international luxury hotel opened in the Malaysian capital. So the Grand Hyatt, which debuted in August, was always going to be newsworthy. But it has also seriously upped the ante in a rather complacent marketplace, starting with its prime location next to the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre—close enough to the Petronas Twin Towers for guests to be able walk there even in KL’s swelter.

The 39th-floor check-in lobby provides a dramatic introduction to the 370 rooms and 42 suites below, which come with polished woods and comfortable, unfussy decor, as well as essentials like a generous workspace and wireless high-speed internet. Diminutive bathtubs feel like a throwback, but powerful rain showers more than compensate. It’s well worth the upgrade to book a room facing the neighboring Petronas towers: their floor-to-ceiling windows confer some of the most dramatic views in town, trumped only by the 360-degree panorama from Thirty8, the Grand Hyatt’s signature restaurant. The loungers and cabanas arrayed around the palm-fringed swimming pool lend the property a tropical resort vibe; a spa and 24-hour fitness center are located on the same level.

12 Jl. Pinang; 60-3/2182-1234;; doubles from US$206.

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