Hotel Istana

, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
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Hotel Istana

, Kuala Lumpur
5 star

Rooms: 516

73 Jalan Raja Chulan - Kuala Lumpur - 50200 - Malaysia | 603 2141 9988
1046 Traveller

Reviews - Hotel Istana

Submitted by: Patrick Dunaway in 05/06/08
  • Age Group: 41 - 50
  • From: Australia
  • Traveller type: Business Traveller
I stayed in this fabulous hotel and the service was excellent, staff very friendly and courteous, Rooms spacious and Food was terrific. Can't beat it.

Historical Traveller Reviews of Hotel Istana


from A TripAdvisor Member
After reading the mixed reviews we were not sure what to expect upon checking in at the Istana Hotel. We had booked 2 deluxe rooms at a very good rate which included breakfast.

We have been to KL many times and have stayed at many different hotels. We arrived at the hotel around 1am in the morning. After a few moments the night manager came out and informed us that she was upgrading us to a 2 bedroom suite with large living room on the 14th floor. The room was brand new with new furnishing with a great view of the Petronas Towers.

Breakfast on the Sunday was quite busy as the hotel was at 100pct. This being the Middle East Summer the hotel is quite busy with middle east guests. The breakfast buffet was complete with Western Food, Chinese Food, Middle East Food and Malay Food. Lovely restaurant which was very bright with staff who were very friendly. All three days the breakfast was great with changing choices each morning.

From the room attendant to the cashiers, the business desk, the concierge, the pool attendant all were helpful and cheerful at all times. Twice we used the internet which clearly stated 15.00RM for 15 minutes. We were not charged and the girl just smiled and said never mind as we had only used it 10 minutes.

Room service was ordered the first night at 130am and it took 40 minutes for soup and a hamburger. We were getting annoyed but when the food arrived it was clearly homemade soup freshly made and not an open tin as we had been expecting.

One room in our group is allergic to feathers and this was taken care of right away with non allergenic pillows and blankets brought up to the room.

I was told that the hotel is under renovation and that floors below 10 were not upgraded yet. The room attendant told us that they put package tours in these rooms but they are upgrading floor by floor so ask if you given a room on these floors.

You can walk everywhere from this hotel. Bukit Bintang is 5 minute walk and is the Petronas Towers.

Great location, great value, great staff, great hotel!

We look forward to our next visit where we will stay again at this hotel!

Value for money!

from eurydice123
I only read the reviews here after I booked my trip to KL with a 1 night stay at the Hotel Istana. Needless to say, I was expecting the worst despite my tour agent reassuring me that my Grand Deluxe room is newly refurbished. And she was right. The Grand Deluxe room was awesome. It was spanking new, with an incredibly clean and spacious bathroom and a nice view of the swimming pool. So if you are planning to stay at the Istana, fork out a couple more dollars for the Grand Deluxe room. Great value for money!

good location, improved rooms but bad attitude

from SteveC33
We stayed at the Istana for the 6th time in 4 years following a few days relaxing at what was it's sister hotel (Pelangi) in Langkawi.

It's well positioned in the Golden Triangle and therefore a very convenient base from which to launch shopping trips in nearby Malls and Chinatown.

We are Meritus Club members, although that no longer has any bearing in this hotel.

Despite booking 3 rooms for our party of 7 in August 1995, apart from receiving 1 confirmation email at the time of booking, and following many subsequent requests in May prior to travelling, the hotel did not bother to respond to my requests to confirm airport transfers and other room enquiries.

Fortunately, Valerie Ong at Pelangi contacted them on our behalf to confirm we would be collected and returned from/to KLIA by 7 seater van (although despite her request to contact us direct they never did).

The rooms we stayed in on the 20th floor had been nicely updated and we had no problems until it came to check-out (5am) when we were advised that the company the hotel uses for guest transfers had no van available, so substituted 2 x MPVs instead.

No problem until they wanted to charge 50% extra, saying that it was an early morning departure time and there was a 50% charge. I objected saying this was not advised when I confirmed our departure time pre arrival, or when I asked concierge to check the arrangements the night before.

The Chief concierge was most unhelpful and would not accept that we should not have to pay the extra. As time was ticking on I had to cave in - paid them and vowed we would never darken their doors again.

The Shangri La from now on!

How do they call it a 5 star??

from One_big_holiday
We stayed 5 nights here, upgraded to a "New Deluxe" at the time we booked, and just as well. Our local agent said that renovations were underway, so we expected there to be a few issues.

Our room was probably the only completely renovated room on the floor (15). The rooms down the hall were all in progress, so there was a lot of drilling etc during the day. I would say they rushed to get our room set up - we had to get an electrician to stop terrible buzzing from the control panel, the TV was not tuned in at all, some of the lights didn't go and others turned on and off at random and the bathroom tiles were still covered in builder's dust.

Even in it's renovated state, this is no 5 star. Don't get me wrong, it is nice, but maybe a 3? The ground floor bar/lobby is very grand in a tacky kind of way.

The location in fantastic, right near a mono rail stop, a short walk from lots of things.

The hightlight for my husband were the hilarious doormen. 10 points to them all for making us feel welcome, always ready for a chat and good at helping us find our way.

Great stay!

from A TripAdvisor Member
As we booked three nights, we were upgraded to the top floors - club. The room was spacious with an adjacent sitting room and two bathrooms. Clean linen although the room overall could do with a bit of a face lift. Included in the top floors: access to club room - cocktails, tea/coffee and breakfast. The staff in club rooms were friendly, efficient and very helpful. Some work was done at the hotel which were pointed out and an apology given. Location: very central to walk to shops or take a taxi further afield. We really enjoyed the hospitality and friendliness of the staff in the club rooms and will definitely be booking those floors only in future.

Old hotel

from Ray26
I had checked in with one of my friend,room was spacious but very old and all the furnitures were worn out.

Had to wait for quite some time just for the elavator, you will have problems if there is a big group checking-in.

Room service's food was good,price was reasonable.

The Management should renovate the hotel.

t Go There

from A TripAdvisor Member
Like many of the other travellers to the Hotel Istana over the past few months we were horrified as soon as the door to our room was opened.

On the last leg of our honeymoon (sorry did I mention honeymoon?? one of the most, if not the most important holidays of a lifetime.....) and after spending a wonderful week at the Shangri La Borneo, it was the last thing my new husband and I expected - particularly as our travel agent had recommended it.

Firstly there was no record of our reservation, and once this was rectified, we were taken to the room by a staff member who didn't know its location on the floor! Had we been staying longer than 2 nights I would have insisted on moving to another hotel.

The room was filthy, outdated and sad and the staff miserable, grumpy and not at all customer focussed, very surprising after our week in Borneo - it was like everything we asked for was a chore.

Please take my advice - do not stay in this hotel.

5 Star to 2 star in 4 Years

from A TripAdvisor Member
This review is long, but i am trying to convey an accurate picture of what this property is like.

We first stayed in the Istana in early 02, and then it was a good standard 4 star hotel, clean rooms, bathrooms etc. Have just completed a Malaysian trip that included 2 nights in the Shangri La KL, 5 nights in Pangkor Laut resort, and then 3 nights in the Istana.

All bar the Istana were superb. Its decline in the 4 years since we last stayed there has been spectacular. The lobby was still good, but from the second we stepped out of the 7th floor lift we thought, oh dear, should have gone back to the Shangri La. The room was filthy, with dirty walls, carpets, and curtains, but the bed sheets were at least clean. The view of the tennis courts showed them to be out of service through obvious neglect, and the pool area was also dirty. (I shudder to think what the kitchens are like, we didn't eat in the hotel).

After the first night, i approached the front desk, explained the situation, and that as their rate was essentially the same as the Shangri La, we wanted better. Over the course of the next hour we viewed 6 rooms on different floors, including the 'Club' 20th floor. All were the same, old & dirty, with filthy grout in the showers, cracked tiles, worn out fittings. The 'Club' room was the same size & age but with a nicer cover on the bed!

Eventually, the Manager was summoned, and he reluctantly agreed, (for an increased rate), to move us to a room on the 18th or 19th floors, which have just finished refurbishment but are not due to be put on sale until mid Jan 06. Great we thought! They agreed to supply a double room, move our bags etc, so when we arrived back late that evening what did we find....

A room with single beds, no bags and none of the same front desk staff available to help. A friendly and helpful night manager walked us around 3 of the new rooms on the 19th floor until we found a suitable one, but we had to move our bags from the 7th floor ourselves! (In the Shangri La staff would trip over themselves to help paying customers with bags etc). At least the new room was clean, nicely painted and with new carpets & furniture. However, this is all that the 'new' rooms consist of, the refurb is essentially cosmetic. The bathrooms have been re-grouted and sealed, NOT re-tiled, and even this was not to a great standard. The same fittings are still in place, including a cracked mirror in our room.

Quite simply the property is in need of a major refurb, not the cosmetic one that it is receiving. There are no modern chrome and glass fittings in sight, the TV still only boasts 8 channels, and i suspect that given another couple of years it will be back to its current state.

Having stayed in multiple hotels in KL and Asia over the years, i can safely say that the Istana is the worst 'Quality' hotel that i have been in, and that even with the current refurb completed it still cannot even compare to similarly priced hotels in the local KL area such as the Shangri La or Mandarin Oriental, either in terms of quality of rooms/fittings, or service. The new rooms are now to a standard i would expect in a good 3 star hotel, while the old ones are just plain dreadful.

That this is classified as a 5 star property is utter nonsense, don't waste your money, there are far better hotels in KL for that kind of money.

Nowhere near a 5star hotel

from A TripAdvisor Member
I stayed at the hotel Istana for 5 days in July 2005.I had booked a Club Level room on the 19th Floor.
To say that the hotel was of a poor standard would be a major unstatement.
I had booked a room with a double bed,only to get two single beds side by side.
The room was dated and was in need of some touching up.The bathroom was actually not too bad,bright and large.
The worst complaint I would have would be that the hotel were doing some works on my floor,and the smell of lacker/varnish,was terrible,it was soo strong that it actually came into my bedroom.I did manage to make a complaint to the Manager,but I was nothing short of fobbed-off.
If you need to stay in the area of the Hotel Istana,I would recommend the Crowne Plaza Hotel accross the road,it can deliver its 5 star rating.

Not fit to be five-star

from satoyuriko
I chose this hotel because my coach goes to Hotel Istana only, wanted to go to Swiss Garden instead as comments on TripAdvisor was good abt Swiss Garden.
Was kept awaiting at reception for half an hour, before being told that's no room yet. Gave me a drink voucher for a drink at lounge. Waited for another 1 hour. Went to reception and there's still no room. Had to be very firm with them and was upgraded to Club floor.
Called operator to ask if I'm still entitled to the free usage of mini-bar (a privilege of Premier room that I've booked) but she don't seem to understand. Don't think she speaks English well. Later a colleague of hers called to clear the misunderstanding, saying that I'm only entilted to certain items and they'll send someone to clear the 'unauthorised items'.
The staff there are mostly without smiles and don't usually greet you when u call for their services.
Only 1 friendly staff at the transport counter who gave us great directions and tips for travelling around in KL, and he also came up to me when I was waiting for transport at lobby, wanting to render his assistance.
Generally, the hotel needs a major 'face-lifting'. Facilities are old and dirty, unfit to be use in a 5-star hotel.

Top Local Tips for Kuala Lumpur

Cheap packages to KL from Singapore Book your package, including round-trip bus (ultra luxury bus with on-board food service and entertainment) and hotel in Singapore with a travel agent. Prices are unbelievable - we paid $350 Singapore Dollasrs for 3Days 2Nights - definitely worth it.

Accesability around KL The pavements are quite tricky and uneven and we also come across a 4ft sewer grid.I you fell it was a 6ft drop to the bottom.Also crossing thr road is very perilous.You really do take your own life into your own hands.

getting ripped off KL taxi drivers are famous for ripping you off. Sure you should look for one who will use the meter (good luck on a rainy evening ) but even those devices can be 'fixed' or they will take you on a 'scenic' drive to wherever you are going.A complete disgrace to Malaysia.


Other names for Hotel Istana

  • istana kuala lumpur
  • istana hotel kuala lumpur
  • Address: 73 Jalan Raja Chulan - Kuala Lumpur - 50200 - Malaysia
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