Review: Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur

The Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur feels every bit at home amidst its urban setting, with luxurious bathrooms and well-executed breakfast the highlights.

For my second night in Kuala Lumpur, I redeemed my AMEX Platinum Charge’s annual free night certificate for the Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur. 

Now, if I’m honest, I can’t say I’ve been the biggest fan of the Banyan Trees I’ve visited so far (Bali, Koh Samui, Lang Co). It’s not that any of these stays have been bad per se, it’s just that Banyan Tree plays it a little too rustic for my liking. For the amount of money you pay, it sometimes veers more antediluvian chalet than barefoot luxury. 

But then again, that could very much be a me problem. After all, Banyan Tree’s entire USP is sustainability, and building an ultra-modern glass and concrete property in the middle of the jungle would be rather antithetical to all that. In that sense, complaining about rooms and facilities not being cutting-edge would be like getting angry at a cow for mooing.

So why did I pick the Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur? Because it’s a very different sort of Banyan Tree. Opened in 2018, this property departs from the chain’s usual playbook of far-flung destinations, billing itself as an “urban sanctuary” that doesn’t so much seek to be away from the madding crowd as an oasis within it. 

Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur

And while this isn’t Banyan Tree’s first attempt at a city-centric hotel, Kuala Lumpur is one of the newest. If there was one property to change my mind about the Banyan Tree brand, it’d be this one.

🏨 tl;dr: Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur
The Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur feels every bit at home amidst its urban setting, with luxurious bathrooms and well-executed breakfast the highlights.
👍 The Good 👎 The Bad
  • Luxuriously-designed, oversized bathrooms with deep soaking tubs
  • High quality a la carte breakfast with free-flow prosecco
  • Right at the heart of the Bukit Bintang area
  • Rooftop swimming pool too frigid for regular use
  • Shower head misalignment seems to be a common problem
🆕 Something Old, Something New

Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur: Arrival and check-in

Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur driveway

The Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur is located in the Golden Triangle area at the heart of Bukit Bintang. While the traffic can be nasty, you’re within walking distance of all the major shopping, eating and nightlife locations. There’s also an elevated covered walkway that will connect you directly to Pavilion Mall.

Ground floor lobby

The ground floor lobby is eerily quiet and almost libraryesque. That’s because it’s merely a reception area; check-in takes place on the 53rd floor. In fact, the hotel’s 55 rooms and suites occupy occupy the top seven floors of the 59-story Banyan Tree Residences, so you’re guaranteed a commanding view. 

Banyan Tree 53rd floor lobby
Banyan Tree 53rd floor lobby
Check-in desks

Up on the 53rd floor, we were warmly welcomed and ushered to a couch for check-in. Welcome drinks were served, together with some tasty coconut biscuits and wet towels. 

Welcome drinks

Our room wasn’t ready yet when we arrived at noon, so we went to do a spa treatment first and returned later to pick up our keys.

Signature Banyan Retreat

The 55 rooms and suites at the Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur are split into the following categories:

Room Type Room Size No. of Rooms
Banyan Retreat 51-63 sqm 14
Signature Banyan Retreat 63-67 sqm 15
Signature Sky Retreat 54-67 sqm 18
Sky Suite 62 sqm 4
Sanctuary Suite 90 sqm 2
Sky Sanctuary Suite 116 sqm 1
Banyan Tree Suite 313 sqm 1

The AMEX Platinum Charge complimentary night voucher books you into the lead-in Banyan Retreat Room, which ranges from 51-63 sqm (a 20% variation in room size is surprising, but probably down to the architecture of the building).

Prior to arrival, I asked about upgrades and received the following quotes.

  • Signature Banyan Retreat: MYR 85 nett
  • Signature Sky Retreat: MYR 138 nett
  • Sky Suite: MYR 1,378 nett
  • Sanctuary Suite: MYR 2,120 nett
  • Sky Sanctuary Suite: MYR 3,180 nett
  • Banyan Tree Suite: MRY 9,450 nett

I decided to upgrade to a Signature Bayan Retreat for additional space, since it was only ~S$25 more, and was assigned to room 5505.

Signature Banyan Retreat
Signature Banyan Retreat
Signature Banyan Retreat

Rooms were designed by Sydney-based Studioaria, whose portfolio also includes the St. Regis Bangkok, Langham Hotel Melbourne and Porterhouse Hotel Sydney. The interior is soothing on the eyes, with warm lighting, dark wood furniture and light coloured walls. All rooms come with Bose sound systems and Smart TVs.

Near the entrance is a luggage storage nook (slightly stained, as you’ll see in the photo below) and bar area. Complimentary mineral water and coffee is provided, and refillable on demand. 

Bar and storage area
Coffee machine and water

The mini-bar has a few chargeable drinks and snacks inside, but still has space for personal items. Fortunately, this isn’t one of those “booby trapped” smart fridges that automatically bills you should you so much as molest a Snickers.


Other Banyan Trees I’ve visited have come up short in the work desk department (and again, that’s probably why I’m not a good fit for the brand- who visits a Banyan Tree resort to work?), but this setup was much better. The desk was located near the entrance to the room, behind a privacy lattice. What I liked is that they provided two chairs, allowing The MileLioness and I to do our work together. 

Work desk

Wi-Fi connectivity clocked in at 32 Mbps down and up, which was sufficient for Ultra HD or 4K Netflix streaming with no buffering issues.

The king-sized bed offered an excellent night’s sleep (I believe they’re using Simmons mattresses), though the sheets were perhaps not as high thread count as you’d expect at a property like this. 


Each bedside had a universal power socket (though one was occupied by the room phone) and two USB Type-A charging ports. Master switches and presets for working, relaxing and nighttime were also present.

Bedside switches and power
Bedside switches and power

On the far end of the the room was a seating area, though it’s a bit of an odd place to have one since you’re facing a wall. There’s no TV here; all you have to stare at is a painting. 

Seating area
Reverse angle

Now, if you’ve been looking at the room and thinking it’s kind of narrow, that’s because it’s really split into two equal-sized rectangles. The show-stealing bathroom is allocated the same space as the bedroom, and my word do they make good use of it.


It’s so large you can run laps around it, with his and hers sinks, lit mirror panels, and a generously-sized dressing table. The view (of a bare concrete skyscraper under construction) is unfortunate, but that aside I’d say this is one of the nicest hotel bathrooms I’ve seen since the Andaz Singapore. 


The oversized shower area has a deep soaking tub that easily fits two, plus a chromotherapy shower with three shower settings: rain, column or cascade. Chromotherapy, for the uninitiated, refers to mood lighting, with seven different colour settings.

Bathing area
Bath amenities

If there’s one fly in the ointment, it’s that the shower head was badly misaligned. When you switched it on, the water shot in all directions instead of falling straight down. We asked the maintenance team to fix this, but after 30 minutes no one had come to the room. Since we had dinner reservations, I went to the front desk and they arranged for us to use a temporary room…where the shower had the exact same issue. It’s the kind of thing you’d hope they’d be more proactive about fixing, since the bathing experience is clearly intended to be one of the highlights. 

Misaligned shower head

To the hotel’s credit, they made up for it by providing a complimentary bath experience, a “honey milk and rose beauty soak” that came with a bottle of wine and chocolates. 

Honey milk and rose beauty soak

On the other end of the bathroom was a walk-in wardrobe with bathrobes, a safe, weighing scale and ironing board.


This led into the toilet area, with an electronic TOTO bidet seat which lifted automatically and misted the bowl when it detected movement.



Horizon Grill

Breakfast is served at Horizon Grill on the 58th floor, from 6.30 a.m to 10.30 a.m daily. It came included with my AMEX voucher; otherwise you’ll pay RM140++ per adult (S$40++) and RM75++ per child aged 6-12 (S$22).

Both indoor and outdoor seating is available. The outdoor area has some pretty fantastic views of the Kuala Lumpur skyline, though it can also get very warm once the sun comes out.

Indoor seating
Outdoor seating

Breakfast consists of two parts: a buffet selection and a made-to-order a la carte menu.

The buffet spread had fruits, pastries, cold cuts, cheese, a bread station with a toaster, porridge, and a full honeycomb.

Cheese and cold cuts

That served as a good appetiser while we waited for the arrival of the made-to-order menu. I was impressed by the variety of options on offer, and it’s all-you-can-eat. 

Horizon Grill breakfast menu | Click to enlarge
Avocado toast
French toast
Dim sum

The food quality was much better than your average hotel breakfast, with the local items being the predictable winners. Our favourite item was the signature nasi lemak, served with a delicious tiger prawn sambal. The prawns were fresh— not that springy, frozen stuff that a surprising number of upscale hotels use — and so good we requested more of just that.

Nasi lemak

The sharp-eyed amongst you may have spotted a sparkling wine display in the first photo of this section. It’s not just for show. At the Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur, you can have a bubbly breakfast if you wish, and the pour is a surprisingly decent Mionetto Prosecco DOCG .

Prosecco at breakfast
Prosecco at breakfast

I thought that was a really nice touch that elevated the breakfast to something a little more special.


Swimming Pool

The Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur offers an open air, sheltered pool on the 53rd floor, with panoramic views of the Kuala Lumpur skyline. You can see pretty much every major landmark in the city, be it the KL Tower or the Petronas Twin Towers. 

Swimming pool
Swimming pool

The 1.2 metre pool is rectangular-shaped and suitable for lap swimming, but the water is almost painfully cold. In any case, the views are best enjoyed from outside the pool, because when inside the pool your views are blocked by the numerous concrete pillars. 

View from pool floor

The jacuzzi might be a better bet, since it’s perched on a ledge that gets some direct sunlight. 




The 24-hour fitness centre is located on the 53rd floor near the swimming pool. Inside is a range of Technogym equipment with built-in entertainment systems. 

Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur gym
Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur gym

Fresh fruit, water and cold towels are available, together with sanitised headsets. 

Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur gym


Banyan Tree spa

You can’t stay at a Banyan Tree without visiting the spa, and I made bookings well in advance of arrival.

The regular spa menu can be found here, with a 60 and 90-minute body treatment costing MYR 428 (S$122) and MYR 558 ($160) respectively. However, I found that it was cheaper to buy spa vouchers from the hotel’s online shop, which reduced the prices to MYR 371 (S$106) and MYR 477 (S$136) respectively.

Treatment room
Treatment room

The treatment was flawless, as you would expect from a Banyan Tree spa, though some of the flourishes you might find at more elaborate spas (e.g. electric blankets) were missing.

Tea and fruits were served post-treatment.

Tea and fruits


The Banyan Tree and I will have to agree to disagree on whether their resorts are rustic or rundown, but when it comes to their urban settings, the Kuala Lumpur property is one I’d happily return to any day.

The highlights for me were the luxurious bathrooms and well-executed breakfast, with easy access to the Bukit Bintang area the icing on the cake. This is certainly a place I could recommend redeeming your AMEX Platinum Charge voucher, or even splashing out a little extra for a stay. 

Have you visited the Banyan Tree KL before? What was your take?

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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Suhaimi Lazim

From the pictures the rooms look very cold and uninviting. The furnishing looks rather cheap and completely devoid of anything that one would consider luxe. I am stressed just looking the pictures of the room. There are so many hotels in Kuala Lumpur that offer a much better product than this. This one looks like a 4 star business hotel. It really looks like they stinge on the interior decor and are not even trying to achieve a luxurious look. Even Hilton which is an old property has more welcoming vibes than what is apparent in the room you showed.… Read more »


ya omg looks like those 100sgd a night batam hotels


To be fair, the pictures in this post aren’t the best. Most picitures’ white balance are off and they are under exposed as well (so they look dark and unpleasing). I’ve never stayed in this hotel so maybe it is true that the materials are cheap. Just saying pictures do not do all the justice here. After all, it’s a blog about miles instead of hotel reviews.

thomas the tank

Ok Suhaimi go back to your kampung for the ultimate homely feel.


It seems the showerhead has limescale deposits. Limescale jams the little jets and may leave only narrow holes for the water to pour through . Citric acid can solve this.


I find that scrubbing the surface with the back of my palm a few times improves the issue significantly, as it clears the small openings from limescale.


When you write a 2000+ word article just to demonstrate that you know the word antediluvian….
TBH, if you want to charge 300SGD/night in KL, you better be damn good.




The property looks soulless and cookie cutter, nothing authentic. Take away the Banyan Tree label, and slap a Grand Hyatt or Westin sticker on it, and noone would know the difference!


One problem for this Banyan Tree (and it is quite a common “problem” with luxury KL hotels) is that you could get basically the same hardware next door by booking one of the hospitality providers (read: AirBNB copycats) operating at Banyan Signatures, the branded condo. I did that and while it is not a luxury experience (check in at a plastic chair in the carpark), I got basically the same room, bathroom, location, and swimming pool for 1/3 the price. Is it the same? No. But is Banyan Tree itself 3 times better? I don’t think so!


Stayed at signature banyan for 2 nights in Feb, paid in cash. Chose it as it was branded as the highest end of the hotel range in, and we were planning a luxury stay in kl. Must say service is too notch, simple touch was when service staff memorise address you by name. Even on check in day, as we had some special requests/circumstances, the first banyan staff we met at lobby already knew who we were. Stayed at signature banyan too as level 53a (hotel is somewhat Chinese orientated and avoid the number 4s, hence 3a). Seen some comments… Read more »