Tuesday, April 9, 2019

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Introduction

With so many tourists flooding all the places, lots of accommodations have come up lately in all cities and people are spoilt for choices. You fire up any travel website and you will suddenly be flooded with thousands of options for staying in a place ranging from as low as 20$ upto all the way to 400 or 500$ even.

For me it was the same case when I decided to stay in KL. Initially considering my first stop was Batu Caves in KL, I decided to use my favourite app, to book the East Kiara Dex suites (apartments) since it was very near to Batu Caves. Something told me later that it would be difficult to shift when you have luggage from one place to another. So I decided to book The Vortex suites instead. You won’t believe what I got.

Apartments vs Hotels - what to choose?

It is always a confusion on whether to choose hotels or apartments ever since Airbnb type of apps came up on the markets and allowed people to book peoples homes for stays. What is more important to note are the pros and cons of booking apartments versus hotels. To make things simple I will list them here for you

Hotels: Pros

  • Breakfast is covered in some hotels
  • Scenic views of surroundings
  • better room service (both on housekeeping and food)

Hotels: Cons

  • Room sizes is limited
  • Only one toilet usually
  • Rentals maybe high

Apartments: Pros

  • multiple rooms, feels like home
  • kitchen for self cooking
  • Better furnished and larger spaces
  • Gaming consoles are there in some apartments

Apartments: Cons

  • You have to prepare your own food or carry food from outside
  • no feeling of being pampered
  • sometimes could be in residential localities with access issues, and far from attractions

So its actually more of what you prefer as each has its own pros and cons as listed above. For us since i had never booked an apartment in the past, I decided to book the Vortex to see how it was for our journey.

Vortex apartments, near KLCC

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We booked the Vortex which is a 25+ floors of apartment complex right in the heart of KL city. The apartment is walkable from KL tower, Petronas twin towers, and also many attractions nearby not to forget to mention hotels, clubs, and other small places within town. The speciality of this complex is that it is circular in shape with a dizzying stance if you look at it from below. The whole building seems to be glass facaded and has some fantastic views of the city from whichever location you look at it.

Booking and check-in procedures

I booked this hotel on booking.com from India, and was not charged the full amount until about a week before the actual check-in. The instructions in the booking mail were clear and I had to go to floor 6 for finishing the formalities. True to what was quoted, I went to the floor mentioned and the people managing the apartment were pretty welcoming for me.

Usually when I go to other countries I have to do some initial communication with the reception to make them understand what I need, but here the whole stay was understood and planned for me since they do this day in and day out. I spent less than 10 minutes at the reception to finish my checkin. Please bear in mind that there is a tourist tax and they ask you to deposit 200 ringgit (about 50 usd) for security purposes. This is refundable and will be returned to you later on. However, it is to be paid in cash only and you need to have withdrawn it well in advance.

Other constraints to reach the room

Since this is a high rise with over 25 floors, there are 6 lifts to reach the floors and you need to take one of the three lifts on the side of the apartment you are reaching to. Each set of three lifts service half the area of the overall circular building. These are high speed lifts and what you need to know is that these operate when you swipe the room card on the panel. It will automatically know which floor to stop at and will stop only in those floors for which people are present inside the lift.

Going up is easy, but coming down can mean stopping at every floor where there are people. I did find people smoking in the corridors and throwing cigarette butts here and there though advised not to, so this is something you need to get used to. Having said that you also need to remember that most people staying here are tourists who have come to KL to visit its attractions and hence they will all leave in the morning hours for this purpose. The hours between 9-11 are very crowded and hence the lifts are so full that you will have trouble moving yourself with your luggage - hence its advisable to be early or go later than those hours.

The apartment

In our apartment the furnishing was top notch. It had a dining table, a nice big sofa with a view to the outside of the city buildings, and two bedrooms with cots and mattresses again of high quality. Wardrobes, desks, bathroom fittings and bathroom facilities are all top notch as well. The apartment also had a kitchen with cutlery as well as a washer and dryer. The washer and dryer is perhaps the single most useful appliance for long journeys if you know what I mean. Overall the apartment was really high quality but did not have any balconies.

The air conditioner can sometimes make you feel a bit stuffy inside and the window opening was rather too high. I am not sure about the fire safety worthiness of such apartments and have my own doubts about it. I am yet to see a hotel with large dustbins instead of those silly small ones which serve no purposes.

There were enough towels provided during our stay and these were also refreshed by the time we were back from tourist visits. The housekeeping was seamless.

Other facilities

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The apartment has a swimming pool which you can use daily once for a stipulated amount of time. However since it was on a higher floor it was small and not really a professional one. The apartment also has a small shop which is stocked well with things you need to buy for cooking or eating for quick eats.

There is also a 7-11 shop which is rather congested at the ground level, and a paid car park which is NOT touch-and-go card compatible at the moment.

Since this is in a highly commercial area, there are also banks nearby so withdrawing cash should not be an issue. This apartment is very near to KL tower, Suria KLCC (Petronas towers) and many other attractions nearby including restaurants and pubs.

Check out

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One word : Smooth!

Your deposit money is returned to you, you return the cards to the room, and you are done. Period. Fastest one I have seen!

Written with StackEdit.

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About Me
Srikanth Eswaran
Bengloor Huduga

Srikanth is a blogger, reader, photographer, butter dosa eater, an urban car racer & an apple fanboy. He loves music, playing table tennis and traveling. Most times he would like to be solitary to introspect on what life has thrown to him and the bigger purpose of life.