Seeing masterpieces by Rembrandt, Monet, van Gogh, Picasso et al can be a once in a lifetime experience for many. But going to museums usually take a big chunk off a traveler’s budget.
Today, art is no longer confined in the four corners of a building. More and more formal and freestyle artists take their art to the streets so that more people can appreciate them.
With the help of my friends, I compiled a list of best places to visit for street art.
This UNESCO World Heritage town have quirky yet functional wrought iron street markers. If you take the time to read the text on the caricatures, you’ll find that they’re both informative and entertaining.
Next, head on to Armenian Street to check out murals by Ernest Zacharevic. He often marries his murals with real-life objects, and the results are larger than life.
Ever since I got back from my month-long Southeast Asian trip last August 2014, some friends have expressed their interest of doing the same, but don’t know exactly where to start. The thing is, when people ask me for my itinerary, I’m a bit hesitant to just give them what I used because it is customized according to MY traveling style. I found that it has changed over the years. I no longer feel the need to pack as many attractions as I can in day, and would prefer to pay more for convenience rather than sacrifice comfort for the sake of sticking to my budget. I also traveled solo, so my expenses were inevitably bigger than usual. And the only tickets I had pre-booked on sale were my Manila to Bangkok, Bangkok to Chiang Mai, and Bali to Manila flights. The rest of the flights, I booked when I was already on the road.
Before heading to Indonesia, I had the privilege of staying at Traders Hotel in KL, Malaysia.
Located in the heart of the city, Traders is the ideal base for business travelers and families, especially those traveling with kids, because KL’s attractions are easily accessible from the hotel.
photo courtesy of Traders Hotel KL
When I entered the ground lobby and asked to be checked in, the staff courteously told me that the main lobby is actually at the 5th floor. Another staff immediately escorted me to the main lobby and offered to help with my bags.
The main lobby was not as flamboyant as one would expect from a Shangri-la brand, but the moment the receptionist asked me to complete the check-in by signing on the tablet, I knew I was in for a different experience.
Main lobby at the 5th floor
I was then handed my room keycard.
No WiFi login details were provided because FREE WiFi is accessible throughout the hotel premises.
My Tower View room
The earth colors give the room a homey feel.
The room was modest in size, but space was utilized well and all the amenities you would expect of a 5-star hotel are there.
The bed was just the right size and firmness. There’s also a small sofa, and a lazy chair with foot stool near the window where I sat to gaze at the twin towers…while munching on my cupcakes.
My room was on the 31st floor with a view of the Petronas Twin Towers and KLCC Park! There were mini cupcakes, a bowl of fruits, and chocolates from Gobo when I arrived. Sweet!
To avoid looking cluttered, they used sliding doors for the cabinet and bathroom. The mini bar, and coffee and tea making facilities, are ‘hidden’ under the writing desk.
Other room amenities include LED TV with satellite cable, electronic safe, umbrella, plenty of power outlets with built-in international adapters, iron and ironing board, and hair dryer.
The room may be simple, but the bathroom is definitely luxurious.
The amber glow makes the counter look ethereal, no?
Can you spot the lollipop? 😉
It has Johnson Suisse fittings, and TOTO toilet bowl with eco-washer (that automatic water spray that washes away the dirty stuff :p).
There’s also a generous supply of premium toiletries and complete grooming kit.
Another thing that really caught my attention was the tiny dial on the bathroom wall which I discovered to be a volume control, so you can still listen to whatever program/movie is on the TV while you’re taking a bath! I find it really cool.
That night, I went to check out Traders Hotel’s famous SkyBar where you can enjoy a drink or two while chilling out to music spun by guest DJs.
“SkyBar offers guests the ultimate in refreshing drinks and intoxicating views all in a chic and cosmopolitan ambiance.”
The pool and the twin towers are beautifully lit up at night.
You can also watch KLCC’s dancing fountain show from here.
My only concern was because my room was just two floors below SkyBar, I can somehow hear the music in my room. While it didn’t bother me that much, this might be a problem for light sleepers.
Breakfast is served both at Gobo Chit Chat and at the Traders Lounge.
If you want to try everything at the buffet breakfast spread, go to Gobo Chit Chat. If you want more privacy and less foot traffic, you can have your breakfast at the Lounge. However, breakfast choices in the latter is not as extensive as Gobo’s.
The buffet breakfast serves deli, homemade yogurt, cereals, pancakes and waffles, omelette, noodles, Japanese, Western, Chinese, Malaysian, and Indian cuisines, fresh bread (they have gluten free ones, too) and pastries, variety of cheese, cakes, fruits, and juices.
The gym, business center, and meeting facilities all have unobstructed view of the twin towers.
Traders Hotel is not about space, flashy furniture or fancy equipment. They put more attention into comfort and quality of service.
~~ I was hosted by Traders Hotel KL for a night, but all opinions in this review are my own. ~~