7.15PM The scene was all too familiar: the setting sun painted the sky orange as I sat in the Friday evening rush-hour traffic, a friend by my side, grooving to the jazz track playing in the background. Only, this time, the situation was a little different. I was en route to InterContinental Kuala Lumpur for a weekend staycation, and instead of being the designated driver, I was seated quite comfortably in the back seat of the hotel’s limousine. Whoever thought being stuck in KL traffic could be so oddly calming? I could certainly get used to this.
7.40PM Dinh Van Luu, InterContinental Kuala Lumpur’s guest experience manager, decorously ushered us through the newly renovated lobby and into the elevator, sending us straight to the 26th floor. There, floor-to-ceiling glass windows decorate the Club InterContinental, one of Kuala Lumpur’s premier executive lounges, which had a recent facelift, thanks to Bangkok-based P49 Deesign’s modern ingenuity. Inspiring this upgrade is the Club’s vow to indulge its exclusive guests in an end-to-end experience, and sure enough, the personalised red-carpet-worthy service began the very moment we stepped into the lounge for a private check-in—sweet and savoury treats on a three-tier tea stand and sparkling wine at the ready. Club InterContinental’s answer to kick-start a staycation? Decadent chocolate tarts and fluffy layer cakes, fresh nigiri sushi and lightly crisp calamari.
9PM After a quick refresh, dinner was at Tao Chinese Cuisine, where precious teapots from all over the region lined the dark wood shelving that segmented the different sections of Tao’s space. Amid blush-hued peach flower motifs, the restaurant’s award-winning executive Chinese chef, Wong Lian You, introduced and delivered freshly reinterpreted dishes—curated for two. Warm chicken consommé, topped with fish maw, cabbage, and dried scallop for complexity, put a delicate spin on a conventionally French soup; traditional Peking duck, stir-fried in bold black pepper sauce, placed the chef’s culinary finesse in the spotlight; while nourishing double-boiled hasma, snow fungus, red dates with osmanthus oolong tea rounded up the bellyful night. The best part? Having Tao’s exclusive rosehip oil-infused Chinese tea to sip on the entire time.
11.50PM After the decadent meal and a calming hot bath, we tucked ourselves comfortably in bed, and fell into hours of deep slumber.