The newly-renovated Malaysia Airlines First Class Lounge in Kuala Lumpur lacks some of the refinements of its global competitors, but is still a superb lounge and worth a visit.
Access is reserved for oneworld first class passengers as well as oneworld Emerald members. The lounge is open 24/7 and located in the satellite terminal of KUL or KLIA as it is locally called.
As you enter the lounge, you will be directed right to the first class side.
Malaysia Airlines First Class Lounge KUL Seating
The seating has been refreshed, with some chairs and couches reupholstered (and others not). As you enter the lounge, you come to the “Gallery” that has open seating. A yellow couch and multi-colored painting provides warmth.
Inside the split-level lounge, the lower portion contains dozens of comfortable seats, magazines, newspapers, and plenty of newspapers. Wi-Fi, unfortunately, is very slow. Power ports are plentiful.
Malaysia Airlines First Class Lounge KUL Dining
The highlight of my visit was dinner in the first class restaurant. The restaurant now has beautifully reupholstered blue chairs which gives the dining room a modern and bright look.
When I sat down to dinner, I had the lounge to myself, but by the time we left eight tables were occupied. The menu has not changed too much from my prior visit, though my favorite item–beef ribeye–has been removed. Nevertheless, I enjoyed a nice meal.
Here’s the menu:
I began with a bowl of spinach soup, which was nicely flavored:
Bread was served with the soup and was not fresh.
Next, I ordered a Cesar salad, which was okay…the crostini was soggy, but the dressing was nice.
For my main course, I ordered Ayam Perchik, a local dish of grilled chicken with rice. This was very, very tasty.
John ordered pasta.
We both had ice cream for dessert: strawberry for John, chocolate for me. One scoop would have been enough.
I also tried the chocolate tart (not worthwhile) and a cappuccino.
Note, I wasn’t in the mood for any alcohol, but red and white wines plus beer are available.
A buffet is also available, but if you are in a rush I recommend you proceed to the business class side for a more comprehensive buffet. The selection of soup, salads, finger foods, and desserts was more than sufficient for a snack, but did not appear fresh. Take a look at the picture of the dessert tarts below. Yes, those are flies on them. Furthermore, if you want coffee ask for a barista-made coffee rather than using the machine on the buffet. I did not touch anything on the buffet.
Malaysia Airlines First Class Lounge KUL Sleeping Room
Individual sleeping rooms have been replaced with male and female nap rooms. The male nap room contains five daybeds.
Dual power ports are available beside each bed.
First class bedding is also available upon request.
Malaysia Airlines First Class Lounge KUL Restrooms + Showers
The restrooms have been updated from black stone to a much lighter motif. Six shower suites are available and toiletries are present in each suite. As you enter the lounge “gallery” area, turn left for the restrooms.
Malaysia Airlines First Class Lounge KUL First Class Suite
The former smoking lounge has been replaced by a “First Class Suite”. I was able to take a look inside, but told this was reserved for VIPs and passengers to London. It remained locked and empty throughout my five hours in the lounge. The room is geared for one family or party and includes a couch, chairs, TV, and private bathroom with shower.
Malaysia Airlines First Class Lounge KUL Service
Service in this lounge is well-intentioned but not polished. I appreciated the staff interactions and love the warmth and friendliness of the Malaysian staff. Even so, there was not the precision you see in many other first class lounges. For example, dishes were not cleared between courses in the dining room. Drink refills were not offered. Service was also very slow…it took two hours to eat dinner. That was fine because I had the time, but would imagine it would be a hindrance to many travelers.
Yet I give Malaysia Airlines credit for trying. For example, napkins are lifted up and placed on your lap when you sit down in the dining room. Furthermore, agents roam the main part of the lounge and are happy to always bring you the drink of your choice.
New vs. Old
I argued that I preferred the old lounge a bit more due to the private sleeping rooms, but this remains a very nice lounge. If you are a smoker, the smoking room is gone and you’ll have to proceed to the business class lounge in order to smoke. The Islamic prayer room is also only in the business class lounge. A door between the lounges is locked, but an associate can open it for you:
I’d put this lounge on the level of the Garuda Indonesia First Class lounge. It’s not a top-tier lounge, but is nevertheless an excellent one.