Kuala Lumpur has always been one of those hard-to-pin-down cities. A melding of Asia–old and new–it’s a capital with something for everyone, and that’s especially true when it comes to a night out.
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We asked our HotelQuickly staffers in KL where they go when Friday night rolls around and they want to let their hair down high above the city, or when they’re feeling a little more hush-hush. Read on for the answers.
Heli Lounge Bar
Taking aeronautics for its theme, Heli Lounge Bar’s key pieces – portable drink station, DJ console — are reconstructed airplane parts. Because everything gets packed up in the day (for those helicopters, you know) the space can feel a little makeshift. But get there in time for sunset and you’ll be glad you came.
The designers of Sky Bar have struck a chord with Malaysia’s trendsetters. A long lap pool bisects the bar area from a row of semi-private cabanas overlooking the city below. Retro Happy Hour on Tuesdays is the perfect excuse to gather your besties, order a round of cocktails and a side of Buffalo Inferno Wings, and enjoy the view.
We can’t get any higher than this – in terms of Malaysian bars, that is. On the 57th floor of Petronas Tower 3, Marini’s is a sleek and airy gathering space for those with similarly lofty ambitions. The bar’s floor-to-ceiling glass walls will keep you turning to admire the view outside. We love that Marini’s stays open until 4 a.m., also, that long, loooong happy hour.
We hope you’ve dressed up, because everyone else in Tate has. Inspired by the roaring 20s, and strewn with stately armchairs, phonographs and billiard tables, Tate is probably KL’s handsomest speakeasy. The free popcorn and card decks are a plus. We won’t give you any hints about how to find it (push the light fixture shaped like a top hat) — you’re on your own.
Whisky, Tango & Foxtrot
Sink into those plush armchairs – you’re going to be here awhile. Whisky, Tango & Foxtrot (WTF for short) is the type of mellow setting where you’d be tempted to carry on a long conversation over a glass of single malt, and perhaps a cigar (if that’s your thing.) To get in, enter the red phone booth, lift the receiver and hope for the best.
A little bit funky, a little bit tropical, and a whole lot of fun right where you need it, Mai Bar’s bold aesthetic ensures its cushioned seats are always filled. Swaying palm trees, Tiki totem poles and LED lighting create a playful vibe. Plop down on a bean bag and feel the breeze.
Who’s up for a treasure hunt? If you agree that good speakeasy should present a little challenge, Mr Brooks will be right up your alley. No clues, but entry has something to do with cars and tools. You’ll figure it out. Once inside, order one of their expertly crafted cocktails (like the best-selling Nan’s Carrot Cake) and admire the mod-British decor and impressive bicycle wall hang.
Here’s a trusty recommendation for the traveler who loves doing it like a local. Wooden picnic tables, vintage street signs and exposed brick walls set the stage for Barlai’s casual, artistic crowd to meet and mingle. Come here to escape the bustle outside or connect for an after-work drink. Tip: Try locating the secret room on your way up.
Can’t wait to head to Kuala Lumpur and scope out these bars? We’ve got the deals to make your trip happen. Open the HotelQuickly app to find the best last-minute discounts on hotels in Malaysia and 15 other Asia-Pacific countries.
Melissa is a passionate foodie, travel writer, and editor working in media internationally and in the USA. She has lived in Bangkok since 2004 and has a background in the travel industry. Melissa’s writing has been published globally in many prestigious online and print magazines for over a decade. Her motto for life is “You cannot live or love well if you have not wined and dined well!”