Planning a trip to SE Asia during the holidays? We brought in our New Year in Kuala Lumpur, and found the city to be bustling with nightlife, fine dining, and five star hotels options to bring the new year in with a bang! You'll find in this post exactly what we did to enjoy a smooth and baller New Year's Eve with complete transparency for costs. Get ready to stay out till sunrise!
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Where to stay in Kuala Lumpur for NYE?
This swanky hotel, in the more upscale and residential Damansara Heights neighborhood, will make you feel like an overnight celebrity. If you book in advance, you might be able to get this 5-star hotel for less than $100 a night.
Why did we select the Sofitel? Not only is their rooftop bar a fresh look for pre-dinner cocktails, but the proximity to our top choice restaurant for NYE dinner--Babe--is clutch, as is the comfort of being in this relatively peaceful part of town while still being able to access the city center with ease.
Where to do NYE Pre-Dinner Cocktails?
Le Bar Rooftop @Sofitel Hotel
Great spot to grab a G&T and line up and to take some photos before the night gets started. It helped that there was no one there when we went.
Where to do NYE Dinner in Kuala Lumpur?
Babe Restaurant by Michelin-starred Chef Jeff Ramsey is THE MOVE. Not only is the view from the restaurant pristine with the viability of the entire KL City Skyline, but Ramsey's Japanese Tapas-style cuisine is exquisite. For a night as special as New Year's Eve, we had the option to opt into one of two pre-fixed, 9-course meals. The meat and seafood were high quality and the presentation of each course made for a memorable experience. The cost of these set menus ranged from 500 RMB to 700 RMB ($120 - $170 USD). Below you'll find snapshots of the various courses of the menus.
Reservations must be made in advance with a deposit of 100 RMB ($24) per person.
Pro Tip: I recommend a 8:30 dinner reservation as dinner and dessert took us about 3.5 hours. Traffic in Kuala Lumpur is beastly in general and then when you add NYE to the mix, you can expect to spend double plus the time to get anywhere--especially if headed into the city center. We ended up enjoying the countdown in a taxi while listening to central KL's fireworks explode above us, which was all good and fine considering we were with the right crew! But this might not be ideal to some. To avoid this, enjoy some champagne at the restaurant. With Babe's view of KLCC (Kuala Lumpur City Center), the fireworks will be incredible to watch.
Cocktails to order: Gotta have tequila
Favorite dishes: the Cod and Wagyu Steak.
The Night: Ce La Vi Lounge & Club
Located in the KLCC - Ce La Vi gives you the option to enjoy both an outdoor lounge with a 360 degree view of the city, private DJ, and pool-side fire dancers OR dance the night away inside Ce La Ve's private club. The music was great - everything from hip hop to reggaeton, flashback from the 90s and top 40.
We made a table reservation in advance which included 2 bottles of champagne and 1 bottle of grey goose. The total cost for table of six and these bottles ended up being right under $1k.
Post Club Moves?
Head to Changkat Bukit Bintag - one of the biggest stretch of bars for locals and expats alike. If you're trying to party till sunrise, you'll find plenty of young folks here waiting for the sun to come out...
Once you wake up from this electrifying experience, the sun will be beating down and you'll wish to get out and enjoy Malaysia's tropical vibe. The best part of spending this amazing time of year in KL is that there's plenty of sightseeing to be had throughout the broader metro region on the days just after the big night. Why not learn some history or try something a bit more off the beaten path like the Federal Territory Mosque? If you want to learn more about that outing, you'll have to read on... So stay tuned!
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