My two favourite things to do any city involve finding the highest views I can: looking down upon the city from the comfort of a sky-high bar or watching the sunset over the city from a mountain (if any exist, that is!). If possible, I’ll always do both! (I’m looking at you, glorious Taipei and Hong Kong.)
And so on recommendation of my wonderful Airbnb hosts, Chris and Mika, I found myself at Marini’s on 57 on my last night in Kuala Lumpur, right next to the Petronas Towers on level 57 (no kidding). So close I could almost touch the Towers! I’m certainly not the only person to have realised this but when you go up any city’s iconic and tallest building, you might get lovely views and photos but you’ll never get that iconic building in your photos, plus you’ll probably pay a hefty sum to use their viewing deck, not to mention you’re likely to be barging elbows with crowds of tourists! (I’m looking at you, Pearl Tower in Shanghai… Grrr…).
(As a side note, some people also recommend Traders Hotel for similar views for a similar price. I did go there the day before and it’s not bad but personally I think everything about Marini’s is better and it’s no more expensive!)
And so I have a confession to make: in Kuala Lumpur I didn’t actually go up the Petronas Towers. Perhaps I would have done if I was there for longer or had more money but instead I settled for a cocktail in Marini’s 57 where I could get cheaper and even higher city views that the Petronas Towers offered, not to mention views of the Towers themselves, plus I actually got a seat to enjoy the views from. 😉
As you’d expect, the price of one cocktail in a bar this high and fancy isn’t cheap but it’s still less than half the price of an admission ticket to an iconic building’s viewing deck! And to be honest, the Marini’s prices were a lot more reasonable than I’ve seen at other sky-high bars. (An adult ticket for the Petronas Towers is RM85; a cocktail at Marini’s is between RM30 and RM57).
Money aside, Marini’s is a fun and sophisticated place to relax and it’s apparently one of ‘the’ places to be on a Friday night in KL. (They’ve also got a restaurant which I hear has good reviews too). As it’s a rooftop bar, the walls and roof are all made of glass so you really do get some amazing views, particularly as the sunsets and the whole bar has a beautiful orange glow. Unfortunately it was hazy the night I went but I can imagine you get some amazing views on a clear day. The best bit is the open-air terrace where you can look down from 57 floors up or look directly across at the giant Petronas Towers!
Just a couple of boring but important tips: Martini’s does have a dress code so plan ahead before you visit. (No trainers, no jeans, no shorts etc.). I recommend booking ahead too, although I didn’t but seeing as I just by myself, I chanced it. They’re always quite strict about the size of bags you can bring to the bar. As I was going straight to Marini’s from my day in the city, I did have my ugly backpack with me (somewhat cheapening the blue dress and fancy shoes I had on) but they let you securely store bags in the lobby and give you a paper ticket so you can pick it up on your way out.
So, there you are, sky high-views without breaking the bank! It didn’t quite measure up to my visit to Sir Ely’s in Shanghai and the famous Bund views but even still, I certainly recommend a visit Marini’s 57 on your next KL stop!
What’s your favourite sky-high bar in the world? Which city is your favourite to watch the sun set over? Tell me in the comments below!