This is a workcation series where we personally visit and review hotels, resorts, and more, to find out how well they cater to digital nomads and hybrid professionals. Our whole team is fully vaccinated, boosted, and have tested negative on the first and last day of our trip.
✓ Motorised black-out and daytime curtains to conveniently create the ideal work or rest environment
✓ Great food options at the in-house dining venues, Makan Kitchen and Tosca Italian Trattoria
✓ A leisure game room with tabletop and card games as well as a foosball table, pool table, and PS4 available
✓ Event halls that are suitable for meetings, weddings, and other social gatherings
Globally recognised hotel chain DoubleTree by Hilton opened its Shah Alam i-City location earlier this year, making it the sixth hotel carrying the name in Malaysia.
Being a new hotel, however, DoubleTree by Hilton Shah Alam i-City (DoubleTree) has adopted new standards. Although we’re not privy to what exactly those standards are, we were invited for a 3D2N workcation to test them out for ourselves.
As part of DoubleTree’s signature welcome, we were given their cookies upon check-in in the massive lobby. There are plenty of seats here for guests to convene or hang out with some drinks and snacks from the grab-and-go café, The Koffee.
In the far back, there’s also the Axis Longue where guests can unwind with some drinks and food.
But we were there to get some work done, so we set off to our room on the 17th floor, ready to kickstart our trip with our welcome cookies in tow.
Where we’ll call home for the next couple of days
The first thing we noticed when entering our King Deluxe Suite was the aroma. We’ve had experience with overpowering scents before, but this fresh and subtle floral smell was different.
I also immediately noticed the additional welcome refreshments set out on the coffee room table in the living area, which included some chocolate cake pops, macarons, as well as a sparkling lime and hibiscus drink from a homegrown brand, Tapping Tapir.
If you’re not a fan of soda, the minibar is also stocked with capsule coffee and glass bottles of water, alongside all the necessary utensils such as cups and spoons. There’s also a minifridge tucked underneath.
The main living area is kept separate from the bedroom, which features a plush king bed. This separation is great for scenarios where one party would like to work while the other wants to rest or take a private call.
There’s a vanity in there that could double as a smaller work area, but the ottoman beneath it was a bit too short for us to comfortably get work done.
The en suite is spacious, with a deep bathtub and a separate shower, as well as a roomy open wardrobe. Here, we found some bathrobes and an additional pillow and blanket.
Looking out the windows of our bedroom, we were given a bird’s-eye-view of i-City Theme Park, featuring its Ferris wheel and city lights that were sure to become even more dazzling in the evening.
And when you’re done admiring the view, you can simply press a button for the black-out curtains to close on their own.
Overall, our King Deluxe Suite was decked with everything we could need for a comfortable and—true to its name—deluxe stay, but is it up to par for a productive one?
Judging by the workstation fitted into this room, I was tempted to immediately say yes. Set in front of the minibar, the spacious work table comes with a wheeled office chair and is situated next to two plug points, which are definitely workplace essentials.
However, there were two of us on the workcation, but only one chair for the workstation. We could have worked on the sofa, but that’s probably not ideal, ergonomically speaking.
Thankfully, after a phone call to the operator, the hotel staff were able to send up an additional chair for us. Although it wasn’t as plush as the one that came in the room, it was of adequate height for the table.
But a bigger issue we encountered was internet connectivity, something we’ve come to learn is absolutely critical for us to be productive.
After some struggles with connecting to the guest Wi-Fi, we decided to call the operator again, who was kind enough to share the password for a private Wi-Fi for us to use.
Later on, we inquired with another staff on whether free Wi-Fi was available, to which she explained that customers would have to download the Hilton app and become a Hilton Honors member for free to enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi.
However, the hotel’s website says standard in-room and lobby Wi-Fi are RM30, and from my past stays at various DoubleTrees, I know not all its locations offer free Wi-Fi.
Work hard and relax harder
Of course, we weren’t there just to work all day in our rooms, so we requested a tour of the facilities in the hotel.
We were shown around the event halls, something that seems to be a key highlight of this hotel as it houses a total of 1,594 square metres of meeting space, making it a fitting venue for weddings, business meetings, and other social gatherings.
You can contact the hotel directly or via its website to request the pricing of these spaces.
Next to the 24/7 gym is the outdoor infinity pool, which I decided to try at around 9 in the morning.
Unfortunately, it was being cleaned at the time, but I only had to wait for around 20 minutes before it was ready for me.
There’s also a jacuzzi connected to the pool, which was really nice. There isn’t a temperature difference I could discern, but the jets there make it a comfortable spot to relax after a swim.
If you’re looking for a heated experience, though, there’s a sauna on the floor above. There’s also set to be a spa on this floor, but it’s not open yet.
On the same floor as the gym and the pool is a game room that features a bunch of different card and board games, as well as a foosball table and pool table.
There’s also a PS4 that guests can play, but will need to put down a sizable RM600 deposit for.
A gastronomical journey
On our first night, we were served dinner at Tosca Italian Trattoria, DoubleTree by Hilton’s Italian restaurant.
The interior design here is cosy and warm, and according to staff members, the Shah Alam i-City’s Tosca follows the new DoubleTree by Hilton standards, which sees an updated concept and aesthetic, the first to do so in Malaysia.
After ordering our waitress’s recommendations, we were served warm and soft focaccia with a side of homemade tomato sauce, which was a great start to our dinner.
If you’re headed to the hotel anytime soon, definitely order the bruschetta romana, Petto Di Manzo (a beef brisket dish), Aglio Olio Di Gamberi, and Burrata Con Pizza.
After a filling meal, treat yourself to the tiramisu which is prepared in front of diners, making it more of an experience than just a dish.
Most of our meals, though, were held in the aptly named Makan Kitchen, which is known for having three main sections that correspond to Malay, Chinese and Indian food.
The breakfast buffets certainly gave us a lot of options to choose from, including roti bakar and soup noodles, but what was really exciting here was the seafood buffet on the second night.
We were told that it was the second-ever seafood buffet held at the hotel, and it seems like it’s set to be a monthly event. Freshly shucked oysters, scallops, and more, were up for grabs, as well as differently prepared crab, fish, and other seafood.
For those who aren’t big seafood lovers, there are also non-seafood options available such as the chicken and beef satay, pandan chicken, and more.
The last area you can dine in is the Axis Lounge, where we were recommended to work at. We were seated by some plug points, which was great. Here, we enjoyed some fish and chips as well as a popiah dish as we worked. Guests can order select Makan Kitchen dishes here too.
I would say that the Axis Lounge is an ideal spot for business lunches or casual meetings, though it might not be a productive spot for those who enjoy a quieter working environment.
A great workcation spot with no surprises
Having experienced a few workcations in the heart of some central locations in the past, I found DoubleTree by Hilton Shah Alam i-City to be quite relaxing as it’s further out of KL without being too distant.
I felt like the King Deluxe Suite was definitely an ideal room choice for a workcation as well, as the layout gives a nice sense of not only physical separation, but a mental one too, from working and relaxing.
While the bed was comfortable enough for rest, I found the pillow to be too soft. The extra pillow in the toilet was a little firmer, though.
The dining options here are worth coming back for, but the more premium prices might have me looking for other options. Good thing is, there’s a mall, Central i-City, nearby with more food choices.
|What workcation crowd is DoubleTree by Hilton Shah Alam i-City suitable for?
|Solo hybrid workers
|Give yourself a change of pace by working at the Axis Lounge or by The Koffee, where you can also have business meetings.
|Workcationers travelling with family
|Visit the pool as well as the game room on the fifth floor to entertain the kids.
|Expats/longer-term business travellers
|Enjoy the various food options offered within the hotel, or visit the nearby malls for a change of pace.
|Business meetings and corporate events
|Book a corporate gathering at the meeting rooms and event spaces offered at the hotel.
- Read our other reviews of workcations we’ve been to here.
- Learn more about DoubleTree by Hilton Shah Alam i-City here.
All images credit: Vulcan Post, taken on the Huawei Mate 50 Pro