Not long after our trip to DoubleTree by Hilton Damai Laut, our family found ourselves back at another DoubleTree by Hilton property. This time, it was DoubleTree by Hilton Putrajaya Lakeside, a quick 40-minute drive from our home, for a weekend staycay. We’re happy to report that it was another successful visit; one that started with DoubleTree’s signature warm welcome cookies, and ended with nonstop family-friendly fun – and a surprisingly cultural escapade.
A Malaysian Experience
Whilst the hotel isn’t brand new (it opened its doors in 2021), they have recently completed their refurbishment, with 14 new contemporary room categories, including the Family Deluxe Room and King Two-Bedroom Suite – serving to unveil ‘The Malaysian Experience’ and positioning DoubleTree by Hilton Putrajaya Lakeside as the ultimate destination for immersing in the rich tapestry of Malaysian culture.
Fun fact: The buildings that now make up the hotel were initially erected as a museum. The four main wings, representing Malay, Chinese, Indian, and Bornean architectural elements, surround an iconic clock tower with plenty of spaces for kids to run around, specific areas to play traditional games, like Congkak and hopscotch, and strategic spots to catch “healing” views of the Putrajaya Lake.
As part of ‘The Malaysian Experience’, the hotel has also introduced a unique Studio Residency programme, featuring three up-and-coming contemporary artists from Segaris Art Center to support local artists in showcasing the country’s cultural heritage. Each artist will be here for four months to work on new art, and guests can pop by the Studio and see the artists in action, or to speak to them.
There’s also a Seni Weekend scheduled once every month for families to participate in art activities with the resident artists. Additional charges apply for these activities and the cost includes refreshments, as well as a hi-tea or dinner buffet at the award-winning Makan Kitchen. Fadzril Fakaruddin, the first artist in the line-up, got our family to put our mixed-medium artist caps on in their inaugural interactive art workshop, during our stay. Needless to say, my little six-year-old artist was as happy as a clam!
Family-friendly Features to Love
We know this is the part many of you are really here for, so let’s jump straight into it!
1. Water Play All Day, Err’day
The Splash Pool will be one of the biggest attractions for the young ones. While the number of slides are limited, the area is well-maintained, spacious, and a hit with the kids. Please expect to hear the sounds of thrilled young children, bright and early! Your kids can also use the free pool noodles from the towel counter, and there’s even a water play area specifically for toddlers aged two to four. Please note that your children have to be between 120cm and 170cm to go on the biggest slide, called the Teen Thrill Zone.
Splash Pool Opening Hours:
- Weekdays: 9.00am – 7.00pm
- Weekends and public holidays: 8.00am- 7.00pm
The fun continues at the nearby infinity pool that overlooks the Putrajaya Lake, with an attached wading pool. The entire property is thoughtfully filled with luscious greenery, so there were many seeds from nearby trees that had fallen into the water – although my six-year-old wasn’t complaining, as she happily went on a “diving mission” to get these seeds out. There’s also another lovely rooftop pool near the fitness centre in the main wing, but it’s an adult-only zone.
2. Plenty of Family Activities
There’s no shortage of fun to be had outside of pool time – check out the new Games Room, where families with older kids can engage in a friendly game of table tennis, foosball or dart-throwing, or try their hand at the larger-than-life chess board within the hotel grounds.
Bring some cash to exchange for tokens in the Arcade Room, rent an e-Bike from Friends of Wheel (available at the hotel) for a relaxing ride by the lake, or pay for your child’s entry into the Kids’ Club (at a fee of RM8), where they can read, play, and even try some gaming on the PlayStation (while Mama visits the spa!).
3. Room Policy
Children under 18 years old can stay for free when sharing beds with their parents. While our family of four stayed in Twin Deluxe (connecting) rooms this time, we think we would have been comfortable in a single Twin Deluxe room as well. The twin beds are spacious enough for two adults – and certainly for one adult and one child. However, bear in mind that the maximum number of towels you can get at the swimming pools are two per room, and breakfast for the kids may need to be added on.
The rooms are clean and relaxing, albeit not brand spanking new. We felt that the water pressure in the washrooms could have used a little more power, and the shower knobs differ from one room to another – with one of our showers requiring a bit of brainpower to configure. For a family-friendly destination, we do wish that the built-in soap, shampoo and conditioner pumps were placed a little lower in the shower for my youngest to reach, and that step-stools were provided by the sinks.
4. Numerous places to visit
Take this opportunity to explore Putrajaya a little bit more. Here are some nearby options you can consider, if the kids even want to leave the hotel!
If your family enjoys a beachside setting, a picnic at the tiny manmade beaches in Putrajaya might just be a good idea! Check out Pantai Kompleks Sukan Air Putrajaya (a short walk from the hotel) and the Floria Beach (a six-minute drive, and entry fees apply). If your family is used to beautiful, white sandy beaches with emerald and blue waters however, we do hope you manage your expectations!
Putrajaya Secret Garden
A 15-minute drive after dinner will take you to this free and not-so-secret spot in front of Hotel Pulse Grande in Presint 1 for an ethereal Avatar-like experience. Your kids will be captivated by colourful, neon lights draped around trees, bushes and pillars all around the garden. Be warned though: parking on the weekends is a bit difficult, but with enough patience, we managed to secure a parking space.
If parking woes are your foe, and you don’t mind paying for entry, head to Wetland Studios Putrajaya instead. This latest attraction in Putrajaya encourages visitors to learn about the importance of the ecosystem, as well as the surrounding flora and fauna – all presented using animatronics, replicas, holograms, augmented reality (AR) and digital content, featuring various animated characters. Ticket prices are RM25 (Malaysian adults), RM15 (Malaysian child), RM40 (Non-Malaysian adult), and RM20 (Non-Malaysian child).
The Kids’ Play Hall at Malaysia’s Largest Cinema
Take the fam out for a family-friendly movie, and let the kids enjoy the play spaces of the Play Hall at GSC IOI City Mall 2 (East), which is a 20-minute drive away. Bring along grip socks for everyone!
District 21 at IOI City Mall
Another space to check out at IOI City Mall is this post-apocalyptic-themed indoor park, with more than a dozen unique and exciting activities. With 70,000 square feet of space to explore, this park is definitely worth a drive out to. Ticket prices are RM64 on weekdays, and RM80 on weekends and public or school holidays.
The Green Parks of Putrajaya
There are three green spaces that you can get to from the hotel within 15 minutes, to take a nature walk, or have a leisurely picnic at. Your options are the Instagram-worthy Taman Saujana Hijau Putrajaya, the enormous Taman Botani Putrajaya, and Putrajaya Wetlands Park, which is the first (and largest) man-made wetland in Malaysia.
For thrill-seeking families, take a three-minute walk to Marina Putrajaya for some waterskiing or kneeboarding activities. There’s also flyboarding being offered by another operator nearby!
The Way to a Malaysian’s Heart – Makan!
While the pastries and sweet treats at the KOFFEE deli lounge didn’t entice us as much, Makan Kitchen lived up to all of its awards. There was a fantastic variety of local and international fares available at the breakfast (make a beeline before 8.30am; it gets hectic after) and dinner buffets.
At the dinner buffet, don’t miss the generous gearbox soup, chicken and beef satay, ikan bakar, otak-otak (Gelang Patah-style), Salmon Wellington, Palak Paneer and tandoori, ais kacang, and the fresh vegetable harvest station.
In collaboration with Jeiwa, you can also get beautiful hand-painted stainless steel tiffin carriers at the restaurant. 100% of proceeds from sales will benefit women from local communities who are survivors of domestic violence, or living with disabilities – we stan!
A Definite Repeat
With everything they have to offer, we would definitely have to return for another visit to try all the things we didn’t have enough time for; and maybe even pop by for another Seni Weekend art session with a different Malaysian artist! It’s also the perfect staycation to take family and friends from outside the country, for a taste of the Malaysian experience.
By Nora Ismail
makchic’s stay was sponsored by DoubleTree by Hilton Putrajaya Lakeside. The writer’s opinions, however, are solely her own.