Starhill Gallery is one of those ritzy shopping malls where you are almost afraid to touch things. Ambient lighting, soft jazz music playing in the background and carpeted floors that mask any sound your feet might make, results in this being a red carpet retail experience like no other.
The hushed atmosphere is exacerbated by smiling, smartly dressed doormen waiting to usher you into stores: coupled with the muted atmosphere, their ever-present presence makes you feel like you have to speak in whispers. You may ask, since Starhill Gallery offers the same haute couture stores all under one roof, as Pavilion KL, what makes it so different? Well, the answer to that is simple – Starhill Gallery is an experience, and a decadent one at that.
Developed by the YTL Corporation, Starhill Gallery is the most upscale, luxury retail mall in the prominent Bukit Bintang district. Opened in 1996, it houses more than 100 renowned luxury timepiece and jewellery brands and dozens of other contemporary luxury labels.
The 250,000sqft ritzy retail podium was originally anchored by the Singapore-based Tangs departmental store until it shut down in 2004 due to ‘poor financial returns from its expansion abroad’. The mall was renovated in 2005, with renowned American architect David Rockwell at the helm of the project, which resulted in its current glass dome-like façade. At the end of 2010, Starhill Gallery – along with its YTL brother, Lot 10 – began another bout of renovations and both malls remain open despite these widespread refurbishments.
The main concourse is a spacious open-concept area which plays host to a stage as well as exclusive cafés that surround it. The seven-storey shopping centre has escalators in this area and elevators are located at the back section of the mall beside the well-kept bathrooms.
The first floor of the mall is largely occupied by jewellery and luxury watch brands such as Maurice Lacroix, M Missoni, Korloff, Davidoff, Rado and more; each year Starhill Gallery plays host to Asia’s largest luxury watch and jewellery showcase.
Alternatively, if you’re looking to relax and unwind in the middle of the day, then the third floor of the mall is home to a 50,000sqft spa and relaxation centre (known as the Pamper Zone) – this area has 93 treatment rooms and includes services by some of the best therapists in KL.
The lower ground floor of the plays host to the expansive Feast Village – a food court that really isn’t your average eatery; the ultra posh food quad plays host to a dozen award-winning restaurants that sport trendy design and fashionable themes. Noteworthy is Fisherman’s Cove – a makeshift boathouse-like restaurant (set with bamboo furniture, faux sails, masts and nets) that features a fresh seafood menu; booths at the mezzanine floor resemble bamboo sheds. The restaurant has been the recipient of the Best Restaurant award from Time Out and the Malaysian Tatler magazine in 2006, 2008 and 2010 respectively.
Meanwhile, Jake’s Charbroil Steaks (a branch of the 24-year veteran of the steak-and-seafood industry) is also located in the Feast Village. Featuring an old cowboy town atmosphere with dining booths hewn from 24-year-old Scandinavian pine and Wild West décor, the eatery is an especially popular venture in Starhill Gallery and come dinnertime it’s usually crowded.
Additionally, the iconic The Village Bar – with stacked glass bottle pillars, colourful pendant lights and clear bar stools, is a must-visit drinking joint; the posh watering hole has five bars dividing its drink selection offering beer, wine, hard liquor, rice wine and soft drinks bars.
Starhill Gallery sits directly adjacent to Pavilion KL and is connected to the five-star JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur hotel. Cosmetics behemoth Sephora is located beside it and just down the road is the sister venture of Pavilion KL, the newly-opened Fahrenheit 88. Starhill Gallery faces Jalan Gading and Jalan Bukit Bintang and is also linked to the Ritz-Carlton Hotel by a sky bridge.
- Highlights: Shook! Restaurant, Porsche Design, Fendi, Asprey, Louis Vuitton, Omega, Givenchy, Dior, Tag Heuer, Lacoste, Royal Selangor, Jogoya Japanese Restaurant.
- Opening Hours: Daily, 10:00 – 22:00
- Location: Across the street from Pavilion KL, right next to Fahrenheit.
- Address: 181, Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur
- Tel: +603 2782 3855