I had a wonderful birthday retreat last week at Shangri-La Hotel Kuala Lumpur. Strategically located in Jalan Sultan Ismail, the hotel caters to both business and leisure travellers with more than 600 rooms and suites and with excellent facilities such as indoor gym, swimming pool, hair salon, spa and spacious banquet halls to cater for all kinds of functions.

Initially I booked the Executive King room without breakfast. During check-in, I was attended by a staff named Peter who recommended an upgrade to the Horizon Club room for just RM180++ . For this upgrade, we got to enjoy the services at the Horizon Club including complimentary tea, all-day beverages at the club's private lounge, complimentary WiFi and broadband Internet access in the room and at the lounge, personalized services and even late check-out at 4pm.

Horizon Club floor

Hotel corridor

The room at Shangri-La is no doubt, luxuriously decorated complete with a chandelier, befitting its reputation as a five-star hotel. 

Executive King Room
The hallway

The king-sized bed faces a 42-inch plasma TV and a cabinet containing a well-stocked mini-fridge and tea-making facilities. What is more, the hotel even provides instant coffee machine and coffee capsules that comes in 3 different strengths. 

From another angle

Coffee machine in the room

Coffee, anyone?

Tea-making facilities

Well-stocked fridge

Some snacks are available in-room

The bathroom boasts a modern design. Guests can opt either to soak up in the elongated bathtub or to experience the soothing rainshower. The shared sliding door for the shower and toilet cubicle strikes me as ingenious as it maximise the available space in the bathroom. 

Hotel bathroom

The shower cubicle with rainshower 

I love the perfume-like smell of the hotel toiletries but I thought Shangri-La should invest in their own brand of toiletries like Mandarin Oriental and The Westin hotels do.

Hotel toiletries

Just like other hotels, Shangri-La also provides in-room safe box, bathrobes, iron, ironing board, shoe-shine kit, and other standard hotel amenities. Worth mentioning is their safe box which is large enough for guests to store their laptops.

In-room safe box

In the cupboard

After checking in, we decided to go for tea at the Horizon Club private lounge located at Level 2. Some clubs cater only for adults but at Shangri-La, small children are welcomed at the Family room:

Club lounge at Level 2

Our kids were entertained by the toys in the room

Our tea

During check-in, I asked Peter whether there was any promotion for birthday celebrations like spa discount or something, but he apologetically told me the hotel does not have any. However, when we came back from our tea at the lounge, I was pleasantly surprised to find a birthday cake in the room, complimentary of Shangri-La Hotel. I wasn't expecting that at all! The chocolate cake came moist and sinfully decadent, just what I wanted for my birthday treat!

The birthday cake compliment from the hotel

The next day, we took quite some time getting ready and ended up almost missing our breakfast. Regretfully, we did not manage to have our breakfast at the Lemon Garden Cafe at the lobby. Luckily since we upgraded to Horizon Club room, we were able to have our breakfast at the club lounge instead, personally attended to by the staff there. The breakfast was really good, and I especially love my eggs Benedict which is perfectly seasoned and simply oozed with goodness!

Egg Benedict with grilled veggie, hash brown and beef bacon

Steamed cod fish, dim sum, grilled cherry tomatoes and seasoned sausage

Overall, I thought the hotel delivers on all big fronts. The room was simply lovely and the services immaculate. It was quite a pity I was not able to sample their spa menu considering it was my birthday treat, but maybe the next time I'm here, I will try it out. 

Rating: 10/10
I remember when I first decided to don on my headscarf (hijab), I was 13 and starting secondary school. Back then the most fashionable clothes we (my sister and I) got to wear were something from our mom's wardrobe. It didn't help that my mom was not the fashionista that she is nowadays. We would turn up at school during extra-curricular activities on Saturday wearing brightly colored floral blouse (the one that only makcik2 wore), matched with equally bright floral hijab, black pants and (gasp!) white socks and flats! 

This fashion disaster experiment lasted till I was in second year in UTM. With the help of my roommate/bestie, Eva, and housemates who were all fashion forward, I started to dress my age and get to know what's hot and what's not.

Back in my early twenties, being fashionable while wearing a hijab probably did not complement each other. Most ladies wearing hijab were either dressed in baju kurung, or wore baggy long-sleeved t-shirt (most of the time with their Uni logo and some famous caricature of a man with goatee printed on the shirt) and trousers.

Since the past few years, this has changed as the fashion industry is booming with Islamic fashion and modern muslimah women are always thirsty to try out the new trends. Fashion designers are always working their best to provide to various fashion audiences with new creative ideas for muslimah women to enjoy. Every year new trends will come in to wow everyone and some may last for quite a while. However, if you are the type of individuals who love fashion but hardly have the time to research on new trends, here are some to give you some information about. Among the trending forecast of muslimah clothing fashion for 2015 could be seen as below.

1. Maxi dresses

Maxi dresses have been in the fashion industry since the early times and it is one which will never get lost in time. This is because maxi dresses have that versatile element which makes it perfect for women to flaunt to any places or occasions. Whether to work, a date, dinner parties or a casual day out running errands, maxi dresses will never make you look out of place. Besides that, it has that modest yet feminine touch that fits the Islamic image of women. Choose from the various stunning maxi dress designs available in the market and show it off with confidence. 

ZALIA embroidered maxi dress (Photo credit: Zalora.com)

Julissa Dress (Photo credit: Zalora.com)

ArtDeco Annina dress by Jovian Mandagie (Photo credit: Zalora.com) 

Wrap Cascade Sequin Maxi Dress by Zalia (Photo credit: Zalora.com)

2. Kebaya kimono

Fashion designers have taken the traditional Malay/Indonesian kebaya and Japanese kimono to a new level by introducing a modern fusion of the kebaya kimono design. Kebaya kimono is a new fashion muslimah piece that definitely suits muslimah women of all ages. It could be serve as an outerwear for your top or act as a blouse. This kebaya kimono can be turned from formal to casual wear by simply mix matching with other pieces of clothing.

Inhanna Kebaya Kimono worn with jeans for a casual look (Photo credit: Zalora.com)

Inhanna Suri Kimono Cardigan (Photo credit: Zalora.com)

3. Hijab styles

Another muslimah fashion trend which has been evolving and developing throughout the years are the multiple styles of hijabs. Muslimah women create various hijab looks to a more modern approach to fit their personality. Besides that, women who are thinking about changing their hijab looks can simply watch tutorials on Youtube.

When I looked back, I'm inclined to think that Muslimah clothing fashion started with the hijab. Tudung bawal used to be the most favourite hijab among Malaysian Muslimah. Then tudung awning made its appearance and this was followed by shawl hijab.

The latest trend in hijab fashion is something that can be worn easily and instant, without all the hassles of adjusting and pinning on safety pins to create the stylish look. Instant shawls are currently dominating the market with various instant design offered by fashion designers:

Madison Flower Instant Shawl by Sugarscarf for ZALORA (Photo credit: Zalora.com)

Instant shawl Nicole (Photo credit: Zalora.com)

Zeez by Ziera Zain (Photo credit: Zalora.com)

Instant Shawl Maira Hanna from Maira Collections (Photo credit: Zalora.com)

Besides this list, I have my eyes (and heart) on another type of Muslimah fashion clothing namely abaya. It used to come only in solid black or dark green, abaya now can be found in all colours. It is simple to wear, modest, chic and easy to match with all types of hijab. Abaya is also a favorite because it suits all types of body shapes. Previous years, only the elderly and the conservative Muslimah wore abaya but today, abaya is worn by women of all ages including teenagers.

Aisha Modern Jubah by Bella Amara for ZALORA (Photo credit: Zalora.com)

Fashion designers have also taken the original abaya design and adapt it to suit all occasions. Once worn only to religious functions, abaya nowadays can also be worn to the office, for casual outing as well as to official function:

Gene Martino Ladies Jubah Modern with Jacket is suitable for office wear (Photo credit: Zalora.com)

Peach Casual Jubah by BYN for casual wear (Photo credit: Zalora.com)

I would love to own this abaya by Jovian Mandagie for ZALORA (Photo credit: Zalora.com)

If you are looking for more inspirations on Muslimah clothing fashion, a great site to check out is Zalora.com. With hundreds of fashionable items from both international and local brands, as well as great discounts, just be careful that you don't get addicted to their site.