Date: April 2019
Author: Inspector Z

The vibrant cigar scene of Kuala Lumpur. Now you might not suspect to see a vibrant cigar scene in a country like Malaysia. But the Malaysian economy has been growing fast over the last decade despite being one of the laziest countries in the world. Kuala Lumpur is one of the more modern cities in South East Asia. New skyscrapers are built everywhere, luxury hotels popped up everywhere and in many hotels, you will find a cigar lounge and shop. Or at least a bar where cigar smoking is allowed and cigars are being sold. We spent a few days in Kuala Lumpur and visited a few of the lounges. While falling in love with the city itself.

Havana Club

The oldest cigar lounge of Kuala Lumpur is The Havana Club. This cigar shop and bar is located at the Concorde hotel and was established over twenty-five years ago. The bar has a Caribbean feel with rattan chairs, Caribbean decorations and feels Cuban. In the large walk-in humidor, many Cuban cigars are found yet The Havana Club also carries a fantastic selection of rare Arturo Fuente Opus X, together with a few other non-Cuban cigars. We sat down in one of the 24 rattan chairs inside the bar and smoked a nice Ashton VSG Eclipse. Besides the six tables and 24 rattan chairs, there are bar stools at the bar and outdoor seating is an option too.

Havana Club
Concorde Hotel
2 Jalan Sultan Ismail
Kuala Lumpur

Ministry of Cigars The vibrant cigar scene of Kuala Lumpur Havana Club
Havana Club at Concorde Hotel (photo credit: Malaysia Tatler)

La Casa del Habano

Located in the Mandarin Oriental hotel, you will find the second oldest cigar lounge and shop in town. The La Casa del Habano. The shop was opened in 1997 and has been at the same location since. The lounge is cozy, it seats about fifteen people. As it is a La Casa del Habano, you will only find Cuban cigars In the cabinet humidors. Lockers are available for patrons. Many famous hotel guests have been known to walk down to the shop to buy a few cigars. That included Formula One drivers when the F1 circus still visited Kuala Lumpur.

We spend a few times here and smoked several cigars. The most memorable was the Portages Maduro #1.

La Casa del Habano
Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Kuala Lumpur City Centre
50088 Kuala Lumpur

Ministry of Cigars Casa del Habano Kuala Lumpur
La Casa del Habano Kuala Lumpur (photo credit: Lifestyle Asia)

Marini’s on 57

Everybody knows the iconic Petronas Towers. What a lot of people don’t know is that the complex has more than two towers. And that Petronas is the national oil company. In the third tower of the Petronas Complex, you will find a restaurant, bar, and lounge on the 57th floor. The place has its own door, exclusive elevator, and airport-like security since the building is owned by an oil company. Once on the 57th floor, you have an amazing view over Kuala Lumpur. The corners are open air, one has a fantastic view of the Twin Towers, especially at night when the towers are lit. The lounge has a small walk-in humidor, Cuban cigars only, but it’s fine to bring your own.

With spots at the bar and the luxury seats near the huge windows, this place seats around forty people more than comfortably in the lounge. But with the open decks and the bar, which allows smoking, there’s plenty of room to enjoy a cigar. There is a smart casual dress code though, so no flipflops, shorts or t-shirts. 

57 Menara 3 Petronas Persiaran
Kuala Lumpur City Centre
50088 Kuala Lumpur

Ministry of Cigars Vibrant cigar scene Kuala Lumpur
Marini on 57 (photo credit: Malaysa Tatler)

Firehouse at J.W. Marriot

The Firehouse is the large hotel bar of the J.W. Marriot hotel. The bar is in the basement, so a bit hard to find. The place is big and can easily fit fifty people. The Firehouse at J.W. Marriot does not have a cigar feel yet, but the Malaysian cigar distributor Cigar Emperor just partnered up with J.W. Marriot. Together they will be making some changes to make this a cigar hotspot. They already placed a humidor, so cigars can be purchased on the spot. The look and atmosphere of the bar will be adjusted to a relaxed cigar mood. The upbeat music will be replaced with jazz and soul, while the cigar menu will be expanded. We can’t wait to visit the Firehouse at J.W. Marriot on our next trip to Kuala Lumpur.

J.W. Marriot hotel
183 Bukit Bintang Street
Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur

Ministry of Cigars Firehouse at J.W. Marriot Kuala Lumpur
Firehouse at J.W. Marriot

Cigar Malaysia

Cigar Malaysia has four shops with lounges in Kuala Lumpur. We visited the outlet at the Ansa hotel in Bukit Bintang. The humidor is big with the largest selection of cigars we saw during our visit to Kuala Lumpur. From Cuban cigars to the latest and hottest new world lines. We even picked up a few gems that we never saw outside of the USA. The lounge is cozy and sits about 15 people. We like the ’no cigarette/no vape’ policy. And don’t worry about the lounge becoming too smokey when the room is packed. The whole glass front on the street side can slide open to let fresh air in.

Cigar Malaysia Bukit Bintang
Ansa Hotel
101 Bukit Bintang Street
Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur

Ministry of Cigars Cigar Malaysia Bukit Bintang
Cigar Malaysia at the Ansa hotel

Cigars Lounge

Cigars Lounge is a retail shop, not a cigar bar, and not located in a hotel. The owner, Ray Ooi, has a few more retail outlets but the one at Publika Shopping Gallery has a beautiful lounge. The very large, glass-fronted, humidor harbors a huge selection of cigars. Ooi is importer and distributor of several brands, including Fuente, Ashton and Joya de Nicaragua. Those brands are well represented in the humidor. The lounge can be compared to many of the cigar lounges in shops in the United States. It sits around twenty people and due to the high ceiling, the smoke won’t bother you. Highly recommended.

Cigars Lounge
Publika Shopping Gallery
Lot 68, Level G2
No. 1 Jalan Dutamas 1
Solaris Dutamas
50480 Kuala Lumpur

Ministry of Cigars Cigars Lounge Kuala Lumpur
Cigars Lounge at Publika (photo credit: Cigars Lounge)

Cigar Bar

Cigar Bar is the newest cigar bar in town. It is located in the Naza building in the city center. The bar is designed by the Croatian architect Juraj Kralj. Luxury leather chairs, cork walls to absorb noise, a beautiful bar and a big walk-in humidor are the key elements to Cigar Bar. We were there the day before the opening, so we could not see a fully stocked bar and humidor, but we will be back. We did shoot a collaboration video review with Cigar Bar partner Jay Walia.

Cigar Bar
Capital Tower10 Persiaran KLCC
50088 Kuala Lumpur

Ministry of Cigars - Cigar Bar Kuala Lumpur
Entrance of Cigar Bar in the Capital Towers

Astor Bar and Decanter

The Astor Bar and Decanter is the bar of the St. Regis in Kuala Lumpur. We visited the bar, which allows smoking and sells a selection of Cuban cigars. The Malaysian qualifier for the Cigar Smoking World Championship took place in this location. It is by far the biggest cigar friendly bar of our trip. It fits over a hundred people with room to spare. Yet this is also the most expensive location of the list.

Astor Bar and Decanter
St. Regis Hotel
6 Jalan Stesen Sentral 2
Kuala Lumpur Sentral
50470 Kuala Lumpur

Ministry of Cigars Astor Bar Kuala Lumpur
Astor Bar & Decanter at St. Regis Hotel (photo credit: Tripadvisor)

The Cabinet

While most of the bars and lounges are either cigar-friendly bars or cigar shops with a lounge, The Cabinet is a proper cigar bar. There are about 30 leather seats, all in cozy corners for privacy. If you want to mingle, just sit at the bar and let the resident alcohol expert Jason or the charming Jasmine find you your perfect match from the great selection of alcoholic beverages that The Cabinet carries. Walk into the well-stocked humidor, packed with Cuban and a good selection of Nicaraguan, Honduran and Dominican cigars to find something to smoke. And if you want to have a meeting? Just call ahead and reserve the private room in the back of the bar.

The Cabinet is not located in the city center, but with a Grab (the South East Asian Uber), you are at The Cabinet in no-time without the hassle of parking. Although, The Cabinet offers valet parking so parking is never an issue. Have a quick bite at the restaurant on the corner of the block (try the banana leaf rice!), then walk up the steep stairs and enjoy a cigar and a drink. The Cabinet was nominated for Cigar Journal’s Best Lounge at the 2018 Cigar Journal Award show and they deserved that nomination.

The Cabinet

80A Lorong Maarof 
Bangsar Park

59000 Kuala Lumpur

Ministry of Cigars The Cabinet.
The Cabinet Kuala Lumpur (photo credit: the cabinet)

We spent a week in Kuala Lumpur. And a week was too short to visit all the cigar bars and lounges in town. The cigar scene in Kuala Lumpur is booming and alive. We wished we had time to visit the Grand Trinidad Cigar Divan and a few other spots. That means a second trip to Malaysia’s capital is needed. Stay tuned for an update after our next trip.

16 thoughts on “The vibrant cigar scene of Kuala Lumpur

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    1. Thank you, there is a part 2 as well with more lounges

  2. are good Cigars readily available in shops to buy? if so can you suggest which shops to shop at, we will be there in three weeks and it would be easier to buy out there than take with me,

    1. Yes, Cigar Malaysia and Cigars Lounge have a huge selection to pick from. For good prices too, better than the UK. La Casa del Habano is the place to go for Cuban cigars. And all the lounges sell cigars too.

  3. As mentioned above, I reached out and (unsurprisingly), nobody knows anything. I was advised to contact a staff member that no longer works for the company and for whom they don’t have/didn’t furnish any particulars.

    1. Let me see what I can do to help. I know a few people from Trinidad

      1. Kindly appreciated. Thank you.

  4. Is the Grand Trinidad Cigar Divan still operating? It was located in the Best Western Hotel, not sure if it’s still operating as I haven’t been back to KL in a while.

      1. Very unfortunate indeed, especially considering that I had cigars in a keep there (a box of Cohiba Piramides). They didn’t even send an email or telephone to inform me or ask where to send/arrange collection of my cigars!

        1. Get in touch with Trinidad Cigar Company, they owned the Grand Trinidad Cigar Divan. Maybe your cigars are at a the Langkawi location now. They still operate a Grand Trinidad Cigar Divan there.

          1. Thank you for the advice. I shall try to reach out to their Langkawi location, as you recommended.

  5. Marini’s doesn’t have its own “exclusive elevator” since 2014, lol. Their ‘extensive list’ of cigars is a hoax, as everytime we’ve asked for something on the menu – most of the time we’ve been told, “sorry sir, we’ve sold out – or – new shipment coming soon”. Their marketing is too good for the truth.

    1. We were there quite recently, there was a good selection of Cuban cigars in the small walk-in humidor. And there is an exclusive elevator, not the first part, but the last part, after you switch lifts.

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