A duty-free shopping guide to KLIA’s Satellite Terminal
Kuala Lumpur International airport (KLIA) prides itself on having one of the very best and most varied shopping offers at any Asian airport. These high retail standards, which have helped KLIA win many international awards over the years, extend not only to the airport’s Main Terminal, but also to its Satellite Terminal, which handles much of this hub’s fast-growing international traffic.Passengers have to use the Aerotrain to travel from the Main Terminal to the Satellite Terminal, but don’t start panicking. It is just a short, five-minute journey. The terminal itself is dominated by the amazing piece of Malaysian rain forest at its centre, which was transplanted from the jungle. Travellers can actually walk through it along the “Jungle Boardwalk”, marvelling at all that lush, humid greenery and the real waterfall.KLIA’s much-hyped rainforest certainly makes a refreshing change to the steel, concrete and glass found at most other airports around the world. Yet it does obscure sight lines across this cross-shaped terminal, making it a bit tricky to navigate your way around. Like the point on a compass, gates are grouped into four zones: North, South, East and West. For a handy online map to get your bearings, and to see where the main shopping areas are located, log on tohttp://www.airportshopping.com.my/web/images/stories/maps/klia_sb.html.
The bulk of the shopping offer at the Satellite Terminal is to be found on the ground level, while the mezzanine level houses the food and beverage areas plus some rather upmarket airline lounges, a gym, a cinema and a spa. As for the shopping itself, luxury fashion is very much to the fore at KLIA and the Satellite Terminal features a top-class line up of internationally famous designer brands all boasting their own stores.The glittering roll call of brands present includes Coach, Burberry, Hugo Boss, Hermes, Salvatore Ferragamo, Polo Ralph Lauren and Lacoste. This is far from an exhaustive list, and what will also be appealing to some about the fashion offer at KLIA is that it is always changing. For instance, new stores to open at the Satellite Terminal recently include the upmarket US lingerie chain Victoria’s Secret. The much-admired Singaporean shoe brand Charles & Keith is also to set up shop at the terminal later in 2012.KLIA runs its own duty-free stores under the Eraman brand in all the airport’s terminals including the Satellite Terminal. The range of brands on offer is excellent, especially in the beauty sector where the list of fragrances stocked includes the likes of Aigner, Bvlgari, Carolina Herrera, Ferrari, Kenzo, Mariah Carey, Prada, Issey Miyake, Burberry and Versace to name but a few.
Within the liquor category the emphasis is very much on deluxe Scotch blends and expensive Cognac as is the case at most other Asian airports. To check out Eraman’s latest offers on liquor and to see if their prices are to scratch, see the retailer’s online listing at http://www.eramandutyfree.com/newsarticle.php?cat=14&osCsid=k8n2o29lhd93u700pogdntf1d0
Eraman does stock a reasonable range of confectionery, but our recommendation if you are after a sweet treat is to track down the excellent Choc Stop International. With its wonderfully exuberant displays and colourful promotions for mass-market brands such as M&M’s, this award-winning retailer is possibly the best confectionery trading at any airport, and is sure to put a smile on little travellers’ face. For those after a more grown-up chocolate fix, look out for Belgian confectionery brand Godiva, which also has a store here too.
For colourful, stylish, but above all practical clothes for toddlers, children and teenager, look out for Poney, which has over 100 outlets around the world. The Malaysian brand has recently expanded its range to include eyewear, footwear and watches. Take a look at http://www.meoj.com/poney/index.asp?fuseaction=pcollection to see the brand’s latest seasonal collections.If you are looking to bag yourself a last-minute souvenir of your time in the country, head to the Malaysian Heritage & Souvenirs outlet. Prices are unlikely to match what you’ll find at markets and shops downtown, but at least the quality is good and products sourced from areas long associated with traditional Malay handicrafts.Popular gift buys from this store include shawls with beautiful batik designs, mugs and cutlery carved from the trunks of coconut trees, and paperweights decorated with colourful orchids. Also worth a look is the unusual-looking Mystical Borneo shop, which with its stalactites and limestone pillars, has been designed to resemble Borneo’s famous prehistoric Niah Caves. The focus here is on East Malaysian crafts, curios and gastronomic delicacies.
The tin industry has played an important part in the development of Kuala Lumpur, and Malaysian craftsmen have a long wonderful tradition of making beautiful pewter pieces. Established in 1885 and with stores all over the world, family-owned Royal Selangor is the most famous name in this field and boasts a store at the Satellite Terminal. For more information on the type of products you will find at this outlet, log on to http://www.royalselangor.com/rs2/index.php.
The above is just a snapshot of what the Satellite Building has to offer shoppers. KLIA excels itself on running a constant programme of promotions, discounts, competitions and live terminal events, especially in the run up the Malaysian F1 Grand Prix in March each year. To keep up to date with this packed calendar and to see the latest store opening before or during your trip to KLIA, see the airport’s excellent online shopping magazine at http://convergence.net.my/Leisure/tabid/242/vw/1/ItemID/802/Default.aspx.
Can KLIA better the Satellite Terminal’s excellent retail offer? Well, later in 2012 the airport is set to open an entirely new low-cost terminal, klia2, which will feature an amazing 225 shops and restaurants. The airport is already branding klia2 as the “travel-retail destination of the future”. An exaggeration? Well, we’ll just have to wait and see.