Cover Mont Kiara (Photo: David Yeow)

Two of the most coveted addresses in Kuala Lumpur, Mont Kiara and Sri Hartamas offer more than just high-rise living. These are five of the best luxury gated and guarded neighbourhoods in the areas.

Investing in Klang Valley property is a foregone conclusion. An Asean Metropolis and among the Top 20 Best Cities for International Business, Kuala Lumpur is the country's economic, financial and cultural city and understandably the focal point of interest for property investment. On top of that, Malaysia has among the lowest barriers to entry for foreign property investment and ownership with home-ownership initiatives such as MM2H that encourage foreign participation.

Although there are many options in Malaysia's property market, the most coveted Malaysian neighbourhoods continue to be Mont Kiara and the adjacent Sri Hartamas. But what makes them so desirable?

Pheobe Tan, Associate Director of Knight Frank Property Hub, explains their allure and breaks down the five best luxury gated and guarded neighbourhoods here.

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Will there ever be another Mont Kiara?

It’s easy to shine the spotlight on Mont Kiara; it is, after all, one of the most researched and established neighbourhoods in Malaysia and often the first port of call for many expats and affluent locals alike. This is despite the traffic snarls that snake around it like clogged arteries during peak hours, feeding a vibrant and cosmopolitan haven. People flock here in droves, whether they live here or not.

The trinity of neighbourhoods comprising Mont Kiara, Sri Hartamas and Dutamas is one of the most affluent in Kuala Lumpur, with a balance of luxury, comfort and affordability and all-important aspirational appeal that signals you’ve arrived. With a very balanced population mix, it is a world-renowned address that is home to residents from over 51 nationalities, four international schools and captains of industries, an affluent mix of expats and locals.

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Incredibly, Mont’ Kiara was once an old rubber plantation, full of undergrowth in the late '80s with no visible access with the nearest road two kilometres away. The terrain was hilly and impossible for the building of landed residences. The rise of Mont Kiara is synonymous with pioneering developer Sunrise Berhad (now UEM Sunrise), and many of its projects there continue to experience high demand and desirability. This location now thrives with diverse lifestyle, entertainment, recreational and communal amenities that are undisputedly among the best the Klang Valley offers.

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Luxury condominiums here are the order of the day, with a plethora of existing and new developments to suit a wide variety of tastes, from the upper end of affordable to breathtaking penthouses. Relative bargains can be had, and top choice condominiums such as Seni Mont’ Kiara start at RM2 million (USD450,000) for a 2,411 sq ft unit to RM8 million (USD1,795,00) for a 6,706 sq ft penthouse. Landed residential hunters are well catered for, and the gated and guarded enclaves of Kiara Hills and Duta Nusantara, Duta Tropika and Hartamas Heights near Publika are highly sought after. It’s worth noting that the royal palace is located here as well. 

The pinnacle of residential properties here is the luxury landed, gated and guarded residences. There are many gems to be found here, but here are the standout buys.

1. The Residence

Developed by renowned UEM Sunrise, The Residence is an exclusive enclave of high-end bungalows nestled in Mont Kiara and a rare find. The Residence comprises only 47 exclusive bungalow plots and bungalows located in a gated and guarded community on a 12.3-acre of freehold land between Mont’ Kiara Aman and Mont’ Kiara Damai.

Privacy is assured but it is also surrounded by numerous amenities along the main Jalan Kiara strip and Solaris Mont’ Kiara only a few hundred meters away.

 

The development is divided into two phases, comprising 24 and 16 bungalow plots, respectively. These build-then-sell bungalows were tagged by the developer at RM1,000 (USD225) psf, which contributed to a gross development value (GDV) of RM126 million (USD28,270,600) when they were launched in May 2008.

The bungalows have built-up sizes ranging from 6,811 sq ft to 9,827 sq ft, with select units complete with a private swimming pool, entertainment deck and water features. Security-wise, The Residence features CCTV, Strict Card Access Control System, video intercom system and home security alarm systems. With a RM7 million-plus (USD1,571 000-plus) price tag, exclusivity is guaranteed, and The Residence is an unequivocal gem in the heart of Mont Kiara.

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2. Villa Mont’ Kiara

A landed rarity like The Residence nearby, Villa Mont’ Kiara is one of the few freehold bungalows within the prestigious Mont Kiara enclave. Developed by UOA Holdings, the sizable abodes consist of two types, namely the three-storey bungalows and link bungalows. There are a total of 45 exclusive strata-titled units completed in 2004. Nestled within a gated and guarded community, each Villa Mont’ Kiara unit has a private pool, landscaped koi pond, water features and timber decking.

The bungalows are luxuriously furnished with marble flooring for the living room, quality hardwood timber for the staircases and bedrooms, and granite vanity tops for the bathrooms. Villa Mont’ Kiara is located along the main Jalan Kiara thoroughfare, which encapsulates the major shopping and residential strongholds such as Kiara 163, Plaza Mont’ Kiara and MK1, along with Mont’ Kiara International School. 

 

Eminently luxurious but centrally located and highly accessible to various destinations via the highway, Villa Mont’ Kiara exemplifies the highly sought after appeal of upmarket Mont Kiara properties due to its high capital appreciation and promising rental returns and very high sub-sale values.

Ensconced (shielded, almost) by a plethora of high-rise condo units, the enclave of luxury residences stand apart like an oasis in a well-planned neighbourhood and has been frequently listed among Mont Kiara’s top choices of luxury investment properties.

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3. Kiara Hills

Kiara Hills, aptly known as the 'Beverly Hills of Malaysia', is a lavish, sprawling neighbourhood tucked away in the hills of Mont Kiara. Overlooking a township where high rises abound, it is a curated collection of only a handful of luxury bungalows and villas. It is a rare and remarkable find of lush, gate-less homes on winding landscaped streets with extensive sprawling gardens, swimming pools and open-air, pebbled-floor showers.

Comprising 88 luxury freehold bungalows and 34 three-storey linked Courtyard Villas, it is just a stone's throw away from Desa Sri Hartamas. Kiara Hills is easily accessible to those in the know.

 

No luxury pretensions here. Kiara Hills is the real deal in a locale where luxury is the norm with the sub-sale prices and appeal to live up to its reputation. Houses in Kiara Hills are highly sought after as it is situated on an elevated panoramic site and surrounded by lush greenery, overlooking one of the city's most affluent neighbourhoods with panoramic views of the KL city skyline, day or night.

The extensive tropical landscaping and lighting effects at the entrance exude a serene estate-like ambience for Kiara Hills. A hot tip is that the linked houses are exceedingly good value for a slice of what is arguably the pinnacle of luxury living in Mont Kiara.

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4. Duta Nusantara

Duta Nusantara is one of the pioneers of the newer developments, with a tropical setting, clubhouse and gateless houses with beautifully manicured lawns. Like its spiritual twin Duta Tropika, Duta Nusantara was completed in 2007 by SP Setia and is a freehold collection of stately semi-detached and bungalow homes nestled in between Dutamas and Sri Hartamas.

It is located right across the popular Publika integrated shopping and commercial hub and neighbours Duta Tropika with KL Metropolis and Solaris Mont’ Kiara. Comprising 42 bungalows and 136 semi-detached houses with a tropical Asian theme characterised by functional layouts, terraces, patios and skylights, this gated ‘resort development’ is built on 34.5 acres of open spaces and beautiful, tree-lined streets.

 

With the royal palace further down the road, Duta Nusantara has achieved a royal reputation in more ways than one. It is a prime example of luxury living close to the action but remains a tranquil haven where privacy is paramount.

Demand is always high for properties here, and the increased activity and economic development brought on by KL Metropolis will only raise its appeal and property prices simultaneously. This award-winning gated development has consistently topped the list for locals and expats who seek security and a peaceful living environment away from the hustle and bustle.

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5. Duta Tropika

Completed in 2007 by SP Setia, Duta Tropika is one of the few rare choices for resort-style living in Dutamas, offering a tropical resort home to those who can afford it, or rather, those who cannot afford to live without it. Consisting of freehold three-storey linked and 3.5-storey semi-detached villas in Dutamas, it is located opposite Publika and neighbours Duta Nusantara.

The Courtyard Villas are three-storey terrace link houses with a built-up size of 3,774 sq ft, while Garden Villas are 3.5-storey semi-detached houses with a built-up size of 4,020 sq ft. The development features CCTV cameras with infra-red sensors around the peripheral fencing, home alarm system, community intercom system, and broadband internet access.

 

Various new developments have surfaced in the area lately, from high-rise condominiums to terrace and link houses. Still, none have diluted the intrinsic value and appeal of Duta Tropika for savvy investors and home buyers who typically end up choosing Duta Tropika after viewing other contenders.

There is vast potential in the Dutamas area, with upcoming integrated commercial developments like Kenny Heights and KL Metropolis taking shape and spurring renewed interest and economic activity.

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