1. Where old and new collide
The Ormond hotel group’s first property brings design and luxury into Kuala Lumpur’s historic Chow Kit neighbourhood. A maze of pre-war shophouses and modern buildings, the bustling streets were immortalised in a song of the same name by iconic local singer Sudirman who held a free concert in the area in the ’80s attended by thousands. Here you’ll also find one of Malaysia’s largest wet markets and a bustling night bazaar. A place of great character and charm, Chow Kit is an excellent choice for intrepid travellers interested in exploring a different side of the Malaysian capital.
2. Richly designed for a modern city
Designed from the inside out by New York-headquartered Studio Tack, the previously non-descript low-rise tower now looks like a miniature Flatiron building. The retro façade sets the tone for the retro-grandeur vibe that begins the moment guests enter the hotel and into the romantic, warm lights of the lobby. Rich royal Dutch velvet upholstered seats are scattered throughout, encouraging guests to lounge and take in the warm exposed brick surfaces and rattan touches inspired by some of Kuala Lumpur’s historic buildings erected after the great fire in the late 1800s.
3. Art with heart and purpose
Local artefacts around the property give the impression of spending the night at the home of an eccentric collector. Original artwork curated by local creative Liza Ho of OUR ArtProjects includes work from young, emerging artists and photographers – such as Liew Sze Lin, Liew Kwai Fei, Fan Chon and Xia Yi, as well as masters such as Ahmad Zaki Anwar and Khalil Ibrahim, all on loan from private collections. Of note is a specially commissioned, dreamy rainforest landscape by Chong Siew Ying that takes pride of place in the lobby.
4. Designed to please and for peace
Though quaint, the rooms utilise good design so guests don’t feel like they’re lacking space. Detailing such as fine millwork on the headboard, fringe and tassel flourishes on the upholstery and lace-trimmed lighting makes the atmosphere feel rich and layered, just like the neighbourhood’s personality. Effective soundproofing and floor-to-ceiling windows grant you good views in the heart of buzzing downtown, while still preserving your well-deserved pocket of peace.
5. Eat and drink like a local
All-day dining outlet The Chow Kit Kitchen and Bar serves up craft cocktails and Malaysian cuisine with a contemporary twist. Dishes range from playful takes on street food like pulut panggang udang (grilled sticky rice sushi with prawn, coconut sambal and orange tobiko wrapped in banana leaf) or elevated favourites such as wagyu char siew buns. Meanwhile, its intimate, eight-seat craft cocktail bar serves signature concoctions that showcase homemade cordials and ingredients like lemongrass liquor. Boasting high ceilings, its chic interior is all about the classicism of colonial Malaya, along with vintage furniture and lazily rotating ceiling fans.
To book a flight, visit singaporeair.com
SEE ALSO: Review: Alila Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur
This article was originally published in the January 2020 issue of SilverKris magazine.