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Hotel insights: Kuala Lumpur luxury

Hotel insights: Kuala Lumpur luxury

I was sitting in the old wing of the recently-renovated Majestic Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, while listening to a Cole Porter rendition by its iconic pianist during Tiffin. For those of you not familiar with the word “Tiffin,” it is the old English word meaning high tea.

The music and atmosphere transported me back to another era, reminiscent of a colonial past and I half expected to see Noel Coward and Joseph Conrad to come walking in. This put me in an excellent frame of mind for my upcoming interview with Kringit Singh, the Majestic’s Hotel Manager, who works under the venerable Jeffrey Mong, the Majestic’s general manager. I had interviewed Jeffrey a few years ago, and thought it was high time to find out what was new with YTL, The Majestic and the hotel scene in general, in Kuala Lumpur.

Kringit runs a tight ship and has worked at most of the YTL properties in Malaysia. He updated me on a new lounge concept they were testing for their VIP guests. Most exciting news was a new Hotel YTL was launching in partnership with the Marriott/Autograph collection, called, Stripes.

For those of you not familiar with Marriott’s autograph collection, these properties tend to have an historical relevance and are quite often architectural gems, such as The Cotton House in Barcelona, a converted textile factory.

Stripes Hotel is slated to open in February 2017 and is located in the Jalan Kamunting district of Kuala Lumpur. The area was a main settlement for tin mining during colonial times, reaching a peak in the mid-19th century and giving rise to the surrounding neighborhood. By the end of that 19th century, most of the buildings had been destroyed by fire, as they were made from wood and thatch.  British rule then mandated that all new construction be replaced by brick and tiles. Thus, emerged a series of eclectic “shop houses,” small stores and cafes oozing a unique charm only to be found in this part of South East Asia. If there were a movement to coin it, it would be called “shophouse architecture.” Present day Kuala Lumpur has sought to preserve these buildings in an area called The Row made up of twenty-two shop houses, housing restaurants, cafes and art galleries. Amidst this potpourri of old and new, which make up this vibrant neighborhood, the Stripes hotel was born.

Stripes is a great addition to Kuala Lumpur’s effervescent hotel scene as there have not been any new Hotel “restorations” since the Majestic. This 146-room property, slated to open early 2017, will blend in with its surroundings and serve as a testimony that all Asian cities are not just glass and steel.

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