HOME AND AWAY

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence - CHRIS­TINE McCABE

THE lob­bies of the world’s best ho­tels are al­ways adorned with beau­ti­ful flow­ers. But at the Ma­jes­tic Ho­tel in Kuala Lumpur, a hand­somely re­stored colo­nial pile op­po­site the old Moor­ish rail­way sta­tion, an en­tire room has been given over to the el­e­gant Pha­laenop­sis (or moth) orchid, and the re­sult is rav­ish­ing. Link­ing the ho­tel’s old and new wings, this light-drenched con­ser­va­tory is lined with shelves ar­rayed with ferns, pitcher plants and ser­ried ranks of or­chids, about 1000 in all, in but­tery yel­low, eye-pop­ping fuch­sia and creamy apri­cot, even a gor­geous spot­ted va­ri­ety dubbed Dal­ma­tian. Pha­laenop­sis or­chids grow wild in Malaysia and are easy to cul­ti­vate in the steamy trop­ics but to see so many massed in one small room feels as ex­trav­a­gant as be­ing locked in the Tiffany & Co jewellery vault. Un­sur­pris­ingly, the Orchid Room is in hot de­mand for fash­ion shoots, wed­dings and as a venue for af­ter­noon tea. In days gone by, KL so­ci­ety gath­ered at The Ma­jes­tic for curry tif­fin; th­ese days, those in the know frock up and tuck into eclairs, scones with the works, de­li­cious pan­dan cup­cakes and chicken tikka vol-au-vents. Reser­va­tions es­sen­tial. More: ma­je­stickl.com.

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