HOME AND AWAY
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.