LIFE ON THE COVER

The re­cently un­veiled Ho­tel Stripes Kuala Lumpur im­parts a stylish edge to one of the city’s old­est neigh­bour­hoods.

YTL Life - - Contents - Words MARK LEAN

Ho­tel Stripes Kuala Lumpur’s open­ing trans­forms one of the city’s best- known neigh­bour­hoods

Back in the late 19th cen­tury dur­ing the hal­cyon days of the in­dus­trial age, Kuala Lumpur was a vi­brant com­mer­cial cen­tre, pro­pelled by the then- Malaya’s boom­ing tin min­ing in­dus­try. The hub of the tin trade was along Jalan Ka­munt­ing, a street ini­tially lined with wooden and thatched build­ings. But after a dis­as­trous fire, new brick and tile shop­houses with in­ner walk­ways span­ning five feet, in­ge­niously de­signed to shield pedes­tri­ans from the scorch­ing trop­i­cal sun and rain, were con­structed by the Bri­tish colo­nial ad­min­is­tra­tion. Th­ese build­ings con­tinue to stand to­day, serv­ing as both echoes of the city’s not- so- dis­tant past and a thought­ful coun­ter­point to its quick­en­ing rhythm of ur­ban­i­sa­tion.

Sim­i­larly, a sense of his­tory as well as an edgy take on de­sign per­vades the 184- room Ho­tel

Stripes Kuala Lumpur, the sec­ond Au­to­graph Col­lec­tion Ho­tel in Malaysia, which of­fi­cially opened on 18 Fe­bru­ary 2017. Au­to­graph Col­lec­tion Ho­tels is part of Mar­riott In­ter­na­tional and fea­tures 134 hand­picked bou­tique ho­tels around the world, each of which has been in­di­vid­u­ally cu­rated, spe­cially crafted and shares an emo­tional con­nec­tion with its lo­cale.

Lo­cated on the sto­ried thor­ough­fare, Ho­tel Stripes Kuala Lumpur bran­dishes sleek of- the­mo­ment in­te­ri­ors, in­ter­laced with vis­ual re­minders of the Malaysian cap­i­tal’s tex­tured mul­ti­cul­tural ur­ban her­itage. Ex­te­rior brick wall fa­cades form an in­tri­cate net­work of shade in cer­tain parts of the build­ing, while framed black and white pho­to­graphs of the city from decades past, sourced from the coun­try’s Na­tional Archives, adorn the gue­strooms.

While her­itage el­e­ments are high­lighted as part of the Ho­tel Stripes Kuala Lumpur ex­pe­ri­ence, the ho­tel’s staff em­anates a youth­ful, en­thu­si­as­tic and ea­gerto- please vibe. From seam­less arrivals to check- ins, guests are made to feel wel­come the mo­ment they step into the ho­tel, and this en­gag­ing and thought­ful hos­pi­tal­ity con­tin­ues through­out the du­ra­tion of their stay.

Just as per­spec­tives of the past are ac­cented in Ho­tel Stripes Kuala Lumpur’s de­sign lex­i­con, the thought­ful room ameni­ties com­prise the ul­ti­mate in com­fort with in- built tech­nol­ogy in tune with the high de­gree of func­tion­al­ity that to­day’s world trav­ellers ex­pect. Th­ese in­clude plush bed­ding that guar­an­tee a good night’s sleep, wall sock­ets with con­fig­ured in­ter­na­tional adapters, com­pli­men­tary Wi- Fi, HD tele­vi­sions, es­presso cof­fee ma­chines, ad­justable bed­side read­ing lights, com­pli­men­tary mini­bars, and for nos­tal­gic touches, se­lec­tions of tra­di­tional lo­cal sweets such as co­conut candy and pre­served plums.

THE POOL AND ITS OPEN-AIR DECK ARE BOTH IDEAL VAN­TAGE POINTS TO SAVOUR STUN­NING SKY­LINE VIEWS (PER­FECT FOR IN­STA­GRAM-WOR­THY PHOTOS) OVER DOWN­TOWN KL.

El­e­ments in the four room cat­e­gories — Deluxe, Ex­ec­u­tive Deluxe, Stu­dio and Ex­ec­u­tive Stu­dio — in­clude an abun­dance of space, whilee the warm light beige and gold in­te­rior colour schemes con­jure an at­mos­phere of warmth and wel­come.

The in­fin­ity swim­ming pool on the top level of the build­ing is the ho­tel’s out­door so­cial hub where guests can min­gle and un­wind. The pool and its ope­nair deck are both ideal van­tage points to savour stun­ning sky­line views ( per­fect for In­sta­gram- wor­thy photos) over down­town KL. This is best ap­pre­ci­ated at sun­set with a cock­tail or two and a tray of chic Asian nib­bles pre­pared in the style of Chi­nese buns from the pool­side bar, Man Tao — soon to be the city’s lat­est must- visit spot.

On the same floor, guests can en­joy a seam­less and com­pre­hen­sive work­out at the ho­tel’s fully equipped state- ofthe- art gym. While down­stairs on level three, a se­ries of six flex­i­blepur­pose meet­ing rooms — Stu­dio S/T/ R/ I/ P/ E — rang­ing from 50sqm to 80sqm, are primed for pro­duc­tive pre­sen­ta­tions, press events and prod­uct launches.

In the morn­ings, break­fast is served at The Snug, a cosy yet min­i­mal­ist space decked out in mas­cu­line tones of black, bronze and grey, and in­dus­trial de­sign mo­tifs such as stripped- back walls. Guests are tempted with a buf­fet se­lec­tion of both Asian and Western break­fast sta­ples.

Freshly brewed cof­fee and tea, along with an all- day takeaway sec­tion com­pris­ing juices, fruits, sal­ads and sand­wiches, are avail­able un­til 6pm.

FROM SEAM­LESS ARRIVALS TO CHECK-INS, GUESTS ARE MADE TO FEEL WEL­COME THE MO­MENT THEY STEP INTO THE HO­TEL.

At Brasserie 25, Ho­tel Stripes Kuala Lumpur’s res­tau­rant takes in­spi­ra­tion from the bistros of down­town Paris; the in­te­ri­ors are a mix and match of red brick ar­cades, 1950s cop­per Sput­nik chan­de­liers and el­e­gant dark wood floors. Flavour­some dishes to taste in­clude the foie gras ter­rine with fig jam on a toasted brioche, the hearty roasted chicken with am­ple por­tions of mashed pota­toes and win­ter veg­eta­bles, as well as the suc­cu­lent lamb shank served with steak fries and roasted toma­toes. In the after­noons, to com­ple­ment busi­ness or so­cial meet­ings, a French- style tea, Le Gouter, a pop­u­lar rit­ual in­spired by Ho­tel Stripes’ sis­ter ho­tel MUSE Saint Tropez, is pre­sented at the res­tau­rant. Ex­pect both de­lec­ta­ble sweet desserts from exquisitely made — and au­then­ti­cally French — bite- sized cakes and mac­arons along with Malaysian- in­flu­enced nib­bles such as curry puffs and savoury tarts, ac­com­pa­nied by ei­ther tea or cof­fee. On the sub­ject of cof­fee, next door to the ho­tel is a KL in­sti­tu­tion, the Yut Kee cof­feeshop, known na­tion­ally for its lo­cally blended beans with a se­ri­ous caf­feine kick and for its time- hon­oured va­ri­ety of Hainanese dishes like pork chops, beef noo­dle soup, fish por­ridge, as well as its picks of fried rice dishes in­clud­ing a tasty salted fish ver­sion. Also nearby is The Row, com­pris­ing 22 shop­houses that were built in the 1940s, all of which have been retro­fit­ted to house restau­rants, cafes, art gal­leries and other cre­ative en­ter­prises.

Th­ese days, the neigh­bour­hood where Ho­tel Stripes Kuala Lumpur is lo­cated matches old with new and past with present. And just as it was dur­ing the time when Jalan Ka­munt­ing at­tracted peo­ple from around the re­gion who sought bet­ter lives for them­selves and their fam­i­lies, the area con­tin­ues to evolve; al­ways turn­ing the page, and al­ways cre­at­ing new sto­ries.

The rooftop pool over­looks Kuala Lumpur’s sky­line; gue­strooms and suites are a unique blend of con­tem­po­rary de­sign and ur­ban chic, re­flect­ing the his­tory and char­ac­ter of the neigh­bour­hood.

Ho­tel Stripes Kuala Lumpur’s lobby (above) and The Snug (right). Fac­ing page: Brasserie 25 ex­udes a rus­tic charm with its red brick ar­cades, mid- cen­tury cop­per Sput­nik chan­de­liers and dark wood floors.

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