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