A confluence of style
The recently opened W Kuala Lumpur brings playful energy to the city’s famous Golden Triangle district. By Eve Tedja
The past few years have seen a rapid transformation of Kuala Lumpur’s skyline with more ambitious skyscrapers and luxurious five-star hotels being built. The capital city is set to welcome more visitors in the upcoming years, so it’s perhaps timely that W Kuala Lumpur opened its doors in August with an electronic fanfare.
Situated across the Petronas Twin Towers, W Kuala Lumpur stands in the heart of the city’s Golden Triangle. It is right at home in the cosmopolitan centre of commerce, shopping and nightlife, a perfect fit for a hotel brand with a passion for music, design, fashion, and food. At night, the hotel’s façade boldly lights up with the help of traffic-stopping neon LED fixtures, bold lines and tinted glass that sparkle like a box of jewellery. The hotel takes up 23 floors out of the 55-storey building and features 150 guest rooms and suites, which include two WOW suites and the Extreme WOW Suite – the W’s take on presidential suite. Taking inspiration from the story of Kuala Lumpur itself, the design is crafted out of the city’s two identities, as a confluence of two rivers and a diverse, multicultural jungle city that marries age-old culture with urban modernity.
The scene to be seen
The awe-inspiring entrance introduces guests to a pixel pattern, an element integrated throughout the hotel and is cleverly used to convey the broad spectrum of Malaysia’s multicultural diversity. Futuristic in its form, the entrance cleverly mixes traditional batik pattern and applies it on the sleek metal panel wall complete with the bamboo-inspired chandeliers and a changing Led-lit welcome wall. As a tribute to the two rivers that shaped the city, the welcome lobby is designed organically. Intricately shaped by a floor-to-ceiling waterfall-like rope screen illuminated by neon pink
LED, the standing reception table is shaped like a plateau. Looking up, one will notice a swirling pattern on the ceiling, while hand-crafted wooden chandeliers that hang on top of the reception table, bring to mind the traditional spinning top.
The adjacent Living Room and WOOBAR enhance the W’s playfulness by providing spaces that encourage interaction and conversation through its sinuously designed furniture and vibrant pop of colours. An outdoor area at the WOOBAR provides a secluded corner for a têteà-tête in the company of lush tropical foliage and rustic wooden floors. In another bold statement, a cascade of steel-mirrored grand staircase dramatically reflects the texture and patterns from the surrounding interior in a constantly shifting dynamic, depending on where the viewer stands. It is an art form in itself and makes for an arresting spatial focal point.
The rapidly popular WET Deck offers an unmatched panorama of the Petronas Twin Towers from its vicinity on the 12th floor. In a nod to the jungle city narrative, the poolside bar and lounge is the hotel’s bird’s nest where one can enjoy the view of the concrete jungle as well as creative mixology. It is the place to see and be seen right now in Kuala Lumpur, especially when a DJ is spinning by the vast pool that sports a pixelated tile pattern.
Rest and fuel
As guests leave the public area and enter the privacy of their rooms, they will pass the corridor with wood-panelled walls and the aforementioned pixelated pattern that now appears on the carpet. Tastefully blending tradition with modernity, the rooms and suites are adorned with delightful details in dashing colours.
There are batik patterned metal panels above the headboards and taro leaves throw pillows on the plush beds. Next to the beds, as can be seen in the Spectacular Rooms, a pendant lamp made of beads hangs down from the ceiling. It is a tribute to the indigenous tribe of Malaysia, the Orang Asli and their trinket. Each and every room is endowed with natural light during the day from the large window; at night, a dramatic ambience is created through the use of mood lighting that invites one to rest.
Meanwhile, AWAY Spa, with its clean lines and wooden surfaces, offers tranquillity. The area covers 12,000 sq ft that includes treatment rooms, vitality pools, chroma-therapy steam baths, bio-infrared sauna, and a beauty house. The low lighting and hushed ambience creates a dramatic interplay between darkness and light. W Kuala Lumpur boasts six dining venues. There is YEN, a regal modern Cantonese restaurant that takes dark wooden floors, a chinoserie décor and juxtaposes them with the lighting fixture on the ceiling that glows resplendently. At the all-day dining FLOCK, sustainability plays an important role in a menu that highlights a mix of Western fare and Malaysian favourites. Despite the sleek industrial look, it features familiar details, such as the enamel tiffins on top of the buffet counters as well as a criss cross wallpaper that resembles the woven bamboo basket. Apart from WET Deck and WOOBAR, there are two privately managed dining venues, Saint Pierre, a French restaurant by chef Emmanuel Stroobant that earned one Michelin star at its Singapore location, and WICKED, a VIP nightclub to dance the night away.
WOOBAR offers a stylish social space to enjoy the nightly vibes of the city.
Thoroughly modern with a focus on sustainable farm-to-flock specialties, FLOCK also pays tribute to the Malay heritage in its design accent, such as the display of enamel tiffins in pop colours.
Natural daylight plays an important role in the design of the rooms, as can be seen in the Spectacular Room.