Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Photo: The RuMa Hotel and Residences

A new hotel in Kuala Lumpur has an impressive entrance. Salvaged pillars. Copper ceilings. Parquet floors. Lantern-style lampshades. A double-spiral staircase. Then a gold kebaya, the traditional Malay dress worn on special occasions, was placed under a spotlight in between the grand structures. Impressive turned into wow.

Welcome to the RuMa Hotel & Residences, an oasis in Malaysia’s hectic capital city. The hotel sits on the first 18 floors of a 37-story building. The Petronas Towers, twin skyscrapers that were once the tallest buildings in the world, can be seen from many of its windows. The Golden Triangle, a neighborhood known for its shopping and nightlife, lies outside the hotel’s doors. The sprawling Garden City of Lights flows beyond that.

But back to the hotel. The RuMa is Urban Resort Concepts’ first property outside of China. Their hotels in Beijing and Shanghai focus on gorgeous designs, minute details, and Michelin-starred restaurants. That attention to design and detail is evident before you’re even handed a welcome drink in the lobby. ATAS, a modern Malaysian eatery on the mezzanine level, doesn’t have a Michelin star—yet. As you look over it’s five- and eight-course degustation menus, the possibility of it attaining one doesn’t seem that far off. You’re glad you already have a table booked for tomorrow night.

Photo: The RuMa Hotel and Residences

Now that you’ve confirmed the most important part of your stay, it’s time to explore the rest of the hotel. Seven Lobby Bar & Lounge is an elegant space beneath the light-filled atrium for afternoon tea and cocktails. The bartender serves their signature drink, the Jungle Bird, in a small birdcage. There’s another bar, Santai Pool Bar & Lounge, on the sixth floor. It overlooks the cantilevered infinity pool with the towers in the background. UR SPA, which features an outpost of Truefitt & Hill, the famous barbershop in London, is up there, too.

Then there are the rooms. Lattice-patterned walls. Bonsai trees. Complimentary minibars. Traditional tea sets. Oval soaking tubs. No wonder the hotel is considered an urban retreat. Add a generous arrival and departure policy—with no formal times constricting your stay—and you may have just discovered your new favorite hotel. Now that’s impressive.


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