The 113 rooms and suites have been layered with nostalgic elements: think brass-and-porcelain vanity sinks and banquettes padded with the kind of patterned fabrics found at Chow Kit’s markets in previous decades.
Marking the first foray of Malaysian airline mogul Tony Fernandes into the world of luxury hospitality, the December opening of The Chow Kit – An Ormond Hotel (doubles from US$48) looks set to inject a dose of sophistication into the gritty, eponymous Kuala Lumpur neighborhood.
It’s the maiden property of the newly minted Ormond Hotels brand, which takes its name from a Victorian-era Dublin institution known for its literary connection to James Joyce that Fernandes and his partners are currently redeveloping. The ultimate aim is to bring the “Ormond spirit” to a collection of individually designed hotels in city-center districts around the world, each one inspired by stories of local heroes and misfits.
So it should come as no surprise that Brooklyn-based firm Studio Tack mined Chow Kit’s colorful past and slightly seedy present to design both the architecture and interiors of the seven-story hotel. The 113 rooms and suites have been layered with nostalgic elements: think brass-and-porcelain vanity sinks and banquettes padded with the kind of patterned fabrics found at Chow Kit’s markets in previous decades.
Downstairs, a double-height restaurant and bar riffs off the classic kopitiam, serving à la carte breakfasts, “express lunches,” and reimagined Malaysian fare by night. The space will also host pop-up dining events, but if it’s no-frills street food you’re after, you may want to sign up for The Chow Kit’s guided walking tours.
More information here.
This article originally appeared in the December 2019/January 2020 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Irish Inspiration”).