The Chow Kit – An Ormond Hotel Opens in Kuala Lumpur

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.

Inside The Chow Kit’s ground-floor restaurant and bar, styled as a retro-chic kopitiam.

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.

The stylish bedroom.

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.

The light-filled dining room.

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.

The TCK Kitchen.

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”).

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