Amid a clutch of big-brand hotel openings in Kuala Lumpur last year, The RuMa debuted discreetly in November inside a 37-story tower flanking the KLCC—and it may just be the city’s classiest address to date. Shanghai-based British interior designer Andy Hall drew from Malaysia’s tin-mining and rubber-tapping heritage to create a number of intriguing elements in the public areas, starting with the entrance foyer, where six wooden columns salvaged from an antique house lead to a bronze water fountain surrounded by a terra-cotta “birdcage” that nods to the canaries once used to detect gas leaks in mines. In the lobby, two spiral staircases appear to “drill” through a luminous pressed-copper ceiling, while the landing between them displays a shimmering gold kebaya installation created by Malaysian fashion icon Bernard Chandran. The 253 guest rooms are minimalist by comparison, done up in a contemporary colonial style that features wicker-backed chairs, ceiling fans, headboards of woven rattan, and blond-wood wall paneling. Canadian-born chef Tyson Gee oversees the lobby lounge (which serves a very decadent afternoon tea spread with glasses of bubbly and scones with homemade jam and clotted cream), pool bar, and modern-Malaysian restaurant Atas, where the menu features an all-star lineup of sustainable ingredients and an interesting—albeit expensive—wine list with obscure bottles like Moët Hennessey’s Ao Yang, a cabernet blend from the Himalayan foothills of China’s Yunnan Province. Another highlight? The glittery cantilevered pool.
—60-3/2778-0888; theruma.com; doubles from US$156
See the full 2019 Luxe List in the October/November 2019 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“The Luxe List 2019: The RuMa, Malaysia”).