Ten new and upcoming Kuala Lumpur hotels

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia city skyline.

Hotel Cosmo Kuala Lumpur

Opening its doors on December 1, 2016, the Hotel Cosmo Kuala Lumpur is one of the latest midscale additions to Kuala Lumpur’s hotel scene. Its 347 rooms range from family-style and studio suites to regular guestrooms, and its location near the Masjid Jamek Interchange Station – two stops from KL Sentral – make it convenient for business travellers entering the city via the KLIA Express. The Leboh Ampang-district hotel is also located close to a number of the city’s banking institutions and Central Market.


Hotel Stripes Kuala Lumpur

Along with The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur, YTL Hotels’ Hotel Stripes Kuala Lumpur is among the first properties in Southeast Asia to join the Autograph Collection – a group of more than 110 independent hotels worldwide. Opened in February 2017, the Hotel Stripes is situated in the business hub on Jalan Kamunting, an area replete with 1940s shop houses and once known as the Asian Heritage Row, and features 184 bespoke guestrooms and suites.


Mercure Kuala Lumpur Shaw Parade

The Mercure brand debuted in Kuala Lumpur earlier this month with the opening of the Mercure Kuala Lumpur Shaw Parade hotel. Located in the city’s Bukit Bintang district, the 213-room property features a number of distinctly local touches – a common theme among Mercure hotels – including Peranakan motifs in its all-day Chorak Restaurant. The hotel also has a lobby lounge, rooftop pool bar and adjacent fitness centre, and three meeting and events spaces.


Element Kuala Lumpur

The Element Hotels brand will be making its Southeast Asia debut when the Element Kuala Lumpur opens on April 9, 2017 in the 275-metre Ilham Baru Tower. Nearly half of the guestrooms in the property will be suites (120 out of a total 252 rooms), with small kitchenettes being a key feature of many of the eco-themed hotel’s accommodations. A variety of recreational services and amenities are also planned to be available in this green vein, including bicycle rental and electric vehicle charging stations.



Four Seasons Kuala Lumpur

Four Seasons’ new 209-room property in the Malaysian capital is scheduled for an early 2018 opening and will make up part of a 65-storey mixed-use tower that will offer a total of 242 Four Seasons-branded residences and 27 serviced apartments. A five-floor 27,900-sqm luxury shopping complex known as the Four Seasons Place Kuala Lumpur will also occupy the tower.


CitizenM Kuala Lumpur

Set to open in the second quarter of 2018, Artyzen Hospitality Group’s third CitizenM hotel in Asia will be its smallest in the region with 198 rooms – upcoming properties in Taipei and Shanghai will have 267 and 303 rooms, respectively. Announced last week, the Bukit Bintang district CitizenM Kuala Lumpur has been confirmed to feature a 24-hour CanteenM eatery, though other facilities have yet to be announced.


So Sofitel Kuala Lumpur Hotel and Residences, and Sofitel Kuala Lumpur Damansara

Accorhotels’ new So Sofitel offering in the Malaysian capital actually comprises two properties – the So Sofitel Kuala Lumpur Hotel and the So Sofitel Kuala Lumpur Residences. Both are scheduled to open their doors in 2020 and, like many of the city’s new hotels, are situated a short distance from the Petronas Twin Towers and the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. The hotel will offer 207 guestrooms while the serviced residences will include 590 units. Each features a spa, fitness centre and event spaces, among other facilities, while guests at the residences will be able to make use of the rooftop sky garden foyer for barbecues.

In addition to these properties, Accorhotels is also set to open its Sofitel Kuala Lumpur Damansara on June 1, 2017, located about one hour from Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Larger than the So Sofitel Kuala Lumpur Hotel, the Sofitel Kuala Lumpur Damansara will include some 312 rooms.


Crowne Plaza Kuala Lumpur City Centre

Intercontinental Hotel Group’s (IHG) Crowne Plaza Kuala Lumpur City Centre is currently scheduled for a 2021 opening with a specific focus on business travellers. This is evident in the hotel’s central business district location on Jalan Yap Kwan Seng road, walking distance from the Kuala Lumpur City Centre and Petronas Twin Towers, and its business centre and seven meeting spaces. A total of 338 rooms, an all-day dining restaurant, numerous specialty restaurants and a Sky Bar round will be available, along with leisure facilities such as an outdoor swimming pool and fitness centre.


Radisson Red Kuala Lumpur City Center

Announced back in October 2016, the Radisson Red Kuala Lumpur City Centre will stand about 800 metres from the Petronas Twin Towers when it opens in 2022, marking the brand’s debut in Malaysia. While the upscale lifestyle hotel brand focuses particularly on design, art and fashion, its business facilities are also a key component and the Radisson Red Kuala Lumpur will offer 166 rooms across 27 floors along with meetings and events spaces with views of the twin towers. A rooftop swimming pool and gym will also be included.


Aloft to open second Taipei property in January

Aloft Taipei Beitou

Taipei’s second Aloft-brand property is set to open its doors in January 1, 2017 in the city’s northeastern Beitou district, a region surrounded by the Datun volcano group and known for its numerous hot springs.

The Aloft brand is designed to offer a design-focused and social experience for tech-savvy travellers. The new Aloft Taipei Beitou will offer a total of 292 loft-inspired rooms, including 13 suites, equipped with SPG Keyless technology, enabling guests to access their rooms using the SPG app.

Meanwhile, the Re:mix lounge on the hotel’s first floor features large floor-to-ceiling pixel-like RGB LED walls. The W Xyz cocktail bar, offering live acoustic music performances, American-style restaurant Nook, and Re:fuel By Aloft self-serve pantry round out the new hotel’s F&B options. Corporate groups can also hold events at the hotel’s three Tactic meeting spaces.

Access to the city’s underground transportation system, the MRT, is available via two stations approximately five minutes from the hotel. For travellers looking to enjoy cherry blossom season in mid-February, the hotel is situated close to the Sakura Tunnel, a street lined with cherry blossom trees. The property also faces onto the green Guandu Plain.


Le Meridien Vienna unveils refurb

Le Meridien Vienna

Le Meridien has completed the €2.7 million renovation of its Vienna property.

The hotel’s ground floor has been completely revamped, with a new “Le Meridien Hub” concept which “re-interprets the traditional hotel lobby into a social gathering place for creative minds to converse, debate and exchange”.

The space has been divided into three “experience zones” – the Arrival Experience, the Interaction Zone, and the Bar, which Le Meridien says will offer a coffeehouse environment by day and a “sparkling-inspired setting by night”.

The hub will also feature a 24-hour soundtrack by French band Nouvelle Vague, which will “transition Le Méridien Hub from day to night, offering a modern twist to the social ritual of cocktail hour”.

Le Meridien also said that the new spaces “offer both guests and locals a creative atmosphere with contemporary, locally curated artwork and an environment designed to promote dialogue, awaken curiosity and stimulate thinking”.

The brand recently relaunched its flagship Paris property, and earlier this year earmarked US$300 million for new and renovated properties across its global portfolio.


Le Meridien relaunches flagship Paris property

Le Meridien Etoile

Starwood Hotels and Resorts has unveiled the revamped Le Meridien Etoile, following a multi-million euro renovation of its rooms and public areas.

The flagship property was the first under the Le Meridien brand, and is the largest hotel in central Paris at 1,025 rooms.

Located in the 17th arrondissement close to Le Palais des Congres, the hotel has seen its rooms revamped by French interior architect Jean-Philippe Nuel, and its public areas redesigned by London-based Michaelis Boyd.

Rooms feature a muted colour palette of grey, light blue and charcoal, with illustrated maps of Paris arrondissements on headboards and “deconstructed” city images on room and corridors.

New art installations in the property’s Le Meridien Hub lobby area include a mural fresco created by sculptor Arnold Goron, made of brass and depicting a map of Paris, and a light installation representing “the traffic circles of the city”.

Meeting spaces feature modular furniture and custom photography of Paris boulaverds by instagrammer Vutheara Kham.

The hotel has also revamped its iconic Jazz Club Etoile which originally opened in 1975. Design has focused on “bright colours and vintage furniture”, along with white tiles inspired by Paris metro stations, and works by visual artist Christian Gastaldi.

The group said that 50 per cent of Le Meridien properties in Europe and the Middle East had been upgraded in the last three years, and will re-enter the Italian market next year with the opening of the Le Meridien Visconti Rome.

The brand has earmarked US$300 million for renovations, new hotels and conversions across its global portfolio, with plans to open an additional 30 hotels in the next four years.


Marriott and Starwood merger completes

Marriott and Starwood complete merger

Marriott International  and Starwood Hotels and Resorts has completed its merger.

The new hotel company now has 30 hotel brands and will operate or franchise more than 5,700 properties and 1.1 million rooms.

For business travellers, from today, Marriott Rewards is offering a status match for SPG members enabling them to transfer points between the programmes.

As revealed yesterday:

Analysis: Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest

The status match means that  members will have their status matched across programmes and be able to transfer and redeem points across schemes.

Members who link their accounts will be able to transfer points at a three-to-one ratio (three Marriott Rewards points = one SPG Starpoint) between the programmes for redemption stays or on the Marriott Rewards Experiences Marketplace or SPG’s Moments platform.

“Marriott will draw upon the very best each programme offers and we can’t wait to show the loyal members of these programmes the power and benefits of Marriott and Starwood coming together,” said Stephanie Linnartz, Executive Vice President and Global Chief Commercial Officer.

“The marriage of these two leading hotel companies means Marriott will deliver an unparalleled guest experience with more hotels in more global destinations, an unrivaled range of comprehensive accommodations to suit every traveller, and the industry’s best loyalty programs,” said Arne Sorenson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Marriott International.

“Providing such a wide selection reinforces our enduring commitment to offering guests an even greater world to explore with Marriott at their side.”

To link accounts, visit members.marriott.com, and to book, visit marriott.com.

Starwood adds seven new hotels to Tribute Portfolio

BAR Vagabond_Hotel Vagabond, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, Singapore_sm

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide announced on Tuesday the addition of seven properties to its Tribute Portfolio, bringing the number of hotels in the collection close to 30 worldwide. The Tribute Portfolio comprises independent hotels from across the globe where Starwood Preferred Guests (SPG) can enjoy the same rewards as at other Starwood properties.

Along with five additions from across the United States, the portfolio will see the addition of its first properties in Singapore and Bali with the Hotel Vagabond and Sthala Ubud Bali joining the collection.

Located just outside Singapore’s central business district, Hotel Vagabond is situated on Syed Alwi Road in the city’s trendy Jalan Besar district. The boutique property, due to reopen in November this year following its rebranding, comprises a row of converted 1950s shophouses and features a total of 41 rooms. Claimed to be the first and only property in Asia to feature interiors by French designer Jacques Garcia, Hotel Vagabond is an art-centric property that will also aim to serve as a forum for an Artist in Residence programme, giving guests the opportunity to interact with resident artists, dine during a performance and watch independent films.

Scheduled to open next month, the Sthala Ubud Bali is the Tribute Portfolio’s second Indonesia property and is designed to offer guests a stay built around wellness and nature. The hotel sits near the Wos River offering views of the river valley, and will include 145 guestrooms along with a spa, two restaurants, two swimming pools, a rooftop bar and a ballroom.

Accompanying the addition of the two Asia-Pacific properties will be five US-based hotels: La Posada de Santa Fé in New Mexico; Magnolia Hotel St Louis in Missouri; Magnolia Hotel Houston in Texas; Magnolia Hotel Denver in Colorado; and an as-yet-unnamed property in San Diego, California.


Starwood-Marriott merger clears final hurdle following Antitrust Approval in China

Marriott Logo

Marriott International’s acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has been granted final approval by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), the hotel group announced yesterday.

The authorisation was the final regulatory approval necessary before completion of the merger could proceed, following the regulatory body’s decision to extend its review of the acquisition in early August. Marriott now expects to complete the transaction before the market opens on September 23.

Approval of the acquisition by MOFCOM brings to a close the merger transaction that was first announced in November 2015 and will see Marriott become the world’s largest hotel company.

For more information, visit starwoodhotels.com, marriott.com

Craig Bright

Starwood’s The Luxury Collection and Tribute Portfolio to debut in Singapore

BAR Vagabond_Hotel Vagabond, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, Singapore_sm

Starwood Hotels & Resorts has signed two new hotels in Singapore, which will represent the debut of The Luxury Collection ad Tribute Portfolio brands in the Lion City.

The group has partnered with boutique developers Harpreet and Satinder Garcha to bring two properties – The Duxton Club and Hotel Vagabond – into its Luxury Collection and Tribute Portfolio brands respectively.

“We are thrilled to be bringing The Luxury Collection and Tribute Portfolio brands to Singapore,” said Rajit Sukumaran, Senior Vice President, Acquisitions & Development, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Asia Pacific.

“We are confident that these two distinct brands will make their mark on the country’s highly competitive hospitality market, and we’re proud to work with Harpreet and Satinder Garcha, who are passionate about design and adaptive-reuse heritage projects.”

Hotel Vagabond, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, Singapore

Located at Syed Alwi Road, just outside Singapore’s CBD, Hotel Vagabond is a boutique property sits alongside a row of 1950s Art Deco shophouses. The 41-room property is the only Asian hotel to feature interiors by Jacques Garcia, and features the French designer’s signature maximalist style.

Having opened back in January, the property will now undergo a rebranding exercise, and will be unveiled as a Tribute Portfolio hotel in October.

All guestrooms feature a Parisian-chic vibe with plush bedding, Italian marble, glass mosaic bathrooms, and mahogany furniture. The hotel is also home to Vagabond Salon – a modern interpretation of a Parisian salon with over 464 sqm of event space.

The Duxton Club, a Luxury Collection Hotel Singapore

The Duxton Club will consist of two pre-war colonial heritage buildings that are within walking distance of one another – The Duxton House on Duxton Road and The Duxton Terrace on Murray Road.

The Duxton House will open in early 2017 and feature 50 guestrooms in eight adjoining three-storey buildings. Once completed, it will offer an all-day dining restaurant, a signature bar and a private cigar room.

Meanwhile, The Duxton Terrace is slated for a July 2017 opening and will comprise of 14 adjoining three- and four-storey colonial-era buildings. The interiors of the 138-room property will be designed by French architect Jacques Garcia, whose work includes Hotel Vagabond as well as the restoration of Le Louvre and Chateau de Versailles.

When opened, The Duxton Terrace will be home to five F&B outlets including a destination bar, a lobby bar, an all-day dining restaurant, a poolside bar and a members-only club. Additional facilities will include a swimming pool, fitness centre and a cigar room. Guests staying at The Duxton House will have full use of the facilities at The Duxton Terrace, and vice versa.

For more information, visit starwoodhotels.com

SPG offers 35 per cent off redemption nights at select properties

Starwood Hotels and Resorts logo

Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) is offering members a 35 per cent discount for redemption nights at eight Starwood properties worldwide.

The discounted rates and the eight properties are:


  • W Retreat Koh Samui – 39,000 Starpoints (down from the usual 60,000 points)
  • The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket – 26,000 Starpoints (down from the usual 40,000 points)
  • Vana Belle, a Luxury Collection Resort, Koh Samui – 26,000 Starpoints (down from the usual 40,000 points)


  • W Retreat and Spa Maldives – 58,500 Starpoints (down from the usual 90,000 points)

French Polynesia

  • The St. Regis Bora Bora – 39,000 Starpoints (down from the usual 60,000 points)
  • Le Meridien Bora Bora – 26,000 Starpoints (down from the usual 40,000 points)


  • Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa, a Luxury Collection Resort, Dubai ­– 39,000 Starpoints (down from the usual 60,000 points)


  • Mystique, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Santorini – 39,000 Starpoints (down from the usual 60,000 points)

SPG member should also note that the offer can be combined with Starwood’s ongoing fifth night free redemption offer. Therefore, a five-night stay at The St. Regis Bora Bora would cost only 156,000 points, instead of 195,000 points. This works out to an average rate of 31,200 points per night.

For more information, visit starwoodhotels.com

Clement Huang

Westin Dubai, Al Habtoor City opens on Sheikh Zayed Road


Westin Dubai, Al Habtoor City opens on Sheikh Zayed Road

Largest Westin in Europe, Middle East and Africa opens with more than 1,000 rooms in 41-storey tower

The Westin Dubai, Al Habtoor City has opened on ahead of schedule on Sheikh Zayed Road. The new property is the largest Westin in Europe, Middle East and Africa with more than 1,000 rooms.

The hotel has a total of 1,004 rooms including 142 suites. The hotel’s lobby and interiors have been inspired by the region’s Hajar Mountains and feature stylised motifs of the Art Deco movement.

The hotel is in “soft-opening” and five of its six dining venues are open including: Cook Hall – a casual industrial-style American gastro pub; Il Capo Restaurant – serving hearty New York Italian dishes, the lobby lounge Daily Treats; Seasonal Tastes – serving global cuisine from its six live cooking stations, and Blinq – serving cocktails and snacks. Due to open later this year, Firefly is a poolside rooftop lounge and bar.

Also “opening soon” will be the hotel’s spa and gym. This will have 20 treatment rooms, which include separate male and female areas, a Hamman, steam room, sauna, hot tubs, whirlpools and specialty showers. The gym will have equipment from Technogym, a yoga studio and in total the property will have three rooftop swimming pools, including a splash pool for children at the Westin Family Kids Club.

The hotel has 15 meeting rooms  and two additional outdoor spaces will open soon. The 1,450m2 Al Joud ballroom has a separate entrance, pre-function hall and can host events with up to 1,200 guests.

The Al Habtoor City development features two other Starwood hotels: The St. Regis Dubai, which opened last November, and the recently opened W Dubai – Al Habtoor City. The Westin Dubai, Al Habtoor City is the third and final hotel to complete the Al Habtoor City Hotel Collection.

“Together with Al Habtoor Group, we are excited to deliver Westin’s well-being promise to guests at Starwood’s largest hospitality project in the Middle East,” said Michael Wale, President, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa and Middle East. “This opening reaffirms Westin is on track to double its presence in the Middle East in the next three years.”