The RuMa Hotel Captures Malaysia's Bygone Era


Deriving from the word 'rumah', which means 'home' in Malay, The RuMa Hotel and Residences offers the intimacy of a home through high-quality services focusing around the comfort of guests.

After opening its doors late last year, the RuMa has been added to the list of main tourist attractions within the vibrant heart of Kuala Lumpur’s Golden Triangle. The property is the latest luxury hotel by China-based hotel management company Urban Resorts Concept (URC) and a rather special one because this hotel marks the company’s first luxury development outside of China, and the first establishment in Kuala Lumpur to join The Leading Hotels of the World— a marketing organisation representing luxury hotels around the world.

BEP Arkitek, a Malaysian-based architecture firm was entrusted to design this mixed-used development which has a condominium and hotel. Innovative and durable as the main design approach goes in harmony with Malaysia’s culture and regulation. Most of the units were designed with clear views of the
Petronas Twin Towers.

Shanghai-based architecture and interior design studio MQ-studio was in charge of the interior design of the hotel that boasts 253 rooms, each of which showcases the fashionable lifestyle that focuses on 21st century living. Sleek and modern spaces are what best describe the hotel’s unrivalled levels of comfort and convenience.

The RuMa features two main design themes: a contemporary interpretation of Malaysia’s colonial past and the word rumah itself. With that in mind, MQ-studio wanted to create a hotel that in spirit captures the houses of a bygone era yet also has a contemporary edge. The design team searched for inspiration by strolling the streets of Kuala Lumpur, scouring flea markets and talking to local people in order to get the real sense of Malay culture.

At the hotel’s entrance area, there’s what appears to be a rendition of a birdcage made from interlaced glazed and non-glazed terracotta that surrounds a custom-made bronze water fountain made by local craftsmen. The birdcage, which is an ode to birdcages that were used in the past to keep canaries, was used to check gas leakages in mines.

Going further inside the hotel, there are two spiral staircases placed side by side in the lobby that penetrates through the copper-tiled ceiling. These staircases are yet another reference to the country’s mining past. Every room and suite at The RuMa also pay tribute to the city’s origins and its colonial influences.

In addition, the hotel features the works of local artisans exhibited throughout the building. Not to be missed among the artworks is custom-made gold kebaya made from metal that serves as the central showpiece by Malaysian fashion designer Bernard Chandran.

Worth mentioning is the lighting work by the Flaming Beacon where every room has its own lighting character that fits perfectly with the need of staying guests. This includes the presence of the lighting panels that flank the bathroom mirrors. Overall, the combination of lighting and airy rooms creates a warm feeling of privacy that’s truly homey.

Up the grand stairwell and onto the mezzanine floor there is ATAS, a modern Malaysian eatery offering a fresh, contemporary perspective to local flavours. The kitchen is integrated into the restaurant space to create a non-formal dining area and there’s also the outdoor veranda for a change of view.

Other dining establishments at the hotel are SEVEN Lobby Bar and Lounge nestled discreetly into the daylight-filled conservatory extending from the hotel’s lobby and The LIBRARI as a cosy seating area for guests to enjoy their afternoon tea whilst reading their favourite book. Last but not the least is SANTAI Pool Bar and Lounge where guests can enjoy an afternoon tea or a refreshing nightcap.

The sixth floor of the hotel is dedicated entirely to wellness. Cantilevered from the building overlooking the city’s landmarks and is connected to the 25-metre outdoor infinity pool and sundeck is UR SPA. It has five treatment rooms, a small beauty area with a reception and retail space as well as a men’s grooming area. The wall corridor to the treatment rooms features another unique local flair, Kelarai hand-weaved.

Inspired by the incredible Malay culture, the RuMa Hotel and Residences truly feels like a home away from home, with every experience tailor-made and the culture of hostmanship deeply rooted in.

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Dian Arthen
Dian has been working as a journalist/writer for three years and holds a bachelor's degree in business management. She loves to write profiles and about topics related to gender equality, lifestyle and entertainment.

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