Political conspiracies, secret intelligence units, an attempted murder, grand parties with musical legends... they read like the pieces of a puzzle that come together in a blockbuster thriller except for one thing. They all really happened here at The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur.
According to historians and eyewitness accounts by former patrons, the idea for United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) was first hatched within the walls of The Majestic, and secret units of World War 2 Allied forces allegedly exchanged information at the hotel. Then there was the story of a murder foiled by bad English at the bar, which also heard the chords of the likes such as The Mills Brothers, Freddy Cole and The Original Rat Pack. And this is only the tip of the iceberg of The Majestic's colourful past.
YTL Hotels' brand of class and luxury. But before we check into The Majestic, I would like to show you the hotel's location, which has within its neighbourhood two of KL's most magnificent heritage masterpieces... the Old Kuala Lumpur Railway Station and Railway Administration Building (now the head office of KTM Berhad).
|Art framing art... Vew of the KTM Admin Building through an arch of the Old Railway Station.|
|The KTM Admin Building is an excellent example of Moorish architecture that glorified the Ottoman and Moghul stylings in the 13th and 14th centuries and blended with Gothic and 14th century Greek designs.|
|An immaculate mishmash of Neo-Moorish, Moghul, Indo and Neo Saracenic architectural styles that were popular at the turn of the 20th century gave the Old Railway Station a regally handsome appearance.|
|Like massive historical lungs that breathe life into the modern city's culture and heritage, it's hard not to notice their presence despite being upstaged by the PETRONAS Twin Towers.|
|Pull back the camera angle a little further and sitting there next to the tanned KTM Admin Building is another icon of colonial Malaysia, Hotel Majestic.|
Built as much by cement and mortar as it is with the sands of time, The Majestic KL is a living monument intertwined with Malaysia's history as well as a place of nostalgia for many yesteryear explorers who have passed through its halls.
Hotel Majestic was more than just a luxurious accommodation but a venue where foreign dignitaries, celebrities and local luminaries mingle and socialize. The hotel played host to numerous events big and small until the end of 1983 when it was closed. As the hotel had proven itself to be an icon of the Malaysian social tapestry, the building was retained and converted into The National Art Gallery.
And now, almost 30 years later, Hotel Majestic has been revived by YTL Hotels to reawaken the glamour and splendor of this national treasure.
|The veil of time lifted to welcome a new chapter in the hotel's history.|
|Something old, something new. The Majestic Hotel comprises 2 wings... the Majestic Wing (which is the original 5-storey Hotel Majestic, refurbished) and the Tower Wing (a new 15-storey addition to the site).|
|Corridor leading to the private reception of Majestic Wing.|
|Felt like I walked into a period movie set or a Jane Austen's novel. The restorers took pains to recreate the hotel's neo-Renaissance meets Art Deco design and stylings.|
|Security personnel with pith helmet and specially tailored uniform! Hotel staff are dressed in costumes authentic to the era. It's as if the mid 1900s never left.|
|Resurrecting the colonial flavours on a grand scale at The Tea Lounge and The Bar of The Majestic KL.|
|Apart from the open Tea Lounge, patrons can also enjoy a cuppa in this private and cozy room.|
|What a beautiful setting to sip tea!|
|This scene is an automatic pinkie lifter.|
Having seen the main hall's gorgeous Colonial mien, my anticipation was mounting to see the Governor Suite which I'll be staying in. The Majestic Wing has a total of 47 classic suites with personal butler service!
|Ascending the steps to certain luxury...|
|Hallway leading to the rooms.|
|And this is the interior of my Governor Suite's living room. It's G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S!|
|When it comes to interior décor, I'm more of a minimalist-Zen kind of guy who gets dizzy when there are too many colours and textures going on in a room. But this, this me likey!|
|Love the "high-society" feel of the suite and it comes with complimentary drinks (juices, soft drinks, beers, and wines) in a mini fridge concealed under the flat-screen TV. The open doorway on the right leads to the room.|
|The bedroom... again, it's G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S! I think I should just copy the 'G' word and just paste it on all the photos in this post.|
|The bathroom's checkered tiles and fittings remind me of a chic boutique salon.|
|A bathtub with feet? This is the first time I'd seen one. The double-ended clawfoot tub really upped the retro-luxe ante and quite a stunner!|
|Breaking dawn... As I peeled back the curtains, happiness flooded my room.|
|Having been to KL many times, this is the first time I caught a sunrise in the city. I imagined the splendour of watching this sunrise back in the 1930s without the modern high-rises.|
|My morning reverie was interrupted by a ring of the doorbell. The butler-served in-room colonial breakfast I ordered has arrived.|
|I asked for something extra on top of my Western breakfast... a couple of toast with homemade kaya just like the old times. The kaya's taste, texture and consistency sweetened up my morning.|
|Having breakfast in the suite was so relaxing and offered much comfort to start the day. I really enjoyed my night in the Governor Suite. It felt like a home I never had.|
Bringing together the best of classic European favourites and Asian culinary traditions, the Colonial Café offers an extensive menu that marries the East and West on our lunch table.
For hot appetisers, Fried Chicken Wings are found on the same page as Escargots while the mains see Rosemary Lamb Chops given equal billing with Old-Style Hainanese Chicken Rice Ball. And if you look closely, you might spot some hilarious menu offerings such as the Old Style Faggots (wild mushroom mash with mace infused sauce) and the Spotted Dick!
|Colonial Café may have a Western set-up but the menu offers both European and Asian delights as well as Colonial Cuisine (I call it 'Eurasian Food').|
|I had this Baked Seafood Crab Shell (RM55) that looked really good.|
|For my main, I went for the Baked Honey-Glazed Cod Fish made taller with Battered Onion Rings (RM130). Tastes good but the serving size is kinda small for the price.|
|This is the Spotted Dick (RM45)... which is a rich dessert pudding with spices, currant, orange peel and custard. It's a mouthful of creamy |
|Goreng Pisang a la Mode (RM45) is a Eurasian fusion of deep-fried banana fritter we so loved with vanilla ice-cream. I don't know how it is possible but the batter for the banana was really light and fluffy.|
This one's more for the guys. The Smoke House is an extension from the Majestic Wing that houses a cigar appreciation room, pool table and bar, private dining room, and men's grooming salon by Truefitt & Hill.
The Majestic Spa by Spa Village
A separate annex building next to the Majestic Wing is YTL Hotel's signature Spa Village that harvests indigenous therapeutic massage techniques and improve on them for the relaxation and wellness of patrons.
|Enjoying a cuppa and camwhore moment while waiting for our massage rooms to be readied. Lulu looks so comfortably demure in her bathrobe. LOL.|
|Working the art nouveau style of Charles Rennie Mackintosh's (gasp, he's not selling computer?!) famous Willow Tearooms décor, The Majestic Spa has a rather enchanting country house appeal.|
|We meet again at The Majestic Spa! This is my therapist, Saroj, who gave me a very good rub down at Gaya Island Resort (another one of YTL Hotels' vacation must-go).|
|A herbal foot soak and bath primed me for my massage session. It was so cool that the water for my foot bath was poured from a porcelain jug like the olden days!|
|I went for the 2-hour Herbal Sports massage (RM550++) that revitalises overworked bodily systems and tense muscles with a herbal poultice blend of rosemary, thyme, mint, lavender and rose.|
|It was the first time I experienced a massage using steamed herbal ball compress and the botanic scent coupled with the warmth was extremely soothing and tension relieving.|
|The Majestic Spa patrons get to chill by a pool reserved exclusively for them. After my massage, I eased over a pot of chamomile next to the blue to extend the bliss.|
And who knows, you just might make it into the new chapters of The Majestic Hotel's vibrant history!