Tradewinds Corporation Berhad has acquired the Istana Hotel Kuala Lumpur, which has a longstanding history and holds fond and nostalgic memories for both local and international visitors. LW Design will bring a strong sense of contemporary design and flair to the iconic brand and the city, as it develops its vision to transform the coveted iconic building into a shining beacon of contemporary luxury to the heart of Asia by transforming the neglected building into a flagship Waldorf Astoria in the famous Bukit Bintang district of the city.
The ultra-luxurious accommodation is generously proportioned and crowned with an extensive rooftop courtyard-inspired presidential suite. With construction already underway, the hotel is slated to open in 2024. LW Design envisions Waldorf Astoria Kuala Lumpur to be the best-in-class, providing contemporary luxury for tomorrow’s exacting guests. With eight restaurants and bars, it will be an inimitable dining experience for local and international visitors. The Berhad family will house much of its private collection of Islamic artefacts throughout the hotel, second only to the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia and The British Museum. The designers are upgrading the entire hotel with the latest modern conveniences expected of a five-star luxury hotel whilst retaining features, including the inspirational Peacock Alley and the ‘meet me under the clock’ timepiece in the lobby synonymous with the legacy-inspired brand.
With grand architectural proportions and impressively high ceilings, the public areas of the Waldorf Astoria Kuala Lumpur will offer unparalleled sophistication to the interiors. LW Design elegantly weaves subtle references to the rich cultural traditions of Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur into the very core of the building with a nod to the local heritage. The lobby is a modern, palatial space that interjects restrained luxury with a neutral colour palette accentuated with warm hues and muted bronze features. The 14 layered portal in the reception area echoes the representation of unity in the Malaysian flag. The layers are patterns derived from Kufic calligraphy, sacred Islamic geometry, and Songket fabrics native to Malaysia.
The signature Peacock Alley overlooks the courtyard-inspired terrace garden, which forms a lush oasis in the centre of the bustling city. Peacock Alley is a symbolic venue where the story of Waldorf Astoria began, defined by a timepiece synonymous with the brand. LW Design collaborated with Preciosa for the one-of-a-kind piece representing the beginning, the past and the present. Precisely constructed with bronze, slumped glass and crystals, the clock has elements from the astrolabe and a digital clock that tells various times from across the world.
The principal restaurant is a vast architectural space with intricately detailed furniture, embossed tables and ceiling-mounted crystal lighting. The sage-green ceiling affords the dining room an indoor-outdoor concept. Intricate mashrabiya patterns are prominent throughout the regal and stately space, highlighted with a feature graphic timber wall representing the Kuala Lumpur map. The chefs, trained by the royal household, serve delicate and exquisite global dishes.
Custom-designed décor and furnishings characterise the impressively spacious 279 suites that are at least 76 square metres. Green Verde Alpi marble-inspired accents and the playful use of textures, light, and shadow add depth to the neutral colour palettes. LW Design has incorporated intuitive, tailored and chic designs into each guest room, exemplifying a modern Asian retreat. The upholstered pivoting television wall makes the living room and bedroom feel connected. LW Design has hand-selected artwork that adorns the walls providing tasteful and refined colour and textural features.
Proudly crowning the hotel, the rooftop presidential suite boasts impressive five-metre-high ceilings, up to five suites, an indoor courtyard, formal living and dining rooms and a relaxed family room with a breakfast bar. Dressed in a beautiful Carrara and Verde Alpi marble juxtaposed with woven and textured upholstery, locally sourced wood and soft fabric finishes, the Presidential Suite is the paramount of luxury in the property. The metalwork throughout is a nod to Malaysia’s rich history of handicrafts, showcased alongside beautiful artwork pieces, whilst functionally serving as beautiful backdrops or privacy partitions. Deftly referencing colonial legacy architecture, the interiors incorporate locally inspired patterns and motifs common throughout the city modernised for the luxury market. With an abundance of locally available materials and expert artisans, LW Design has sourced local products to ensure sustainability remains at the forefront of the design ethos.
Main image credit: Hilton Hotels and Resorts