Hotel Review: The RuMa Hotel and Residences, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
I first visited Kuala Lumpa some ten years ago as part of a wider gap-year adventure, and was looking forward to revisiting a city that I recall so fondly from my previous trip.
Ten years ago, thanks to a white-water rafting escapade, I'd broken my camera in Thailand the week before. With no visual reminder of my time in KL, all I had were special but somewhat sketchy memories to go by. One memory that has stuck is of dragging my beaten backpack through the dusty city streets - towards my somewhat hard-to-find hostel - after a late night bus arrival from Penang Island.
This time, I was going to do things differently.
I was undertaking a 3-stop Asia tour (Hong Kong, Singapore and finally Kuala Lumpur) and had decided that on my last stop I would stay in style. My keen eye for design led me to Kuala Lumpur’s RuMa Hotel and Residences.
On arrival at The RuMa, leaving the humid and bustling city streets behind, I knew I’d chosen the right hotel for design. I entered via 'The Birdcage’ - a dramatic bronze water fountain that takes reference from local heritage (canaries in birdcages were once used in Kuala Lumpur to check gas leaks in the mines).
The RuMa offers a hassle-free check-in; rather the standing in line at concierge, the staff come to you instead. After a hectic week, the seated check-in along with sparkling plum welcoming drink and cool face cloth, both designed to cleanse, was a welcome touch.
The RuMa is designed in collaboration with Shanghai-based design firm MQ-studio, and the hotel’s interiors lived up to my stylish expectations. My room felt luxurious, understated and modern, all at the same time. There were also uniquely crafted artworks, sculptures, fixtures and fittings featuring cultural influence from local artisans.
Whilst staying in the bedroom, sinking into the white cotton sheets and dipping into the complimentary in-room mini-bar was tempting, I was also eager to check out the hotel’s facilities. I’m a water baby at heart, so the infinity pool was top of my list. With swimwear in tow I made my way to the pool which quite literally glistened in the sunlight thanks to its gold mosaic tiled lining. After two weeks of walking 20,000 steps a day around Hong Kong and Singapore, I’d found the perfect place to indulge my reluctancy to move.
With a few nights stay at The RuMa, I thankfully did have the opportunity to (re) explore Kuala Lumpur over the following days. I was keen to reacquaint myself with the city’s streets, and the RuMa’s location in Kuala Lumpur’s Golden Triangle, close to the Petronas Twin Towers, proved invaluable. Using the hotel as a base, I didn’t have to venture far to reach the heart of this vibrant city or to uncover Kuala Lumpur's must see sites including the Batu caves, Bukit Bintang, Thean Hou Temple and Petaling Street Market.
After racking up the step count (again!) by day, I was happy to return back to the calming hotel by night - and to reposition myself by the pool, cocktail in hand, and watch as the sun set.
Of course, Kuala Lumpur has some fantastic places to dine, but should you want to relax over a dinner at the hotel then I recommend ATAS restaurant. The locally inspired menu brings together authentic tastes, spices and ingredients in unique and contemporary ways. A metaphor for both the hotel and indeed, this city, both of which offer a harmonious fusion of modernity, cultural diversity, cuisines and history.
Other facilities the hotel offers users include the UR SPA that provides a variety of results-driven treatments by combining modern science and ancient healing. In a rush between business meetings? Take a 30-minute express massage. Here to immerse yourself in a world of wellness? Indulge in a whole-day ritual. Alternatively check out the state-of-the-art fitness centre or, for the gents out there, step into Truefitt and Hill barbers for a little luxury male grooming.
Inspired by the Malay word for home, ‘rumah’, The RuMa's hospitality aim is to focus on putting ‘genuine and intuitive care at the centre of every guest experience’. And it lived up to this expectation from start to finish.
Indeed, their generous flexible check-out policy meant I could soak up every minute of the hotel's hospitality before begrudgingly heading to the airport. As I counted down the minutes until I had to leave, I pondered how different this check-out was to my check-out of 10 years ago, when my backpack and I were turfed out of a hostel and sat for hours on a street corner awaiting a bus to the next city.
I'll always cherish the memories of my first visit to Malaysia but The RuMa's stylish design with contemporary Malaysian accents and exquisite hospitality have upgraded my memories and left me with a new, stylish impression of Malaysia’s capital city.