HOSPITALITYDESIGN: Creativity Thrives at KLoé Hotel in Kuala Lumpur

Olha Romaniuk • Photos courtesy of Domaine Architects •
December 16, 2020

KLoé Hotel features a minimal design scheme amplified by artistic touches

Part hotel, part artistry and creativity showcase, KLoé Hotel invites guests to discover Kuala Lumpur’s talents through its thoughtful spaces.

Stepping into KLoé amidst the bustle of the Bukit Bintang district is akin to diving into an insider’s guide to the neighborhood itself. The hotel—the 85-room brainchild of director, producer, and screenwriter Ping Ho Ng with interiors by Malaysian firm Domaine Architects—is a collaborative effort of various disciplines, local artisans, and craftspeople that comes together to create a convivial respite for curious and inventive minds.

Having previously worked with Ng on another hospitality project, the second collaboration was a familiar undertaking for Domaine Architects cofounder Masyerin M.Nor. As the brief evolved—from simply calling for a design to accommodate independent and business travelers to a vision of an urban oasis for creative nomads—it was only natural to bring local artists and designers on board to add further inspiration and excitement to the hotel’s communal spaces and private rooms.

The Malaysian property offers standard and deluxe rooms, as well as five artist lofts and studios

“Bukit Bintang, and Kuala Lumpur in general, are bustling, modern [regions] filled with imported international art,” explains M.Nor. “We wanted KLoé to be different by keeping to international standards and references, but focusing on those made locally. There is a balanced mix of midcentury Scandinavian-inspired and bespoke local contemporary design pieces.”

KLoé’s design was kept minimal, with an emphasis on the honesty of the featured materials, including concrete, clay bricks, wood, and metal. The architects achieved a sense of welcome by maximizing the light penetrating the hotel’s interiors. To further accentuate it, a U-shaped plan places a courtyard and a pool at the heart of the social domain, with open corridors overlooking both.

The material palette, envisioned by Domaine Architects, includes concrete, clay bricks, wood, and metal

With rooms organized into three types, five feature rooms stand out as individually curated artist lofts. The result of a collaboration with local artists and personalities, each loft delivers a unique experience exuding the individuality of its creator. Room to Draw, for instance, is outfitted with a drawing table, easel, and a selection of canvases and paints handpicked by local artist Joee Cheong. Room to Taste is furnished with a communal table, a kitchen sideboard, as well as a set of food preparation instructions and fresh ingredients curated by food writer, cook, and television personality Sarah Huang Benjamin—making the chamber an instant favorite for food lovers.

“We wanted to create spaces that encourage guests to sit back, linger, and explore the many facets of experience presented in the hotel,” says M.Nor, disclosing also KLoé’s ultimate purpose beyond its hospitality roots: to ensure the continuity of local craftsmanship. “These are dying arts that require effort by the art community, including designers like us, so that the skills can be passed on to the younger generation.”

The Room to Read loft (left) provides a personal library, while Room to Grow (right) takes its inspiration from a greenhouse

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