Else opens up in Kuala Lumpur, converting the 1930s former Lee Rubber Building in Chinatown into a boutique 49-room property.

Intrepid travellers to Kuala Lumpur have a new fancy accommodation option – Else. New Singapore-based hospitality brand Else takes over the historical Lee Rubber Building in the heart of KL’s Chinatown for its inaugural namesake 49-room property, offering a slew of luxurious stay options in the bustling metropolitan city.

Else retains and restores much of the heritage landmark’s architecture. This includes the building’s art deco style facade originally designed by English architect Arthur Oakley Coltman, who also was responsible for other iconic colonial-era structures in Kuala Lumpur such as the Old Market Square Clock Tower and OCBC Building.

Previously a four-storied building, Else is now rebuilt into a 49-room property spread over 56,000 square feet across seven levels. Else founders Justin Chen and Javier Perez have tapped on leading Malaysian designers, artists and partners – such as design firm Studio Bikin and Faizah Architect – to convert the building into their vision of an ideal urban getaway.

Urban Room - Else Kuala Lumpur

Else Kuala Lumpur offers four room types for guests. There’s the standard 25-sqm Mantra Room, along with a larger deluxe Urban Room (pictured above) with an attached seating area. Then there’s Sanctuary, located on the upper floors, is even bigger and comes with a balcony. Sutera is a 69-sqm suite that offers a private living area to accommodate an extended family, while the Else Suite is an expansive retreat-within-a-retreat with sweeping views of the KL city skyline.

Amenities include an infinity pool, floating meditation pods, a drawing room and library, a state-of-the-art gym and workout studio, and a board room.

The new boutique hotel offers two dining concepts. Its all-day dining restaurant Raw Kitchen Hall is an extension of Singapore’s contemporary bistro Raw Kitchen Bar, and is helmed by Malaysian chefs Leong Chee Mun and Wah Yin Xing (who served stints at Spago and Burnt Ends in Singapore). Its Asian and Mediterranean-inspired menu will be led by seasonal, local produce.

Then there’s The Yellow Fin House on the fourth floor, slated for opening by year-end. Celebrated Malaysian chef Jun Wong will head this seafood-focused open-fire restaurant that forges international and Malaysian flavours together.

Else Kuala Lumpur will also offer a boutique bar programme with a contemporary cocktail menus, designed by Proof & Company.

Swimming Pool - Else Kuala Lumpur

“Else has been a four-year project realised through the challenges of the global pandemic and inspired by the emerging new era of traveller. The result is an urban haven for the globally minded and curious,” said Else co-founder Justin Chen.

“Our design and construction team have sensitively balanced a contrast of new and old with a refined juxtaposition of a pre-war building beautifully preserved and innovative design that invites all our guests to explore the property on their own, and discover intimate pockets to pause and reflect,” Chen added.

Else Kuala Lumpur is located at 145, Jalan Tun H S Lee, City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The hotel officially opens on 10 September 2022, with special opening rates from MYR398 until 31 October 2022. For more information about Else, please visit: https://www.elseretreats.com/.

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