About time! Here comes a hotel that has as high an Emotional Quotient as it has class and volumes of aesthetics to booth. EQ is set to take your breath away!
Blu Water Directors: (From left) IDr. Nashzelima Binti Ngadmin – Design Director, IDr. Lai Siew Hong – Chief Executive Designer and Mak Sook Har – Chief Operations Office
Multi award-winning interior designer IDr. Lai Siew Hong really needs no introduction in designer circles. Having put his Midas touch on the city’s illustrious hotels – the likes of W Hotel Kuala Lumpur, CitizenM KL, Hard Rock Desaru Coast and The Edison George Town, Penang – he may have just yet outdone himself once again with the creation of his latest masterpiece as seen in the exquisite interiors of EQ.
Sitting pretty like a brand new glistening gem, the newly revamped and rebranded EQ situated in the heart of the Golden Triangle can easily be identified by its iconic rectilinear 52-storey architecture. Equipped with a total of 440 guest rooms and suites which are all luxuriously designed with a strong sense of local identity, it encompasses the idea of harmonious Malaysia intermingled with its local cultures and heritage.
Reimagining a new way to translate heritage into its space, cultural leitmotifs are refashioned to embody a vivid sense of discovery within the walls of the property – an assignment that Lai of Bluwater achieved to dramatic effect with a polished finish.
Adopting the concept of “timeless heritage chic”, polished rose gold patterns inspired by metallic threads of rich textiles as well as woven motifs patented from traditional baskets were utilised. These motifs, essentially inspired by elements of flora and fauna, according to Lai, also represent the beautiful nature of the country. These elements are reflected in the feature walls, screens and hand-tufted rugs in a most elegant ensemble.
Commanding centrestage – the piece de resistance sits comfortably at the grand spiral staircase and the tower lantern. Spanning a magnitude of five storeys, the spiral staircase that mimics a twirling thread on the songket loom spins its tale. Stylish songket-inspired prints are also further layered with glass surfaces to further create a unique silhouette for the tower lantern. The spirit of the place is palpable the time one steps into the grandeur of the setting where the grand lobby complements culture and heritage values to a tee. Those who want to venture higher can explore Sky51, Lai’s favourite space of the entire design scheme. Dining in the Sky
If you ever wanted to dine near the clouds, Sky51 is the place to visit with its rooftop sky bar opening up at the lift lobby where guests arrival are greeted by the sense of being in an infinite space with infinity mirrors and reflective surfaces creating the illusion of a boundless space embracing them into the illusion of a boundless space spanning a limitless horizon like a bird about to take flight. Furthermore, the illusion of a boundless space emotes the idea of the limitless horizon with a bird gliding in equilibrium as it reaches the peak of its flight.
And, at the end of the lobby a glowing maitre’d invites guests towards it – backed against a glass where a lively outdoor bar beckons.
Guests are later redirected into Sabayon, a sky dining venue enclosed within a palatial triple volume glass box opening to a 360 degree panoramic view of the city. Elegant curvatures complemented by soft materials accentuate the idea of a bird tending to its young. A pair of full height wine display at the entrance serves as a welcoming area – prompting guests to later choose between two
distinctive dining spaces – a lower ceiling dining room complemented by timber and fabric walls with cocooned booth seats or the high ceiling dining room surrounded by glass and crowned by a feather-like sculptural installation above – imitating the formation of clouds. On the other side of Sky51 is the ornate bespoke speakeasy bar and lounge named Blue which celebrates the streamlined and ornamented forms derived from Art Deco, draped in masculine brass finishes. To enter, guests have to first access a room that resembles a conventional lift car. Once inside, a column of screens will project footage as if it is ascending upwards.
Indeed, the atmosphere in Blue takes on a frantic energy – portraying a bird’s ferocious hunt for survival in a space that envelopes around the bar counter at the centre. Meanwhile, the display shelves within the bar counter extends into exaggerated brass rings as it ascends upwards – resulting in the rounded carcass of the bar.
The outdoor bar highlights the deck which is illuminate with a scarlet red glow depicting the city lights from a bird’s eye view of a bird in flight looking at the city beneath. The cantilevered DJ booth levitating almost in mid-air captivates while the outdoor bar counter is crowned with a curved glass staircase – both finished in highly reflective material that mirrors the city space around, rendering their forms invisible. In a secluded corner, a garden laden with pod seats symbolizing the nestling place of pride. Expressing a Yen for Design at Kampachi
Kampachi is the latest high-end Japanese restaurant to take residence at EQ, with its space inspired by the natural surrounds of the Hinoki Forest leaving one inspired taking in the joys of the enigmatic forest. Natural wood tones intertwined with a contemporary interpretation of Japanese architecture shows the design taking its cue from the elevation of the forest emulating the tall trees. Traditional Japanese woodwork ties the space into a coherent whole punctuated by tall timber screens. The piece de resistance is the elegant linear sushi counter which is crafted in solid. Hinoki wood – an essential Japanese raw material used for everything – from building structures to shoji screens. Its design is ultimately anchored in a sense of balance.