When staying at the Sekeping Kong Heng hotel, guests really feel like they are in the thick of it – ‘it’ meaning all the energy and life of Ipoh, Malaysia. The ground floor is already well-established as a popular coffee shop and café, and it is from those sturdy roots that the hotel above has flourished under the guidance of Seksan Design. The firm was understandably keen to keep the neo-classical building’s character intact and thus distinguish it from the other more modern surrounding structures. Although there is a new extension at the rear of the property, history is in the bones of Sekeping Kong Heng; the building is a former actors’ hostel whose guests trod the boards of the next door theatre before fire brought its final curtain down in the 1950s.
This is a hotel at the heart of a bustling community, and you are more likely to be woken by the chatter from the street than your alarm clock, but for city accommodation that promises a real experience, that kind of authentic atmosphere is a huge plus. A mixture of cleverly arranged, modern interiors sit comfortably inside walls of charming, crumbling plaster, offering the best of both old and new worlds.