I can’t believe 7 years can just zip past so fast.
That’s the time taken for the new EQ to reappear on the Kuala Lumpur skyline. Many of us know the Equatorial Hotel which opened back in the 1970’s and had remained very popular until it closed in 2012 for a massive redevelopment. The hotel is now back and rebranded as EQ, as part of the spectacular soaring 52-storey Equatorial Plaza occupying the same prime location along Jalan Sultan Ismail. Its sleek sparkling facade is impressive – an ingenious play of cascading stainless steel strips set against dark glass wall panels… from afar, it looks like a pattern of shiny falling rain.
Like the proverbial phoenix rising from the ashes, the rebirth of the 440-room EQ is poised to resume its sterling standard of service and hospitality. It’s back and it’s now bigger, bolder and trendier! Despite it being Kuala Lumpur’s latest vibrant sanctuary, the spanking new premise keeps a dash of the original hotel’s DNA right at the entrance. Three bronze sculptures made by Malaysian artist Nizam Abdullah grace the pathway and the bronze was cast using metal salvaged from the original Hotel Equatorial Kuala Lumpur building.
Besides preserving a bit of history, EQ has also been awarded the Green Building Index accreditation. The hotel recycles its water, conserves energy with natural sunlight in all rooms including meeting rooms and has a highly efficient magnetic chiller.
Welcome to EQ!
Walking towards our room, we noted the doors were recessed behind the corridor, streamlining the decor aesthetics as well as giving it an extra dose of security – a nice thoughtful touch indeed. There’s lots of sunlight pouring in from the huge glass windows in our Deluxe Room equipped with advanced entertainment system (great choice of in-room movies!), complimentary wifi and a very comfortable king-size bed. Little intimate touches like providing a conventional alarm clock at the bedside console adds on the charm. Even the room safe is very canggih – flat horizontal drawer-like device unlike the conventional type.
The spacious bathroom comes with his & hers vanities and rain shower. The rooms are fitted out in stylish contemporary design in cool tropical earth tones, livened up with floral patterns on the carpet. As our room was on the 44th floor, there’s a splendid commanding view from our window!
As Club Room guests, we got to experience EQ’s Equator Club. And what a dizzying experience that was! Perched high on the 50th floor, the Equator Club provides a high level of privilege and exclusivity like express check-in/check-out at the dedicated concierge, buffet breakfast, all-day beverages & snacks, afternoon tea, evening cocktails with canapes… all these enjoyed with a panoramic view of the city! Heck, I can lounge all day here and be completely happy with the lovely ambience and top-notch personalized service!
View from the Equator Club
The entire 29th Floor is called Sanctum Wellness. As befitting any 5-star hotel, recreational facilities like a well-equipped fitness centre and swimming pool are standard installations. EQ’s 25m infinity pool with a large adjoining vitality pool, is partially shaded with pretty frangipani trees and an inspiring view of the KL Tower.
Within the elegant confines of the hotel, the Sanctum Spa on the 29th floor is a calm and soothing sanctuary. I spent a wonderful hour here, pampered by skilled fingers in a relaxing yet invigorating massage.
Choose your oils
With a hotel this size, there are several function rooms and spaces to hold events but special mention must be made for their unique 2-tier Diamond Ballroom, inspired by famous opera halls. Furthermore there’s landscaped outdoor function lawn – just the place to hold a wedding ceremony!
Let’s talk about dining in EQ.
Guests are spoiled for choice when it comes to food, whether it’s Japanese fine dining at Kampachi (read about our Kampachi dining experience here) or local favourites at the all-day dining restaurant Nipah and pastries at the contemporary street café Étoile.
Just like in the old Equatorial Hotel, Nipah showcases pan-Asian cuisine and culinary culture in all its glorious variety in this bright and cheerful restaurant. We enjoyed the breakfast buffet here – there’s a good variety of food at the food stations and the bustling open kitchen.
Nipah dishes up some awesome fares all day!
Besides buffet, must-order a la carte items here are their popular signature Curry Noodles, Mee Mamak, Nasi Goreng and Beef Satay.
The stunning Bottega Lounge at the lobby floor exudes charm and conviviality. It’s stocked with fine wines from around the globe and premium beers, including the world-famous Paulaner beer. We enjoyed a delicious lunch in this cosy and chic lounge. Do try the incredibly fragrant freshly made mushroom soup – it’s insanely good – I had to restrain myself from a 2nd bowl! There’s fresh succulent oysters and the breads are really good.
On the 51st Floor, there’s Sabayon and Blue Bar where fine continental dining and bespoke cocktails are enjoyed with some breath-taking views from the rooftop.
So, yes, EQ is back and what a dazzling return it is.
alan Sultan Ismail
50250 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 – 2789 7777
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