Red by Sirocco: Hotel that Highlights Everything Malaysian
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Red by Sirocco: A Cool Kuala Lumpur Hotel that Highlights Everything Malaysian

One of Malaysia’s most comprehensive hospitality consultancy and advisory groups Sirocco Hospitality Group is set to provide AirAsia BIG Members exciting offers and discounts.

Gearing up for the Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign, the partnership between Sirocco Hospitality Group and AirAsia BIG is aimed at reaching over 90 million travellers, domestic and international, who can save more on not just flights and accommodation, but also attractions as well as retail offerings.

AirAsia BIG chief executive officer Spencer Lee (second from left) with Chan while Yap watches on during the MOU signing event at Red by Sirocco yesterday.

Nestled in Dang Wangi in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, Red by Sirocco is one of the hotels under the Sirocco Hospitality portfolio. The 143-room four-star hotel screams urban chic with cool features that cater to people of all ages. Being a stone’s throw away from the hectic city centre like Bukit Bintang and KLCC, it promises a quiet stay, yet visitors can get to plenty of surrounding attractions that are within walking distance.

We had a chat with Datin Lea Chan, chief executive officer of Sirocco Hospitality Group, who highlighted the reasons why you should stay at this hotel.

Chan says the name ‘Red’ in Red by Sirocco represents Relax, Enjoy and Dream.

travel360.com: What’s the idea, concept or inspiration behind Red by Sirocco?

Datin Lea Chan: The hotel represents the word RED. Other than the colour, it also means ‘Relax, Enjoy and Dream’. These are the three elements we want our guests to experience. What we wanted to go for was something funky, a breath of fresh air in the hotel scene with the concept of an urban chic city hotel – no fuss and simply straightforward. We want them to relax, provide a space they can enjoy and the dream just like The Dayak Girl, the tallest mural in Malaysia that adorns the building. She’s actually dreaming about what Malaysia could be. She represents everything Malaysian.

The 25-storey-tall mural by local artist Kenji Chai entered the Malaysia Book of Records as the tallest of its kind in the country. It took 400 litres of paint and 100 litres of spray to make.

Our dream and aspiration behind this hotel is to promote everything Malaysian. All the paintings here are of the country. In fact, the design of this hall’s carpet is of Kuala Lumpur’s landscape from an aerial view.

What can guests expect staying at the hotel, added experiences?

The location itself is fantastic. We are not exactly at the city centre like Bukit Bintang or KLCC, we are nestled in a quieter part of town with a lot of beautiful little things that the concierge are actively promoting like the River of Life. Even just a simple walk along Masjid Jamek, Little India or Lebuh Ampang offers a lot to tourists, where some of these places are not even on the usual ‘tourist map’.

Visitors can hop on the e-scooter service called Beam to get around from the hotel.

Although rated as a four-star establishment, Red by Sirocco offers guests 450 square feet rooms, a standard for five-star hotels. The rooms were also designed with personal touches from my husband (Dato’ Seth Yap Ting Hau, M101 Group founder and chief executive officer) and I, collected from inspirations gained during our travels. As Malaysians, we don’t use air-conditioning round the clock thanks to our nice weather. So, we introduced a ceiling fan in each room. Surprisingly, a lot of our guests turn off air-conditioning at night and opt for the fans instead.

The rooms also come with Chinese Tea sets complete with three types of flavoured teas namely Pu’er (premium fermented tea), Jasmine and Tie Guan Yin (premium variety of Chinese oolong tea named after the Chinese Goddess of Mercy Guan Yin) as well as a coffee machine.

Another local specialty served at this hotel is our spa facility called Rub Bar that offers Malaysian spa and massage treatments endorsed by Tourism Malaysia. Our therapists are trained in ‘Urutan Malaysia’ which combines traditional Malay, Chinese, Indian, Peranakan as well as Sabah and Sarawak native massage techniques introduced by the Tourism Ministry in 2012.

The Rub Bar offers treatments including body massage, foot reflexology, 3-in-1 massage, scraping gua sha (traditional Chinese massage) and kids massage.
Cool ambiance at the hotel’s deli restaurant called Barkery.
Rouge Club will open its doors in September 2019.
Infinity pool on the hotel’s rooftop.

We also have the BaRnana Leaf restaurant serving the festive traditional South Indian Cuisine. Our Rouge Club at the rooftop will be opened next month (September 2019). Visitors can expect spectacular views of the Kuala Lumpur skyline, among plenty of other exciting activities that will probably take forever to explain! As for the concept, imagine the mix of Asian culture with Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill. For example, Russian waitresses dressed in kimonos. We are aiming to be one of the top 10 rooftop bars in Malaysia.

What’s your goal for Visit Malaysia 2020? What do you love most about the country you think everyone should experience?

On the Group level, as a property developer and hotelier, we champion property tourism as a means to promote Malaysia. For the past four years, we have opened the market and sold our products worldwide whereby our satellite offices in India, Hong Kong, Indonesia, among others, help bring in the sales and exposure for Malaysia. Our initiative to promote Malaysia comes when buyers acquire a property from us. They will be given a complimentary five-night stay at our hotels, which they can give their friends and family.

The next big thing we are working on under Meridian Berhad is called Malaysian Tourism City (development project of a 622-acre land in Kuala Linggi in Alor Gajah, Melaka comprising a water theme park, a weekend market like Bangkok’s Chatuchak Weekend Market, a thematic adventure park, vacation bungalows called “The Estate”, an eco-tourism park, a hotel and edu-tourism facilities, among others). Our collaboration with Hasbro will see the theme park filled with attractions from their products like Monopoly, My Little Pony, Transformers, Nerf, Power Rangers and more.

I think 2020 will be a good year for tourism and hope that the new products introduced will continue the momentum for years to come. This is possible with more flights coming in, hotel owners working together with Tourism Malaysia to bring more visitors.

What I love most about the country? It’s always the food. Whenever I’m hosting guests or friends, I would always take them around to experience Malay, Chinese and Indian cuisines. That’s the biggest thing everyone should do when they visit the country.

How will AirAsia BIG Members benefit from Sirocco Group’s hotels?

For starters, AirAsia BIG Members can redeem their points to stay at Red by Sirocco or services like our restaurants and spa. Users can expect promos to more various attractions upon completion of Malaysian Tourism City in Melaka. Our weekend market, scheduled to be opened next year, will host 3,000 stalls with various offerings from arts and crafts to food. We are working with the operator of the famous Chatuchak Market in Bangkok. So it’ll be like bringing Chatuchak here. So everyone can use everything from the AirAsia BIG platform to access our attractions including buying goods from the market (via the AirAsia BIG website or mobile app).

Sustainability and conservation efforts have taken a big role in the hospitality industry. How does the hotel apply this in its day-to-day operations?

Other than the standard eco-friendly approaches run by hotels like conserving water by encouraging guests to reuse their towels and rainwater harvesting, we also opted to do away with bathtubs in the rooms except for the suites. I think bathtubs are no longer relevant as they only lead to wastage. The result of equipping the rooms with ceiling fans was surprising because it helped us save electricity by half. We also switch off the air-conditioner at certain corridors after hours – all to reduce our carbon footprint as much as we can.

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