Ipoh’s Sekeping Kong Heng wins international accolade

Sekeping Kong Heng

Sekeping Kong Heng

PETALING JAYA (April 23): Sekeping Kong Heng (pictured, above) in Ipoh has been chosen as one of the world’s top 10 industrial-chic hotels and hostels by The Guardian.

“With beds made from wire fencing (don’t worry, the mattresses on top are normal) and communal spaces that resemble a car park or a building site, this design hotel in the town of Ipoh is as stripped-back as it gets,” said The Guardian in an article.

Sekeping Kong Heng is a boutique hotel in Ipoh old town that was redesigned and restored by Ng Sek San, an architect who hails from the historical town, in 2012. It is located in a three-storey neo-classical building on top of the famous coffee shop of the same name on the ground floor.

According to the hotel’s website, the place was used as a hostel to house theatre performers who performed in the adjacent theatre in Ipoh old town.

Indeed, the hotel’s decorations echo its history, such as the use of thick stage-like curtains which separate the ensuite bathrooms and outside courtyards, concrete ledges that serve as shelves and an assortment of fittings hanging from the ceilings, to evoke a sense of being backstage in a theatre.

The 4,000 sq ft boutique hotel is also one of the collections within the Sekeping brand boutique hotels, which emphasise on rejuvenating old buildings and injecting new vibrancy to the community as well as bringing a new hospitality experience to tourists.

Meanwhile, Waterhouse in Shanghai, Nui Hostel in Tokyo and Thrive The Hostel in Bangkok were also chosen as some of the top 10 boutique hotels or hostels in Asia by The Guardian.

Waterhouse boutique

The 19-room Waterhouse (pictured, above) boutique hotel situated in Shanghai’s South Bund district was formerly a decaying 1930s factory and a former military headquarters. It was restored by the award-winning architects Neri & Hu Design and transformed into a modernist design hotel influenced by Scandinavian design.

Nui Tokyo

Nui Hostel (pictured, above), which is located in Kuramae, Tokyo started operations in 2012. The 5-storey building was formerly a warehouse run by a 400-year-old toy company. The use of wood and concrete is well-blended to represent the industrial aesthetic of the warehouse. The stylish, airy lounge area on the ground floor is open to the public, attracting a diverse crowd every night.


Thrive The HostelThrive The Hostel (pictured, above) situated in Silom, Bangkok, is designed to be different from the usual cheesy traveller-hippy aesthetic of most hostels. Visitors will find themselves in a spacious, modernist construction, bold and geometric from the outside, clean and simple on the inside.

Other boutique hotels and hostels in the list include 25Hours Bikini Hotel in Berlin, Ecomama hostel in Amsterdam, Fabriken Furillen, Gotland in Sweden, La Purificadora, Puebla in Mexico, Paper Factory Hotel in New York and Curiocity hostel in Johannesburg.

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