One of the most noticeable elements of the New World Petaling Jaya’s interior design is the lack of anything shiny or glitzy, it is always meant to be contemporary and sophisticated
By LYDIA NATHAN / Pic By ARIF KARTONO
SLEEK, stylish and sophisticated. That could be the best way to describe the first five-star hotel in Kelana Jaya, which has managed to excel in breaking the mould of what could be a typical hotel experience.
Making its debut as the first Malaysian property for the New World Hotels & Resorts group, the New World Petaling Jaya (PJ) opened its doors in January 2018. It has reported a healthy growth of 68% in room occupancy since.
One of the most noticeable elements of the hotel’s interior design is the lack of anything shiny or glitzy, which proves to be a much better option for some guests who walk through its majestic doors.
GM Jai Kishan said the design is always meant to be contemporary and sophisticated, with flexible space as an emphasis.
“The idea was to have clean, simple spaces with sustainability placed on the highest order. We want people to walk in and feel at ease without big pillars and snazzy walls,” he told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) recently in an interview.
Jai is right. The grand lobby’s high ceiling and tasteful dark coloured décor add that welcoming touch to tired business travellers. Complementing the entire feel is the wooden flooring and ocean blue carpets.
Local influence is present from the moment of entry in the form of a six-metre-high traditional kite, the wau.
To further enhance the local touch, the hotel also incorporates a colossal tree-meter spinning top or gasing in the lobby design. Jai said it’s a great conversation piece.
Elegant Guest Rooms
New World’s guest rooms and suites offer that modern touch, emphasising on spaciousness interior for all its 300 rooms.
There are deluxe rooms, residence club rooms and suites — with one thing in common — amazing views from all corners.
In particular, the residence club room is copiously large, featuring a king-sized bed set against wooden bamboo walls and flooring, giving the room a very sleek outlook.
Furniture in the room is also subtle and subdued in its colour palettes. The pieces are also synced with the warm-toned lighting, giving the room a soft but elegant feel.
Bedding provided proved to be soft and plump with many pillows and cosy goose down duvet.
Each room has a unique-themed painting on the wall, ample storage spaces and plenty of natural light streaming in through the windows.
The bathroom is equally impressive with a separate walk-in shower and toilet, while the rest of the room stands out with its black marble countertops and a large squareshaped bathtub with an easily adjustable heating knob.
Amenities provided in the rooms are from British skincare brand Elemis, with its masculine smelling shower gel giving guests a refreshed feeling.
What’s on the Menu?
The hotel has proven, since its opening, to be an irresistible dining destination, not only with its food and beverage (F&B) outlets but the mall right next to it.
One of the main attractions is Pasar Baru, an all-day dining outlet that pays tribute to the multicultural medley of Malay, Indian, Chinese and Western flavours in a lively market-style setting with a colourful tile background setting.
The seven “live kitchens” are all positioned to offer that open concept, giving guests a chance to interact and watch the chefs as the meals are being prepared.
Starting at the entrance is the seafood corner featuring crabs, oysters, clams, jumbo prawns and a variety of dipping sauces.
There is also a variety of salads and entree styled small plates with some memorable ones like the black bean salad and the mushroom bruschetta.
The curry laksa is indeed famous at Pasar Baru. It combines a well-balanced broth that is developed into a spicy curry sauce with soft tofu pieces, fresh bean sprouts, shredded chicken and a delicious sambal paste on the side.
One commendable kitchen that serves up full-flavoured dishes is the Indian food corner which includes fish tikka, squid curry, mushroom matter, pepper chicken, paneer masala and soft fluffy pulao rice.
The fish tikka is particularly delicious. A typical Haryali recipe — the fish is marinated with yoghurt, lime and a variety of spices — a sure hit with either rice or soft naan bread.
One of the more famous dishes from the Chinese corner is Hainanese chicken rice.
The chicken is cooked to be tender and soft, eaten with the aromatic rice boiled in a blend of chicken stock.
Jai said the restaurant will continue to operate its live kitchens because it has, over the months, cultivated a welcoming and engaging sense for both chefs and guests.
“Pasar Baru is doing well. Not only do we have in-house guests dining with us, but we’ve also received a lot of walk-ins especially over the festive seasons,” he said.
The next F&B outlet is the famous PJ’s Bar & Grill on the 30th rooftop floor that also offers a spectacular view of the city and most parts of the Klang Valley.
This bar has an al fresco sky deck overlooking the hotel’s infinity pool, with plenty of seating area outside if guests choose to enjoy the scenery and fresh air.
Alternatively, guests can also sit inside in its stylish interior at the high-top tables while enjoying some of the Western and Asian grilled selections of food.
The menu offered is extensive enough, offering bites — seafood dishes, soups, prime cuts of meats, skewers — sides and desserts.
Some of the more popular dishes include the Batter Fish Goujons, a different take on the traditional fish and chips served with aioli, chicken tikka pizza and the Nyonya-style steamed red grouper served with eggplant, tomatoes, okra and a side of crispy mantao buns.
The bar has three signature cocktails — a mixture of delicious fruits and liqueurs combined. The pineapple Ginger Margarita is a blend of Jose Cuervo tequila gold, lemon ginger honey, chunks of pineapple and lime and sweet ginger with the slightly bitter aftertaste.
Another cocktail to try is the Passionfruit Martini, namely a more ladies drink combining vodka, passion fruit puree, yuzu fruit mix, lemon juice and fresh passion fruit.
Beautifully vibrant, the cocktail is sweet and does not have that strong taste of vodka, balanced by sweet and sour passion fruit.
Bartender Kok Kiong told TMR that the cocktail is quite popular, and has gained fans from the start.
“We do get quite a number of people from the office crowd during the weekdays, the music is not loud and the view is stunning. Especially during happy hour, some people tend to have meetings or presentations out on the deck,” he said.
Not forgetting the cigar lovers, there is a specially designed lounge with a good view and comfy-looking oversized sofas for guests to relax and smoke a cigar with open doors for good air ventilation.
Amenities and More…
Guests who book the residence club room would be greeted with a whole host of extras that enhance their stay, especially business travellers who could utilise the Residence Club Living Room on the 29th floor.
Not only it has fantastic views, but it offers complimentary breakfast, all-day refreshments, evening cocktails and a dedicated concierge service.
The room, spacious and open has white marble top counters with stations for high chairs seating area, tables or plush sofas to relax.
The evening cocktails come accompanied with buffet-style food, although called finger food which also proves to be quite filling.
Meanwhile, the other recreational experiences to be tried out is the rooftop infinity- edge pool on level 30, that offers refreshing swims as well as comfy sun deck chairs for those who just want to sunbathe or relax.
An interesting addition is the whirlpool, which provides a relaxing and bubbly massage to soak away all the tired joints and muscles.
For those not wanting to miss a workout, the fully equipped state-of-the-art fitness centre is quite impressive. It features a variety of exercise machines and weights, with yoga mats and more intimate spaces for a more private workout session.
The hotel is also known for its event spaces, including a 1,700 sq m pillarless grand ballroom that can accommodate 1,000 guests. Jai said the ballroom has had a good exposure to the corporate world and leisure travellers in terms of conferences and weddings.
“It allows people to utilise the space as much as possible, and that’s why it is quite popular. So far, we’ve had some big conferences here already and a few weddings,” he said.
Jai said one way to create a sense of community between guests and staff is to encourage both sides to have a conversation.
“Our employees do not wear name tags, I’ve always felt once someone knows your name it can create a personalised friendship and help our staff serve the guests better.
“We are very proud of how far the hotel has come and of the numerous awards we’ve won. We will keep on trying to strengthen the brand and be at 100% every day,” he added.