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Historic hotels are not all that common in Kuala Lumpur. Older buildings tend to be renovated as the country continues its drive to becoming a developed nation. That said, two establishments still offer a piece of colonial Malaya in the city – even if they have also faced reworking since their glory days.
For the ultimate in days-gone-by opulence, try Carcosa Seri Negara. Originally the residence of the British High Commissioner in Malaya (Malaya became Malaysia after independence in 1957), this mansion and gardens is now home to a grand five-star hotel. While the outside of the building remains the same, the inside has seen moderate renovations to bring the hotel into the twenty-first century. That said, when sipping tea in The Drawing Room or relaxing into one of the suites’ four-poster beds, it’s easy to forget you’ve left the early 1900s.
If you’re looking for a more modern take on the historic experience, the new-but-old Majestic Hotel is ideal. Located next to Kuala Lumpur’s iconic railway station (purportedly built by the British to withstand up to six feet of snow) and sharing a similar design to its neighbour, this 1930s heritage building has recently been restored from the ground up. Like Carcosa, the hotel’s façade has remained entirely untouched but luxury hotel chain YTL has spruced up the interior to make this a truly classic hotel once again.