By Shahida Sakeri on September 11, 2015
There is something particularly alluring and unexpected about the building that stands in the middle of a Kampung Baru neighbourhood called the Bagasta Boutique Guesthouse – once guests step inside this unassuming edifice, they are bound to be pleasantly surprised by the guesthouse’s aesthetic value.
Opened in June 2014, Bagasta Boutique Guesthouse celebrates the idea of the tranquil kampung (traditional Malay village) experience since the owner, who belongs to an ethnic group called Mandailing (a sub-ethnic Batak group from North Sumatera who converted to Islam and intermarried with the Minangkabaus and the Malays), reminisces the days when he used to live in his kampung.
The name ‘Bagasta’ comes from the Mandailing language, which means ‘My Home.’ Mandailing people originated from Sumatra and then migrated to some parts of Peninsular Malaysia, mainly Perak and Selangor, in the 19th century due to the Padri War, also called the Minangkabau War (the war between Muslims clerics who wanted to establish sharia rule in Minangkabau territory in Sumatera and the Minangkabau nobility and chieftains).
Bagasta Boutique Guesthouse is indeed strategically located with 5-minute walk to Kampung Baru LRT Station and a stone throw away from Kuala Lumpur’s most lively shopping scenes such as Kuala Lumpur City Centre and Bukit Bintang. By staying here, travellers do not have to give up modernity while taking in the local lifestyle – it is indeed the place where travellers can witness how cosmopolitan and traditional worlds collide.
Upon arriving at the lobby, guests are bound to be instantly impressed with the old but laid-back ambiance that the hotel possesses. They will be welcomed by a cosy living room on the left side of the reception desk and a small garden-like lounge area on the right, all arranged as homely as possible, befitting the guesthouse’s name. As guests venture further in, they may notice that Bagasta Boutique Guesthouse also uses a combination of pastel, earthen and rustic tones for its interior, typical characteristics of traditional South East Asian village aesthetics.
The hotel has 30 tastefully decorated rooms altogether, beautified with traditionally inspired furnishing. In fact, Gaya Travel team is personally fascinated with antique wooden doors used as feature wall décor in every room. Each room, too, is equipped with a traditional wooden closet, a flat screen television, air-conditioning, free toiletries and towels, hot shower, complimentary coffee- and tea-making facility, including Wi-Fi connectivity.
Bagasta Boutique Guesthouse also boasts a rooftop overlooking the spectacular Petronas Twin Towers and the surrounding Kuala Lumpur City Centre skyline. At night, the space can be turned into an ideal venue for candlelight dinner or a small intimate gathering or function. The rooftop is able to accommodate up to 100 people at any one time. On the second floor, two separate surau (prayer rooms, one for males and the other for females) are available for guests’ convenience. Should guests need assistance in the middle of the night, worry not as the guesthouse has a 24-hour front desk service.
Since Kampung Baru is considered as halal food paradise, food hunters staying at the Bagasta Boutique Guesthouse are advised to walk around the area for some culinary adventure. Here, several prominent eateries such as the HR Steak House and the first chain of Nasi Lemak Antarabangsa are all in close proximity to the hotel. If guests are more interested in culture, heritage and history, they should then opt for the newly launched free guided walk that runs every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday at 4:30 p.m. called Jalan-Jalan at Kampong Bharu, organised by Kuala Lumpur City Hall, which brings participants to the area’s landmarks and historical buildings. Guests should first call +6 03 2698 0332 to reserve their places for the walk.
All in all, staying at Bagasta Boutique Guesthouse is a unique experience. It is indeed a special place because the property transports guests back to the halcyon times when kampung life was predominant in Kuala Lumpur, in the midst of an area where travellers can still observe local traditional Malay lifestyle.
Room rates at the Bagasta Boutique Guesthouse start at RM 180 ++.
Bagasta Boutique Guesthouse
56 Jalan Raja Alang, Kg Baru
T: +6 03 2698 9988