By Shahida Sakeri on July 10, 2019
Budget hotels in Malaysia have come a very long way from their earlier days. Standards are now higher, perhaps due to an industrywide trend that aims to accommodate travellers who are increasingly sophisticated and constantly searching for accommodations that are not only wallet-friendly but also in line with their tastes and expectations via the internet and social media platforms. Is the hotel designed nicely? Can I get free Wi-Fi? How about the location – is it convenient? These are just some of the questions that guests would normally ask before booking, and fortunately, Hotel de Art offers the right answers.
Billing itself as ‘Malaysia’s first art-themed hotel’, Hotel de Art strives to create not only comfortable but also whimsical spaces for guests to stay. The rooms in all of Hotel de Art’s branches found throughout Shah Alam (i-City, Section 7, Section 9 and Section 19) and Subang Jaya (USJ 21) are as Instagram-friendly as they can get. Millennials would certainly appreciate these rooms, including families with young children.
Interestingly, Hotel de Art would never see the light of day if its founder didn’t take a leap of faith, boldly quitting her job as a medical practitioner to become a hotelier. Dr. Jenny Liow, a certified doctor, was flipping through design magazines when she stumbled upon a ‘Letter to Editor’ section, where one of the readers was looking for a themed hotel in Malaysia. Needless to say, she was curious too. A quick research led to a discovery that options for art-themed boutique hotels were limited at that time, and this was in 2009. She then prepared the business plan, presented it to her parents (who are entrepreneurs themselves), and eventually, Hotel de Art was born.
Staying true to its creative DNA, Hotel de Art features five different concepts across its chain: classic wallpapers in Section 7; wonderland in i-City; 3D art in Section 19; ‘Hope and Imagination’ in Section 9; and finally English garden in USJ 21 – all promising cool designs, a nod to the rooms being distinctively unique from one to another. And of all these outlets, the one in i-City takes a step further by supporting budding young local artists; the eye-catching walls are hand-painted by the students from UNISEL (Art and Design) and UiTM (Fine Art). It also has one function room on site that can easily accommodate up to 150 people.
Gaya Travel team stayed in USJ 21 branch, where the hotel is within shouting distance to a myriad of restaurants and cafes such as MyExpresso Café and AMPM Café, including the Main Place Mall where affordable shopping experience is only a few steps away. This branch is strategically located close to USJ 21 light rail transit station too, offering guests the option to travel using public transport.
The hotel branch’s central room with a big artificial tree in the centre, acts as an all-in-one reception cum common space where guests can lounge at the heart of the hotel. We couldn’t help but noticed that the space smells lovely, a nod to the branch’s English garden concept. The colourful flower murals that adorn the public areas are extended into the rooms; we stayed in a spacious Art Family Deluxe room type with a beautiful floral motif on the ceiling that makes the room dreamier and surreally pleasing when stared. The room also comes with two absolutely comfortable queen beds, en-suite bathroom with hot shower, 40″ LCD tv with selected satellite channels, a writing desk and coffee-making facilities.
So far, Hotel de Art has been receiving positive feedback ever since its opening; in fact, it also won various awards throughout the years, the latest being the Gold recipient for the ‘Creative and Innovative Boutique Hotel’ category during the Malaysia Tourism Council Gold Awards 2018. But the journey for Hotel de Art doesn’t seem to be slowing any time soon, as Dr. Jenny Liow revealed that plans for new branches are already on the way.
For more information on Hotel de Art or to make direct booking, please visit www.hoteldeart.com.my. Rooms are priced between MYR78 to MYR228 per night.
This article is featured in Gaya Travel Magazine Issue 14.2. Read other contents HERE.