Ipoh has chalked up lots of cool points in recent years as the destination for a quick getaway to rest your weary soul or maybe even to retire from the rat race if you're lucky. During our inaugural #BuroRoadTrip, we were privileged to capture some of the best fashionable scenes in the old town, sample Ipoh's delicious gastronomic offerings and even get our mojo back in tune. Yes, Ipoh is definitely one of our favourite spots to while our time away. Also, have you seen the murals here? The artistic expression here is beautiful! If you are heading to this cool town, here are some worthy places to rest your head and get some design inspiration.
For those with an eclectic taste
2, Hala Datuk 5, 31650 Ipoh
Whimsical, quirky and unique – these are the three adjectives used to describe the M Boutique Hotel. With a mix of both vintage and urban elements, this boutique hotel features different thematic floors and rooms on each floor. The décor is an interpretation of colonial influences mixed with modern chic architecture.
On the first level, you're introduced to an Adventure theme that is based on expedition tales to the Malaysian jungle from the 1800s. So, a standard double room on this floor features wooden furniture, animal prints décor and framed photos of wildlife.
Next on the second floor, the Majestic theme is characterised with a raw and industrial feel where numerology also plays a role in the room's style. On the third floor, the Excelsior theme is inspired by the vast world of nature. Keeping with a typical English cottage setting, the rooms get a playful touch of bold hues against pastel backgrounds, travel motifs and photos of various insects.
Jason Lim, Fashion Editor on his stay M Boutique Hotel
"On the outskirts of Ipoh town, just where parking is more easily available but distance is no hindrance, sits M Boutique—a cosy hotel of 93 quaintly decorated rooms. Rooms are done up according to three distinct themes: Adventure, Majestic and Excelsior, perfect for young travellers looking for a quirky hotel experience.
"Beyond standard hotel amenities such as gym and laundry services and in-room minibars and free wi-fi for all guests, M Boutique Hotel also boasts Ipoh's very first Oldtown White Coffee Grand—a brasserie-style restaurant serving their famed white coffee and perennial local favourites such as nasi lemak and kaya toast. It was overall a comfy stay for a quick getaway. The only negative was the noisy bar across the road that kept on till a little after midnight but beyond that, we would most definitely revisit M Boutique Hotel on our next trip to Ipoh."
For the architecture enthusiast
74, Jalan Bandar Timah, 30000 Ipoh
This three-storey neo-classical building, which was previously used as a hostel for theatre performers, houses the famous Kong Heng coffee shop on the ground floor with the industrial-chic boutique hotel located right above it.
The design of this retreat space has won accolades for being one of the coolest hotels around. It features concrete floors, walls with exposed bricks, paint-stripped shutters and fire-escape staircase through the middle of the building. Everything from the communal space to the outside courtyard of Sekeping Kong Heng speaks of a raw, no-frills beauty with decors that echo the building's history.
The warehouse-like space can be experienced with a stay in the family room where mattresses are laid out on wire palettes lined up in a row. Or the standard room on the first floor where the only thing separating the bedroom and glass-walled bathroom is a thin curtain. Each room is designed with a minimalistic feel to retain its nonchalant factor. A small lap pool is located on the rooftop should you want to take dip and see the view from high up.
For old colonial style
14, Jalan Raja Dihilir, 30350 Ipoh
Indulgence is famously known as a restaurant that serves great Western cuisine. Located in the same old mansion upstairs is the Indulgence Living quarters, which provides accommodation to travellers who are looking for a cosy and intimate stay. The lovely atmosphere emanates throughout the colonial mansion that is surrounded by lush greeneries in a big compound.
There are seven rooms or "suites" available and each is decorated with a specific theme such as Contemporary, Thai, Italian, Chinoserie, Moroccan, English Country and Roccoco. Our pick is the Beverly suite with an English Country feel where the four-poster bed makes our romantic dreams come true.
All the rooms are styled by the proprietor herself with influences from her travels. The little touches can be seen in the colour scheme, décor items, choice of furniture and art piece.