Sekeping Kong Heng, Ipoh

February 12, 2016
Sekeping Kong Heng, Ipoh


INDULGING MY INNER PETER PAN AT SEKEPING KONG HENG, IPOH 

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I've slept around. Literally - I've stayed at 5* hotels, country piles, cruise ships, Airbnb's, and then some. I'd rate myself reasonably well-travelled, even so my recent trip to Ipoh ticked off a first for me - sleeping in a treehouse. A treehouse! You may already know about my dinner party childhood dream plans in progress but what kidult doesn't still nurture Neverland fantasies? Ever since Sekeping Retreats burst onto the Malaysian scene with their dreamy 'back to nature' getaways, sleeping al fresco has never been so en vogue, an especially commendable accomplishment given the tropical climate with all its nuisances.
Sekeping Kong Heng sealed the deal for me when I contemplated making a trip to Ipoh for Henry's birthday. The latest addition to the Sekeping family is a glass and concrete treehouse in newly rejuvenated Kong Heng Square, the heart of Ipoh Old Town's revival. The 3 storey neo-classical building was once a hostel for theatre performers who performed in the adjacent theatre building that was burnt down in the 50s. True to the spirit of celebrating Ipoh's rich heritage and history, Sekeping Kong Heng has preserved as much of the character of the existing building as possible - evident in details like reclaimed colonial shop windows used for the rooms. The result is edgy and hip yet respectful to its surroundings' history: an exhibit you live and breathe - from the heady aroma of white coffee to the cacophony of Cantonese banter between hawkers - in a real Old Town setting. 
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Sekeping Kong Heng, Ipoh

A room with a view and a view of a room - seen here is the family room on the first floor which redefines the concept of 'open-plan living'. Sweeping drapes and mosquito nets offer privacy and respite from the elements, while Sekeping Kong Heng's verdant surroundings help keep the air cool.

Sekeping Kong Heng, Ipoh

Sekeping Kong Heng, Ipoh

Sekeping Kong Heng is not for the sedentary. The place is no-frills with steep, narrow concrete and metal stairs the only form of access to throughout. The treehouse provides four bicycles for guests, all the better to battle the bulge with especially given the hotel's proximity to some of Ipoh's best street food.

Sekeping Kong Heng, Ipoh
Sekeping Kong Heng, Ipoh
Sekeping Kong Heng, Ipoh

The communal area is the very manifestation of 'treehouse fantasy'. There's the air of relaxation of course, with hammocks and bean bags strewn casually about but also the social aspect with nooks (perfect for board games) and the swimming pool on the rooftop of the adjacent block.

Sekeping Kong Heng, Ipoh
Sekeping Kong Heng, Ipoh
Source

Sekeping Kong Heng, Ipoh
ROOM 1, STANDARD DOUBLE / FROM RM230 PER NIGHT

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Exposed, chipped concrete softened by floor-to-ceiling linen drapes. Patina-stained wooden planks and colonial window shutters reclaimed but unrestored. Inadvertently on-trend copper bath fittings. All of these minimalist design elements come together to create a raw vision of industrial chic, albeit one without pretension. The only obvious luxury my room offered was air-conditioning. Yet, this decadent lush never once found herself wanting for anything - not even when the sounds and smells of the cafés and restaurants downstairs wafted through into my first floor-room. On the contrary, I found my stay all the more authentic - Old Town living at its best.

Sekeping Kong Heng, Ipoh

Sekeping Kong Heng, Ipoh

Sekeping Kong Heng, Ipoh

Sekeping Kong Heng, Ipoh

Sekeping Kong Heng, Ipoh

Sekeping Kong Heng, Ipoh

Sekeping Kong Heng, Ipoh

Sekeping Kong Heng, Ipoh

Sekeping Kong Heng, Ipoh

Sekeping Kong Heng combines an immersive experience of Ipoh Old Town and my Lost Boys dream in one industrial-chic, pocket-friendly, and centrally-located package. With rooms starting from RM80 - RM800 per night, I would describe Sekeping Kong Heng as an 'urban Peter Pan' experience at hostel prices. Throw in its unbeatable location right in the middle of Kong Heng Square plus industrial-style decor inspiration all around, and you've got a winner.




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