Cover Plants and trees lend the facade of the new Parkroyal Collection Kuala Lumpur a striking green feature

Championing sustainability and groundbreaking design, the highly anticipated debut of Parkroyal Collection Kuala Lumpur is already stopping traffic with its lush green facade

If you have been travelling along Jalan Sultan Ismail from Bukit Bintang or Imbi, you would have noticed a large swath of greenery hanging off the building of what was once Parkroyal Kuala Lumpur. This lush exterior consisting of plants and trees in various sizes and shades, look positively serene and pretty in this dense concrete jungle.

It serves as a tantalising teaser to what will be the Parkroyal Collection, the brand's first hotel outside of Singapore which is currently accepting reservations for June 2022 and beyond. A relatively new hotel brand, Parkroyal Collection pursues the ideal balance between sustainability and upscale hospitality, and architecture and design are just two of the many ways it is using to showcase this commitment. 

This push for biophilic design has proven to be a huge success in Singapore where Parkroyal Collection Pickering picked up its seventh consecutive Asia's Leading Green Hotel award at the World Travel Awards last year, while Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay is hailed as the island republic's first garden-in-a-hotel with over 2,400 plants in its interior.

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Parkroyal Collection Kuala Lumpur, which is located in the city's shopping hub, has every intention to continue this momentum. In fact, anticipation has been high since its predecessor Parkroyal Kuala Lumpur closed in 2020 to undergo a 15-month transformation.

"This will not be a refurbished version of Parkroyal Kuala Lumpur but the hotel did have a strong legacy so there's already a level of curiosity to see how its building will be transformed." says Cristian Nannucci, general manager of Parkroyal Collection Kuala Lumpur. "The question is how to create a new look on the existing structure, how we can be creative and add value."

The answer is to place 78 sky planters along the facade and roof terraces, creating 13,000 sq ft, or 140m in length, of plants and trees. Over 300 trees, including Neem and Umbrella trees, are planted, offering not just a pleasing aesthetic on the exterior but much-needed shade to reduce urban heat. Neem trees have the additional benefit of being a natural mosquito repellent.

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Designed by the award-winning Singaporean firm FDAT, the green facade is broken up by perforated screens to add texture and different interest points. The plants selected do not require frequent trimmings; the aim here is to keep the greenery naturalistic. 

"The green theme extends to the inside. For instance, the main lobby features a tree house with a double-volume planter," notes Nannucci. "Then there is the pool, a veritable green oasis with enormous six to seven metre tall trees to separate the pool from the surrounding high rises. The greenery complements the warm and natural finishes throughout the hotel, evoking a resort-like atmosphere in the centre of the city."

Large windows bring the outdoor inside, from the conference floor that eschews the conventional boxed-in space, to the guest rooms where the first thing staring back at you when you open the door is the greenery outside. These well-appointed abodes are also decorated with wallpapers with nature-inspired motifs. 

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"As a hotelier, it inspires you to blend the ambience with the service," Nannucci says. "We have to think how to do things differently and design our services without paper and plastic."

The paperless system means you will not see physical magazines or guest directory in the rooms. "We will digitalise as much as possible to make it easier for guests to access information without having to ask for it. Every room will also have a water filter so there will be no need for water bottles. In fact, the hotel will observe no single-use plastic policy," Nannucci says. Determined to reduce its carbon footprint, the hotel has also invested in a food waste digester. 

Adopting a green approach clearly has its advantages, the most obvious being the striking aesthetics. "It's been a journey of discovery. We live, inspire and create. We plan to deliver unique memorable experiences through our product strength as well as meeting the latest trends that have evolved throughout the pandemic," concludes Nannucci.

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