IPOH: While it rightfully holds acclaim for its quintessential old-world charm and its bounty of culinary delights, Ipoh remains quite the quiet town where little goes on.
Even on a weekend, most of the city, except for the tourist hotspots, is left to its own devices and the residents seem to like it that way.
For the traveller who voyages long and far to get to this former tin mining hub expecting a non-stop day of adventure and fun, this town will still exhaust them thoroughly though.
However, even in this sleepy town, there is an oasis of luxury and comfort that welcomes guests wholeheartedly and gives them something to remember Ipoh by.
M Boutique Hotel on Hala Datuk 5 is a sight hard to miss, with its cladding resembling that of the weavings of a wicker basket.
Searching for a parking space is a breeze, with the hotel having its own lot behind the building.
The lobby is tucked neatly between the hotel’s two dining areas, as well as the attached clothing boutique.
Upon entering the premises, it is almost certain that the interiors of the hotel will leave a long-lasting impression on you.
The best term to describe the thematic design of this hotel is a mix of industrial and avant-garde, with warm and earthy shades of brown and beige being the choice for the interiors.
Given how swiftly the front desk works, it will not be long before you will have a room key firmly in your grasp.
There is a total of six types of rooms available at M Boutique, ranging from the Standard Single Room for the vacationing voyager and the Family Room for the household on the go.
No matter the size of the bed, there is no denying how cosy each and every room is, with beautiful decorations and a soft, warm bed and a bounty of pillows.
The compact bathrooms too are well-supplied and exude the feeling of cleanliness.
You may notice that out along the corridors, sets of pictures and wall murals seem to follow a particular theme.
This is intentional as the three floors of rooms each have a theme of their own, with the first floor, the Adventure Floor, having a safari theme.
The second floor, the Majestic Floor, has a raw and industrial look to it while the final floor, the Excelsior, is rich with colour.
In addition to accommodation, M Boutique also pampers its guest with its various facilities available for use.
For fitness buffs wishing to keep in top shape even while on vacation, fret not for M Boutique has a gym fitted out with exercise machines waiting to stretch your muscles.
And for those who cannot stomach the thought of a digital detox, there is a gaming room, with an all-powerful PC, by the lobby.
M Boutique also has a communal living room available for those who would prefer not to be cooped up in their room, with a reading room and meeting room close by.
No hotel can do without an attached eatery, and as previously mentioned, M Boutique comes with two.
Guests are given an option between local delights and Western food, namely at Old Town White Coffee and Myth Eatery and Bar.
Free breakfasts are provided to guests; but in all honesty, given the culinary experience available out in Ipoh, the breakfast spread of Myth leaves much to be desired.
However, there is a large collection of wines here to sate the taste of liquor connoisseurs.
Speaking to FMT, the hotel’s general manager, Lloyd Gan, iterated that M Boutique was not run like a conventional establishment, with the staff given the freedom to choose light-hearted codenames, such as “Rocket” and “Tony Stark”, for themselves and the management team consisting of mostly young people.
The hotel is a way to give back to Ipoh, the hometown of the owner of the M Boutique Hotel chain who appreciates anonymity, said Gan.
The themes of the hotel are the product of a brainstorming session of the management team, he said.
The distinctive style is also a product of a collaboration effort between the hotel chain and Lifeshop Atelier, whose owners are friends with each other.
“We’ll try to refresh the theme of the hotel perhaps in every five, six years. We have plans to refresh M Boutique Ipoh soon and this is our sixth year of operations, coming to our seventh year.”
Gan stated M Boutique Hotel aims to make guests feel at home, with its unique environment and distinct style.
“We always like to say that our ‘homes’ are alive and they have their own personality, so you pick the personality that you would like to stay in.”
For further information on room rates and other matters, visit ipoh.mboutiquehotels.com.