Hyatt Centric Kota Kinabalu offers multi-sensory experience
Published on: Tuesday, February 07, 2023
Text Size:

Hyatt Centric Kota Kinabalu offers multi-sensory experience
Hyatt Centric at Kota Kinabalu Central Business District.
Kota Kinabalu: Designed by world-renowned architect, Kengo Kuma from Japan, Hyatt Centric Kota Kinabalu located in the heart of the city’s lively dining and entertainment district, offers an experiential stay for savvy travellers and residents alike, from adventure seekers to culture vultures. 

Embedding the beauty of Sabah’s pristine nature in its interiors and featuring an extensive work of art by local artisans, the 222-room lifestyle hotel has also collaborated with well-known local fashion designer, Melinda Looi, to design the hotel team’s vibrant-coloured uniform to further enhance the overall guest experience.

“We are delighted to work with award-winning Kengo Kuma and Melinda Looi - who are masters of their craft - to drive the design and the look and feel of the first Hyatt Centric hotel in Malaysia and Southeast Asia. Kengo Kuma has beautifully incorporated elements of nature in the hotel design, so our guests get to experience what it is like to stay in the Borneo Forest, with modern comforts as they seek their own adventure in the city. To complement this is the fun and fashion forward attire designed by Melinda Looi for our teams of passionate individuals - the heart of the hotel - to further enhance the guest’s experience. We want to provide a journey of discovery for our guests through the hotel’s unique interior spaces and art pieces, where they can discover and further explore the rich, natural and cultural heritage that Sabah is famous for,” said Ruben Schrijver, General Manager, Hyatt Centric Kota Kinabalu.

The sea view king guestroom.

Drawing inspiration from Mother Nature, the hotel was designed with two natural elements of Sabah topography in mind with a mix of lush green forests and the rocky mountains, paying homage to Mount Kinabalu, Borneo’s highest mountain. Using tree as the primary design metaphor, Kengo Kuma creatively applies its elements throughout the hotel’s different spaces in this 23-story hotel - the open hotel lobby represents the roots of the tree with dense lower greenery showcasing bamboo trees and calming water feature, while the hotel guest room floors depict the vertical lines of a tree trunk, and the rooftop area serves as the crown of the tree offering unobstructed views of the horizon and cityscape, using natural light to create dramatic shadows and colours.

On the guest room floors, signage made of seashell adorns the walls while a pair of sculptured lounge seating signifies both the mountain and the sea. Inspired by the local traditional Kadazandusun’s culture of Sabah, vibrant and colourful hand-woven pieces and patterns are on display throughout the guest room floors and corridors.

The Lounge in the hotel lobby provides a communal space where travellers and local guests can converse about the day’s adventure and is home to a pop-up artisan corner featuring visually striking artwork.

Some of these uniquely commissioned pieces include a hand-carved wood sculpture by Anniketnni Madian located on the wall in the hotel lounge and if one looks closely, you can find the beautiful, rare Rafflesia flower in bloom within the sculpture. Another stunning piece which can be found on the gallery wall in ON22 Restaurant depicts the natural life of the valley. This delicate butterfly framed paper cuts and prints on fine art paper were made of natural materials by the talented Raku Inoue. Guests can also marvel at the work of art by Agnes Lau featuring ceramics on wood panels in the lift lobby, and abstract wall images representing Mount Kinabalu, designed by Regev Amrani.

The Restaurant Butterfly gallery wall.

To continue building interaction and connection with the local culture, the hotel has also cleverly used creative art works such as the fun colourful coasters, as conversation starters in the hotel’s restaurants and bar. Created by local artist, Binjai, the coasters provide fun insights about Sabah. By the end of a meal, guests will be saying “Maginum” every time they have a drink or satisfy their curious taste buds with the sweet and creamy “Tarap” and Borneo’s wild mango “Bambangan.

Hyatt Centric Kota Kinabalu also took a step further by making the hotel staff uniform a conversation piece with striking and fun design that expresses the different role and movement of each individual, from hotel engineers to front office staff.   To deliver this bold concept, the hotel has partnered with well-known local designer, Melinda Looi, to develop unique designs to match the brand. The uniforms are paired with vibrant accessories from Happy Plastics Borneo made of upcycled plastic materials to promote sustainability in fashion.

“The brand philosophy of Hyatt Centric Kota Kinabalu and the natural beauty of Sabah inspired me to come up with the design of the hotel staff uniform that reflects the lifestyle brand but also for the individuals wearing them to feel proud and inspired. I need to ensure that the design captures the essence of Borneo but at the same time making it practical so that the staff can stay fresh and comfortable all day long,” said Melinda Looi, who was also a recipient of Malaysia Young Designer Award when she first started many years ago.

For the active wanderers and the curious travellers who seek authentic local experiences, the hotel offers guided street art tours to explore the hidden gems of the neighbourhood. Curated by a resident of Kota Kinabalu himself, Jared Abdul Rahman, travellers and local guests can listen to the real stories and inspiration behind a collection of iconic works of street art from raw, organic graffiti to curated, commissioned murals, through this 60-minute walking tour. Highlights include an interpretative piece on the environment named “Vanishing Wall” (2019) by East Tribe, a collaborative work under the creative leadership of Kenji Chai, and a more understated piece linking to the area’s gentrification titled “Auntie” (2019) by Akid One.

For more information, please visit  www.hyattcentrickotakinabalu.com 

* Follow us on Instagram and join our Telegram and/or WhatsApp channel(s) for the latest news you don't want to miss.

* Do you have access to the Daily Express e-paper and online exclusive news? Check out subscription plans available.



Sabah Top Stories

Follow Us  

Follow us on            

Daily Express TV