Cover Story: A new vocabulary vocabulary

This article first appeared in Options, The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on November 19, 2018 - November 25, 2018.
Cover Story: A new vocabulary vocabulary
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Redefining what it means to be a malaysian hotel, The RuMa offers a familiar brand of warm hospitality wrapped in subtle nods to our storied history and diverse cultures. Petrina Fernandez learns about its unique concept of ‘hostmanship’ from Ireka Corp group managing director Datuk Lai Voon Hon and Urban Resort Concepts co-founder Markus Engel.


Instead of wondering why the caged bird sings, I am trying to imagine what sort of feathered creature would have called this massive birdcage home, fashioned from interlaced naturally finished and glazed terracotta. It would be something mystical, most likely, but this flight of fancy is just that, a passing whimsy. In reality, a handcrafted bronze fountain acts as the base, ready to release jets of water in rippling welcome.

This dramatic installation sits in the centre of an antechamber that separates the porch from the foyer proper of The RuMa Hotel and Residences. You would be hard-pressed to guess that you are a mere stroll away from the Petronas Twin Towers. The entire city — sights, sounds and mayhem ubiquitous to any bustling metropolis — has been effectively shut out with this clever bit of architecture.

For the full story, pick up a copy of The Edge Malaysia (November 19, 2018) at your nearest news stands or visit