Steeped in History, Lavished with Hospitality

By Jacqueline Benita Paul

Hurriedly driving by Jalan Bukit Bintang, a glimpse of The Federal Kuala Lumpur caught my sight and I was encumbered in my thoughts, perplexed by its immortality. The 62-year-old hotel is an unsung historical monument, yet wildly lauded for its hospitality offerings. To liberate myself from curiosity, I checked into the hotel for a weekend staycation.



The Federal Kuala Lumpur was opened by the late Tunku Abdul Rahman on August 28, 1957 with the intention to host foreign dignitaries and international guests who were invited to join the Merdeka Day celebrations. At the time, the 9-storey structure was one of the tallest buildings in the city. On the eve of the first Merdeka Day celebration, an official reception was held at its Banquet Room, adding to the credibility of the hotel’s title as the Hotel for Merdeka.

Over the years, the hotel has made various historic strides including being the first hotel with a revolving restaurant which later ceased its revolving operation due to mechanical issues. Today, the Bintang Lounge is a favoured spot to catch the National Day & New Year’s fireworks. Other accomplishments were the monopolisation of the nightlife scene in the noughties, the best Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur (FTKL) Beautiful and Illuminated Building 2007 award in the hotel category.


Historical is not often the most popular choice when it comes to tourists but Federal Hotel fends well for itself with regular guests who are accustomed to the exemplary hospitality. Like checking into an elegant chateau, filled to the brim with history of lineage and heritage, The Federal Hotel is no different in this regard. On a balmy afternoon, I checked into its Merdeka Wing, which recently had undergone renovations for a marbled ‘facelift’ to breath some modern influences without stripping away what makes the hotel special in the first place.

In the evening, we savoured afternoon tea at The Verandah. Adorned with gorgeous Malaysian-focused photography on walls, contemporary and modern furnishings, this well-sunlit coffee house is the perfect spot to enjoy a scrumptious afternoon tea spread whilst overlooking the tropical garden and swimming pool. The Federal Hotel continues to dazzle us with its breakfast spread at Kontiki which comprises a mix of local and western favourites – doing justice to our local culinary scene. Dining at the Bintang Lounge and Restaurant was the highlight of my visit. Never would I have hoped to uncover a gastronomical gem with a stunning view to boot. The restaurant boasts an unobstructed view of both the Petronas Twin Towers and Menara KL, along with one of the Best Grilled Lobster and Spaghetti with Salted Egg Yolk sauces. We are already making plans to book a table to enjoy the upcoming Independence Day festivities.

One of the most advantageous aspects of staying in The Federal Hotel is its centred location offering convenient facilities to enjoy the bustling city. Close by, you have easy access to a thriving nightlife scene at BB Park. A stone’s throw away is Malaysia’s most prominent digital mall to get the best deals on your IT gadgets. For shopping, the hotel is located a mere 10-minute walking distance to Pavilion, Fahrenheit88 and Lot 10.

Clearly, The Federal Kuala Lumpur is doing something right – standing tall for 62 years – synonymous with Malaysia’s Independence. What better way to celebrate and immerse yourself in our rich and valued history than taking a stroll down memory lane, easily accomplished with a weekend stay at the Hotel for Merdeka.


Address: The Federal Kuala Lumpur 35, Bukit Bintang Street, Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2148 9166


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