Event planners, who continually face the challenge of finding interesting event venues, need only to look to Starhill Gallery for inspiration.
On December 1, 2011, on Bukit Bintang in Kuala Lumpur's Golden Triangle, YTL Hotels and Properties re-launched Starhill Gallery to mark the transformation of the 280,000-square-foot "gallery of rich experiences". There is much to celebrate.
Starhill Gallery has re-defined the meaning of the terms "shopping" and "event space." Interior designers have optimized every available piece of real estate to create truly memorable experiences. The bold new facade, shaped by a team of architects and designers from Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, U.S. and beyond, is destined to become a Kuala Lumpur icon.
Instead of using floor numbers, each of the 7 themed levels bears the name of the experience it creates for gallery visitors:
Feast, Indulge, Adorn, Explore, Pamper, Relish, Muse
If guests are staying at the 5 Star hotels, JW Marriott or the Ritz-Carlton, they can access Starhill Gallery without going outside, a comfort during rainy season. Guests at JW Marriott will find the floor names integrated into the hotel's elevator panels.
Photos Courtesy of Starhill Gallery
Starhill Gallery transcends high end shopping by showcasing luxury brands in a setting integrating art, music, dining and event spaces. In essence, shopping at the gallery is an event. Turn the corner and discover a pianist playing beside the tea salon, art exhibits and displays near boutiques. (Vintage and luxury timepieces were on display at the time of my visit.)
Customer Service Ambassadors and concierges ensure flawless, "5 Star" service.
Indulge: A showcase of the world's most exclusive luxury brands including Dior, Louis Vuitton, Givenchy are showcased on this level. The Starhill Tea Salon celebrating the essence of eastern and western tea traditions is the perfect choice for lunch or just to pause and relax. Afternoon tea with a choice of western or eastern menus is available.
Explore: Armani Casa, Dolci and Fiori brands, Tiffany Lamps, and other exclusive decor brands are housed on this level that also features up and coming Malaysian designers.
Pamper: The "World's Largest Urban Retreat" pampers guests from head to toe with the world's most renowned health, beauty and spa brands.
Relish has 2 specialty restaurants and Muse houses the YTL International College of Management.
Adorn: Catering to watch connoisseurs with impeccable taste, boutiques feature over 100 luxury watch brands from Davidoff to McQ to BVLGARI to Rolex. A Journey Through Time, the annual 10-day odyssey celebrating world's most exquisite timepieces coincided with the Starhill Gallery re-launch.
Feast: The facades for each establishment at Feast Village, a "global village" with 12 unique dining experiences, reflect the ethnic influences of the featured cuisines. Kitchens are "open concept".
Shook! simplifies event planning. Without leaving the 1500 seat dining establishment, guests can select what appeals to them from Western Grill, Japanese, Chinese, and Italian menus. For special events, conference planners can have exclusive use of Shook! or all of Feast Village.
Events are seamlessly integrated into Starhill Gallery. For the re-launch and A Journey Through Time, diners could enjoy performances by local celebrities on the stage near Shook!
In front of Starhill Gallery, Bukit Bintang was transformed into an event space with a stage, giant screen and seating under the stars for 1000 guests.
Grammy Award Winner Julio Iglesias delighted the star-studded audience at YTL's 2011 Concert of Celebration gala. A spectacular fireworks display surprised and dazzled the audience and guests at the JW Marriott hotel who could view the mesmerizing pyrotechnics from their window.
At Feast Village, Starhill Gallery has also introduced an innovative lunchtime dining concept for conferences, business meetings, seminars, and corporate events. As part of the meeting package at JW Marriott and the Ritz Carlton, meeting planners can arrange for guests receive vouchers to dine at the establishment of their choice. Special menus provide an appetizer, choice of entree, a dessert and beverage - and ensure fast service. This model is well worth exploring by hotels, resorts, event and meeting planners in the west.
Photo Credits: Executive Oasis International