EQ celebrates 50-year anniversary

EQ celebrates 50-year anniversary

Hotel Equatorial first hotel opened its doors in Kuala Lumpur on 27 December 1973 and was among a cluster in the Golden Triangle that helped usher in the modern era of hospitality in Malaysia. To commemorate the anniversary, a year-long series of events will be organised at EQ, Kuala Lumpur’s premier hotel.

“When Hotel Equatorial Kuala Lumpur opened its doors some fifty years ago, it was welcomed instantly and rapidly became a landmark in the city,” said CEO Donald Lim of the Equatorial group. “Over the past five decades, the Equatorial brand has built a strong reputation for delivering exceptional service and
excellent hospitality; its range of restaurants that have become household names such as the Kampachi, Chalet, Nipah Coffeeshop, Golden Phoenix, Étoile Bistro and Blue Moon lounge. The plans for our golden anniversary are designed to celebrate with our loyal customers, partners, and employees who have supported us throughout the years.”

The celebration began on 5 July 2023 and will continue for a year with 50 commemorative events taking place throughout that timeline, each offering a distinctive take against the historical backdrop or with an eye toward the future.

Events designed to evoke fond memories include the pop-ups of the famed Chalet and Golden Phoenix restaurants in August 2023 and January 2024 respectively; another popular request to be fulfilled will be a Blue Moon Night on 31 August 2023, which will naturally be built around a playlist of the era. Visiting guest chefs, winemakers, sake masters and even specially commissioned products add to the array of festivities. A memory wall will be created in the lobby of EQ where guests can view photos of memorable events involving Equatorial since 1973. Marking the occasion in cyberspace will be the launch of commemorative sites on Facebook and Instagram for guests to share memories.

In the early 1970s, a new wave of modern hotels markedly changed the hospitality scene in Kuala Lumpur. Among them was Hotel Equatorial Kuala Lumpur with its 300 guest rooms and an array of restaurants that would eventually become household names. Located in what is known as the “Golden Triangle” (the area around a triangular plot in downtown Kuala Lumpur bounded by Jalan Treacher, Jalan Parry and Jalan Weld and since renamed Jalan Sultan Ismail, Jalan P. Ramlee and Jalan Raja Chulan respectively), this vicinity became the prime district for shopping and entertainment. Major events such as the famous World Heavyweight title bout between Muhammed Ali and challenger Joe Bugner from Britain that took place in June 1975 had the protagonists’ entourages housed in the area, with Bugner’s at Hotel

Equatorial Kuala Lumpur HEKL under construction

Along the way, the many events and celebrations held at Equatorial has ensured that it has over time become a part of the city’s social fabric. Indeed, a number of the staff who have passed through the hotel’s ranks have gone on to notable careers and even celebrity. Over the years, the building itself is host to a number of notable accomplishments such as the first to install electronic lockets for all guest rooms and the first to offer guests WiFi – all features taken for granted today. Since those early years, Hotel Equatorial went on to build and/or operate hotels in Penang, Bangi, Cameron Highlands and Melaka.

In the four years since opening in 2019, EQ has become the standard bearer among hotels in the city, having won an unprecedented number of local and international awards and achievements, including being ranked the #1 hotel in the city by Tripadvisor since August 2019. EQ was named Hotel of the Year Asia Pacific by Preferred Hotels group this year, the first time any hotel from Malaysia has won this accolade.

In the 12 months ahead, guests can look forward to a variety of events, occasions that combine nostalgia and anticipation – the former likely to evoke ‘blast from the past’ memories while the latter generated by a showcase of events only a leading hotel like EQ can put together.

Stay tuned at www.equatorial.com/equatorial-50 as the respective announcements are made throughout the commemorative year.