This is where W. Somerset Maugham stayed on his tour through British Malaysia. He frequented the hotel and bar and must admit is the reason for my stopping here. It served as a coffee break on my walk through Little India and thought maybe, just maybe, a little inspiration from this legendary novelist and playwright might rub off onto me.
Even if you have no concern for Maugham you might appreciate the décor of this place—it’s as if it hasn’t been touched since the day it opened in the early 20s. The waiters wear white long-sleeved shirts un-tucked. This place is a colonial relic you won’t want to miss.
Frommer’s says “It used to be the place for the starched-shirt colonial types to get real Western food back in the day. Now it’s a favorite with the locals, who come for enormous sizzling steaks.”
Text and photos by Stephen Bugno