Calls to restore Ipoh’s ‘Taj Mahal’

Locals say the hotel needs a makeover to keep its heritage alive. — Picture by Marcus Pheong
Locals say the hotel needs a makeover to keep its heritage alive. — Picture by Marcus Pheong

IPOH, May 6 — Visitors continue to marvel at the beauty of Ipoh’s own ‘Taj Mahal’, but many feel the Majestic Station Hotel should be restored to its former glory.

Ipoh resident Lim Yew Hong said they were not even aware the hotel once existed at the station.

“I didn’t even know about it and never mind the fact the station turns 100 this year. A banner would have helped,” he told Malay Mail.

“I think the hotel desperately needs a makeover. It will be a hit, especially since it is located in the heart of town, convenient for travellers,” said the 25-year-old market researcher.

Malacca native Law Mei Chi, 24, agreed with Lim’s suggestion to upgrade the hotel.

“It will benefit all parties if the hotel is given a facelift as it is a unique attraction.

“It is vital that the original characteristics are maintained. The heritage aspect needs to be kept alive.”

Manjung resident Khairul Zamri Zakaria, 27, said the hotel’s unique characteristics should be made its selling point in the future.

“It is a beautiful structure and there is historical significance. Although I come to Ipoh often, I had no idea the hotel was significant.

“I think it can easily be a beautiful boutique hotel. But there is a need to have more information about its history, so more people can know about it.”

Real estate executive Harpreet Kaur said she was disappointed nothing was being done to preserve the hotel as many Ipoh residents had fond memories of it.

“Many of my relatives used to stay there whenever they came to Ipoh. It was praiseworthy then but the condition deteriorated over the years.

“It is a pity because there aren’t many top-class hotels in the world that comes attached with railway stations. It will be special, especially with its historical background.”

Malay Mail on Tuesday reported the Ipoh railway station would celebrate its centennial anniversary this year but nothing in the works for the city’s own ‘Taj Mahal’.

It appears there are no celebrations or events planned to mark this historic event. It is strange to say the least, as the railway station is arguably Ipoh’s most recognisable structure.

The station’s famed hotel — known both as the Station Hotel and Majestic Station Hotel — has been empty for years.

It was once the talk of the town, featuring a restaurant, bar and lounge overlooking beautiful gardens. It has been closed since 2011.

The gardens remain. Ipoh City Council’s beautification effort is still a sight to behold, with a water fountain and seven mini gardens.

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