Jalan Sultan Ismail runs diagonally through Kuala Lumpur (KL) city, and forms a triangle with Jalan Imbi and Jalan Raja Chulan. The confluence of these three arterial roads traces an area known as the “Golden Triangle” where commercial, shopping and entertainment amenities meet.
Connectivity is further enhanced by intersecting from north to south with other major roads, including Jalan Bukit Bintang, Jalan P. Ramlee, Jalan Ampang, Jalan Raja Abdullah, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and Jalan Raja Laut, before ending at Jalan Kuching.
Owing to its prime location, the landscape of Jalan Sultan Ismail consists of towering skyscrapers, world-class hotels and retail malls. This bustling area is also the location of some of KL’s iconic landmarks for many years such as the Concorde Hotel and the attached Hard Rock Café, Equatorial Hotel Kuala Lumpur, and the Crowne Plaza Mutiara KL.
The Crowne Plaza Mutiara was previously the former KL Hilton, the city’s first five-star hotel, opened in 1973. The hotel played host to boxing legend Muhammad Ali, who was in Malaysia for the match with Joe Bugner in 1975. Bugner stayed next door at the Equatorial Hotel.
Other famous figures to grace the hotel included Nelson Mendela, Queen Elizabeth, Margaret Thatcher, Shah Rukh Khan, and many other luminaries.
As KL continues to expand and evolve, some of these old establishments had to be demolished to make way for new structures. The Equatorial Hotel Kuala Lumpur and Crowne Plaza Mutiara KL were cleared seven years ago for redevelopment.
Age-old staples alongside new attractions
Jalan Sultan Ismail is currently undergoing a mixed project redevelopment – an ambitious 10-year project that is expected to change the skyline of the area dramatically with sustainable modern structures such as residential towers, luxury hotels, next-generation Grade ‘A’ offices and co-working spaces designed to Green Building Index (GBI) standards.
The change in skyline began from the third quarter of 2018 when the site of the former Equatorial Hotel Kuala Lumpur was transformed into a spectacular 52-storey skyscraper rebranded the Equatorial Plaza, featuring the luxury EQ Hotel, Standard Chartered Bank (SCB), New York-based co-working platform WeWork, and other offices. SCB and WeWork are occupying a total of ten floors in this stylish building with the latter touted to be the largest co-working space in South-East Asia.
“I remembered my company’s annual dinner functions were held at the old Equatorial Hotel many years ago. I’m glad that they demolished the old one and rebuild this new EQ Hotel – the previous hotel was too old,” says Ashwin Kumar, a talent management consultant.
As for nightlife in the area, the stylish rooftop Heli Lounge is hard to beat. The working helipad on the 36th floor of Menara KL turns into a bar at night, offering stunning views of the sunset and city lights of KL.
“My friends and I went to the helipad on a Friday night. The view of KL Tower with the sunset behind it is just gorgeous!” says Jennifer Donaldson, a teacher at an international school in Mont Kiara.
However, should you prefer to enjoy a night out on the ground level, look out for the Harley Davidson motorcycles that mark the entrance to the iconic Hard Rock Café KL. For over 20 years, KLites have been coming to the Hard Rock Café to enjoy classic American and Tex-Mex cuisines like cheeseburgers and fajitas, surrounded by guitars and gold and platinum albums owned by famous musicians.
Local rock superstars, such as Wings and Hujan, have regularly performed at Hard Rock Café. The venue also plays host to international acts, such as the Grammy award-winning hip hop band, Arrested Development and ‘80s English pop duo, Go West.
Beyond burgers and fries, there are plenty of culinary experiences available along Jalan Sultan Ismail, ranging from North Indian food at Bombay Palace and Chinese seafood at Ah Yat Abalone Seafood Restaurant in the Life Centre to Japanese cuisine at the multi-award winning Kampachi restaurant in EQ Hotel.
Boasting unbeatable proximity to public transportation, such as the Dang Wangi LRT and the Raja Chulan Monorail stations, and exciting prospects for lifestyle, culinary and entertainment experiences, Jalan Sultan Ismail continues it's long and ever-developing history as one of KL’s most prestigious and fun business locations.