Sitting area at Sekeping Tenggiri | Courtesy of Sekeping Tenggiri
A good hotel can make or break a vacation. After spending all those hours flying to Malaysia, the last thing you need is a lumpy pillow and four dull walls. Fortunately, Kuala Lumpur is full of unique hotels to mail home about. Make your travel plans and add these hotels to the list. They are worth checking out.
Anggun Boutique Hotel
Boutique Hotel, Independent Hotel
Entrance to Alam Beauty & Wellness Spa | Courtesy of Anggun Boutique Hotel
Made up of two colonial houses dating back to the 1920s, the Anggun Boutique Hotel offers nostalgic architecture, culture and convenience. The hotel features an internal courtyard, a staple in traditional houses, and handmade wooden furniture in all its rooms. Enjoy the novelty of teak four-poster beds and roll down blinds made of wood slats. The hotel stands in the Golden Triangle, which means excellent food and shopping is right at its doorstep. Should you feel sick of the city, you can ready yourself for the beach. The wellness centre in the hotel offers waxing services atop a ‘kampung’ rooftop.
While most hotels center their brand around one theme, Mélange has three. The Tampan (‘Handsome’) suites are straight out of GQ. Dim, warm lighting highlights furnishings made of dark wood, while the tiles on the bathroom walls are made of midnight black granite. The suites exude sophistication. On the other hand, the Ayu (‘Elegant’) rooms are all white: white marble corridors, white walls and cream sheets. An exception is made for the pale grey curtains. Perfect for neat freaks who have told their mothers for the nth time that they won’t be having children. Finally, there are the Manja (‘Fun’) rooms, which have different colours and patterns, from grey, to peach, to lime green. Lie back in one of their beds and be greeted by ceiling murals of hornbills, dragonflies and lady birds flitting overhead. Former fashion photographer Daniel Goh designed the hotel which is why the aesthetics are so on point. To sweeten the pot, Jalan Alor and its famous hawker stalls lie just one tantalising block away.
Three words: rooftop infinity pool. Those words usually accompany an eye-watering price point. Thankfully, Aloft was built for the thrifty in mind. With rooms starting at RM200 (about 50 USD), it’s the most economical luxury option for accommodation in Kuala Lumpur. In addition to their spacious rooms with eye-popping retro colours, Aloft offers Camp Aloft, a kid’s version of a hotel room, complete with kid-sized air mattresses, toys and tiny circus tents for your toddlers to play in. In the lobby, there’s a snack station, Re:fuel, for the peckish traveller or the fussy child. With MRT, LRT, Monorail and KTM stops nearby (at the KL Sentral station across the street), the whole city is within reach.
Buildings made of shipping containers are the new rage, so it makes complete sense that a hipster hotel emerged with this concept as its schtick. Corrugated Corten steel walls are a running motif through the space, painted black and yellow, though not looking too much like bees. However, honeycomb patterns do pop up when you least expect them. Sleep beneath the stars in a glass cylinder (the Concrete Room) or share a cabana tent-style room with a friend (the Camp Site) and enjoy the natural light from the glass sunroof. The Container Hotel offers group discounts, so grab a friend and head down. They also have hotels in Ipoh and Penang, with plans to expand to Melaka and Kota Kinabalu.
WOLO has won several awards for interior decor. The judges must have been stunned by the giant steel horse in the lobby, or the rainbow wall of different textures and patterns behind the marble reception desk. WOLO is definitely eye candy. Its glass wall exteriors scream of a type of gorgeousness that usually exists only on prestige TV. While the shopping options across the road are attractive enough alone, WOLO doesn’t skimp on comfort. Their rooms are spacious and cleverly designed to contemporary chic standards. Best of all, they have a walk-in wine chiller where you can select a bottle and enjoy—in the cigar lounge if you wish.
This boutique hotel is as close to the vibrant chaos of KL’s Chinatown as it could comfortably get. Thankfully, their open air terrace stands many floors above ground level, letting guests peer over and muse at the colour and culture on display below while comfortably sipping cocktails from the bar. Inside, the hotel looks like the straight-angle cousin of the Guggenheim, with white everything and a creative layout. Their airy rooms with fresh white linen offer a peaceful space amidst the busy thoroughfare of food and business outside. Budget travellers are welcome to the dorm rooms with pod beds, and you can banish any symptoms of cabin fever on the terrace. The terrace also features a spectacular mural by local artist, Qaisy Jaslenda.
Bedroom in Sekeping Tenggiri | Courtesy of Sekeping Tenggiri
All Sekeping retreats channel a carelessly chic vibe, but particular kudos goes to Sekeping Tenggiri. The bare brick exterior confronts you, and is invaded with fauna that is both cultivated to minimalist tendencies and bursting from openings in the walls. Inside is bare bones comfort, including plush white mattresses on naked timber flooring. Eye-popping art stands in stark contrast to the grey concrete walls the art is hung on. Cushions in muted colours dotting the lounge area surround the 7m x 3m pool. Basically, it’s the perfect “cool girl” retreat. Bangsar and its hipster cafés and nightlife are within walking distance, as is a night market on Sundays. Sekeping Tenggiri has seven rooms to go around, but should it be fully booked up, check out its sister property, Sekeping Backlane.
Villa Samadhi brings island luxury to the heart of Malaysia’s busiest city. It’s named after a Sanskrit word for the highest state of meditative peace. All its amenities endeavour to induce that level of peace within its guests, from its free-form pool, bordered with canopied beds and lit by the orange glow of lanterns in the evening, to the tropical fauna that complements the Malay-inspired architecture. The decor is, as they call it, ‘Rustic-luxe’. Depending on the room, you could enjoy a private whirlpool and an open-faced timber balcony. If you feel like a day away from the city, go to reception and book a day tour to the elephant sanctuary in Kuala Gandah. If you still love the city, the city centre and all its shopping options are only 10 minutes away.
Near the Dang Wangi Putra LRT station stands a structure with a gabled roof and an exterior of bright, fetching viridian. A high veranda offers shade to the outdoor seating area, where travellers rest before heading out to explore the Asian Heritage Row. This is the Reeds Boutique Hotel. Under its roof are suites large enough for the family and dorm rooms cheap enough for the penny pincher. Depending on the room, guests can enjoy rustic bare-brick walls or wallpapers with contemporary patterns that give the room a bright pop of colour. The standard single room alone looks like everyone’s dream accommodation at uni. It’s like an exercise on how best to use the space available without making it cluttered. Whether on a budget trip or a vacation with the family, Reeds offers a comfortable and homey space.
Orion answers the yet unvoiced dreams of people who wish to sleep in a room designated to their star signs. It’s not a hard and fast rule. Capricorns are free to sleep in Taurus rooms and Pisces can rest their heads in Leo rooms, though they will have to pay RM100 (about 25 USD) more. The rooms are appropriately decorated with the star signs inlaid on the frosted glass of the rain showers. The rest of the decor has a modern touch, from the KL cityscape on the lampshade, to the bold but tasteful colour scheme. While the night away on the rooftop bar cafe, or enjoy a quiet night in with board games provided by the hotel.