Malaysia’s beating heart, the city of Kuala Lumpur, has seen a steady boom in innovative budget and luxury boutique hotels. We’ve selected the best places to wind down after a full day of adventuring around the museums, malls and landmarks of KL.
KLJ Superior Deluxe Room | Courtesy of The KL Journal Boutique Hotel
The KL Journal brings together everything an urban dweller could ever want. From open spaces for mobile electronic device usage to the in-house cafe and restaurant, this boutique hotel goes the extra mile to ensure a comfortable stay in the middle of the entertainment and business district, Bukit Bintang. The interiors are stylishly curated, with industrial design meeting nostalgic home-like settings. It’s also close to bar haven Changkat and food road Jalan Alor.
The place is popular among visitors looking for a moderately priced boutique hotel to retire to after a crazy party night at Changkat Row a few streets away. The Mesui Hotel offers modern design and a relaxing inner courtyard; plus, you can’t miss the distinct cuboid exterior! It’s only 10-15 minutes away from the Golden Triangle, which is full of shopping malls and entertainment venues. The famous jazz club, No Black Tie, is nearby, as are many other upmarket bars. The Mesui is one of the best places to base yourself for exploring the lower parts of Kuala Lumpur.
The ultimate luxury resort in the city, the Villa Samadhi offers a unique tranquil retreat amid bustling city life. This romantic boutique lodging goes the extra mile to stand out among many other high-class hotels, and is an ideal place for honeymooners and jet-setting travelers. The spacious loft rooms, pools and jacuzzi tubs make the higher prices worthwhile, even for s short weekend getaway. Although Villa Samadhi is located a little way from the city center, tours can be arranged onsite. But with the beautiful ambiance and comfy poolside beds, it is completely understandable if you were to remain inside the grounds for your whole stay.
This place is a favorite among flashpackers and budget seekers. Located in a quieter region of the city, Grid 9 has a wide range of rooms, from single and family rooms to dorm-like lodgings for small groups. They’re all clean, comfortable and good value for money. Its location right opposite the Maharajalela train station keeps it well-connected to the rest of Kuala Lumpur (only 10 minutes from both Chinatown and Bukit Bintang) yet distant enough for a peaceful stay away from noisy nightlife areas. Should you be wanting a quick drink however, Grid 9 also has a large lounge and gastropub.
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Shipping container re-purposing has been popular lately, with many establishments incorporating elements of industrial design. The Container Hotel is one such quirky venture, incorporating renewable and sustainable materials in innovative ways. To add to its eco-friendly mission, the hotel also has bikes available for rent.
Le Apple Room | Courtesy of Le Apple Boutique Hotel
Though not as elaborate as some other hotels on this list, Le Apple Boutique Hotel (KLCC) stands out for its simplicity and great, hassle-free location at the corner of the KLCC and Ampang area, with many shopping malls and restaurants nearby. While most hotels have lost their views due to the construction boom around the Petronas Twin Towers, Le Apple is fortunate to be one of the few budget hotels to still have monuments within its sight line. There’s a popular Japanese restaurant on the ground floor, too. This place is unbeatable for providing great service at budget prices.
Don’t let the name deter you! Chaos Hotel derives its name from the inspiration behind its trendy and functional designs: a beautiful, chaotic rendition of industrial and modern styles. The urban hotel is located smack dab in the middle of glitzy Bukit Bintang, making exploration easy, especially shopping and good dining. It’s perfect for bar hoppers and people used to round-the-clock city noise. This designer hotel has raised the bar for boutique hotels in KL.
In-house amenities | Courtesy of The Melange Boutique Hotel
With an artsy design inspired by the graffiti around the Pasar Seni area, the exterior of the Melange Boutique Hotel features murals of cats playing with painted windows. Its interior is whimsically minimalist, and the rooftop restaurant specializes in eclectic furnishings and contemporary European foods. The space is limited due to KL’s high density, but its location off famous food street Jalan Alor makes it ideal for backpackers looking for a comfortable and clean place to bunk after a fun day of exploring.
Located in the greater Kuala Lumpur area, the Sekeping Backlane (also known as Sekeping Tenggiri) is a little off the beaten track but perfect for those not wanting to spend all their time in the dense central city. Surrounded by the hip town of Bangsar, this little remodeled double story lot comes with beautifully furnished lofts and a little pool area. It’s great for couples and small families. The Sekeping breaks boutique hotel stereotypes by offering more of a residential house feel in a quiet, affluent suburb. While many of the usual hotel services are absent, this place is perfect for travellers wanting a simpler vacation.
Man Tao Bar, @ Level 21 of Hotel Stripes | Courtesy of Hotel Stripes
A little boutique spin-off of the marvelous Majestic Hotel, Hotel Stripes Kuala Lumpur is also part of the Autograph Collection by Marriott. It’s a rejuvenated building in an historical area. But even with all its grandeur, the Stripes remains a great bargain. It’s situated in an up-and-coming part of KL, with many new malls and bars nearby, and within comfortable walking distance of the monorail.