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Where to Stay in Kuala Lumpur- Our Favourite Areas & Hotels

Are you traveling to Malaysia’s capital city and wondering where to stay in Kuala Lumpur? Then look no further; here, we give you the ultimate guide on where to stay in KL (updated in 2022). It includes the most popular neighborhoods and our favorite hotels at all price ranges. We last visited KL in June 2022, and this guide has been completely updated.

With more than 12 million international visitors each year, Kuala Lumpur (KL) has deservedly positioned itself as one of the top tourist destinations in South-East Asia. The city’s increased popularity has resulted in quite the building boom, and there are now more hotels and hostels to choose from than ever. With so many options, deciding where to stay in Kuala Lumpur can be overwhelming.

Market vendor at Chow Kit Market Kuala Lumpur
KL’s Superman, a happy man πŸ™‚

Kuala Lumpur is a fascinating melting pot of cultures. Walking around, you will see beautiful mosques, colorful Chinese temples, and Hindu shrines standing side by side with well-preserved colonial buildings and modern giant skyscrapers.

Every area in the city has its distinct character, from the hyper-modern city center with its towering skyscrapers to the always busy street life of Chinatown. For travelers, each area comes with its pros and cons.

We have been to Kuala Lumpur a lot over the years since our first visit back in 2005. When we decided to put this guide together, we booked our plane tickets and spent six weeks in KL exploring the city’s neighborhoods in depth.

This guide is the result. It’s our little love letter to Kuala Lumpur and its diverse, fascinating neighborhoods. Here we reveal what we think are the best areas to stay in Kuala Lumpur and why.

We tell you all about the most popular areas, but we have also included some personal off-the-beaten-path favorites for those who want to avoid the tourist crowds. In addition, we have listed our favorite hotels at any budget for each neighborhood – Top-End, Mid-range, and Budget.

Updates for 2022: The last couple of years have been tough for Kuala Lumpur’s tourism. Several hotels have struggled with no international tourists and periods of lockdowns. But some exciting new hotels have also opened their doors. So when Malaysia reopened we knew we had some work to do. We spent a month in KL in the summer of 2022, checking out both old favorites and new hotels. This guide to Kuala Lumpur’s best hotels and areas has now been completely updated.

Whether looking for that once-in-a-lifetime luxury hotel, a small intimate boutique hotel, a value-for-money mid-range hotel, or a budget guesthouse, Kuala Lumpur will not disappoint.

Where To Stay In Kuala Lumpur (KL)

Compared with most modern cities, Kuala Lumpur is an inexpensive city to visit, with plenty of places to stay within any budget. In addition, the higher-end accommodations offer exceptional value, often available for less than what you would have to pay for the same hotel standard elsewhere.

The hotels recommended in this article are primarily places we have stayed at (and, as always, paid for) ourselves. However, to make this as complete and helpful a resource as possible, we have included some recommendations from travelers who we know personally and whose opinions we trust.

Important: None of the hotels recommended here are paid placements or have sponsored our stay in any way. We pay for our accommodations ourselves when we travel. If you book through any of our links, we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. This helps keep our website running – so thank you in advance for your support! β™₯

We hope you find this guide helpful in finding the best place to stay in Kuala Lumpur.

The 7 Best Areas To Stay In Kuala Lumpur

We have divided Kuala Lumpur city into seven areas, which we think are the best neighborhoods to stay in when visiting KL.

where to stay in kuala lumpur map
The seven best areas to stay in Kuala Lumpur: 1. Bukit Bintang (green), 2. Kuala Lumpur City Center – KLCC (orange), 3. KL Sentral and Lake Gardens (blue), 4. KL Tower (purple), 5. Chinatown & Merdeka Square (yellow), 6. Chow Kit, Kampung Baru & Masjid India (black), 7. Bangsar South (brown). Click for a larger map.

Overview of Kuala Lumpur’s 7 best and most popular areas to stay in:

  1. Bukit Bintang
    Bukit Bintang is the most popular and central area to stay in Kuala Lumpur. Lots of excellent hotels, restaurants, and world-class shopping malls like Pavillion with shops and cinemas make this a great area to stay in Kuala Lumpur. You also find the famous hawker street food market Jalan Alor here and KL’s best foodcourt – Lot 10.
  2. Kuala Lumpur City Center – KLCC
    KLCC’s main star attraction is the Petronas Twin Towers. Other sights in this area include the KLCC Park and the aquarium Aquaria KLCC. You also find many restaurants, shopping, cafes, and pubs. You can easily walk over to Bukit Bintang as well.
  3. KL Sentral and Lake Gardens
    The area around KL Central Station is a convenient area to stay in for getting around the city by metro and trains. Moreover, you find some of KL’s biggest attractions in this area: Botanical Garden, Butterfly Park, Bird Park, National Mosque, and several museums like Malaysia’s National Museum.
  4. KL Tower
    Menara/ KL Tower is the main attraction in this area, with its neighboring ECO Park and the canopy treetop walkway. It is a convenient and central area to stay in, close to both Bukit Bintang and Kuala Lumpur City Center (KLCC).
  5. Chinatown & Merdeka Square
    Chinatown has been through a huge restoration and facelift over the last couple of years. It is now a fun and bustling area to stay in with some of KL’s hippest cafes, restaurants, and bars. Historically best known for its many budget hotel and hostel options, there are now also some excellent mid-range hotels here. This is KLs most upcoming area.
  6. Chow Kit, Kampung Baru & Masjid India
    A less less touristy area with some excellent restaurants and cafes. The hotels are a bit cheaper here than in Bukit Bintang and KLCC, so you can get some excellent hotel deals. Jalan Kamunting in Kampung Baru has become one of the city’s most popular restaurant scenes.
  7. Bangsar South
    A quiet residential area a little out of the city center with mostly apartment hotels.

Read on to see our photos of what each area looks like, our personal opinions on pros and cons, and which one you should stay in on your Kuala Lumpur trip.

If you just want to know our favorite KL hotels, then these are our top 6 hotels in Kuala Lumpur (updated and stayed at in 2022):

RECOMMENDED KUALA LUMPUR
HOTELS
  • The RuMa Hotel – KLCC area
    Award-winning luxury hotel with a fantastic interior design in an excellent location.
  • Hotel Stripes – Chow Kit area
    A great hotel deal, lovely rooftop infinity pool with the best view of KL Tower. It is surrounded by some of KL’s best restaurants and cafes.
  • Capri By Fraser Hotel – Bukit Bintang area
    Brand new with a fantastic rooftop infinity pool, all rooms have a kitchen.Β Perfect central location in Bukit Bintang.
  • The Majestic Hotel – KL Sentral and Lake Gardens area
    A grand, elegant colonial-style hotel where you get royal service at a reasonable price.
  • Ritz Carlton – Bukit Bintang
    Fantastic service, luxurious, great central location next to KL’s biggest and best shopping mall.
  • Four Points by Sheraton – Chinatown area
    Brand new and stylish mid-range hotel surrounded by KL’s hippest restaurants, cafes, and bars. Fabulous location right in the center of the upcoming and fun Chinatown.

We have described these hotels in more detail below, including our photos and personal experience staying at these hotels. So read on for more juicy details. πŸ™‚


1. Bukit Bintang

The Bukit Bintang area is the place to stay if you want to be in the center of all the excellent shopping, dining, and entertainment that Kuala Lumpur has to offer!

Bukit Bintang is the most popular area to stay in, for a good reason! You are close to everything here, like modern shopping malls, cinemas, restaurants, and lively nightlife.

Bukit Bintang has everything, whether you want to eat at fancy up-scale restaurants or cheap street food hawkers.

Where to stay in Bukit Bintang, Kuala Limpur
Bukit Bintang Area. Best hotels: The Ritz-Carlton, Banyan Tree, JW Marriott Hotel, The Westin, Capri by Fraser, KL Journal Hotel, Mercure KL Shaw Parade, Gold3 Boutique Hotel, Indie Hotel, Citizen M Hotel
Pavillion Shopping Mall Bukit Bintang
Pavillion Shopping Mall in Bukit Bintang is KL’s biggest and best.

Why Stay In The Bukit Bintang Area?

If you like being where the action is, with a short walking distance to restaurants, cafes, street food, and shopping malls, then Bukit Bintang is the perfect place to stay!

Bukit Bintang is also well connected with a Monorail station and an MRT station. Convenient for getting around to other parts of the city. Since it is such a popular area, you can also quickly get a taxi or Grab, Malaysia’s car-sharing service (much like Uber).

Unlike some parts of Kula Lumpur that may be dominated by either high-end or budget accommodation, Bukit Bintang has something for everyone. Here there is a wide variety of excellent hotels, apartments, and hostels to stay at for most budgets.

Jalan Alor - KL's famous hawker street
You find KL’s most famous hawker street food in Jalan Alor Street in Bukit Bintang.

Bukit Bintang is home to Jalan Alor, the city’s most famous hawker food street. As the sun sets, dozens of restaurants and food stalls come to life along this street. It gets slightly chaotic, but it is great fun! Jalan Alor is equally popular with locals and visitors and is a must-visit. You will not go home hungry from Jalan Alor.

For an evening out, head for the nearby Changkat Bukit Bintang street, where bars and restaurants line both sides of the road in pre-war colonial houses. Or explore Jalan Mesui Street, which has many restaurants and bars but a more laid-back vibe than Changkat street.

Things To See And Do In Bukit Bintang

  • Shopping
    Visit the large Pavillion mall for some world-class shopping. Other notable malls include Sungai Wang Plaza and Berjaya Times Square.
  • Cinema
    Catch a movie at Pavillion’s cinema, one of KL’s best cinemas.
  • Lot10 Food Court
    Lot10 Hutong, our favorite food court in KL, is famous for having managed to gather many of the best street food restaurants in Kuala Lumpur under one roof. A must-visit if you are a foodie! And it’s such a good value for your money too.
  • Jalan Alor Street Food
    Sample the street food along Jalan Alor. The famous hawker food street Jalan Alor gets packed every night as locals and tourists come out to eat delicious street food. The Chinese food stalls and restaurants dominate the scene somewhat, and seafood is the real star. But there are also stalls serving Thai, Malay, Japanese, and middle eastern food. The whole street is filled with tables and chairs, so you can comfortably sit and enjoy your food and drinks. Our favorite is the chicken wings at Wong Ah Wah, which has been serving their crispy and juicy roasted chicken wings for a decade. A must-try!
  • Changkat Pub Street
    Party along Changkat street, a row of pre-war colonial buildings converted into KL’s most famous pub and restaurant street.
  • Heli Lounge Bar/ Helipad Bar
    Watch the sunset from the Helipad Bar. Have a drink on top of a helipad at this laidback open-air rooftop bar and watch the sunset over KL.
  • Plaza Low Yat IT-Mall
    Go electronics shopping in Malaysia’s largest IT mall.
  • TREC Clubbing
    East of Bukit Bintang (Jalan Tun Razak) has KLs largest clubs and discos, like Zouk, and live music venues on Fridays and Saturdays.

What’s The Catch?

Bukit Bintang can get a bit hectic, especially in the evenings and weekends.

Where To Stay In Bukit Bintang

Top End

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel
We only had a short 1-night stay at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, but we felt like royalty from the moment we entered the lobby. The excellent service that the staff gave us made it feel like a home away from home.

Ritz-Carlton Hotel room in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Our stylish and comfortable room at the Ritz Carlton Hotel.

We even had a private butler! He came to our room with complimentary drinks, polished our shoes, and made our beds in the evening. Wonderful service!

The Ritz-Carlton is one of Malaysia’s finest 5-star hotels. It is a great luxury option at a price that is much more affordable than similar properties in other parts of the world.

The hotel has kept its old-world elegance. We loved the impressive lobby area and our spacious room with every imaginable comfort, including a huge marble-tiled bathroom with a bathtub (and bath salt!) and a separate shower.

Ritz-Carlton Hotel Kuala Lumpur
Maria taking a break by Ritz Carlton’s swimming pool.

There are two swimming pools (one is adult only), as well as a fitness center. The fitness center, by the way, is one of the best hotel gyms we have ever tried. It has everything! We did not get to try out the elegant Spa Village, but it looked amazing.

The Ritz-Carlton’s location is right next to the Pavillion Shopping center with all its shops and restaurants.
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Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur
The Banyan Tree Hotel Kuala Lumpur opened in 2018, and in 2020 it was a “Top 20 Hotels in Asia” winner in the Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards.

The spacious rooms have all the five-star comforts you’d expect, including some nice touches like a Nespresso machine and automated curtains that reveal a view to die for. The entire outer wall is covered by huge roof-to-floor windows so you can fully enjoy the spectacular sight of KL Tower, Petronas Twin Towers, Merdeka 118, and TRX tower. The bathrooms have a gorgeous bathtub, rain shower, and Japanese-style automated toilets.

Head to the open-air roof-top bar Vertigo on the 59th floor for a 360-degree view of the city skyline. Or enjoy the hotel’s outdoor swimming pool surrounded by comfortable lounge beds and a seating area. There is also a small but well-equipped gym.

Its prime location just across the road from KL’s central shopping hub, The Pavilion, makes it a convenient place to stay. You can easily walk over to Raja Chulan Monorail Station and Bukit Bintang MRT Station in 5 minutes to take public transport around the city.
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Other excellent top-end hotels in this area include:

Mid Range

Capri by Fraser
Our favorite hotel in Kuala Lumpur used to be the Capri by Fraser in the Bangsar South area, but sadly it closed down. So when Capri by Fraser opened up a brand new hotel in downtown KL in December 2021, we knew we had to try it out.

I can honestly say that this Capri by Fraser hotel is now one of our top-three favorite KL hotels. We immediately fell in love with this chic and comfortable hotel where all rooms/ apartments have a kitchen, and you’re just a 5-min walk to the best shopping in KL.

All rooms have a kitchen with a microwave and a big fridge (very convenient), a slick and modern design with the most comfortable beds, and a gigantic TV with a soundbar. The hotel has a movie theme regarding interior design, and many free movies are on the TV. You can also watch Netflix and other streaming.

Our room was on the 25th floor, and we loved the roof-to-floor windows with amazing panoramic views over KL city.

The hotel’s star is the outdoor infinity swimming pool on the 41st floor! We loved laying on the sunbeds and enjoying the skyline view of Kuala Lumpur. We also used the gym on the 42nd floor, which is top-notch (with all types of equipment) and open 24/7.

Capri by Fraser has the perfect location, right in the middle of Bukit Bintang with many restaurants, cafes, pubs, and shops, and only a 5-min walk to the big Pavilion shopping mall.
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The Kuala Lumpur Journal Hotel
The Kuala Lumpur Journal Hotel is a small cozy boutique hotel located in the heart of Bukit Bintang. We were initially a bit skeptical when booking the Kuala Lumpur Journal Hotel. Situated in the heart of Bukit Bintang, we feared it might be a bit noisy. Thankfully, the location turned out to be fantastic, on a quiet side street, just a few minute’s walk away from the action.

We love the modern design and comfort of the rooms. All rooms have a large flat-screen TV, minibar, air-con, free wifi, and floor-to-ceiling windows. We slept like babies in comfortable beds! πŸ™‚

We L-O-V-E-D the newly renovated infinity rooftop swimming pool and bar β€” an excellent place to wind down and relax after the sightseeing and shopping in KL.
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Mercure Kuala Lumpur Shaw Parade
A popular hotel that offers excellent value for your money! We loved our room, which was well designed, modern, and comfortable with air-con, a large flat-screen TV with international channels, free wifi, and a minibar.

The hotel has a great location. You can easily walk to the Pavilion shopping mall and all the action of Bukit Bintang in less than 15 minutes. The swimming pool has a great view overlooking the city, and the gym is well-equipped.
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Budget

Gold3 Boutique Hotel
This cozy and stylish little boutique hotel has an excellent location right in the heart of Bukit Bintang (it is located right by the big Sephora shop and Fahrenheit 88 mall). It is close to metro and monorail stations. The rooms are modern, clean, and fresh, with a relaxed Scandinavian vibe. I love the decor, like the wall decorated with old cameras. The rooms are quite small but have a private bathroom, air-con, and TV. This 3-star hotel is a good value for your money in this central location of KL.
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Indie Hotel
This lovely and fairly new hotel (2018) has big modern and chic rooms (25-30 mΒ²/ 269-323 ft2). The hotel is on a quiet residential street, opposite the road from Lanson Place Apartment Hotel (described further up). From Indie Hotel, you can easily walk to the famous street food street Jalon Alor or Changkat pub street in 5 min, or the central Bukit Bintang in 10 min. All rooms have a private bathroom, air-con, and tv.
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citizenM
With its colorful and edgy interior design, citizenM Hotel is a fantastic budget option in Bukit Bintang. It is pretty new and opened in 2018. The rooms are a bit small, but have everything you need. A standout feature is a big TV with airplay and a convenient pad from which you can control everything in the room (lights, blinds, etc.). Good breakfast and comfortable beds as well. CitizenM has a great location, on a side street to the famous Jalan Alor Food Street.
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2. Kuala Lumpur City Center – KLCC

Kuala Lumpur City Center, or KLCC for short, is next to Bukit Bintang, the most popular area to stay in Kuala Lumpur.

KLCC is where you find the famous and spectacular Petronas Towers, the world’s tallest twin towers. Many of the hotels in this area have views of the Petronas.

Where to stay in KLCC, Kuala Lumpur Map
Kuala Lumpur City Center – KLCC. Best hotels: The RuMa Hotel & Residences, Mandarin Oriental, W Hotel, Villa Samadhi, Ascott Star KLCC Apartment Hotel, Traders Hotel, The Bed KLCC.
Maria, in front of the spectacular Petronas Towers!

Gazing up at the beautifully illuminated Petronas Towers is an experience not soon forgotten.

Staying in this area will put you right in the middle of everything, with lots of restaurants and shopping nearby.

And with the elevated, covered pedestrian walkway that links KLCC with Bukit Bintang, you can easily walk to even more restaurants, shopping, and street food.

Another highlight of this area is the lovely green and lush KLCC Park. It’s a beautiful place to go for an afternoon walk, take a run, or just let the kids play. Don’t miss the magnificent light show in the evening water fountain!

Why Stay In The KLCC Area?

KLCC is a great area to stay in if you are looking for top-end luxurious hotels, high-end restaurants, and a more sophisticated nightlife than Bukit Bintang. There is a whole cluster of upscale shopping malls here, with the Suria KLCC mall at the base of the towers being the crown jewel.

Just in front of the towers is the beautiful KLCC park, our favorite central green lung in Kuala Lumpur.

KLCC Park Kuala Lumpur
The beautiful KLCC Park is right in front of the Petronas Towers and has a spectacular evening light show.

Here you can relax and escape the concrete for a while or join the crowds for an evening run as the park has a 1,3 km long soft-surface jogging path.

There is a children’s playground and a public pool here as well. Every evening the fountains in front of the tower light up with a spectacular light show called Lake Symphony, where the water fountains and colorful lights dance to the music.

KLCC is also well served by public transportation, and if you enjoy walking, Bukit Bintang can be reached in about 20 minutes by foot.

What To See And Do In KLCC

  • Petronas Towers
    KL’s most famous and iconic twin towers are one of the world’s most impressive modern buildings. Be sure to visit in the evening when the towers are lit up in all their glory, sparkling like thousands of diamonds.
  • KLCC Lake Symphony Water Show
    Every evening at 20:00, 21:00, and 22:00, the fountains in the KLCC Park perform a spectacular colorful, choreographed dance show to music.
  • KLCC Park
    The area’s green lung provides a peaceful escape from the otherwise hectic city life and a beautiful place for an afternoon walk.
  • Traders Hotel Skybar
    The famous Skybar on the 33rd floor at the Traders Hotel is well worth a visit for its spectacular view of Petronas Towers. No tripods allowed (personally experienced).
  • Aquaria KLCC
    An impressive aquarium with a 90-meter underwater tunnel you can walk through.
  • Suria KLCC Mall
    Suria KLCC Mall is an enormous shopping mall at the foot of the Petronas Towers filled with international brands. Their food court is an excellent option for cheaper meals. There is also a big supermarket in the basement with all kinds of local and international food, drinks, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Petronas Art Gallery
    Look at the thousands of local and international paintings, photographs, and sculptures displayed at the Petronas Art Gallery inside the Suria Mall.
  • Petrosains Technology Museum
    This technology and discovery museum is located inside the Suria Mall.

What’s The Catch?

KLCC is an expensive part of the city to stay in. Beyond the top-end luxury hotels, there are very few budget options in the heart of KLCC. Mid-range hotels and apartment hotels tend to be a bit further away from the Petronas twin towers.

Where To Stay In KLCC

Top End

The RuMa Hotel and Residences
If I were to describe the award-winning 5-star RuMa hotel in only one word, it would be W-O-W! β™₯

We felt very welcome from the moment we stepped into the stylish reception and the friendly receptionist greeted us with welcome drinks. We love the stylish interior design of the RuMa Hotel. It is like taken out of a film, so classic and elegant!

Maria at RuMa’s swimming pool

No wonder this hotel has received a bunch of awards since it opened in 2018, including the 5th Best Hotel in Asia (Luxury Lifestyle Magazine Readers’ Travel Awards 2019) and Best New Hotel, Global (Haute Grandeur Global Hotel Awards 2019).

The rooms are gigantic; our room was 43 mΒ² (463 ft2) with everything you need to stay in KL comfortably.

Beautiful design room at The RuMa Hotel Kuala Lumpur
Our room was huge and stylish. And super comfortable! Could have stayed there forever.

The bathroom is huge too, with two sinks, a separate shower, and a bathtub. The minibar is complimentary (yep, including free beer, which was a massive surprise to us!). The window blinds are the best, making the room completely dark so you can easily sleep off your jetlag.

The RuMa has the perfect central location close to both KLCC Park and Petronas Twin Towers, but also close enough to the shopping in Bukit Bintang. We walked to Petronas Twin Towers and Suria KLCC Mall in 7 min, and to all the action and shopping in Bukit Bintang in 5 min. So you are basically in the middle of everything.

The breakfast is superb with everything you can imagine (I had to order the egg benedicts twice as they were so good). The outdoor swimming pool on the 6th floor with cool lounge beds is excellent too, as well as the spa and 24h gym. We loved everything about this hotel and could have stayed there forever (we even extended our stay).
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Mandarin Oriental
If you feel like some pampering, there is no hardy any better hotel in KL than the grand 5-star Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

Here you can enjoy a relaxing massage, a soak in the Jacuzzi, or a swim in the spectacular outdoor infinity pool overlooking the KLCC Park. The hotel also has a well-equipped fitness center, an indoor golf course, and even a tennis court with a coach.

Mandarin Oriental Lobby Kula Lumpur
The grand lobby at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

We had a lovely room that really lived up to the hotel’s high standard. It was large and luxurious with every modern comfort.

With spectacular views overlooking the KLCC Park, world-class friendly service, and no less than ten in-house restaurants, the Mandarin Oriental is classic oriental luxury at its best.

The location is also hard to beat, right next door to KLCC Suria Mall, the KLCC Park, and the Petronas Towers. Our only problem was that we never wanted to leave the hotel. πŸ™‚
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W Hotel
No other hotel can quite match the awe-inspiring close-up view of the Petronas Twin Towers that you have from W Hotel’s fantastic swimming pool and bar!

The hotel is a part of the global W Hotels group, famous for its bold colorful interior design, and this hotel is no exception. Colorful, fun, urban luxury is the theme, from restaurants to elegant, sleek rooms. Local Malaysian influences include batik wall motifs and bamboo-inspired chandeliers.

The rooms are spacious with all modern comfort, including welcome touches like a Nespresso maker and a well-stocked mini-bar. I loved relaxing in the bathtub after a full day of sightseeing KL. The hotel is relatively new (it opened in 2018) and lives up to its five-star rating in every way. You can walk across the street to Petronas Twin Towers and Suria KLCC Mall in like 3 min.
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Villa Samadhi
Villa Samadhi is a unique luxury villa resort in the middle of the high-rise-dominated KL center. There is nothing else quite like this hotel in Kuala Lumpur.

The garden and the pool that connects all the rooms create a peaceful hideaway, and as soon as you set foot in Villa Samadhi, the busy city outside fades away. The rooms are spacious and elegantly furnished in a luxurious contemporary Asian style.
There is a complimentary cocktail hour every evening, and the service is everything you would expect from a five-star hotel. The price of this hotel is a little steep, but if you are looking for something truly unique and memorable, then Villa Samadhi might be the one!
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Mid Range

Ascott Star KLCC (Apartments)
The brand new Ascott Star KLCC (opened in March 2022) has studio apartments with a kitchenette and 1-2 bedroom apartments with a fully equipped kitchen. All rooms have a private bathroom, a dishwasher and washing machine/ dryer, a microwave oven (some with an oven too), and a convenient full-size fridge.

We stayed at a 1-bedroom apartment, which was brand new and super comfortable. We could easily have stayed there long-term. I loved that we got to wash and dry our clothes, a real lifesaver.

Ascott Star has two outdoor swimming pools! The one on the 6th floor is gigantic, has a kids pool and cozy lounge beds, and is surrounded by trees.

The rooftop infinity on the 57th floor has incredible views of the Petronas Twin Towers (some of the rooms also have this spectacular view). And the pools are open until 22:00/ 10 PM, which was great. So we went for an evening swim at the rooftop pool while admiring the sparkling Petronas Towers.

And the gym, just WOW! It is a huge professional gym with personal trainers and every training equipment you can imagine (even boxing). We had a complete workout here.

The hotel’s immediate surroundings only have a few restaurants nearby, but you can walk to Petronas and Suria KLCC Mall in only 5 minutes. Or do like us, order food by Grab. Ascott Star KLCC is an excellent value for the money in this part of KL.
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Traders Hotel
There is arguably no better place in KL to enjoy the spectacular view of the Petronas Towers than from the top of the Traders Hotel. Located right across from the towers and separated only by the KLCC park, the views from the hotel’s tower-facing rooms are fantastic!

Even if you are not staying here, the famous Skybar on the 33rd floor is a fantastic place to enjoy an evening drink or two and take some photos of the Petronas Towers.

While we enjoyed the spectacular views from our room and the hotel’s central location right next to the KLCC park, we weren’t that impressed by the room itself.

Traders Hotel is quite an expensive hotel, and we felt that the room, although comfortable and spacious, looked somewhat dated and could do with a little refresher. There is a large indoor pool inside the Skybar on the top floor but no outdoor pool.
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Budget

The Bed KLCC
This budget hotel has double rooms (2 people), big family rooms (4 people), and capsule beds. All rooms have shared bathrooms and air-con. It is clean and has a good location within walking distance to the Petronas Twin Towers and KL Tower.

There is a 7-Eleven right next to the hotel entrance. The hotel has a kitchen and cozy lounge where you can cook, bring some takeaway food, and meet other travelers. We particularly love the “fireplace” in the lounge area; so cozy.
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3. KL Sentral And Lake Gardens

The KL Sentral area is convenient to stay in as it is home to KL Sentral Train Station, Kuala Lumpur’s main transportation hub. As a result, you can quickly and easily get to any part of the city or the rest of Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore.

The city’s many forms of transportation interlink here, including the MRT lines, LRT trains, monorail, and the airport Klia Express train.

where to stay in Kl Central Map
KL Sentral & Lake Gardens Area. Best hotels: The Majestic Hotel, St. Regis, Hilton, Aloft

There are a lot of excellent high-end international hotels in this area, as well as restaurants serving both local and international food.

The large NU Sentral Shopping Mall is connected to the KL Sentral Station and has hundreds of shops, restaurants, cafes, convenience stores, and cinemas.

Why Stay In The KL Sentral Area?

Being so well connected with public transport can make exploring KL and its nearby sights much more accessible.

The LRT line can quickly and efficiently take you to the KLCC area with its Petronas Towers and Chinatown. The monorail is convenient for getting to the Bukit Bintang area with its big shopping malls and the famous street food of Jalan Alor. The KTM Komuter train can take you to the Batu Cave Temple (30 min train ride) or the Mid Valley Mega Mall. And the KLIA airport express will get you to and from the airport in a hurry.

However, the area has more to offer than just ease of transportation. The beautiful Lake Garden, the city’s largest park, with its Botanical Gardens, the KL Bird Park, several museums, and the National Mosque, is also within walking distance.

The beautiful park Lake Gardens is located in the KL Sentral area. In the background are St. Regis Hotel and Hilton Hotel.

Another exciting area nearby is Brickfield, often called Little India. It’s a 10-minute walk from KL Sentral station, a fun area to explore, and a great place to eat authentic Indian food.

What To See And Do In The KL Sentral Area

  • Perdana Botanical Garden
    Kuala Lumpur’s largest park – Lake Gardens, is home to a deer park, a lake, an orchid garden, and a herbarium.
  • KL Bird Park
    The world’s largest free-flight bird park is well worth a visit.
  • KL Butterfly Park
    At this park, you can experience more than 100 species of colorful butterflies up close.
  • Islamic Arts Museum
    Admire fantastic work collected from around the Islamic world.
  • National Museum
    Learn about Kuala Lumpur’s history.
  • Rent a bike
    City bikes are perfect for exploring the park and the city. City bikes can be found all over the city at designated oBike stops.
  • NU Sentral Mall
    This large shopping mall has cinemas, shops, and dining.
  • Little India
    Explore the colorful and vibrant Little India and try delicious Indian food from the hawkers around the fountain.

What’s The Catch?

It’s not the most accessible area to explore on foot. Traffic is crazy, and the streets are wide with few pedestrian crossings. We frequently had to take detours to find a place to cross the road.

Where To Stay In The KL Sentral Area

Top End

The Majestic Hotel
The grand colonial-styled Majestic Hotel is a truly spectacular hotel that impressed us in every way. We felt at home here immediately.

Here you get a luxury 5-star hotel at a reasonable room rate. You’ll be amazed by the room size, beautiful design, and bathtub.

Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur
The beautiful 5-star colonial-style Majestic Hotel is an excellent value for your money.

The Majestic Hotel is one of the last classic luxury hotels in Kuala Lumpur and has been around since 1932.

It recently underwent a complete restoration that modernized the hotel while keeping its old-world charm.

Seldom have we been met with such genuine smiles and service from everyone, from the doorman dressed in his colonial-style uniform to the reception staff. The rooms are tastefully decorated with super comfortable four-poster beds, a cozy sitting area, and a large bathroom with a tub and even a built-in TV! Loved it! I could have stayed in the bathtub forever! πŸ™‚

We loved the afternoon tea service in the salon, and the beautiful orchid room has to be seen to be believed. The hotel has an outdoor pool and a well-equipped gym. There is also a super cool old vintage bar.

If there are any drawbacks to this hotel, it must be the location. It is almost inside the Lake Gardens, making walking to KL Sentral Station and the surrounding shops and restaurants a little challenging.

To remedy this the hotel has no less than three frequently running free hotel shuttles. They run every 30 minutes and will take you to different parts of the city, including – the KL station, Mid-Valley Mega Mall, and Bukit Bintang (Starhill shopping mall). We found the shuttles very convenient and used them every day.

The hotel is surprisingly affordable for the level of service and comfort it provides. We highly recommend it!
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St. Regis
The St. Regis Hotel is one of Kuala Lumpur’s ultra-luxury hotels, yet it is still very much rooted in the style of old-world elegance. The theme here is old Hollywood with its glitz and glamour, which inspired the hotel’s beautiful decor!

The rooms are spacious with a walk-in closet and a stunning bathroom, including butler service. Our room was beautifully decorated in classic dark wood and grey furnishings. No expense was spared in making this the ultimate Kuala Lumpur luxury hotel.
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Another great top-end hotel in this area is Hilton Kuala Lumpur.

Mid Range

Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral
The Aloft Hotel is a trendy hotel conveniently located right next to the KL Sentral Station and connected to the Nu Mall with all its shops and restaurants. Although our room was a bit dark, it was stylishly decorated in a trendy colorful style, well equipped, and spacious with large comfortable beds.

We particularly enjoyed the rooftop pool and bar with a spectacular city view. The service was friendly and professional, and the wifi free and fast. Overall, the Aloft Hotel is excellent value for money, and we had a great stay there.
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4. KL Tower – Bukit Nanas

The most famous sight in the KL Tower/ Bukit Nanas area is the spectacular KL Tower, or Menara Tower, as it is formally named.

where to stay in KL Tower, Kuala Lumpur Map
KL Tower/ Bukit Nanas Area. Best hotels: Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur, The FACE Suites, Lanson Place Apartment Hotel.
KL Tower - Kuala Lumpur
KL Tower gets lit up after dark and is even more beautiful then.

KL Tower is one of the most iconic landmarks of Kula Lumpur. Constructed in 1995 and rising 421 meters towards the sky, this communication tower is visible from much of KL.

The open-air deck at 300 meters has a spectacular view of the city.

Surrounding the KL Tower is the Eco Park, consisting of the last remains of the original rainforest in Kuala Lumpur.
In the middle of Eco Park, you can go on a free canopy walk through the treetops 30m meters above the forest ground. The canopy walkway is a lot of fun and a must-do when in this area!

The area is called Bukit Nanas and comprises a mix of residential apartments, hotels, and small shopping malls.

Why Stay In The KL Tower Area?

The KL Tower Area is centrally located, roughly halfway between Bukit Bintang and KLCC. From here you can easily walk to most places.

There are some excellent high-end and mid-range accommodation options in the KL Tower Area.

Canopy Walk Eco Park KL
We had fun doing the canopy walk in the ECO Park, located just next to KL Tower.

What To See And Do In The KL Tower Area

  • KL Tower
    KL Tower has become the symbol of KL, and you can spot it from all over the city as it is impressively 421 m tall. From the open-air deck at 300 m, you will have an amazing 360-degree view of the KL skyline! The KL Tower is well worth a visit.
  • ECO Park
    Walk along the supercool canopy walkway among the treetops in KL’s last remaining rainforest, 30 meters above the ground.

What’s The Catch?

Apart from the KL Tower and Eco-park, there are not a lot of other sights in this area.

KL Tower/ Bukit Nanas is a residential and business neighborhood with limited options for shopping and late dining. So, most visitors head for KLCC or Bukit Bintang, which is only a short walk away, to eat and enjoy KL’s nightlife.

Where To Stay In The KL Tower Area

Top End

Shangri La Kuala Lumpur
The Shangri La is one of Kuala Lumpur’s most illustrious 5-star hotels. The hotel has been taking excellent care of its guests for over thirty years. The legendary service is still intact and worthy of its five-star status, and every effort is made to make you feel special.

The grand lobby at Shangri La Hotel Kuala Lumpur
That Maria matches the blueish interior at the grand lobby at Shangri La Hotel is purely coincidence. πŸ™‚

Despite the hotel’s age, the rooms are well-maintained, spacious, and comfortable, with large bathrooms. You can also upgrade to a Horizon Club room which comes with airport limousine pickup, in-room check-in, and use of a private lounge.

The swimming pool is a quiet oasis in the big city. But we found it a little crowded on the weekend when the hotel was fully booked. The breakfast was terrific! It was almost like a lunch buffet with just about every thinkable option available.

We also enjoyed the free and convenient shuttle service. There is also a hop-on-hop-off bus stop right outside the hotel, which is very easy and convenient if you want to take the hop-on-hop-off bus for sightseeing in Kuala Lumpur. πŸ™‚
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THE FACE Suites(Apartments)
If you are looking for an apartment, you should look at 5-star THE FACE Suites in the Platinum building.

The apartments are huge, starting from 84 mΒ² (904 ft2) for the one-bedroom. The apartments are all elegantly furnished in a modern style and come fully equipped with everything needed for a comfortable stay.

The FACE Suites Kuala Lumpur
The FACE Suites has one of the most fabulous rooftop infinity swimming pools in KL.

As lovely as the apartments are, the star attraction here is the spectacular rooftop infinity swimming pool on the 51st floor. Possibly the most impressive rooftop pool in the city! It is simply amazing, with a panoramic view of KL Tower! πŸ™‚

With its magnificent swimming pool, large fully-equipped apartments, and a location within walking distance of the Petronas Towers,it is easy to understand why the Face Suites hotel is so popular. And it is a pretty good value for the money too.
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Mid Range

Lanson Place Bukit Ceylon (Apartments)
If you are traveling with a family, or prefer a large apartment, then Lanson Place is an excellent choice!

We stayed in a two-bedroom apartment, but several types are available. Our apartment had two bathrooms, a spacious living room (with a large dining table and a comfortable couch and TV), and a big, fully equipped kitchen.

These modern apartments are well suited for both short or more extended stays. Our kitchen had a complete set of utensils, and we found the washer/ dryer super convenient. The living room has a large flat screen tv and even a surround sound system!

Lansons Place KL Pool
The fantastic Olympic-size pool at Lanson Place.

Lanson Place has the most giant swimming pool we have ever seen! The main pool is Olympic-sized, with several children’s pools and a children’s playroom. We enjoyed the cafe next to the pool, which was perfect for grabbing something to eat and drink. The gym is excellent with everything you need to get a good workout. In addition, there is a separate Yoga/ dance room with Yoga classes.

Lanson Place is located in the quiet residential area of Bukit Ceylon. From here, it’s a five-minute walk to Jalon Alor or Changkat pub street or 10 minutes to the central Bukit Bintang.

If you are staying at Lanson Place, check out the restaurant Bijan just a few hundred meters up the street. They serve excellent Malaysian food!
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5. Chinatown & Merdeka Square

Kuala Lumpur began in Chinatown. Chinese immigrants settled where the two rivers Gombak and Klang ran together and started the trade that would grow to become the Kuala Lumpur we know today.

whwre to stay in Chinatown, KL, map
Chinatown and Merdeka Square Area. Best hotels: Four Points by Sheraton, Tian Jing Boutique Hotel, Big M Hotel, Hotel 1000 Miles, Space Hotel Chinatown.

Chinatown

Trade is still very much the order of business in the Chinatown area, with old Chinese shophouses lining the streets.

The main tourist strip is Jalan Petaling, where vendors sell all the usual tourist souvenirs and t-shirts. While it may seem like just a tourist trap, there are plenty of street food vendors here that have been serving up delicious street food, snacks, and drinks for generations. Jalan Petaling is well worth a visit!

Street food at Mee Tarik in Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur
Mee Tarik is serving one of KL’s most famous and delicious hand-made noodles. A must-try when visiting Chinatown!

Over the last few years, Chinatown has had a total facelift, and the streets are now broader with pavements (so it is an excellent area to walk around), and street art murals liven up the sidewalks. In addition, many old, worn-down shophouses have been renovated into beautiful, trendy cafes, bakeries, restaurants, bars, bookstores, art galleries, and coffee shops.

Chinatown is now Kuala Lumpur’s hippest place to eat, drink, and party. So you will not go hungry or thirsty in Chinatown.

Some of our favorite places to eat in Chinatown are: Merchant’s Lane, Concubine, Bunn Choon (make sure to try their dumplings and egg tarts), and Mee Tarik.

If you, like I, love Matcha tea, you should definitely check out the supercool Niko Neko Matcha Cafe (they also sell some delicious cakes). In the evening, head to PS150 Bar for drinks (such a cool place! They also have some light meals), and the second floor of Concubine.

Niko Neko is a cool cafe serving Matcha Tea and Matcha cakes.

The area is rich in historic buildings and old cafes and restaurants that have been here for decades, if not longer.

Merdeka Square

When the British settled, they established their base around Merdeka Square, just next to Chinatown. Here they constructed several substantial colonial-styled buildings connected by wide broadways. These buildings have been beautifully restored, and Merdeka Square is a fascinating area to explore.

The Sultan Abdul Samad Building at Merdeka Square is like taking out of a Disney film.

Merdeka Square is one of the most visited and photographed parts of Kuala Lumpur. Just across the bridge crossing the canal that runs through the Merdeka Square area, you will find one of KL’s oldest and biggest mosques – Masjid Jamek, constructed in 1909.

Why Stay In The Chinatown & Merdeka Square Area?

There are a lot of budget and backpacker-style accommodation options in Chinatown, making it a great place to meet and mingle with other travelers.

Chinatown also has some of the city’s best street food restaurants, often open day and night. Here you find some of KL’s hippest cafes, restaurants, and bars. It is a fun area and one of our favorite areas to stay in.

The atmospheric narrow alleyways, old Chinese buildings, beautiful temples, and the hustle and bustle make Chinatown a fascinating area to stay in.

Merdeka square does not have many hotels, although there are a few around the nearby Masjid Jamek MRT station.

What To See And Do In Chinatown & Merdeka Square Area

  • Go on a culture walk
    Explore the street life and narrow alleyways and observe the day-to-day life of this vibrant area
  • Petaling Street Market
    The famous Petaling Street is a hectic yet fun vendor street that hides some street food gems among all the usual tourist wares. For example, try the Apam Balik (small pancakes made of coconut milk) sold by the older man in front of Koon Kee Wantan Mee restaurant. They are delicious!
  • Central Market
    Slightly more upscale than Petaling Street, with arts and crafts for sale
  • Trendy restaurants and cafes like Merchant’s Lane Cafe
    Visit one of the many new trendy cafes and restaurants, like the almost hidden Merchant’s Lane Cafe,
  • Temples
    Explore the colorful temples like the Chinese Sin Sze Si Ya temple near the Central Market or the Sri Mahamariamman Hindu shrine.
Sin Sze Si Ya Temple
The atmospheric Sin Sze Si Ya Temple in Chinatown is well worth visiting.
  • KL Heritage Trail
    Do the KL Heritage Trail and walk among the beautiful old colonial buildings along the restored Klang River.
  • Sultan Abdul Samad Building
  • Masjid Jamek Mosque
    KL’s oldest and biggest Hindu mosque.
  • KL City Gallery
    Tourist information and a gallery of Kuala Lumpur city.
  • National Textiles Museum
    Learn how the famous Malaysian batik is made.
  • St Mary’s Cathedral
    A beautiful little church.
  • KWAI CHAI HONG
    KL’s most famous and hippest street art murals (it is a real Instagram hit!), plus cool cafes, restaurants, and bars.
    We particularly love the Concubine (turned into a cool bar in the evening) and the neighboring Buun Choon (their amazing and famous egg tarts is a must-try!).
  • REXKL
    An art hub that houses KL’s most fabulous bookstore (lots of books in English), cool shops, and a hip food court.

What’s The Catch?

There are some genuinely terrible (!) hostels aimed at backpackers here. So be careful and steer away from the rock-bottom-priced options!

Chinatown is a busy, crowded area, and the sellers along Petaling street can sometimes be pretty pushy. Expect long queues at Chinatown’s most popular restaurants and cafes on the weekends and public holidays.

Where To Stay In Chinatown

Mid-Range

Four Points by Sheraton Kuala Lumpur, Chinatown
The new Four Points Hotel (opened in 2019) is Chinatown’s best and most modern hotel. Here you will stay comfortable in big rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, a modern bathroom, big tv, air-con, and a fridge. We simply love this hotel and ended up staying here way longer than we intended.

Maria enjoying the nice room at Four Points by Sheraton Kuala Lumpur
Maria in our comfortable room at Chinatown’s new Four Points by Sheraton Hotel.

The hotel has a popular and famous bar on the 7th floor – JANN. Here you can sip a glass of wine or have a drink while enjoying some great views over Chinatown, Petronas Twin Towers, and KL Tower. There is also a swimming pool and gym on the same floor.

Lovely view of KL tower and Petronas twin tower from Four Points by Sheraton Kuala Lumpur
You can see both the KL Tower and Petronas Twin Tower from the pool and Jann bar at Four Points Hotel.

By staying at Four Points Hotel, you are right in the heart of Chinatown, with all the sights and fancy restaurants, cafes, and bars just a few steps away from the hotel entrance.
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Tian Jing Hotel
If you prefer a more authentic Chinatown experience, then the charming Tiang Jing Hotel is where you want to stay. This small, beautiful award-winning boutique hotel is set in a renovated old Chinese shophouse in the heart of Chinatown.

Tian Jing Hotel Chinatown Kuala Lumpur
The beautiful boutique hotel Tian Jing is located in the heart of Chinatown.

Although the hotel is located in a busy street with cafes, restaurants, and shops, all rooms face the inner courtyard and are peaceful. The 15 rooms are clean and have a fresh and stylish design.

We loved small interior details like the old push-button telephone and the ceramic teapot on the bedside table.

Stunning interior design at Tian Jing Hotel, Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur
Beautiful interior design at Tian Jing Hotel. I love these rattan chairs!

Although you might think the hotel is named after the big Chinese city Tianjin, this is not the case. “Tian Jing” also means “air well” in Chinese (倩井), as the hotel building incorporates air ventilation and natural lighting perfectly.

Some rooms have a balcony and an open-air shower garden out in the courtyard. Don’t worry; you can lower the blinds so no one will see you. πŸ™‚

The hotel has a lovely cafe, Lim Kee Cafe, on the ground floor, serving excellent coffee and tea. Well worth a visit even if you are not staying at this hotel.

Maria in the cafe at Tian Jing Hotel, Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur
Maria is enjoying a Matcha Latte at the Lim Kee Cafe on the ground floor at Tian Jing Hotel.

Tian Jing is such a fantastic little gem of a boutique hotel with a beautiful interior and a great location in the middle of Chinatown. It is surrounded by some of KL’s best and hippest restaurants and cafes.
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Budget

Big M Hotel
The Big M Hotel is excellent value for the money with simple but clean and comfortable rooms complete with air-con, flat-screen tv, free wifi, and a private bathroom with hot water. There is also a rooftop terrace.

The location is excellent, within easy walking distance to Merdeka Square and Chinatown with Masjid Jamek MRT station right next door and plenty of places to eat and drink. If you have trouble finding it, look for Mcdonald’s, as it sits right on top of it. πŸ™‚
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Hotel 1000 miles
You find basic but clean and comfortable rooms with private bathrooms at the affordable 1000 Miles Hotel close to Masjid Jamek MRT station.

The staff are the real gems of this place and take excellent care of their guests. There are also dorm rooms available at a low price. Just across the street, you find the trendy Kafe Kleptokrat, where you can dine in an excellent courtyard with a swimming pool. We had lunch and cakes here, which were delicious! A real Instagram-friendly place.
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Space Hotel
Another excellent budget accommodation option in Chinatown is the space-themed capsule-style rooms at the Space Hotel. The hotel has double rooms (2 people), family rooms with bunk beds (4 people), and single dorms/ capsules (mixed and women-only). All rooms have air-con and shared bathrooms.

The most remarkable thing about this hotel is its space theme. You feel like you have entered NASA when you step into the lobby. There is a huge astronaut statue right next to the reception desk. The capsules look like something out of a spaceship, and there are space art and murals on the walls. So cool!

The hotel has a terrace where you can sit and work on your laptop or just chill. And a cozy common space where you can meet other travelers, play chess or card games, watch Netflix, and just hang out.
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6. Chow Kit, Kampung Baru & Masjid India

We have grouped the three neighborhoods, Chow Kit, Kampung Baru, and Masjid India, into one area as they are relatively small and located just next to each other. Therefore, you can easily walk between them in just a few minutes.

Our favorite KL hotel is located here – Hotel Stripes, which is an excellent value.

These three neighborhoods are the least visited by tourists of all the areas we recommend here. These are, however, excellent places to explore to see and experience everyday life in Kuala Lumpur, away from the shopping malls and the highrise buildings.

Here you can still catch a glimpse of Kuala Lumpur’s past and history. We love walking around among the old wooden houses and quiet streets away from the more busy touristy parts of the city.

where to stay in Chow Kit
Chow Kit, Kampung Baru & Masjid India Area. Best hotels: Hotel Stripes, Sheraton Imperial.

Chow Kit Neighborhood

Chow Kit is a residential area with predominantly Malay inhabitants and is home to Malaysia’s largest fresh market – Bazaar Baru Chow Kit.

Bazaar Baru Chow Kit
Maria shopping at Bazaar Baru Chow Kit, Malaysia’s largest fresh market.

Kampung Baru Neighborhood

Kampung Baru, meaning “New Village,” is the closest you can come to a village inside Kuala Lumpur. It is surprisingly unchanged by time and an excellent place to see what Kuala Lumpur once was. The area has an authentic laid-back everyday village atmosphere with its low wooden houses.

Masjid India Neighborhood

Masjid India used to be KLs Little India until 2010, when Brickfields was officially declared the city’s Little India. Masjid India is, however, still Indian influenced with lots of Indian restaurants.

Masjid India comes to life on Saturday evenings when the vast street market Masjid India Pasar Malam sets up. Along the two roads, Lg Tuanku Abdul Rahman and Jalan TAR, rows of stalls appear in the late afternoon in front of the Masjid India Mosque.

Masjid India Pasar Malam market
Maria shopping at Masjid India Pasar Malam night market (open on Saturdays).

These three neighborhoods aren’t typical tourist destinations and are a little off the beaten path. But there are some sights to see, such as the traditional Malay treehouses of Kampung Baru. Walk around these smaller neighborhoods and get an excellent feel for everyday life here.

Why Stay In Chow Kit, Kampung Baru & Masjid India

We love exploring the neighborhoods of Little India and Kampung Baru, but when it comes to accommodation, we prefer to stay slightly south of Kampung Baru.

Our favorite area is around Chang Wangi station and Masjid India. With excellent top-end hotels available at a reasonable price and some of the best restaurants in KL lined up in a little street called merely The Row and the surrounding streets.

The Quill mall is also close with plenty of shops, a big supermarket, and a cinema.

This is also a well-connected base to explore the city with the Chang Wangi LRT Station and Medan Tuanku monorail stations nearby. If you, like us, like to walk, then KL Tower, ECO Park, and the KLCC area are about 10-20 minutes away.

What To See And Do In Chow Kit, Kampung Baru & Masjid India

  • Limapulo Restaurant
    Visit our favorite restaurant in Kuala Lumpur, the Limapulo Restaurant, for the best Malay curries and Laksa! Read our guide to Kuala Lumpur’s best food for more about Limapula and other must-try restaurants and dishes!
  • Bazaar Baru Chow Kit Market
    It’s fun walking around this enormous colorful fresh market with a staggering selection of fruits, vegetables, spices, meat, and fish.
  • Old traditional wooden houses
    Walk among the traditional wooden houses of Kampung Baru
  • Tatt Khalsa Diwan Gurdwara Temple
    Southeast Asia’s largest Sikh temple
  • Jalan Raja Muda Musa Restaurant Street
    Explore the main Kampung Baru restaurant strip along the street Jalan Raja Muda Musa
  • Stop off for a Mango Susa smoothie
    Many street vendors along Jalan Raja Alang serve a delicious fresh mango smoothie.
  • Titiwangsa Lake Gardens Park
    The leafy and green Titiwansa park is just north of Chow Kit, perfect for a stroll and taking photos of the KLs skyline. You can even hire a motorboat, play tennis, hire a bike and go cycling, or join a helicopter trip over KL.
  • Masjid India Pasar Malam Saturday Market
    An excellent and vibrant Saturday street market.

What’s The Catch?

At night the streets opposite the Bazaar Baru Chow Kit market become a local red-light district and are best avoided.

However, our recommended hotels are far from this red-light district, and the area is otherwise safe.

Mid-Range

Hotel Stripes
Hotel Stripes is one of our absolute favorite hotels in Kuala Lumpur, and we keep coming back here repeatedly. It offers excellent value for money. We love the stylish and ultra-comfortable rooms and the small touches like the Nespresso machine in every room.

Our fantastic room at Hotel Stripes in Kuala Lumpur
Our stylish and comfortable room at Hotel Stripes.
Maria at the desk at Hotel Stripes, Kuala Lumpur
The room has a convenient desk. Maria loves to sit and work there with views of KL city.

The rooftop swimming pool has a fantastic view of KL Tower and Eco Park! The swimming pool area turns into a cool, relaxed open-air rooftop bar on Friday and Saturday evenings. They also have an excellent restaurant on the ground floor serving a fusion of Asian and Western food.

There are plenty of excellent restaurants to choose from nearby. Our favorites are the Tapestry and the Ali, Muthu & Ah Hock @Dang Wangi for breakfast/lunch, Heritage Pizza (incredible wood-fired Italian pizza), and Woo Pin Noodle House (don’t forget to try the egg tarts), and Limapulo for some delicious Peranakan food. Some of these restaurants are in our article Must-try restaurants in KL.

Hotel Stripes is our go-to hotel, and whenever we visit KL we spend at least a couple of nights here. The five-star-like service and facilities at a great price, the friendly staff, and the fantastic restaurants nearby keep us coming back.
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Sheraton Imperial
The Sheraton Hotel is getting a little old but is still a grand hotel that offers a lot for the money. It is a classic, elegant hotel with spacious rooms, ultra-comfortable beds, quality linen, and marble floor bathrooms.

Sheraton Hotel KL
The grand Sheraton Hotel lobby

While the decor is a little old-fashioned, the rooms have been well kept and modernized with large screen TVs and every modern comfort. There is a beautiful poolside area with a lovely pool and a great gym. Breakfast is excellent with plenty of options.

The location of the Sheraton Hotel is excellent, right next to the Medan Tuanku monorail station and opposite the road from the Quill mall (which has a huge supermarket in the basement and also a cinema). The hotel is also right opposite our favorite restaurant street in KL, The Row, packed with some of the city’s best restaurants like Limapulo.
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Budget

MoMo’s Kuala Lumpur
This small and relatively new hotel (opened in 2019) is a great budget option in KL. I love its stylish Japanese/ IKEA interior style. All rooms have a private bathroom, air-con, and a TV. The rooms are a bit small but comfortable with practical solutions. The hotel is right by the Quill shopping mall, within short walking distance of all the fantastic restaurants and cafes in The Row area.
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7. Bangsar South

If you prefer to stay a little outside of the hectic downtown of KL then South Bangsar may be just what you are looking for.

South Bangsar is a quiet, upscale residential area with modern highrise buildings on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur. It has become a trendy area to stay in lately, with plenty of top-notch restaurants, malls, and big and posh supermarkets.

You find several nice apartment hotels here with a fully-equipped kitchen and several bedrooms, perfect for staying in with kids.

Bangsar South Area. Best hotels: Pullman Hotel, VE Hotel & Residence

Why Stay In Bangsar South Area

We first stayed in Bangsar South in 2016, when this area was under construction. Back then, there was only one hotel in Bangsar South, and Taxi drivers never seemed to know it, but that has all changed.

Now everyone knows of Bangsar South as it has become a hip and trendy area with restaurants and cafes.

Bangsar South Nexus MallBangsar South Nexus Mall
The restaurant and cafe strip in Bangsar South offers several excellent dining options.

On our most recent visit, we found new malls and hotels popping up all over the Bangsar South area. There are now plenty of restaurants, cafes, and bakeries to choose from within easy walking distance. One of our favorite additions to the neighborhood is the new Village Grocer supermarket, a great place to stock up on some food and drinks.

While there are some full-service hotels here, many of the hotels here are fully-equipped apartment hotels (one, two, or three-bedroom apartments). Well suited for more extended stays or if you prefer plenty of space and the opportunity to do some of your own cooking or have kids.

The two LRT rail stations, Universiti Station and Kerinchi Station, make this area a great base from which to explore the city. The trip to KL Sentral only takes about 10 minutes. It is also easy to grab a taxi or Grab.

Because of the distance from the city center, accommodation here tends to be less expensive than similar apartments and hotels in, for instance, the Bukit Bintang /Bukit Ceylon or the Bukit Nanas area.

What To See And Do In Bangsar South

  • Mid Valley Mega Mall
    A gigantic shopping mall, one of KL’s biggest, with an excellent cinema – GSC Mid Valley Megamall.
  • KL Gateway Mall
    Plenty of excellent restaurants and cafes.

What’s The Catch?

There are no real sights in this area, and you need to use the train or take a taxi/ Grab to get into the city center.

Top End

Pullman Kuala Lumpur Bangsar
The 5-star Pullman Kuala Lumpur Bangsar Hotel is starting to look a little tired but is still fairly good value. The rooms are spacious (37-41 mΒ²) and have everything you need. The outdoor swimming pool is excellent, with sun beds perfect for relaxation. The hotel is only a 10-min walk from the Kerinchi LRT station and right across the road from the KL Gateway Mall with shops, restaurants, and cafes.
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Mid Range

VE Hotel & Residence
VE Hotel has a mix of standard hotel rooms and apartments (big and small, some with several bedrooms) available.

VE Hotel & Residence
The swimming pool at VE Hotel & Residence

The rooms are well equipped with comfortable beds, air-con, and a flat-screen tv. Apartments come with a full kitchen, a washer/ dryer, and a rooftop swimming pool and gym. The staff seems a little unaccustomed to running a hotel, and service could be improved, but the facilities are still good value for money.
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Quick Summary Of The Best Places To Stay In Kuala Lumpur

What area to choose depends mainly on what you want to get out of your trip.

  • For modern nightlife, shopping malls, cinemas, and entertainment, consider staying in the Bukit Bintang area.
  • If Kuala Lumpur’s finest hotels, upscale shopping, and sophisticated dining are what you are looking for, the KLCC area is where you want to be.
  • If you are wondering where to stay in Kuala Lumpur with kids, then the KLCC area is a great choice. The large KLCC park (including a children’s playground and pool area), Petronas Towers, water fountain show, aquarium, and easy access to shopping and dining make it one of the best places to stay in Kuala Lumpur with children.
  • If you are a budget traveler, then the Chinatown / Merdeka Square area is known to have the most budget accommodations. However, you can find fantastic hostels and inexpensive mid-range hotels in most parts of the city, including Bukit Bintang, KL Tower, and Kampung Baru.
  • If ease of transportation is essential, you should consider the KL Central area. The KL Central Station offers easy access to all parts of the city, the airport as well as other parts of the country. There are hotels at any price range from top-end to budget here.
  • Finally, one of our favorite areas is the Kampung Baru / Mashin India area. Here you are still within walking distance of most sights, yet it is a quiet and authentic neighborhood that sees much fewer tourists. It’s also become one of KL’s most popular restaurant scenes.

Friendly vendors at Bazar Chow Kit Baru
Two happy guys that we met at a market in KL πŸ™‚

There you go, our seven favorite areas of Kuala Lumpur to stay in, along with our recommended Kuala Lumpur hotels.

Hopefully, you now know a little bit more about Kuala Lumpur’s different areas, and deciding where to stay in Kuala Lumpur has become a little easier.

We plan on continuously expanding and improving this guide; please let us know if you have any suggestions and tips in the comment area below.

If you’re looking for some inspiration about what to do in Kuala Lumpur, make sure also to read our updated and expanded guide on the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur.

Also, check out our favorite restaurants in Kuala Lumpur for when you get hungry.


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Guide to where to stay in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Where to stay in Kuala Lumpur

Have you been to Kuala Lumpur? If so, which area and hotel did you stay in? If you have any recommendations on where to stay in Kuala Lumpur, please leave a comment in the comment area below. We’d love to hear from you. And if you enjoyed this article and found it useful, please share it on social media. Thank you so much! πŸ™‚

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About The Writer Espen Egeland

Espen is a Norwegian travel nerd who started his independent travels at age 19 when he bought a one-way ticket to Indonesia in search of adventure. He has explored more than thirty countries across six continents, lived in Thailand and studied in Australia. He has a master's degree in computer science, but his true passion is photography, filmmaking, and sharing his love of travel. In 2014, while on a year-long trip across South - East Asia, he co-founded the travel blog Nerd Nomads. Since then he's been a full-time traveler. See our about page for more about Espen.

30 Comments

  1. I’m hoping to visit Malaysia at the end of the year, so this was really, really helpful. I’ve read that the best time to visit the west coast is in December and January but if you want to visit the east coast, you should go in the summer months. But when is the best time to visit Kuala Lumpur?

    Reply
    • Hi Julie,

      Thank you so much!

      Kuala Lumpur is a great year-round destination as it does not have a distinct rainy season. There is less rain in June, July, and August, however, but the temperature stays the same year round, around 23-33 C. July and August can be hazy as smoke from farmers doing field-clearing in Indonesia sadly come in over Kuala Lumpur.

      The city is popular during Chinese New Year (in January/ February) so it gets pretty busy then and accommodation prices tend to get higher. The same goes for Ramadan.

      Have a great trip to Malaysia!! And enjoy all the delicious Malaysian food! πŸ™‚

      -Maria-

      Reply
      • Thanks, Maria! I’m planning to go at the end of November and December. I know the monsoon season hits the east coast then but not the west coast.

        Reply
  2. Hey, your insights really helped me. Thanks for the great post. I am also preparing a guide on Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur and would mention that I got the help for KL from your blog. πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • Hi Priyanka,

      Thank you so much! Happy to hear that you find our articles about KL useful! Thanks for mentioning us in your guide!

      Happy travels! πŸ™‚

      -Maria-

      Reply
  3. This is such a valuable blog post. I love being able to visualize the different areas, so the colour-coded map was such a fantastic added touch. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Hi Shilpa,

      Thank you so much for your nice words! Really appreciate it! And thanks for appreciating the colored maps, it was a lot of work so I am so grateful that you like it! πŸ™‚

      All the best,
      Maria

      Reply
  4. Hello Maria,
    Your advice about KL accommodation is so comprehensive. Thank you- It helped us choose Bukit Bintang.
    What is the best way to get there from the international airport?

    Reply
    • Hi Tracie,

      Thank you so much! Bukit Bintang is a great area to stay in KL.

      The fastest way to get from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) into the city is by the comfortable KLIA Ekspres Train. It takes about 25-30 min from KLIA to KL Sentral Station. The KLIA Ekspres departs every 15-20 min from 05:00 (5 am) until 01:00 (1 am). It cost 55 RM = US$ 13 per person (adult).

      From KL Sentral Station to Bukit Bintang, the easiest is to just take a taxi or a Grab Car (Download the Grab app, we use it a lot when we are in Kuala Lumpur, so easy and cheap).

      Or you can take a taxi all the way from the airport directly to your hotel in Bukit Bintang. Taxis are cheap in KL and at the airport, there are fixed-fare coupons that you get in the arrivals hall. A standard taxi cost RM 75 = US$18 (up to three people) into town. If you are four people you should get a premier taxi which cost RM 103 = US$25. The taxi trip will take you about one hour from the airport to Bukit Bintang. Taking a taxi is actually cheaper than the KLIA Ekspres train if you are more than one person, and more convenient since the taxi driver will drive you directly to your hotel.

      We usually take a taxi from the airport directly to our hotel since it is cheaper and more convenient with all our luggage. πŸ™‚

      Have a fantastic trip to KL!

      -Maria-

      Reply
    • Hi Marie,

      Thank you so much!! ❀️???? Happy to hear that you like our guide on where to stay in KL!

      Happy travels!

      -Maria-

      Reply
  5. Hi,

    Amazing Analysis and recommendation , i am visiting KUL in first week of JAN for a week and this is very helpful for me .

    Reply
  6. Very detailed and helpful article . Thanks …have I ever been to alila bangsar hotel ? Or do you have any idea of how it truly? We are planning to visit Malaysia with 2 kids and prefer a quiet place to stay .so bangsar looks nice .if you can share more hotel reviews of this area ,it would be highly appreciated. Thanks again πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • Hi Tasneem,

      Thank you so much! We love the Bangsar area of KL. It is a quiet residential area of the city and the perfect place to stay with kids.

      No, we have not stayed at the Alila Hotel Bangsar yet, but it looks like an excellent hotel with a high score. We will definitely check it out on our next visit to KL.

      Have a great family trip to KL!

      -Maria-

      Reply
  7. Hallo Maria
    This post was really helpful. I am travelling solo to KL and finalised stay at Le Apple Boutique Hotel after reading this. Many thanks!
    Annie

    Reply
    • Hi Annie,

      Thank you so much! Awesome that you are going to KL and are traveling solo! I must admit that I have never traveled solo.

      The Le Apple Boutique Hotel is an excellent budget choice, with a fantastic location right by the Petronas Towers. Some of the rooms even have views of the towers. You will be in the middle of everything with easy access to the rest of the city through the metro and train system.

      Have a wonderful time in KL!

      -Maria-

      Reply
    • Thanks a million, Azizah!! I really appreciate it! So happy to hear that you find our guide on where to stay in KL useful even though you have been to KL before. It means a lot.

      All the best,
      Maria

      Reply
    • Hi Shingo,

      Thank you so much! Lucky you who lives in KL! It is a fantastic city, we love it!

      You can read more about our website and what powers it here.

      Cheers,
      Maria

      Reply
  8. Maria, what a wonderful blog. The world is a better place with nice folk like you. πŸ™‚

    So, I’m traveling to Malaysia next Feb (for three weeks) to meet with a talent agent who I signed with. I live in Las Vegas, and work the rat-trap here — so I have ZERO intention of being found at any one of Kuala’s tourist-traps for any period of time. I’m a well-traveled foodie too, and love off-beaten areas, but not to the back-packing extent. Like mid-range hotels. Food markets. And tend to re-visit shops I enjoy. I’m currently booked at The Red by Sirroco. Appears to be close to the markets, and reads as very safe, super clean, a bit hipster, and from what I’ve seen/read, has an amazing roof-top pool/view. Any feedback would be appreciated.

    Reply
  9. An amazing and very comprehensive guide to KL! Thank you so much! My husband and I only have time for 1 night (1.5 days) in the city in our itinerary. Where would you recommend we stay? From the above I am leaning towards the KL Journal, is that a good location for such a short stopover?
    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Hi Maria (love your name by the way! 🀩)!

      Thanks a million! KL Journal is a very nice hotel, a small boutique hotel with a great vibe, and in the central area of KL – Bukit Bintang. You can easily walk to restaurants and the famous Jalan Alor street food street. You should also check out Lot10 Food Court. It is our favorite food court in KL, famous for having managed to gather many of the best street food restaurants in Kuala Lumpur under one roof.

      Another great hotel where we have stayed several times is The Stripes, which is in the same price-range as KL Journal Hotel. It is not as centrally located, however, you can walk to KL Tower and the KLCC area in 20 min from The Stripes. There is a subway station close to the hotel, so you can easily get around the city.

      Have a fantastic trip to Malaysia and enjoy your time in KL!

      All the best,
      Maria

      Reply
  10. Thank you so much for this really great and wonderful list. I also like the 5-star Istana Kuala Lumpur Hotel. I think it is both in a good geographical location and has access to many of Kuala Lumpur’s attractions. In terms of facilities, it is very good, for example, we both went to the outdoor pool and enjoyed its unlimited and high-speed internet. My food menu was very varied and it was possible to convert currency and fitness room. Of course, the price is a bit high. I also used the site ghasedak24 to buy Malaysia plane tickets. It was cheap and reliable and had 24-hour support. It was even possible to book a hotel and travel insurance.

    Reply
    • Hi Steven!

      Thanks a million for the tip on Istana Kuala Lumpur Hotel. Will definitely check it out when we are able to visit KL again. Can’t wait to visit Malaysia again.

      Take care and stay safe!

      Cheers,
      Maria

      Reply
  11. Saved this to read again and have shared with my partner. We have booked to head over for 11nights in October with a teenager and have been really struggling where to book. This has helped we are looking at maybe most of our stay at Sunway Putra and then the final nights at Hotel Stripes. But still not made a decision – So many choices

    Reply
    • Hi!

      Great to hear that our article on where to stay in KL could help you when planning your trip to Kuala Lumpur! Hotel Stripes is excellent, I would say maybe our top favorite hotel in KL. Lots of nice restaurants in the neighboring streets surrounding the hotel. The rooftop swimming pool is fabulous, with the most amazing view of KL Tower.

      Have a fantastic trip to KL in October!

      All the best,
      Maria

      Reply

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