With its pulsating cityscape dotted by skyscrapers, minarets, and Mogul-style domes, Kuala Lumpur (often shortened to KL) is an eclectic city carved into the tropical rainforests of Malaysia. It offers a tantalizing fusion of old-world charm and modern dynamism, and is a melting pot of cultures, cuisines, and ethnicities.
Famed for its many landmarks including the Petronas Towers, as well as its countless food-stall-lined streets shaded by leafy canopies of banyan trees, excellent shopping centres and nightlife spots, Kuala Lumpur is a discerning traveller’s paradise and offers something for everyone.
Kuala Lumpur also plays host to a plethora of breathtaking hotels, many of which combine the beauty of nature with the quintessence of an urban resort. From peaceful boutiques to soaring skyscraper residences, here are my favourite cool and unusual hotels in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (in no particular order)…
1. The Kuala Lumpur Journal Hotel – a cool, retro-chic and stylish hotel in a location perfect for partying Millennials and Gen Zs
Surrounded by the pulsating bar scene and shopping centres of Bukit Bintang, this retro- inspired retreat brought an air of eccentricity to my KL city break.
The upbeat tempo and the many entertainment options on-site present a truly invigorating hospitality experience here, topped with many open-air hangout spaces, a shimmering outdoor pool, and a first-rate tailored service.
Every guestroom is eloquently designed and includes a 40-inch satellite TV, ergonomic mattresses, premium toiletries, and branded tech-forward amenities. There are two dining options on-site. My favourite spot was The Terrace Bar & Grill, which serves delicious bites and crafted beverages in an al fresco setting.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Kuala Lumpur Journal Hotel
2. EQ Kuala Lumpur – a new, lavish and trendy hotel where guests can enjoy breathtaking Instagrammable views overlooking Kuala Lumpur
Here we have Kuala Lumpur’s latest milestone in the development of its urban hospitality scene. As I pulled up to the magnificent 52-storey EQ hotel and first caught a glimpse of the towering shiny façade, I was immediately met with a sense of refined luxury.
From receiving a welcome drink on arrival to being escorted to my glamorous guestroom, to meeting a bunch of friendly business travellers in the bar, the atmosphere throughout was one of elegance and sophistication.
Drawing inspiration from nature, the Sanctum Spa uses organic formulations by industry-leading creators to offer bespoke wellness treatments. During the evenings here I was able to explore innovative gastronomic delights in the restaurant, and soak up a skyline sunset from the rooftop infinity pool.
- To book, check prices or availability for EQ Kuala Lumpur
3. Hotel Stripes Kuala Lumpur, Autograph Collection – an urban, modern and fashionable hotel designed to feel like a home-away-from-home
We arrived at Hotel Stripes late into the night, and we were pleased to find a handful of tourist-friendly restaurants and bars still in full swing within the surrounding streets.
As we entered the property, the service was exceptional, and we were in our room within a couple of minutes with our bags there waiting for us. The rooftop infinity pool is majestic at night time when it glows under the illuminated skyline, and during the day it’s the perfect place to catch a few rays.
The rooftop Man Tao bar is an elegant spot for soothing tunes and easy-going vibes, while the ground floor Brasserie 25 exudes a more rustic charm with its red brick arcades, mid-century copper sputnik chandeliers, and dark wood floors.
- To book, check prices or availability for Hotel Stripes Kuala Lumpur, Autograph Collection
4. W Kuala Lumpur Hotel – a contemporary and hip upscale hotel perfect for partying Millennials and Gen Zs
The W pulses with upbeat urban energy, and is central Kuala Lumpur’s place to be seen. Situated directly opposite the Petronas Towers, the surrounding cityscape views are captivating, and around the hotel, you will find a number of fantastic nightlife options.
There’s a strong focus on playful luxury here, with splashes of batik motifs, bamboo-inspired elements, and waterfall-like LED lights filling the sleek and stylish design, sharing a nod to Malaysia’s heritage.
I thought the service here was excellent, especially in the on-site chic bars, restaurants, and the poolside lounge, where you will find a mix of Malaysian and international dishes which complement a lavish setting.
- To book, check prices or availability for W Kuala Lumpur Hotel
5. Arte by Thomas Chan – an Insta-worthy, upscale and wow-inducing 5-star hotel ideal for a couple’s romantic city break getaway
This eclectic hotel is a tribute to French opulence, and stands as the tallest hotel in the cosmopolitan enclave of Mont’Kiara. The meticulously handcrafted Baroque-inspired columns, first-rate artistic finesse, and poetic hand-painted frescoes combine together to fuel a spectacular interior aesthetic in the hotel’s lounges and bars.
Despite the renaissance setting and the feel of old-world splendour, I thought Arte by Thomas Chan was perfectly catered to modern tastes, with lavish, refined facilities filling the property. From the artistically inspired
rooms to the 24-hour state-of-the-art fitness facility and the breathtaking infinity pool, every space invites you to replenish the senses and soak up a sense of luxury.
- To book, check prices or availability for Arte by Thomas Chan
6. The RuMa Hotel and Residences – one of the highest-rated 5-star resorts in Kuala Lumpur offering guests a lavish, rustic-chic and rejuvenating stay
Set in the very heart of Kuala Lumpur’s Golden Triangle amidst the downtown hustle and bustle, The RuMa is a serene sanctuary that captures the intimacy of a family home, and will inspire you to uncover the city’s local heritage.
It has the soothing qualities of a true urban sanctuary, including luxuriously appointed guestrooms set before breath-taking skyline views, and many jaw-dropping hangout spaces.
For me, dining was one of the standout experiences here, with a handful of both Asian and international flavours on offer across the
in-house restaurants and bars. On-site you can also benefit from an in-house barber shop, a state-of-the-art gym, an ancient healing spa, and an infinity pool cantilevering over the building’s edge.
- To book, check prices or availability for The RuMa Hotel and Residences
7. KLoe Hotel – a unique, urban and creative boutique hotel within walking distance of the city center
Designed for creative nomads who want to take life slow and appreciate KL’s urban panache, KLoe is a charming boutique hotel new on the city’s eclectic accommodation scene.
The name is a wordplay on ‘Kuala Lumpur’ and ‘Chloe’, which is the Greek name for ‘blooming’. I found KLoe to be a real cocoon, where every space was designed to inspire exploration, and celebrate the pursuit of music, art, food, reading, and gardening.
Through the showcasing of beautiful furniture, ceramics and artwork, the hotel weaves the fabric of KL’s creative spirit into every nook and cranny within the hotel. Surrounded by green walls and open walkways, the on-site courtyard pool is a peaceful space to hang out and take in the stunning city views.
- To book, check prices or availability for KLoe Hotel
8. citizenM Kuala Lumpur Bukit Bintang – a hip, upscale and creative hotel in close proximity to local popular attractions
citizenM awaits guests in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, and greets them with a colourful, fun-loving spirit. Graced by vivid artwork, quirky chill-out areas, and flamboyant fluffy rugs, the lobby lounge is a commodious spot to soak up the buzz, and it is where I met a bunch of other solo travellers with whom I planned some epic urban adventures.
The guestrooms are well equipped, the dining spaces blend contemporary hip with a traditional flair, and the bar is an eye-catching hub of eclecticism.
Wherever you choose to hang out, you will be surrounded by jaw-dropping city panoramas which gleam through perfectly positioned floor-to-ceiling windows.
- To book, check prices or availability for citizenM Kuala Lumpur Bukit Bintang
9. Mana-Mana Suites at Scarletz Suites KLCC – a trendy, contemporary and vibrant hotel located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur
This property’s slogan ‘It’s more fun when you book with Mana-Mana’ rings true the second you step through its dazzling entrance. Ambient lights, playful décor, and stylish facilities exude the wow factor here, with the gleaming cityscape setting an iridescent backdrop.
Beckoning families, friends, and couples to embrace energy and vitality, the property offers a handful of state-of-the-art spaces which include a jaw-dropping infinity pool, a sky bar & kitchen, an eclectic restaurant, and a fully equipped fitness centre covered with glass walls.
There is also a sky deck at level 48 which provides spectacular 360° views of the Kuala Lumpur skyline.
- To book, check prices or availability for Mana-Mana Suites at Scarletz Suites KLCC
10. Sunway Velocity Hotel Kuala Lumpur – a vibrant, sleek and bright hotel moments away from two major shopping malls
Glimmering elegantly with its striking façade, this 16-storey masterpiece is part of a vibrant self-contained development, and is directly connected to Sunway Velocity Mall.
On-site you can benefit from lite bites at the café, soul-stirring swims in the rooftop infinity pool, and training sessions surrounded by endless panoramas.
I thought this hotel seamlessly blurred the lines between corporate and leisure, and the many charming nooks provided me with the utmost comfort during my stay. Being attached to a shopper’s paradise was a convenient touch, with an abundance of international cuisines across more than 150 dining outlets right on my doorstep!
- To book, check prices or availability for Sunway Velocity Hotel Kuala Lumpur
11. Canopy Lives at Tribeca Residence, Five Senses – a bright, funky and spacious upscale hotel with quirky features well equipped for a memorable vacation
Teeming with panoramic city views and graced by an air of urban chic, this eclectic property boasts its very own restaurant, a shared lounge, a bar, a garden, and a year-round outdoor pool & terrace.
The entire property, from the common areas to the corridors, is dressed in luxury materials, many glass elements, and quirky boutique décor. The in-room experience is equally as eye-catching.
My secluded cocoon came with a spacious seating area, a flat-screen TV, a fully equipped kitchen, and a private balcony offering a supreme vantage point over the city centre. The communal spaces, which include a soaring rooftop infinity pool area, offer peaceful spots to take a quick break from the vibrant city life.
- To book, check prices or availability for Canopy Lives at Tribeca Residence, Five Senses
12. Villa Samadhi by Samadhi – Adults Only – a rustic chic, traditional and romantic boutique resort providing guests with an authentic stay
Offering a peaceful retreat from city life, Villa Samadhi is a luxurious boutique hotel surrounded by soaring trees and clusters of bamboo. It is set around the ‘Lagoon’, which is a glistening pool fringed with tall grasses and palms, and dotted by shaded sun beds.
The interior décor is inspired by traditional Malay architecture and sprinkled with Asian antiques, while each of the 21 luxurious villas are clad in natural wood. I thought the all-day restaurant, housed in a glass-walled poolside space, was exemplary.
The menu was focused on healthy ingredients, and the romantic setting provided us with amazing memories.
- To book, check prices or availability for Villa Samadhi by Samadhi – Adults Only
13. The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Autograph Collection – an elegant, historic and iconic hotel steps away from the Merdeka Square
Here we have an enchanting establishment that perfectly captures the evocative spirit of travel, and exudes a luxurious colonial atmosphere.
It is located in a wonderful stately neighbourhood surrounded by interesting architecture, and is comprised of both the original Majestic Wing and the new Tower Wing. The Majestic Wing is a hybrid of neo-classical and art deco styles, and is a place to kick back during afternoon tea and listening to live piano tunes.
The Tower Wing is much more contemporary in style, and this is where I stayed. My room featured all the amenities you’d expect of a modern hotel. The hotel’s spa is styled on the famous Willow Tearooms from Glasgow in 1903, and offers a true pampering experience.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Autograph Collection
14. Scarletz Suites, Luxury KLCC Suites by Birdy Stay – a beautiful, stylish and elegant accommodation ideal for those travelling on business
This stunning hotel is an ode to craftmanship, with every detail a testament to a timeless design. Passion, opulence, and character emanate from the property’s colourful energy, iconic architecture, and smooth furnishings.
The hotel’s coveted location puts it at the top end of the city’s wide network of accommodations, with the pulsating heart of downtown right at your fingertips.
As a guest at Scarletz Suites you can benefit from a brand-new coworking concept, where comfortability and convenience are embedded into the choice of facilities. There’s also a garden, a peaceful infinity pool, a shared lounge, and a modern fitness centre available.
- To book, check prices or availability for Scarletz Suites, Luxury KLCC Suites by Birdy Stay
15. MOV Hotel Kuala Lumpur – a quirky, cool and creative accommodation situated next to the city’s most lively nightlife spot
The high-quality services and amenities at MOV Hotel are all centred around the comfort and aspirations of its business and leisure guests.
Every interior element was intentionally placed to evoke a sense of curiosity, from the dazzling façade to the ambient lights and the original sculptures. I thought the hotel’s location was one of its biggest assets – set right between Jalan Alor (KL’s most famous hawker food street) and Changkat (the most popular nightlife spot).
After an action-packed day out around the city centre, returning to a moment of quietude at the hotel’s rooftop pool and lounge area was a welcome treat.
- To book, check prices or availability for MOV Hotel Kuala Lumpur
16. ViiA Residences by Five Senses – a lifestyle, design and new accommodation where guests have the luxury to use an array of the on-site amenities
Here we have a gorgeous design-led boutique property which perfectly brings together the magnificence of sweeping city panoramas and the comfort of modern living.
The residences are clad head to toe in graceful décor, and feature living areas with comfy velvet sofas, fluffy rugs, and opulent furniture.
The property’s unique colour scheme truly reverberates the artistic rigor of its designers, and creates a soul-soothing aesthetic which makes you feel pampered in luxury. On-site you can revel in awe-inspiring views from the deck chair-lined infinity pool, train at the state-of-the-art gym, or try your hand at rock climbing, among many more activities.
- To book, check prices or availability for ViiA Residences by Five Senses
17. WOLO Kuala Lumpur – a cozy, retro and design accommodation with an ideal location in the Golden Triangle
Funky and sophisticated with a tinge of retro, WOLO plunges you into a world of mystique and glamour in the heart of Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur’s most bustling and creative district.
Within a 200 metre walk of the hotel you will find the city’s most premium shopping centre, the Pavilion. I booked the Copper Room, and it certainly hit the spot for an intimate and cosy yet functional stay.
You can however book the Gold Room, designed especially to restore the mind, spirit, and soul through intricate furnishings and handpicked artwork, or the newly designed Platinum Room, which caters perfectly to the tech-savvy traveller.
- To book, check prices or availability for WOLO Kuala Lumpur
18. The Dolphin Lucentia Bukit Bintang KLCC Kuala Lumpur – a stylish, chic and modern accommodation featuring an infinity pool overlooking the city
This graceful boutique was designed to infuse your Malaysian adventure with a spirit of elegance. Arriving at night, I was enchanted by the softly illuminated exterior, and as I passed through the gorgeous geometric archway, I truly entered a realm of serenity which kicked off my city break in style.
Drawing inspiration from traditional Japanese paper lanterns, the property is adorned with various quaint hangout spaces.
On-site you can choose to recline on the Podium Deck and take a dip in the soaring infinity pool, indulge in stellar entertainment offerings at the Sky Deck, or escape to inner peace in the sky cabanas.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Dolphin Lucentia Bukit Bintang KLCC Kuala Lumpur
19. Classic Malay House in KL City Centre – a quirky, themed and cozy accommodation surrounded by a small garden and ponds
I absolutely loved my stay at this classic Malay House. With the thatched-roofs, vaulted ceilings, exterior tree-house-style staircases, and many wooden hues, this property’s jungle- like atmosphere and relaxed way of life is the perfect juxtaposition to the surrounding metropolis. Its pristine setting has struck the perfect balance between seclusion and convenience.
Inside, every element was added to exude intimacy and warmth, and reflects the glamour of a bygone era. Traditional tapestries, hand-woven fabrics, and bright artwork really set this accommodation apart from the rest, and the distinct family feel brings an added cosiness.
The guestrooms are adorned with hip-style décor like ceiling-hung rattan chairs and beautiful potted plants, and are backdropped by soaring greenery.
- To book, check prices or availability for Classic Malay House in KL City Centre
20. Maison Boutique Theme Hotel @ Bukit Bintang City Centre – funky, themed and unique boutique accommodation where guests can experience a one-of-a-kind stay
Eccentric, colourful, and unique, Maison Boutique boasts a rather distinct character and sets the scene for a stay brimming with inspiration and curiosity.
It is a trendy twist on many of Kuala Lumpur’s downtown hotels, and exudes a true sense of urban cool. Many of the walls are adorned with huge, eye-catching pieces of art, which create a vibrant interior aesthetic.
When the in-room LED lights are on, the guestrooms change from minimalist and functional to ambient and dreamlike, and the furnishings are both comfy and elegant. Each room is themed differently – Mine had a large portrait of The Beatles behind the bed!
- To book, check prices or availability for Maison Boutique Theme Hotel @ Bukit Bintang City Centre
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Ever since he was knee-high to a grasshopper Michael has always been a sucker for an adventure. Growing up he was lucky enough to live in a handful of exotic far flung locations including Hong Kong, Pakistan, Kenya and Tanzania and since then he’s continued his taste for seeking out new cultures. So much in fact he now travels the world as a trading digital nomad, exploring everything from the sizzling street markets in Bangkok to random back alleys in Sri Lanka and everything in between! He also has a special fondness for Cohibas, street food, playing carrom, and fine wine and knows his clarets from his chiantis. He counts Cuba, Amsterdam, Indonesia, Cambodia and Italy as his favourite destinations.