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 centers, and nightlife spots, Kuala Lumpur is a discerning traveler’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 favorite cool and unusual hotels in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (in no particular order)…
Our Top 3 Best Cool and Unusual Hotels
The Kuala Lumpur Journal Hotel
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.
Rooms with minibars and views
An ultra chic rooftop infinity pool
Garden terrace offering live music
Modern bistro and grill restaurant
Some slow service
WiFi can be intermittent
EQ 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 travelers 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.
Free breakfast buffet and cocktails
Free welcome drink on arrival
Rooms with free-standing tubs
A warm lounge and a rooftop bar
Parking is a bit tricky
Pets are not allowed
Hotel Stripes Kuala Lumpur
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.
Complimentary full breakfast buffet
Rooftop terrace with a hip bar
Outdoor pool and city views
Less crowded and convenient stay
W Kuala Lumpur Hotel
The W pulses with upbeat urban energy and is central to 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 that complement a lavish setting.
Upbeat urban and inviting energy
Rooms with views and soaking tubs
A heated outdoor pool
Eatery with al fresco dining
Inadequate sound insulation
No extra beds available
Arte by Thomas Chan
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 to fuel a spectacular interior aesthetic in the hotel’s lounges and bars.
Despite the Renaissance setting and the feel of old-world splendor, 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.
Classic interior with French opulence
Outdoor pool with sun loungers
Delicious and mouth-watering starters
An indoor play area for kids
Parking is tricky
The RuMa Hotel and Residences
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.
Varied and high-quality breakfast
Infinity pool with a poolside bar
A lobby bar with kids' pool
On-site barber and spa
Paid parking only
Pets are not allowed
Busy check-in and out
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.
Rooms with city views and pool
Paint supplies and record players
Cafe and warm restaurant
Yoga studio and outdoor pool
Slightly small swimming pool
Some rooms can be small
citizenM Kuala Lumpur Bukit Bintang
citizenM awaits guests in the heart of Kuala Lumpur and greets them with a colorful, 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 travelers 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 that gleam through perfectly positioned floor-to-ceiling windows.
Western-eastern fusion breakfast
Bright lounge with artistic murals
Control room with a tablet
KL’s famous street food nearby
Pets are not allowed
No extra beds available
Mana-Mana Suites at Scarletz Suites KLCC
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 center covered with glass walls.
There is also a sky deck at level 48 which provides spectacular 360° views of the Kuala Lumpur skyline.
Ambient setup and playful décor
Spacious rooms with KL views
Sky bar and infinity pool
Sky deck for 360deg city views
Slightly slow service
Can get booked up
Noisy at night
Sunway Velocity Hotel
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!
Laid-back rooms with leafy motifs
Rooftop terrace with infinity pool
A hot tub and a sundeck
Varied food options available
Private parking is extra
Pets are not allowed
Canopy Lives at Tribeca Residence
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 center. The communal spaces, which include a soaring rooftop infinity pool area, offer peaceful spots to take a quick break from the vibrant city life.
Provides balcony with garden views
Sun terrace and outdoor fireplace
Gym with a sauna
Playground for children’s fun
Paid parking only
Some service can be slow
Villa Samadhi by Samadhi
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 is 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.
Balconies and whirlpool tubs
Plunge pools and private gardens
Lagoon-style pool with sunbeds
Jacuzzi with massage facility
Children below 16 are not allowed
No visitors allowed
The Majestic Hotel
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 neighborhood 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 listen 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 truly pampering experience.
Modern and Art Deco furnishings
Poster beds with city/garden views
Tea lounge with piano bar
Private dining room with private chef
WiFi can be slow at times
Parking is extra
Scarletz Suites, Luxury KLCC Suites by Birdy Stay
This stunning hotel is an ode to craftsmanship, with every detail a testament to a timeless design. Passion, opulence, and character emanate from the property’s colorful 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 center available.
Opulent and classy accommodation
Off-site Hiking and Cycling
Karaoke and evening entertainment
Indoor play area with games
Lift capacity issues
Parties are not allowed
Extra beds are not available
The high-quality services and amenities at MOV Hotel are all centered 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 center, returning to a moment of quietude at the hotel’s rooftop pool and lounge area was a welcome treat.
Loft bedding and seating area
Bathrooms with rainfall showers
Boxing gym and a rooftop pool
Lounge with hammocks and city views
Aircon is a bit noisy
Windows can’t be opened
No refrigerator in rooms
ViiA Residences by Five Senses
Here we have a gorgeous design-led boutique property that 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 color scheme truly reverberates the artistic rigor of its designers and creates a soul-soothing aesthetic that 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.
Rooftop pool with views
Each unit equipped with a balcony
An indoor play area
Outdoor pool with BBQ facilities
No luggage store
Limited TV channels
Pets are not allowed
WOLO Kuala Lumpur
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 center, the Pavilion. I booked the Copper Room, and it certainly hit the spot for an intimate and cozy 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 traveler.
Relaxed and tranquil atmosphere
Wet bars and Satellite TV
Swish polished wine bar
Local breakfast options available
Slightly noisy at night
Some rooms can be small
The Dolphin Lucentia Bukit Bintang KLCC
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 that 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.
Stunning city views from rooftop
Suites some with two rooms
Chic and soaring infinity pool
Sky cabanas for relaxation
Strict in check-out time
Parties not allowed
Classic Malay House in KL City Centre
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 reflect 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 feels bring an added coziness.
The guestrooms are adorned with hip-style décor like ceiling-hung rattan chairs and beautiful potted plants and are backdropped by soaring greenery.
Lush green and quirky vibe
Outdoor dining and grill area
Exterior tree-house style staircases
Free books; games and DVDs
Reservation needed for parking
Style might not be to everyone’s tastes
Maison Boutique Theme Hotel
Eccentric, colorful, 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!
Modern and colorful building
Scrumptious breakfast buffet
Lounge with a modern bistro
Comfy and car-shaped beds
Wifi could be faster
Slightly small bathrooms
Top 20 Hotels in Kuala Lumpur Compared
The table compares and contrasts the top 20 cool and unusual hotels in Kuala Lumpur.
|Hotel Name||Location||Price Range (per night)||Fitness Facilities||Distance to Attractions (km)||Nearby Restaurants|
|The Kuala Lumpur Journal Hotel||No. 30, Jalan Beremi||$156-$369||No||1.9||2|
|EQ Kuala Lumpur||Equatorial Plaza, Jalan Sultan Ismail||$192-$428||Yes||1.9||3|
|Hotel Stripes Kuala Lumpur, Autograph Collection||25 Jalan Kamunting||$82-$153||Yes||1.6||2|
|W Kuala Lumpur Hotel||121 Jalan Ampang||$293-$392||Yes||2.1||3|
|Arte by Thomas Chan||Jalan Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah||$129-$240||No||4.0||2|
|The RuMa Hotel and Residences||7 Jalan Kia Peng||$165-$454||Yes||2.4||2|
|KLoe Hotel||227 Jalan Bukit Bintang||$106-$188||No||2.6||3|
|citizenM Kuala Lumpur Bukit Bintang||128 Jalan Pudu||$72-$92||No||1.6||2|
|Mana-Mana Suites at Scarletz Suites KLCC||Jalan Yap Kwan Seng||$57-$76||Yes||2.5||3|
|Sunway Velocity Hotel Kuala Lumpur||Lingkaran SV, Sunway Velocity||$75-$222||Yes||3.4||2|
|Canopy Lives at Tribeca Residence, Five Senses||215 Jalan Imbi||$61-$142||Yes||2.4||3|
|Villa Samadhi by Samadhi||No. 8, Jalan Madge||$238-$371||No||2.6||2|
|The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Autograph Collection||No.5, Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin||$85-$237||No||1.1||3|
|Scarletz Suites, Luxury KLCC Suites by Birdy Stay||Jalan Yap Kwan Seng||$109-$454||Yes||2.6||2|
|MOV Hotel Kuala Lumpur||41, Jalan Berangan||$67-$159||Yes||1.7||2|
|ViiA Residences by Five Senses||Jalan Bangsa||$67-$127||Yes||2.4||3|
|WOLO Kuala Lumpur||Corner of Jalan Bukit Bintang and Jalan Sultan Ismail||$108-$319||No||2.0||2|
|The Dolphin Lucentia Bukit Bintang KLCC Kuala Lumpur||Lucentia Tower 1 & 2||$36-$71||No||2.1||3|
|Classic Malay House in KL City Centre||26 Jalan Datuk Keramat||$97-$140||No||2.5||2|
|Maison Boutique Theme Hotel @ Bukit Bintang City Centre||36-38, Jalan Baba||$24-$33||No||2.1||2|
Michael Cowley – writer and photographer
Ever since he was knee-high to a grasshopper Michael has always had an affinity for 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 seeking out new places and cultures. In his spare time he explores everywhere 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, trying all kinds of street food, playing carrom with random strangers, and fine wine – he knows his clarets from his chiantis. He counts Cuba, Amsterdam, Indonesia, Goa, Cambodia and Italy as his favourite destinations. Find Michael on Instagram or Twitter.