Bangkok is a must-destination for backpackers traveling to Southeast Asia. Westerners visiting the region for the first time always include the city on their itinerary, hence the backpacker and dormitory accommodations. On the other hand, for the capital city of their neighboring country, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, offers a different vibe that is too fancy for budget travelers. But that was before because the city is now catching up with latest travel trends. Kuala Lumpur hostels are now in every corner of the city providing no-frill accommodation for budget travelers.
Since Kuala Lumpur also serves as a hub for international flights within Southeast Asia, I’ve already been to the city several times. You can opt to stay at KLIA with some affordable airport lounges but staying longer requires you to go to the city. Staying in Kuala Lumpur when you have a budget is not a serious problem. But when you’re trying to stretch the travel fund for several weeks or months of stay in Southeast Asia, you need to do your research. Here are some budget accommodations in Kuala Lumpur that I’ve tried so far.
Kuala Lumpur Hostels for Budget Travelers
PODs The Backpackers Home
Few blocks from KL Sentral, after disentangling the alleys blocked with restaurants, is PODs The Backpackers Home. The green signage on the edge of a building is easy to spot. Enter the lobby of the hostel and pass by some lounge areas before the reception. The kitchen, serving bread, spreads, and coffee in the morning, is within reach. The hostel also offers quick snacks and drinks on their cafe.
I booked a bunk bed in a 20-dorm room that is quite spacious with enough spaces between the double-deck beds. Beds are not that fancy with a simple mattress covered with flimsy yet clean sheets.
Toilet and shower are available every floor. Toilet is decent enough for calls of nature but my only concern was the shower. The shower cubicles were built using, guess what, metal sheets! I had no issues with that but the sharp edges of the sheets can cut you when you slip and mistakenly grip on it. Well, it didn’t happen to me but I hope the management knows how to prioritize their guests’ safety. Still, PODs The Backpackers Home is a nice option for a stay, just be careful when taking a shower.
GRID 9 Hotel
One time, when I needed to stay in Kuala Lumpur just for a night before heading to Melaka, I was forced to look for a cheap accommodation. My budget brought me to Grid9 Hotel. The name sounds intimidating but they have shared dormitories. The lobby and common lounge are on the second floor because the restaurant seats on the lower ground. Hangout area is cool and offers tons of bean bags while the television maintained on movie channels.
I was billeted in a 6-bed mixed room. The beds are more of a pod because of the way they placed the beds. On the other hand, they are equipped with a thick mattress and provides above-normal blankets. Lockers are located at the foot of every bed. Dorm rooms have an en-suite toilet and shower.
What makes Grid9 a perfect option is its accessibility to Maharajalela Station, so it’s near Chinatown. The door of the hostel is right across the stairs to the train station.
Revopackers Beds and Bunks
Jalan Alor is one of the must-visit food destinations when in Kuala Lumpur and Revopackers Beds and Bunks is just about six-hundred meters away from the culinary scene. Two blocks from Imbi Station, this hostel hands you a Revopackers string bag upon arrival. You can use this for your shoes or slippers if you want to bring it inside the hostel as everyone is allowed to take off their footwear when entering the premises.
The room I was assigned to has six bunk beds and has its own toilet and shower. There was no towel provided and when I asked them, you can rent for MYR2. They provide keys for the lockers that are too tight to contain my 32L overstuffed backpack. Each bunk has a pillow and a blanket, which I thought to be a towel at first because of its material.
Breakfast is available from 7 AM to 10 AM and includes bread, 4 types of spread, and coffee. Drinking water is also free from the vending machine all day.
The Reeds Boutique Hotel
A kilometer away from KLCC is an unassuming boutique hotel bordered by towering buildings. The hotel has boutique rooms yet they also offer backpacker dorms that are only available for online booking. The location of the hotel can have both views of Petronas Towers and KL Menara Tower. The lobby has several chairs and tables yet they don’t have a restaurant. Chillers offer cans of soda and beers if you’re too tired to look for the nearest convenience store.
For the rooms, the one I booked has six bunk beds and the hotel has a first-come-first-served policy even if you requested for a lower bunk bed. The comfy bed and soft sheets are above average and they also provide you a fresh towel, shampoo, shower gel, and soap, every day. The lockers are spacious enough to fit luggage and other stuff during your stay.
The two connecting dorm rooms share one toilet and shower. There are actually two cubicles but the other one was closed during my stay. There are several restaurants near the hotel serving variants of nasi and curry viands.
Based on my budget note taking, I was surprised to know that my previous stays in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia are cheaper than the ones in Bangkok. Looking for a place to stay in Kuala Lumpur for several days is not a challenge anymore. Hostels are great options for a nice sleep in the metropolis without breaking your daily budget. Do you have other Kuala Lumpur hostel recommendations? Please let us know by leaving a comment below for us to check it next time we’re in Kuala Lumpur.
Hi Arjay, KL is also one of the places I like to stay whenever I go to SE Asia but finding a good hostel and reasonably priced is one of my problems. I think you have mentioned four of them. Which hostel do you favor more and would recommend to a solo female traveller? I have stayed at BackHome KL Hostel, although it has received a lot of good reviews, it’s location is quite scary when it gets dark. Going to Chinatown/Petaling for dinner and walking back to the hostel in not so well lit street is quite scary to a solo female traveller. I would appreciate it if you can recommend which of the four (4) you’ve mentioned. Please advise and thank you.
PODs and GRID9 are both located near a monorail station so in terms of accessibility, these two are fine. In terms of safety of surroundings, I think I would go with GRID9.