Why Staying in an Airbnb Apartment in Kuala Lumpur is a Good Idea
Tourists in Kuala Lumpur would find it best to stay in the city center where famous landmarks, malls, restaurants, and hotels are nearby. The traffic situation in Kuala Lumpur during weekends and peak hours is really bad. Therefore, staying further away from the city does not make sense, specially if one is visiting for a couple of days: time and money will be wasted traveling back and forth. This is why staying in an Airbnb apartment in Kuala Lumpur is a good idea.
Most of the hotels in Kuala Lumpur have small rooms; the bed would take up most of the space. This leaves only a few inches of space to walk around the bed toward the door.
I’m not kidding.
We stayed two nights in Kuala Lumpur when we first arrived, after which we flew to Langkawi for a few days, returned to Kuala Lumpur, and then headed to Ipoh to relax in a resort. Our first two days in Kuala Lumpur were spent in Holiday Inn, which is conveniently located within walking distance of Petronas Towers. It’s clean and modern, the staff friendly and efficient. However, the room was so small it was a challenge to even offer salah properly.
With two more weeks in the city we decided to rent an Airbnb apartment in Kuala Lumpur for the remainder of our stay, and it had been an excellent decision!
Modern and Secure Apartment Buildings
We stayed in a building called Mercu Summer Suites. This high-rise apartment building is strategically located at the intersection of Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Ampang. It is also connected by LRT and monorail stations. There is 24/7 security, a reception desk, a small convenience store, a coffeeshop, swimming pool, and gym.
We were always in touch with the host through phone immediately after paying online and getting confirmation for the apartment. He told us where to get the keys to the apartment as well as the access cards to get into the elevators. Each person staying in the apartment must have their own access card to enter. A security guy is always present and makes sure no one trespasses. The access cards are also important to gain access to the swimming pool and gym.
The reception area is impressive! It’s massive, surrounded by floor-to-ceiling glass walls, a few modern pieces of sculptures here and there, and extremely clean.
The downside is that parking is not free.
However, you wouldn’t want the trouble of driving your own car in Kuala Lumpur and deal with both traffic and parking issues, specially not when you can easily book a car online.
Avoid using the regular taxis if you can. We found the vehicles unclean and old, the drivers rude, and the service poor and extremely expensive. Plus, haggling over the fare when you’re exhausted and jet-lagged from a long flight will wear you down even further. Book a car online instead. It’s considerably cheaper, the drivers are polite and friendly, and the cars are well-maintained.
Our first apartment was a studio. See how tastefully it is furnished. The room is simple yet it contains everything we need!
Not shown in the picture is an electric stove, a fridge, an electric kettle, a microwave, some plates, cutlery, bowls, cups/glasses, pots and pans. A front load washing machine is provided, next to which is a box of detergent.
We stocked up on fruits, bread, eggs, several bottles of water, and some juice as well. It became a routine to always have breakfast at the apartment before going out to explore the city. Cooking eggs, french toast, or making masala tea was convenient. We also got those packaged parathas that you can warm on a frying pan without adding any oil.
Toward the end of that week, we messaged and asked the host if we could extend another week. Unfortunately, the apartment wasn’t available. A quick search on Airbnb’s website found us a 1-bedroom apartment in the same building at a lesser price!
Considering that we were traveling for an entire month and, therefore, had a lot of luggage, moving to another room within the same building was a blessing!
I loved this apartment so much I would consider moving in permanently in a heartbeat!
A reliable and fast wireless internet connection was the primary reason why it had to be Airbnb for us. Masood and I were working remotely so this was our priority. Checking online reviews and reading blogs gave us the impression that Malaysian hotels have unreliable and slow WiFi connection. That we can not afford!
The internet speed at the rooms we stayed at Mercu Summer Suites was 100 mbps! The connection never dropped and working online was a breeze. That speed is even better than what we’re used to here in Dubai. We were extremely impressed.
I would have hated working from a hotel lobby at night. The inconvenience of having to dress properly, wear the hijab and share the space with other people, who may or not be noisy, wasn’t ideal for me.
Our first experience with Airbnb was in San Fransisco. It had been a pleasant one so that when it came to using the same service to look for apartments to rent in Kuala Lumpur, we knew what to expect. Our hosts in Malaysia were extremely polite, helpful, and responded immediately to our messages. They would provide fresh towels, extra pillows, etc. I even asked for a frying pan in the second apartment!
I would highly recommend staying in an Airbnb apartment in Kuala Lumpur as opposed to staying in a cramped hotel, specially folks who intend to stay more than a week in the city. Plus, it’s cheaper!
Look for Super Hosts when booking via Airbnb. These are credible, recognized hosts with a good track record. Check out the reviews carefully. Read the rules and regulations by the hosts, and follow them. Use the filters in the website to short list apartments based on your preferences and needs. Remember that Malaysia is an Islamic country, therefore please be respectful of the religion and culture.
The price range of the apartments we stayed at was somewhere between AED 120-140 (USD 33-38) per day and we traveled during November-December. That’s quite cheap considering the property and location!
I’ve never tried renting an air bnb but my sister loves it and never stays in a hotel. I suppose I’m just so used to the convenience of a hotel and not having to worry about keys, breakfast etc. This place (both apartments) look very nice though! Maybe we can try it for the next trip…
Be very specific about your requests when booking and reach out to the host prior to booking. There’s an email option in the website. I like talking with them before confirming anything. Airbnb is also a good option if you’re traveling as a family or a group.
I rented a 2 room apt in swiss garden residences KL via airbnb possibly 2 years ago. I donnot maybe it was a cheap one but we left feeling distasteful afterwards. Shldve just gone to a hotel.
While the rooms were well furnished, kitchen had all the appliances or if they dont we just needed to make a call… but it lacked a service that hotel normally offer: clean towels and bathroom amenities (shampoo, hairdryer and stuffs) and housekeeping.
Or maybe it was just not maintained as well as 4 star hotels. It looked old and drab.
I’m sorry your Airbnb experience didn’t turn out to be a good one. When I book from them, I like to be very specific and tick the boxes under “Amenities” to have washer/dryer, hair dryer, iron, etc. I always bring my own soap and shampoo as only a handful of hotels ever give good quality ones anyway. Another tip is to write to the host before actually booking the place. Both apartments we rented in Kuala Lumpur provided fresh towels (and replaced them as needed) and you can surely request for housekeeping (at an extra fee, of course).
What a great, informative post! When people ask me what the best hotels in London or Cairo are I usually point them to airbnb first. I’ve seen some apartments that have incredible views and they can choose a convenient location depending on the purpose of their trip.
Quite shocking how small the hotel rooms are in KL!
Thank you, Londoneya! If Masood and I ever visit Egypt, we’ll take your advice and look in Airbnb first. Plus, in our case, fast and reliable wireless internet connection is a must (and you can hardly rely on hotel WiFi) so Airbnb apartments/homes suit our needs better.
Yes, the hotel rooms in Kuala Lumpur were disappointing! Or perhaps living in the UAE has spoiled us 😉