Among the KL hotels that I've stayed in during my long haul travel last March and April (2012), Hotel Orkid Inn was easily my least favorite. It's also the cheapest, and is really a testament to the worth of money that could buy you pleasure. Cheap is analogous to spartan facilities and even poorer hospitality. I somehow expected this but I am stubborn. I needed to check out cheaper options because not a lot of travelers can always stay in Le Apple Boutique Hotel most of the time. This was a traipse to the lower tier of accommodations. But much as I hate to admit it, it isn't really all that bad - if you're not finicky.
The hotel itself can't quite make up its mind: is it an "inn" or is it a "hotel"? To address the dilemma, it chose to name itself both. It is Hotel Orkid Inn. It is located in a 4-story building that's seen better days. It's mostly dwarfed by its nearby neighbors - Taragon and Furama Hotels to its left; Berjaya Times Square to its right. With Jalan Pudu in front of it and the Imbi monorail station just a few minutes walk away, the building stands on a prime location. Good word of mouth can even inspire bustling business. Obviously that won't come from me.
DIRECTION FROM THE AIRPORT
If you're coming straight from the airport, just hop on a bus to KL Sentral (9 ringgit), then take the monorail train to Imbi (1.60 ringgit, 6 stops). From there, just walk towards Jalan Pudu, turn left then find this yellow-and-pink building before reaching Jalan Changkat Thamby Dollah. It won't take you 10 minutes from Imbi. Cheap transit, indeed.
WHAT IS CHEAP WORTH?
Once you find this building, take the stairs and head to the 3rd floor where the hotel lobby is. The hotel occupies the 3rd and 4th floor of this building that's easy to ignore because unlike other hotels in Jalan Pudu, there are no grand, glittery lobbies. I handed my Agoda booking to a guy of Indian descent who seemed surprise to see me. Funny thing was, I wasn't the "pleasant surprise", was how I felt upon arrival. "I have a booking," I told the guy. He took my voucher and without saying a single word, he pointed me to a stair to his left. Was he vocally impaired? Aphonic? Sick of the suppurative form of tonsillopharyngitis? "My room is uptairs?" I asked. "Yes," he finally muttered. He wasn't MUTE after all. But you see, when you're paying just a nickel, don't expect first class service or world class hospitality. In the scheme of things, what you hand out and what you get eventually go with the territory.
Now I am not into red carpets rolled before me. I want my arrivals as painless and swift as possible, but it's another thing to feel unwanted in a place I pay 79 ringgit for, regardless of how paltry the amount is. Don't I even deserve a clipped smile? Crazy people, if you ask me.
With key in hand, I found my room at 302. It had a double bed with a good sized bathroom, an AC, a television set circa 1970, and a window with a view. The lobby has a common sitting room, but you would be better off trying any of the restaurants in the vicinity - and there are several, inexpensive and otherwise.
OTHER ORKID HOTELS
For backpackers, this place would suffice, for sure. I've seen far worse places at a higher price. There are taxis plying Pudu at most times of the day - or night. By the way, there are 2 other similarly named hotels in the vicinity so if you book in one, make sure you know which one exactly. The other one is called Hotel Orkid, just at the back of Hotel Orkid Inn. It stands beside a row of restaurants and videoke bars. The other one is also called Hotel Orkid also facing Jalan Pudu at the other side of Furama, and a little farther away from Bukit Bintang (this has a spiffy, bright lobby with glass walls).
I do find interest in discovering places that other travelers inhabit. Sometimes you feel grateful you find one that suits, not just your budget, but your temperament as well. This one falls under my radar of comforts, but I am sure others will find this acceptable. I actually felt this, but looking back, why force yourself on people who can't even offer a welcoming smile? There are literally hundreds of other guesthouses in KL, several of them - maybe 3 dozens or more along Jalan Pudu where this hotel is. I'd be happier spending my petty cash on other hotels.
This is the Eye in the Sky!
|Don't miss the small door/entrance (a stairway) at the right corner of the building.|
|Small hotel entrance leading to a stair. Right outside is Jalan Pudu.|
|Front desk at the 3rd level of the building.|
|Stairs to the 4th level.|
|Fourth floor hallway. My room was 302.|
|My double bed was very comfortable but I worried a bit about the stains and condition of the lower bunk.|
|A dab of fresh paint sure made the difference, but you know the room has seen better days in the carpet and bed.|
|Fourth floor view. The blue and white building is a Police Headquarters.|
|A view from one of the windows at the 4th floor. Berjaya Times Square behind the old shop houses.|
|Taragon and Furama Hotel - two hotels in one huge building complex.|
Other options, if budget is tight:
|Hotel Orkid found at the street parallel to Jalan Pudu at the back of my hotel|