Among the cities in Southeast Asia, KL has among the most expensive guesthouses and hotels for those on a budget. Most times, a backpacker finds himself in dingy, bug-infested joint, many of which are found along Jalan Pudu. Last March and April, I ventured to change this perception by raising the budget a notch higher that customary. So during my several KL transits (which also took me to Vietnam and Indonesia), I hopped through a variety of KL hotels and rediscovered accommodations in this Malaysian capital.
In this series of posts, I will share my discoveries.
Among the pleasant surprises was Le Apple Boutique Hotel. This hotel is tucked in a side street along Jalan Sultan Ismail, right in the heart of Bukit Bintang, the epicenter of the backpacking crowd. Having said that, it is just a crossing away from the Bukit Bintang monorail station. This purplish hotel is thematically zen-designed, thus the interiors are beautifully minimalist - from the calla lily drawings on the wall, the black (yes, black!) walls at the fifth floor hallways, the glazed glass walls of the shower rooms, to the magnificently designed lobby of the hotel.
The hotel has 52 non-smoking rooms, each with safe, a 32-inch LCD Panasonic television, hair dryer, coffee/tea maker, a desk, wifi access, and very clean bathrooms with classy shower fixtures. The room has a coterie of lights. You can go extremely bright when you want to, or you can get dim and comfy as you wish. Each room is also provided with ceiling qiblats (direction of Mecca for their Muslim guests). Checking in is no frills, it didn't take me 10 minutes. Since the hotel is relatively new, everything else is new - including their elevator.
There's a drawback: the rooms are quite wanting of space. In fact, my baggage just barely had enough room for itself - and I don't carry much. If you're claustrophobic, Le Boutique's rooms wouldn't please you. They also don't have a restaurant, but when you're in the heart of Bukit Bintang, there's plenty of choices in the area, even in the wee hours. In fact, in Le Boutique, I've never felt so "central".
I came from the airport and reached the hotel at around 2 PM. Room 502 was perfect. It had a view facing Bintang Walk. When I got inside my room, a couple of guys knocked on my door, saying they were going to paste the qiblat arrow on my ceiling - and would I like to go out first? No, I didn't feel like going out just yet! I just friggin' arrived from Surabaya, Indonessia, darn it! They had all morning to fix that stuff, and they could do that too when I'm away, thank you very much. Despite that annoyance, I was pleased with my room and the hotel's location.
UPDATE: Upon my second visit just recently, the hotel now asks for a 50 ringgit key deposit, which I think is too steep for a deposit. If you're on a budget, you'd appreciate every available money that you have, and though they would reimburse it upon check out, you're left with money that you can not use anymore. I booked for two rooms during my last stay so you can imagine how frustrating it was to have to hand them 100 ringgit which is a third of the $100. They've added a small sofa to the lobby unlike before where there's limited chairs to sit.
Le Apple Boutique Hotel is located at 42-3 Jalan Sultan Ismail, in Bukit Bintang, KL. Call them at +603-2145 8828 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Their website - http://leappleboutiquehotel.com/
This is the Eye in the Sky!
|Hotel front desk|
|Black walled hallways at the 5th floor.|
|My room at 502.|
|A white calla lily looms over my bed - comfortable, nice smelling sheets. A safe beside me.|
|LCD TV, mirror, desk.|
|Glazed glass wall separates my bed from the bathroom.|
|Split type AC encased by wooden shutter.|
|View from my window. Down below is the front of the hotel.|
For cheaper options (if budget's tight and you don't mind roughing it up):