Coming to Kuala Lumpur as a solo female traveller, I knew that choosing a hostel was going to be a really important decision! Of course, I wanted to stay somewhere central and within easy reach of the big landmarks. But, more than anything, I wanted to stay somewhere popular where I could meet other backpackers and maybe enjoy a bit of luxury before heading to India. After lots of searching on the interwebs, I came across Paper Plane Hostel and knew that I had to stay there.
Set in a colonial building that is over 100 years old, Paper Plane Hostel is the only hostel in Kuala Lumpur where you can wake up in art! The walls are awash with murals that, honestly, wouldn’t be out of place on the backstreets of London or Melbourne. It might sound cliche but, the whole place oozed with coolness.
Just have a look at the photos, and see for yourself!
Although I had checked out the location on the map, I didn’t appreciate quite how central I was until I managed to catch a glimpse of both the Petronas Towers and the KL Tower on my short 2-minute walk from the train station.
Paper Plane Hostel is in the heart of Buta Bintang- a great area for eating, shopping and sightseeing.
If you love street food then you’ll be pleased to know that just around the corner is a street awash with vendors selling all sort of food- from Chinese to Indian and, of course, Malay. I’d definitely recommend trying the street food in Kuala Lumpur! It’s the best way to get down with the locals and eat on a budget.
On top of that, a lot of the main attractions in the city are within walking distance and, those that aren’t are easily accessible by train.
One thing that I loved about the location is that, although it’s in the heart of the city, it doesn’t feel hectic. Actually, it feels like it’s in a cute little neighbourhood, all of its own!
Just across the road, there’s a really cool coffee shop that serves some amazing food- I loved the avocado toast and soft shell crab burger that I had there. Caffeine junkies will be pleased to hear that they take their coffee seriously too- the flat white I had was made to perfection! It was great having a place like this right on my doorstep.
One of my hostel friends also pointed out that there was a bar just a couple of doors down- I would never have noticed otherwise since it was in a rundown, derelict house covered with overgrown trees. I wish I had a chance to grab a nightcap there away from the usual places frequented by tourists! As you can probably assume, this was quite a trendy area.
The Social Scene
As Paper Plane Hostel is fairly new on the Kuala Lumpur hostel scene, and since it’s offering something a bit different to other places in the city, a lot of backpackers are flocking there. You’ll be sure to make some pals!
I loved how they gently tried to enforce travellers to be social and speak to one another. They even had signs in the room to remind guests to look up from their phones and actually talk to one another, too. I think that we are all guilty (I know I am) of spending too much time checking up on emails and perfecting our Instagrams so it’s nice to have a wee nudge now and then!
The fact that they had good wifi signals in the dorm rooms actually made it easier to speak to people. This might sound a bit counter-intuitive but, my thinking is if you have WiFi only in the common area then people will go there to do important things like booking flights or skyping loved ones so you never want to disturb them. If people can do those things in their room then they’ll be more likely to use the common area to actually be social and meet people!
While we’re on the subject of common areas, I should point out that this is another area where Paper Plane Hostel excelled! There were plenty of places to get acquainted with other guests- picnic tables in the front porch, comfy sofas at the reception area and even a rooftop garden area. Having an outdoor space to chill in is something not to be taken for granted! All travellers need lazy days and being able to do this in the open air can make you feel a bit less guilty.
As a backpacker, I’m not too fussy about where I stay, but there are a few things that are essential!
First off- WiFi! Once again, I need to commend Paper Plane Hostel on their amazing, high-speed internet! Most bloggers will agree that bad WiFi can be a total deal breaker but there were absolutely no issues here!
Of course, they had all the usual things that should be expected- a cheap laundry service, free city maps, and a well-stocked bookshelf. However, extra luxuries such as air conditioning, reliable hot water, and individual power circuits at each bed provided an extra level of comfort and homeliness.
There’s nothing worse than being buzzing for your holidays and being faced with dour-faced staff who hate their job. This was absolutely not the case at Paper Plane Hostel.
As soon as I walked in, the staff were extremely friendly, enthusiastic and accommodating. I was greeted by Rafiq who even gave me a full tour, telling me about all the artwork and showing me where to get anything that I might need. This made me so excited about my stay but it was just the start- I can’t even begin to explain how lovely everyone was. Rafiq and Yan, in particular, made my time so much more enjoyable and I can’t thank them enough for their kindness and for always going the extra mile for me.
Value for Money
With dorms starting at 70 MYR per night, it’s not the cheapest accommodation in Kuala Lumpur. However, this is not your typical hostel- I’d even go as far as to describe it as a boutique hotel with shared rooms. There really was a lot of thought put into everything and I doubt you could find anywhere as great for the same price elsewhere in Kuala Lumpur. In a city full of backpacker’s accommodation, Paper Plane Hostel definitely stands out from the rest!
You can check out their website, and book rooms here.
Let me know, what’s the nicest hostel you’ve ever stayed at?
Disclaimer: I was a guest of Paper Plane Hostel but, as always, all opinions are my own.