Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The Chow Kit

Price per night from$41.47

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (MYR180.42), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Bright lights, full bellies

Setting

Markets and neon

Kuala Lumpur’s The Chow Kit hotel sits on the edge of the one-time red-light district, within a fish-ball’s throw (not that you’d waste food like that) of the city’s largest market. Greet your days with rooftop yoga before embarking on guided walking tours of the district – you’ll want to work up an appetite to do justice to the mod-Malaysian restaurant’s tantalising menu. Wind down with gin-based craft cocktails in the low-lit bar before retiring to your room (twinkling skyline views, anyone?) and starting all over again the next morning.

Smith Extra

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A signature cocktail each

Facilities

Photos The Chow Kit facilities

Need to know

Rooms

113, including 27 suites.

Check–Out

Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 2pm.

Prices

Double rooms from £35.67 (MYR191), including tax at 6 per cent.

More details

Rates don’t include breakfast, but for MYR35 a day each you’ll get a cooked-to-order breakfast served with tea or coffee and fresh juice.

Also

The Chow Kit has partnered with KL artisans, craftspeople and companies to kit out the hotel, from decorations and furniture to bath products.

At the hotel

Free WiFi. In rooms: free bottled water, smart TV and organic bath products.

Our favourite rooms

The Towkay and Towkay Soh Suites have the most room to stretch out, so they’ll be most comfortable for longer stays. If you’re hankering for city-skyline views, avoid the Den rooms – some are interior-facing.

Packing tips

Leave a little room in your suitcase for some locally made trinkets from nearby design store Naiise.

Also

There are no wheelchair-accessible guest rooms, but the lobby can be reached by ramp.

Children

This city stay is best for grown-ups, but cots can be added to some rooms and highchairs are available in the restaurant.

Eco‐friendly

The hotel has a recycling programme, uses eco-friendly bath and cleaning products and has water bottle refilling stations.

Food and Drink

Photos The Chow Kit food and drink

Top Table

Snag a cosy booth at the far end of the restaurant for a secretive tête-à-tête. Dining with a group? Ask for the Library – a private space lined with handpainted wallpaper by local artists Chong Yong and Patricia Leong.

Dress Code

If you needed an excuse to break out your qipao, this is it.

Hotel restaurant

The Chow Kit Kitchen and Bar, helmed by chef Christian Bauer, serves up reimagined Malaysian cuisine. Start with coconut-based laksa soup or crispy vegetable tempura, then move on to mains of barramundi fillet grilled in a banana leaf or the signature Chow Kit fish and chips. Save room for sticky salted coconut milk and pandan pudding, Japanese sweet potato jelly with sorbet or tea-soaked vanilla sponge cake. For lunch, there’s claypot oyakodon with garlic fried rice and deep-fried chicken katsu sandwiches. Breakfast is served in the restaurant, too. Start your day with spinach and baked eggs on sourdough, the hearty Chow Kit eggs Benedict or the fragrantly spiced nasi lemak tumpang. There are freshly baked pastries, mix-and-match a la carte items, freshly squeezed juices and rich coffees as well.

Hotel bar

Follow the sound of soul music to the low-lit bar and treat yourself to a tipple from the craft-cocktail menu. The signature Chow Kit muddle is a botanical blend of Aperol and lemongrass liquor; we’re also partial to the jasmine-infused Gin Dynasty and the gin-based Tai Tai Tipple, which is laced with pear juice, rosewater and cardamom bitters. Settle in for an evening and order sharing plates of turmeric-marinated squid and prawn fritters with plum sauce.

Last orders

Breakfast is served from 6.30am to 10am (7am to 10.30am at weekends), lunch from 11.30am to 2.30pm and dinner from 5.30pm to 10.30pm.

Location

Photos The Chow Kit location
Address
The Chow Kit
1012, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Chow Kit, Wilayah Persekutuan
Kuala Lumpur
50100
Malaysia

The hotel sits on the fringes of Chow Kit, Kuala Lumpur’s once-upon-a-time red-light district, for which it was named.

Planes

Kuala Lumpur International Airport is 60 kilometres from the hotel and transfers can be arranged for MYR75 each way; Subang Airport is 27 kilometres away – transfers to and from this hub cost MYR50 each way.

Trains

The Medan Tuanku stop on the city’s monorail is six minutes away by car, and under five minutes on foot.

Automobiles

You won’t need your own set of wheels if you’re staying in the city, but it’s worth downloading the Grab app before you arrive – Malaysia’s answer to Uber. If you do choose to drive yourself, valet parking is MYR3 an hour or MYR15 a day.

Worth getting out of bed for

Salute the sunrise with yoga sessions, held Monday, Wednesday and Friday on the hotel’s rooftop terrace. Then, after a fortifying breakfast, book onto a bespoke walking tour and learn about Chow Kit’s history, food and culture.

Wander through historic Loke Mansion or take a guided walking tour of nearby Chow Kit Market, Kuala Lumpur’s biggest, and get the inside scoop on the sprawling mass of stalls that sell everything from fresh produce and fish to DVDs of questionable origin.

In the mood for a little retail therapy? Make your way to Bukit Bintang, also known as Starhill, and treasure hunt through the district’s bijoux boutiques and sizeable shopping centres, stop for snacks at the hawker-style eateries and get your caffeine fix at one of the many alfresco cafés. If you’re inspired by Malaysian design, spruce up your own space with handcrafted furniture from Rattan Art Enterprise.

Local restaurants

Wake up with a jolt of rich coffee and a fluffy baked treat at nearby Common Grind before starting your day’s city adventures. Stop for lunch at Kin Kin Chilli Pan Mee Shop – made famous by Momofuku’s David Chang – and order bowls of spicy noodles. If it’s a steak and carbs kind of night, look no further than Marble 8 Steak House​ for the city’s finest cuts of Wagyu and Angus.

Local bars

Rooftop Man Tao Bar is an urban jungle of a spot, with sweeping views of the city skyline and a Tsingtao-beer-themed cocktail menu.

Reviews

Photos The Chow Kit reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this boutique hotel in Malaysia and unpacked their handcrafted ceramics from local Bendang Studio, a full account of their city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside the Chow Kit in Kuala Lumpur…

On the fringes of history-rich Chow Kit, the city’s seedy red-light district of the 1970s and 1980s, this sleek boutique hotel is perfectly positioned for exploring Kuala Lumpur. Decked out with furnishings and custom-made art from local makers, rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows and can-I-take-this-home-please-comfort-level beds. Downstairs there’s a low-lit restaurant that dishes out Malaysian-grandma-inspired meals with a modern twist from breakfast to late; in the adjacent bar, creative cocktails are wittily named, refreshing and heavily gin-based (which we’ll toast to any time).

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Price per night from $41.47

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