Sky high bunks
Paper Plane Hostel is an outstanding choice for the backpacker happy to pay a little more money for far higher standards with a friendly vibe thrown in for free.
The hostel is set on a cool little backstreet just a ten minute walk from the boisterous Jalan Alor and delivers spacious and immaculate dorms along with a huddle of private rooms, all housed in a renovated shopfront building—there’s even a small rooftop lounge area.
We stayed in an eight bed dorm here. Beds are of a very solid black metal construction and have a real mattress, real linen and a fluffy pillow. Beds include a personal light and charging hub along with a narrow shelf which turned out to be just right to lean the laptop up against while it charged. Oddly the privacy curtain didn’t run the full length of the bed, but this was a minor gripe. Each dorm bed has its own locker.
Some of the bunks were stacked three high—some of the tallest bunks we have ever seen (12 feet off the ground to be exact), and it is fair to that if acrophobia is your middle name you most definitely want a lower level bunk as for these, it was a very long climb up (and down) and after a couple of cocktails too many at the very cool Pahit bar nearby, the climb could be quite the precarious one. One other safety issue that came to head (well, to our head actually) are the towel racks which run along the base of the upper banks—the corners are quite sharp and we gave ourselves a nasty bump on the head—so watch where you put your head.
Shared bathrooms are very clean, with hot water, complimentary shampoo and soap. They have heavy metal doors which do tend to clang and may annoy light sleepers. We’d imagine when the hostel was full there could be some queuing involved in the morning, but business was slow when we visited, so we had no complaints.
There is a ground floor lounge area, which is compact but comfortable enough for a chat, and a second outdoor area which faces onto the street for smokers and those who just like to be outdoors. There is also the above-mentioned roof top area. It is small, with astroturf underfoot, but the views are decent around the surrounding towers.
The location at first seemed a little out of the way, but upon closer inspection everything you need is within 100 metres. Leave the hostel and turn left and kitty corner you’ll see an Indian restaurant—ideal for your morning roti, or turn right upon leaving the hostel, walk around the corner and you’ll see VCR Cafe, which does excellent coffee and cakes. In the evening, do swing by Pahit—a very cool little gin bar which we got distracted by on a couple of occasions, though at around 40 ringgit a cocktail you’ll be paying more for two drinks than a bed at Paper Plane!
Last but not least, we found the staff here to be great. Very helpful with advice and directions and also good just for a bit of banter. We’d definitely stay here again (though do shop around for a competitive online rate). If you’d prefer a more traditional style room, then across the road is the Paloma Inn which is a bit ageing and has somewhat frumpy decor, but is friendly and the rooms are of a good size, with double rooms with bathroom starting at 105 ringgit. If you’re looking for a similar hostel in another part of town, consider BackHome in Little India.
Address: 15 Jalan Sin Chew Kee, Bukit Bintang
T: (03) 2110 1676;
Coordinates (for GPS): 101º42'17.27" E, 3º8'35.51" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: 60 to 120 ringgit
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Dorm air-con||70 ringgit||70 ringgit|
|Dbl air-con share bathroom||160 ringgit||160 ringgit|
Stuart McDonald co-founded Travelfish.org with Samantha Brown in 2004. He has lived in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, where he worked as an under-paid, under-skilled language teacher, an embassy staffer, a newspaper web-site developer, freelancing and various other stuff. His favourite read is The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton.
Our top 10 places to stay in and around Kuala Lumpur