Cheap dorms with some walking involved
Apparently open just a month when we stayed here in late 2017, The Icon shows considerable promise for those looking for a cheap bunk and a friendly atmosphere.
Set on Jalan Pudu Lama (a back land that runs roughly parallel to Jalan Pudu), the Icon Hostel has a bit of a out of the ways location, which would have been handy when Pudu Sentral was still operating (note the dozen other mini-hotels in the area), but now that the majority of long distance buses operate from elsewhere, this location is a bit of a walk to everything. Chinatown is ten minutes away to the west and Jalan Alor ten minutes to the east. The closest station is Plaza Rakyat LRT, also about a five minute walk away. We’ve slotted it into the Bukit Bintang section, but the hostel is pretty much half way between Bukit Bintang and Chinatown.
Despite the somewhat out of the way location, we liked the place—we found the staff to be especially friendly, if not always all that well informed, and they were very obliging—like when we got caught out by the early check-out time of 11 (we had assumed midday) “don’t worry about it” the friendly guy at the desk declared.
The dorms are spread across two floors of the spacious and airy building. The lobby is given over to a lounge area, TV and a spot for coffee and tea, while upstairs has a large but under-furnished common area. There is a lot of space and they’re yet to really figure out what they want to do with it we think.
Our eight bed dorm was clean. Metal framed bunks with a decent mattress, base sheet and a pillow. Front desk will give you a towel and a blanket—we didn't need the latter as while the room was air-con, it certainly wasn’t freezing. Each bunk also comes with a medium sized locker, key supplied. Our bunk had a power plug, but no personal light, shelf nor privacy curtain.
Bathrooms are shared and spread across the two floors. They’re simple affairs and reasonably clean. The shower was incredibly hot with plenty of water pressure—two thumbs up there!
Probably the only complaint is the floors are noisy and the rooms are not well noise proofed. Footsteps really echoed through the whole hostel and we could hear travellers chatting away well into the late evening—light sleepers should pack earplugs.
The crowd is mixed, but we found Icon to be a reasonably sociable place. Overall the dorms are great value. The location isn’t so hot, but all the walking will help you work off all the bowls of noodles and curries you have been scoffing. In the unlikely event that The Icon is full (they have a lot of dorm beds) Step Inn Guesthouse and Step Inn Too Guesthouse are just along the same laneway and are both old-style, long-running guesthouses.
Address: 27 Jalan Pudu Lama, Pudu
T: (03) 2022 2125;
Coordinates (for GPS): 101º42'3.81" E, 3º8'47.81" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: Under 60 ringgit
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
8-bed dorm 28 ringgit in a 6-bed dorm
|22 ringgit||22 ringgit|
|Dbl air-con private bathroom||70 ringgit||70 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