Smart hotel with a rooftop pool
Established in 2015, KL Journal was still pretty and shiny when we stayed here in late 2017, and the room, with a super-central location and terrific views, made it an excellent value choice in Kuala Lumpur.
Set just off the very busy thoroughfare Jalan Sultan Ismail, KL Journal boasts spacious modern rooms with floor to ceiling glass windows offering excellent views over the surrounds. While our ninth floor view was dominated by a large apartment building opposite, we could also see the Petronas Towers to one side and plenty of city gazing to the other (and into the apartment opposite gazing if we were to be honest—fascinating!)
Our bed was firm with white linen and fluffy pillows, bed side tables and lamps (on both sides) and, in a very pleasing touch, a dated city photo, printed poster-size above the bed head. Rooms also come with a very well-thought out and designed “Insider guide to the city” with suggestions on spots to eat drink and explore both locally and further afield throughout the city—we followed up on some of the tips and were well pleased. Other hotels could learn much by doing something like this.
Rooms also have a lazy chair, ideal for gazing aimlessly out the floor to ceiling windows, plenty of cupboard space, drawers and even an ironing board (which we used!). There is a another chair and a large desk suitable for getting some work done plus a minibar and some coffee, tea and a kettle to keep that work flowing. Done with work? There’s also a large flat screen TV.
Bathroom was large, with blinds if you wanted to let light in (though as the glass is clouded there is no real scope for performance showering), and the shower was hot and good.
Up on the top floor there is a moderately-sized horizon pool where you can float in the water and look directly down onto the Bukit Bintang monorail station. There is also a rooftop bar should you need some cold drinks poolside. There are some deckchairs but not loads—so get in early to be sure of a spot.
We totally missed this during our stay, and we really wish staff had mentioned this to us when we checked in as it would have been very useful, but according to their website, the hotel also has a co-working hub which they describe as “A relaxed public space with communal tables and lounge chairs with good plugged-in connectivity and hi speed WIFI”. We missed out on this, though the WiFi was fine in the room anyway.
Regardless of if you need a break from a grungy dorm or hostel, or if you’re just in KL for a short break and would like something comfortable and central, KL Journal is a solid option. You could argue it has been designed for the business traveller but it is perfectly suited even for those without a laptop in tow but who are looking for a modern and well kept room. If you want a larger pool, consider the also very new Hotel Stripes, though it lacks the central location KL Journal has.
Rates are very variable with Friday and Saturday commanding a hefty premium. Stay as we did mid week for a far more competitive rate (we paid just over half the weekend rate by staying on a weeknight)—and do shop around online and also check the hotel’s own website to be sure of garnering the best deal. Recommended.
Address: 30 Jalan Beremi, off Jalan Sultan Ismail
T: (03) 2110 2211; F: (03) 2110 1100
Coordinates (for GPS): 101º42'37.36" E, 3º8'53.42" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: 250 to 500 ringgit
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Superior double room||310 ringgit||310 ringgit|
|Deluxe double room||410 ringgit||410 ringgit|
|Deluxe Suite||630 ringgit||630 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