Not for us, but maybe for you
We wanted to love Mingle, we really did. It came highly recommended from a reliable friend, but we just didn’t love it. At all. Maybe you will.
Normally when we hit a place we don’t like we don’t list it, but in the case of Mingle, it came super-highly recommended and the reviews are resoundingly positive, so we felt we just got it on a bad day, and should still include it in our wrap for Kuala Lumpur—it is certainly not for us, but perhaps it is for you.
You’ll find the hostel above a cafe towards the southern end of Jalan Sultan in Chinatown, housed in a delightfully ageing shopfront building, ideally located for some excellent eating and a very short walk to Pasar Seni station. So location-wise, two thumbs up.
Their website makes mention of an (off site) gym and swimming pool—neither of which were mentioned to us upon check-in, though that may have been partially due to the workers who were jackhammering five metres from reception, filling the air with concrete dust, and, well, making it difficult to hear anything the front desk staffer had to say. It is a tricky balance, how does a hostel expand and renovate when doing business? We don’t know the answer to that to be honest, but maybe not jackhammering and filling reception with concrete dust around check-in time would be a good start?
We liked the weathered look of the place, the finish is minimalist—think lots of polished concrete—and there is an artistic edge, we loved the (much photographed) atrium by reception and the rooftop “bar” area shows promise, but hell man, how hard is it to empty an ashtray or clear away empty cans—long after a table has left?
Dorms are functional. Design-wise they’re quite similar to to those at 1,000 Miles Hotel—wood framed with black metal detailing and good privacy curtains to seal you off from the dude’s feet across the way. They come with lockers and, in the corridor, boxes for boots. Our dorm was stuffed, really stuffed, with mosquitos—the only time we had this problem in KL. Each dorm bed has its own air-con outlet, something we’d never seen before. You’ll need to pay 5 ringgit for a towel (meh) and WiFi is voucher-based.
Showers and toilets are clean, though expect some queueing at peak times, and, depending on where your dorm is located, you may need to walk through reception to reach the shower—not a deal breaker of course, but not ideal.
The roof top terrace is a good spot for a sundowner, but you can’t bring your own drinks and, as with BackHome, the canned beers are quite expensive. As with our dorm, expect mosquitoes.
We found the staff (when we could hear them) polite and not unhelpful, but likewise not especially welcoming and the walkthrough was a joke—indeed we found the staffers in the cafe below fare more obliging and chatty.
So what is good?! The hostel attracts a young, social crowd, and if you’re a single traveller looking to meet up with other travellers, this could be a good choice, though we’d say BackHome up in Little India to be a far better option. As already mentioned, the location is excellent for food and you are close to both Pasar Seni station and Maharajalela monorail. Shop around online for a competitive rate.
Address: 53 Jalan Sultan, Chinatown
T: (03) 2022 2078;
Coordinates (for GPS): 101º41'55.13" E, 3º8'34.34" 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.
Up to 80 ringgit
|48 ringgit||48 ringgit|
|Dbl air-con private bathroom||118 ringgit||118 ringgit|
|Triple air-con share bathroom||130 ringgit||130 ringgit|
|Quad 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