Complete Guide: Where to Stay in Kuala Lumpur – 5 Best Areas and Hotels
In case you have Kuala Lumpur on your bucket list and you’re actively planning a trip to the city, you should prepare to be amazed! This is one of the most mesmerizing destinations in Asia and a complex city. If you’re wondering where to stay in Kuala Lumpur before your trip, I got you! This guide will tell you everything you need to know, together with some of the best hotels in the city I could find.
Kuala Lumpur is an eclectic metropolis where you can enjoy everything from world-class shopping to sites that represent Malaysia’s rich culture. There is a lot going on in KL; with many museums, the famous Petronas Towers, shopping centres filled with both designer and local brands, and restaurants that serve the best local and international cuisines.
If you’re visiting Kuala Lumpur soon, here are some of the best areas to stay with some of my favourite hotels in each of them:
The best area to stay in Kuala Lumpur by type of traveller
Before jumping right into it and talking about the best hotels in Kuala Lumpur, I feel like a short round-up of the best areas in the city broken down by interests is well-needed, especially for first-time visitors. Here’s a useful guide I put together for you:
- KLCC Area – Where to stay in Kuala Lumpur for first timers
- Bukit Bintang – The best place to stay in Kuala Lumpur for shopping
- Chinatown – Where to stay in Kuala Lumpur on a budget
- KL Sentral – Where to stay in Kuala Lumpur for luxury
- Chow Kit – Where to stay in Kuala Lumpur for a local vibe
For a better idea of the city, check out the map below:
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Kuala Lumpur City Center / KLCC Area
The KLCC (Kuala Lumpur City Centre) is truly where all the action happens in the city. Located at the heart of it all, KLCC is the perfect neighbourhood to stay in, especially if you’re a first-time tourist to Kuala Lumpur. Being central to most of the tourist spots (Petronas Twin Towers, KLCC Park, KL Tower) dining options, shopping centres and transportation hubs make it the easiest place to book your room if you’re hoping to navigate Kuala Lumpur by public transport or on foot.
It’s also the perfect location if you’re only staying in the city for a few days, as it holds so many of the city’s top tourist destinations along with KL’s best shopping malls. The popular Suria KLCC has a reputation for being Malaysia’s grandest shopping centre which, in my eyes, is the perfect excuse for a hefty dose of retail therapy! Hehe!
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Where to stay in Kuala Lumpur KLCC
MY TOP PICK: Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur – This one’s a gem among all hotels in KL! If you’re dreaming of staying in a superb room with floor to ceiling windows and a rooftop infinity pool at your disposal, then Mandarin Oriental is your choice. It’s basically a 5-star luxury hotel that offers everything you can dream of – and more!
Other accommodations in KLCC that I would recommend:
Known as Kuala Lumpur’s shopping and entertainment district, Bukit Bintang area is another good, central location to pick a hotel in. With a bit more culture and more of a local feel than the super popular KLCC area, Bukit Bintang is an excellent choice, especially if you’re looking for some world-class shopping! This neighbourhood is overflowing with shopping mall options, bars, cafes, restaurants, night markets and hawker-style eateries that will surely keep you busy during your stay. And did I mention that Bukit Bintang is THE best area to stay for shopping?!
If you find it hard to choose, please know that Bukit Bintang and KLCC are equally amazing locations, you just need to figure out what type of action you want to be close to! You simply cannot get bored in either Bukit Bintang or in the KLCC city centre!
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Where to stay in Bukit Bintang
MY TOP PICK: JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur – In case you’re looking for a superb, upscale hotel in Bukit Bintang that offers unforgettable city views and an outdoor swimming pool, look no further! This is hands-down one of the best luxury hotels in Kuala Lumpur, located only minutes away by foot from multiple shopping complexes. For example, Starhill Gallery Mall is directly connected to the JW Marriott hotel!
Other accommodations in Bukit Bintang that I would recommend:
A great option for the budget traveller, Chinatown or Pasar Sensi is one of the cheapest neighbourhoods to stay in Kuala Lumpur. In fact, this is a backpacker’s heaven because of the many cheap accommodations that you find around the area and delicious street food places that you can try. Worry-not, as you’ll still be relatively close to the major tourist spots in Kuala Lumpur, such as the world-famous Petronas Twin Towers and KLCC Park as well.
Chinatown is all about shopping for knock-offs along Petaling Street, sampling street food from hole-in-the-wall stalls, dining in hip little cafes and marvelling the street art at Kwai Chai Hong. Even if you don’t choose to stay in this area, it should definitely be on your list of places to visit in Kuala Lumpur!
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Where to stay in Chinatown
MY TOP PICK: The Majestic Hotel – I know I mentioned before that Chinatown is one of the top places to stay in Kuala Lumpur if you’re looking for the best hotels for cheap deals. But this doesn’t mean the area doesn’t have its upscale options too! If you’re dreaming of an authentic stay in KL, this accommodation offers neo-classical, colonial-style décor and excellent service. Outdoor swimming pool included!
Other accommodations in Chinatown that I would recommend:
In case you’re looking to splurge on 5-star hotels, then KL Sentral is one of the best neighborhoods in Kuala Lumpur! This area surrounds KL Sentral Station, which means that, if you choose to stay here, you’ll be conveniently located close to one of the main transportation hubs of KL. This makes KL Sentral an amazing place to stay in case you’re planning any day trips, as you can easily access other parts of Malaysia from this train station.
In terms of accommodation, there are many upscale, luxurious hotels around (family-friendly hotels, too!), but also some more budget friendly options too, of course. You’ll also have NU Sentral Shopping Mall close-by, with plenty of shopping opportunities.
Where to stay in KL Sentral
MY TOP PICK: Le Méridien – This is a great place to stay in this area and my top recommendation! This hotel offers an outdoor swimming pool, gorgeous rooms, 4 restaurants, and stunning panoramic views over the city. Definitely one of the best hotels in Kuala Lumpur if you’re dreaming of an unforgettable vacation!
Other accommodations in KL Sentral that I would recommend:
Chow Kit is, hands-down, one of the most underrated areas around. If you’re looking for a hotel in Kuala Lumpur located in an authentic part of the city, away from the hustle and bustle of KLCC and the numerous shopping malls, this one’s for you. This is the area where you can experience and enjoy a local vibe and traditional atmosphere, so I’d wholeheartedly recommend it to travellers who aren’t coming to the city for the first time.
Local street markets, Indian eateries and real life vibes – if this is what you’re looking for instead of groups of tourists, then you should consider picking a hotel here.
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Where to stay in Chow Kit
MY TOP PICK: Sheraton Imperial – If you’re dreaming of picture-perfect views of the city, this is one of the top hotels in this area! Outdoor swimming pool, 5 on-site restaurants, superb, spacious rooms – this is what you’ll find in this accommodation – and more! In my opinion, this is one of the most luxurious Kuala Lumpur hotels!
Other accommodations in Chow Kit that I would recommend:
Aaand we have reached the end of my complete guide to the best areas to stay in KL and top accommodations! In this post I have talked about the most famous and convenient neighbourhoods in the city, from KLCC with its Petronas Twin Towers to Bukit Bintang and everything else in-between. I have also given you my hand-picked hotel recommendations, so I hope you have already found the perfect hotel in Kuala Lumpur for you here!
Kuala Lumpur will surely surprise you with everything that it has to offer. Unlike what most people think, this city is much more than just the Petronas Towers – it’s actually grown into a melting pot of different cultures where you can experience great shopping, dining, history and culture!
In case you want to read more about Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, I recommend checking out my articles about the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur right here!