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15 Insta-Worthy Boutique Hotels In Malaysia For A Unique Stay

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Winnie Chong  •  Aug 15, 2019

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Updated 26 February 2020 If you don’t already know, a boutique hotel is a small hotel that typically houses lesser rooms – all with unique settings. Unlike regular hotels which are usually chains, no two boutique hotels are the same. As they are unable to accommodate more people due to their smaller sizes, you are almost guaranteed a stay with a personal touch. Credit: Giphy Lucky for you, Malaysia is home to an abundance of boutique hotels, especially in places like KL, Penang, Melaka and Ipoh. Here’s a list of Insta-worthy boutique hotels in Malaysia that you can stay during your next visit to one of these locations! In case you were wondering, the term 'boutique hotels' can have different interpretations to different people, but some characteristics of boutique hotels that are generally agreed upon (which we used for compiling our list!) include those that are independently owned, or alternatively on the smaller side (less than 100 rooms). In addition, they are typically unique in design, decor or atmosphere (which distinguishes it from the more cookie-cutter designs of chain hotels), may represent the local heritage or surroundings and have personalised or more intimate service. Note: As of 26 February 2020, the approximate currency exchange rate is GBP100 = SGD181.73 / MYR551.13 / IDR1, 799, 077.00 Disclaimer: All prices shown are based on a search as of 26 February 2020,  for booking periods between April and June 2020 and are subject to changes. To get the best deals at an affordable rate, early booking is recommended. ☺️
Penang
1. Areca Hotel Situated within a short walking distance from KOMTAR (it is the tallest building in Penang if you don’t already know!), Areca Hotel Penang is a boutique hotel spanning across 12 shophouses. It has been meticulously restored to its former glory after years of renovation, with its historical structure carefully preserved. The common area of the hotel is beautifully decorated with potted plants and cosy chairs. The open concept of the area is further complemented with natural sunlight from its glass ceiling, creating an airy and comfortable space for you to lounge in. With so much character, this area is perfect for you to take Instagram-worthy shots (trust me, natural lighting is the key to beautiful pictures 😊).  Striking alleyways with old-fashioned tiles and carved wooden doors provide the perfect backdrop to your photos. Travel back through time as you stroll along the alley showcasing the unique colonial architecture of the hotel. 
Credit: Areca Hotel Penang on Facebook The hotel houses 48 spacious rooms complete with modern comforts like television, minibar, safe and fluffy beds. The rooms exude elegance and classic with vintage furniture and golden lighting, giving them a nostalgic charm! Rates: Starts from RM161 on Agoda Address: 5 Jalan Khoo Sian Ewe, 10500 George Town, Penang Contact: +604 261 0050 Website | Facebook | Instagram 2. Cheong Fatt Tze - The Blue Mansion The whirlwind that is the Crazy Rich Asians movie hit our shores last year, and who can ever forget the mahjong scene at the end of the movie? It was filmed at the iconic Blue Mansion (also known as the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion) in Penang! If you’re a big fan (or even if you’re not), you can live like a Crazy Rich Asian at the mansion during your next trip to Penang 😜 Built-in the late 1800s, this UNESCO award-winning 18-room boutique hotel is elegant with its fine interiors and antique furniture. This setting exudes the Chinese atmosphere (think tranquil courtyards, louvred windows, gold-carved screens, tall pillars and ceilings) – except you’re in Malaysia and not China!  Rest and relax as you enjoy the experience of staying in the beautiful mansion. Get your cameras clicking to this oh-so-Instagrammable mansion, perfect for your #ootd shots! Better yet, you can relive the Crazy Rich Asian experience by enjoying a blissful Nyonya afternoon tea.  The room boasts of authentic 19th-century furniture throughout and is complemented with modern necessities like HD television, lightning-speed internet connection and a rain shower. It almost feels like you’re transported back in time during your stay at the mansion 🙂 Rates: Starts from RM444 on Agoda Address: 14 Lebuh Leith, 10200 George Town, Penang Contact: +604 262 0006 Website | Facebook | Instagram 3. 23 Love Lane  In addition to the delicious foodie haven that is Penang, the city is also famous for its heritage. Nestled in the heart of Love Lane in George Town, 23 Love Lane is a beautiful boutique hotel that is worthy of note for its careful heritage restoration. Comprising of several heritage buildings built across the 1800s, the hotel houses 10 rooms that are all unique and eclectic in their own ways. The hotel is beautifully decorated with the owner’s private collection of antiques and artwork, aesthetically pleasing to the eyes! After a long day of touring Penang, you’d be delighted to return to a serene oasis to rest and relax 😍  Listen to the birds chirping and the soothing sounds of water flowing from the fountain in the garden as you take in the beauty of the hotel. The peace that surrounds you in the hotel is so unbelievable you won’t believe it’s situated in the busy city of George Town!
Credit: 23LoveLane Hotel, Penang on Facebook Get a good night’s rest at the very comfortable room which features a high ceiling, full-length shutter windows, fluffy king-sized bed and a spacious bathroom in addition to basic necessities like television, safe and bottled water. Best of all, the hotel also provides free afternoon tea and light snacks for all in-house guests from 4.00 – 6.00pm daily (I’m sure we all love free food 😂). Rates: Starts from RM519 on Agoda Address: 23 Lorong Love, 10200 George Town, Penang Contact: +604 262 1323 Website | Facebook | Instagram 4. Ren i Tang Heritage Inn  Located in a restored building from the 1800s, the Ren i Tang Heritage Inn is a unique boutique hotel spanning across 3 shophouses. A glimpse at the exterior of the building may not suggest to you the actual identity of the hotel, but you’re in for a treat once you step into the building! Converted from what used to be a Chinese medicine hall, very much of the features of the building are preserved.  One of the most noticeable features of the hotel are the air wells, which used to be the area where herbs are transported from the storerooms above to the shop on the ground floor on old pulley systems. There is also a museum in the building which displays tools to process medicinal herbs!
Credit: Ren i Tang on Facebook Rooms at Ren i Tang are tastefully-furnished with comfortable beds as well as antique pieces to complement the wooden-shuttered windows. Persian rugs, quirky towel racks and fashionable light fittings in the rooms are proof that modern and heritage characteristics in the hotel are aesthetically blended. Rates: Starts from RM198 on Agoda Address: Lebuh Penang, 10200 George Town, Penang Contact: +602 250 8383 Website | Facebook | Instagram
Malacca
5. Rosa Malacca  One of the most hipster-looking hotels in Malacca is none other than Rosa Malacca. The 60-room boutique hotel features a mix of red bricks and brushed concrete, creating the New York loft look that is so Instagrammable 😍 Be mesmerized by the chic industrial interior of the hotel with contemporary designs you’ll love at first glance. The soft furnishings at the ground floor lobby create a homey touch – stepping into the hotel feels as if you have just returned home!  Industrial chandeliers and spotlights provide the soft lighting hues of the space. There are several clocks showing the current time of major cities around the world, and picture frames to fill the brick walls of the hotel. The many soft cushions on the sofa of the hotel lobby also creates an intimate space that you can lounge in comfortably. Rooms at Rosa Malacca are spacious with elaborate designs that are both comfortable and practical at the same time. They come equipped with television, safe, minibar as well as a clean bathroom well-stocked with complimentary toiletries. With a hotel so pretty like Rosa, I bet you won’t want to ever leave the property! Rates: Starts from RM213 on Agoda Address: 212 Jalan Parameswara, Kampung Bandar Hilir, 75000 Malacca Contact: +606 281 9888 Website | Facebook | Instagram 6. The Nest House  Once an abandoned residence in Bandar Hilir Malacca, the home has since been given a new lease of life with the birth of The Nest House. It is a 10-room boutique hotel tucked in a hidden location away from loud noises and traffic. First thing you will notice as you make your way into the hotel is the large painting of a bird on the front of the building! As its name suggests, the hotel is designed with the theme of birds and nature. It is very much noticeable from the cushions with bird prints, metal sculptures of birds, drawings of birds and even bird’s nest as your welcoming dessert! Every corner of the boutique hotel triggers you to start clicking on your camera shutters. 
Credit: The Nest House Melaka on Facebook With thoughtful designs like the use of ventilation block feature walls to allow natural airflow throughout the building, you are in for a comfortable stay at the hotel. This eco-friendly feature is further enhanced with heat-reflective glasses to keep the temperature cool in the building. The rooftop deck of the building is also equipped with solar panels that generate part of the power supply of the hotel.  Each room at The Nest House is named after the famous streets in Malacca, from Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock to Jonker Walk. Some rooms even come with a private garden, perfect if you would like to get some privacy and relaxation at your doorstep. Best of all, you can help yourself to complimentary drinks and snacks at the 24-hour pantry (to satisfy that midnight hunger pangs of yours!). Rates: Starts from RM158 on Agoda Address: No. 7, Lorong 1, Bandar Hilir, 75000 Malacca Contact: +606 283 1118 Website | Facebook | Instagram 7. Timez Hotel Formerly a pre-war heritage building, Timez Hotel is a now a modern boutique hotel within walking distance to the famous Jonker Walk in Malacca. The white façade of the hotel gives it a clean look, making it stand out from the rest of the shophouses in the area. Timez Hotel boasts of an interesting honeycomb wall structure with a collection of 62 Swatch timepieces in the otherwise minimalistic design of the hotel. It houses 15 individually-designed rooms in accordance with the history of Malacca, hence do expect to be mesmerized by the intricacies of this humble little hotel!
Credit: Timez Hotel on Facebook What makes Timez special is the Swedish elevator with machinery-like buttons, something you don’t get to see every day! While it does its job of bringing guests safely to their room levels, it can be slow as it does not stop halfway to allow other guests to enter.  The rooms at Timez Hotel are designed with five unique themes in line with the confluence of cultures in Malacca – Portuguese, Dutch, British, Peranakan and Chinese. They all come with comfortable beds, television, complimentary drinking water as well as an espresso machine. I’m sure you’re in for a comfortable stay in Timez! Rates: Starts from RM190 on Agoda Address: 31 Jalan Hang Kasturi, 75200 Malacca Contact: +606 281 2109 Website | Facebook | Instagram 8. The Rucksack Caratel  Another Insta-worthy boutique hotel in Malacca is The Rucksack Caratel. There are actually two properties under the same group – Garden Wing and Jonker Wing, which are situated close to each other but with different designs. One thing’s for sure – both properties are very beautiful 😍 If you love nature and would very much love to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, do opt for the Garden Wing. Though still close to the main attractions in Malacca, the Garden Wing of The Rucksack Caratel is surrounded by lush greenery. There is also a pool for you to dip in on a hot day, or you can lounge by the poolside with a book in hand.  Closer to Jonker Walk is the Jonker Wing of The Rucksack Caratel. It is smacked right in the city which makes it convenient to get around by foot. The Jonker Wing is filled with quirky designs – like the traffic lights and zebra crossing at the main lobby, along with hammocks and even a tire swing that you can chill in! Whether you opt for the Garden Wing or the Jonker Wing for your stay at The Rucksack Caratel, the rooms at both properties come with comfortable beds in addition to the many amenities that you will need for a great stay. Rates: Starts from RM83 on Agoda Address: 107 Jalan Bandar Kaba, 75000 Malacca Contact: +606 292 2107 Website | Facebook | Instagram
Ipoh
9. M Boutique Station 18
Credit: M Boutique Hotel, Station 18 on Facebook Take a look at the exterior of the M Boutique Station 18 and chances are it’ll leave you with a very good first impression for its signature array of thousands of doors. It’s not every day that you get to see that many doors in one place! The hotel lobby further gives the wow factor to the property with its huge vintage sofa and big metal chandelier illuminating the lounge area. The classy interior furnishing makes the space look neat and very comfortable, it’ll make you want to sleep on the sofa there and then! 
Credit: M Boutique Hotel, Station 18 on Facebook With its monochromatic jazz-themed vibe, every corner of the hotel is Instagrammable. The vintage style of the hotel attracts guests from all walks of life. The hotel even comes with a shop where you can buy exclusive handicrafts like stationery, plush cushions, handmade organic soaps and scented candles for you to bring home with you after your stay!
Credit: M Boutique Hotel, Station 18 on Facebook M Boutique Station 18 houses 38 spacious rooms with many facilities, from comfortable beds to dual density pillows, Bluetooth radio alarm clocks to coffee makers and fast-speed Wi-Fi connection. Marvel at the satisfying sight of black and white furniture and decoration blending in beautifully in your room! Rates: Starts from RM169 on Agoda Address:  15-23 Jalan Pengkalan Barat 35, Taman Pengkalan Jaya, Station 18, 31650 Ipoh, Perak Contact: +605 321 1666 Website | Facebook | Instagram 10. Sarang Paloh Heritage Stay Housed in an old shophouse in Ipoh, Sarang Paloh is a boutique hotel in the Old Town. It is born from a heritage restoration project that gave it a new lease of life. With a history dating back to 1930, expect to see the most delicate of details in the design of the hotel. From timber flooring to a beautiful high ceiling, the 11-roomed hotel exudes a charming warmth with its quirky elements and beautiful décor featuring antique teak furniture. Be sure to photograph the iconic spiral staircase of the hotel. It is truly hard to miss with its monochromatic tiles, with its black spots giving a stark contrast to the white interior of the building. Experience the nostalgia as you walk down the stairs, it is as if you’re transported back in time!
Credit: Sarang Paloh Heritage Stay + Event Hall on Facebook Rooms are spacious with comfortable beds and private bathrooms. They also come with basic necessities like air-conditioning, flat-screen television and kettle – complete with complimentary coffee and tea sachets for that hot cup of beverage you can enjoy in your room. Rates: Starts from RM268 on Agoda Address: 16 Jalan Sultan Iskandar, 30000 Ipoh, Perak Contact: +605 241 3926 Website | Facebook | Instagram 11. The Happy 8 Old Town Ipoh
Credit: The Happy 8 on Facebook One of several hotels by the same chain in Perak, the Happy 8 Old Town Ipoh is a boutique hotel in the heart of the city. The hotel is the second retreat by the owners after their first venture in Pasir Puteh. The original façade of the building has been beautifully maintained, giving Happy 8 Old Town the vintage vibe. Upon entering the hotel, you will be greeted with many interesting works of art. One thing’s for sure is the use of wood to furnish the entire property. These wood pieces were originally old and unwanted but were cleverly reused and re-purposed to create beautiful pieces for the hotel. If you’re an art enthusiast, you’d be delighted to find artworks by budding artists displayed at the hotel. With the owners being art lovers themselves, the hotel provides the platform for the artists to showcase their artistic talents through the pieces on display. Some are even for sale!
Credit:  The Happy 8  on Facebook There are 13 rooms at The Happy 8 Old Town Ipoh, all with different designs from one another. Getting in your room is a surprise as you will never expect what design you’re going to see! Rooms are comfortable with fluffy beds and basic amenities like television, air-conditioning, rain shower as well as a hair-dryer. Rates: Starts from RM97 on Agoda Address: 46 Jalan Market, 30000 Ipoh, Perak Contact: +605 243 8388 Website | Facebook | Instagram 12. Ipoh Bali Hotel Converted from an old bungalow, Ipoh Bali Hotel is a boutique hotel with a Balinese theme. The exterior of the hotel instantly makes you feel like you’re in Bali with its resort-like entrance. The interior decorations in the hotel are heavily Balinese, but many décors are improvised and recycled – from rocks to wood for its door frames and flooring. The courtyard also features a 60-year-old tree replanted in the hotel.  A great place to hold private functions and events, the top floor of the hotel is the perfect place for a get-together with close family and friends. The hotel is also an ideal place to hold pre-wedding photoshoots or wedding ceremonies due to its Balinese-themed designs.  There are 12 rooms in the beautiful hotel with different sizes to cater to your group size and needs. The rooms come with amazing views of the perfectly landscaped garden. With a comfortable bed as well as amenities like safe, minibar, television, air-conditioning and daily newspaper, your stay at Ipoh Bali will be a delightful one! Rates: Starts from RM264 on Agoda Address: 12 Lorong Cheah Cheang Lim, 30350 Ipoh, Perak Contact: +605 242 0222 Website | Facebook | Instagram
Kuala Lumpur
13. MOV Hotel
Located merely 3 minutes from the Bukit Bintang MRT Station, MOV Hotel in the heart of Kuala Lumpur is a boutique hotel that is freshly opened in 2018. The stylish hotel boasts of an expansive area with 147 rooms! Sporting a trendy urban design, the hotel lobby is furnished creatively. One of the highlights of the hotel is the huge white panther sculpture at the lobby, the first thing that greets guests upon them arriving at the hotel.  Not only that, there is also a giant indoor slide that leads all the way down to the in-house restaurant in the basement, Wurst. However if you are not a fan of making a grand entrance to the restaurant via the slide (especially if you’re in a dress), there’s always the lift that you can use 😝 
Credit: MOV Hotel KL on Facebook The rooms at MOV are very modern and chic, with a minimalistic design. Most importantly, the beds are comfortable! Rates: Starts from RM172 on Agoda Address: 43 Jalan Berangan, Bukit Bintang, 50200 Kuala Lumpur Contact: +603 2781 9888 Website | Facebook | Instagram 14. KL Journal Hotel Another boutique hotel situated in the heart of the city that is worthy of note is the KL Journal Hotel. Its proximity to main tourist attractions and shopping areas in Bukit Bintang makes it the ideal choice for you should you want to explore what the city has to offer. Although it is smack right in the city centre, KL Journal surprisingly offers a quiet and serene retreat. The hotel sports an appealing retro design in addition to being bright and airy. Complete with funky lighting and furniture, the hotel provides a comfortable stay!  The hotel also comes with a rooftop infinity pool, perfect for you to take photographs to fill your Instagram feed! It’s a great area to rest and relax while overlooking the amazing views of the city 😍 
Credit: The KL Journal on Facebook The rooms at KL Journal are fully equipped with everything you need for a great stay – minibar, television, air-conditioning, alarm clock and kettle. The icing on the cake is the spacious bathroom with incredibly powerful shower! Rates: Starts from RM294 on Agoda Address: 30 Jalan Beremi, Off Jalan Sultan Ismail, Bukit Bintang, 50200 Kuala Lumpur Contact: +603 2110 2211 Website | Facebook | Instagram 15. The Mesui Hotel  Occupying an old building right in the middle of the touristy Bukit Bintang, the Mesui Hotel is a boutique hotel with a very strategic location. Being in the middle of the city means it is easily accessible to most tourist attractions in the city! The quirky exterior with the signature cube-like structures popping out of the hotel makes it stand out from the crowd of surrounding buildings. Interior-wise, the hotel features a mix of modern designs and that from the olden 70’s. The simple yet tasteful décor of the hotel gives it the homey vibe that would make any guest feel at home. The most prominent feature of the Mesui Hotel is the indoor courtyard with an open-concept. One wall of the courtyard is covered in lush greenery, a stark contrast to the surrounding white walls. The area is perfect for you to chill and relax, especially after a long walk touring the city.  The rooms at the Mesui may not be spacious, but they are cozy and enchanting. A stay in one of the clean and comfortable rooms will truly be a treat to your soul. Rates: Starts from RM112 on Agoda Address: 9 Jalan Mesui, Bukit Bintang, 50200 Kuala Lumpur Contact: +603 2144 8188 Website | Facebook | Instagram
Bonus
Hotel Stripes Kuala Lumpur  This hotel has more than 100 rooms, is connected to the Marriott Group of hotels, plus at RM495 per night, it's the most expensive accommodation on our list. But we had to include it! Hotel Stripes is run by YTL Group (the same people behind The Majestic Hotel!) and is part of Marriott's Autograph Collection Hotels,  a selection of independently owned hotels (that are licensed under the Autograph Collection name) prized for a unique design. Nestled in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, Hotel Stripes Kuala Lumpur is a luxury boutique hotel that you need to stay in for once! Opened in 2017, it is a relatively new hotel with an emphasis on the local heritage. Couple that with a touch of modernity, the hotel is a great choice for an enjoyable stay in the city!  Why stay at Hotel Stripes? For starters, the rooftop infinity pool of the hotel provides a stunning view of the city skyline. The pool of the luxury boutique hotel faces the iconic KL Tower, so you’re sure to get beautiful Instagram shots with the tower as your backdrop! With a contemporary design, the 184-roomed hotel is so beautiful there are photo opportunities at every corner of the hotel! There are also several in-house restaurants for you to dine in, so you can really take your time and relax in the hotel without having to head out for food. The rooms at Hotel Stripes are very comfortable, with fluffy beds and seating area. They are also well-equipped with a minibar, safe, kettle, air-conditioning and a huge closet where you can find robes, slippers and an iron for a cosy stay. Rates: Starts from RM333 on Agoda Address: 25 Jalan Kamunting, Chow Kit, 50300 Kuala Lumpur Contact: +603 2038 0000 Website | Facebook | Instagram  How aesthetically pleasing are these boutique hotels? 😍 Time to book your stay at a boutique hotel for your next weekend getaway in the country! P.S. If you have a boutique hotel in Malaysia you'd like to recommend let us know in the comments below!