Normally I travel on a bare-bones budget and the thought of staying in a hotel is not even worth entertaining. But for this solo adventure in Kuala Lumpur, I tried something new in Tian Jing Hotel, and I didn’t end up regretting a cent.
Attending these conferences in Asia, first in Seoul last year and now in Kuala Lumpur, feels different to my regular travel. With these it’s not really travel, you go straight from a week of busy placement onto the plane, into the packed conference schedule, and straight back into hospital placement the morning after flying back. Hence, my tolerance for sweaty hostel rooms and snorers interrupting a rare night’s sleep is uncharacteristically diminished.
However, staying in big chain hotels also isn’t really my style. Although they are gorgeous (there’s no denying that), when I travel I don’t want to get the same experience everywhere. There is a certain charm in staying in accommodation which represents the local environment and culture, and is keeping money in the country’s economy. So a small boutique hotel like Tian Jing Hotel was the perfect open.
Price per night: RM250 with breakfast
Location: Jalan Sultan, Chinatown
The rooms at Tian Jing Hotel are beautifully curated to feel like an oasis within the busyness of Kuala Lumpur. With dark wooden furniture, crisp white linens, copper piping, and enamelled sinks, the room and its contents all tie together beautifully. Depending on your room, the sliding doors will open out onto decking which is either on the bottom floor with a small garden or a balcony with garden view upstairs.
One thing I was apprehensive about to start with were the outside bathrooms. Yes, outdoor bathrooms. On the wooden decking of each room is a copper shower head with matching piping, and subtle toilet. The shower had perfect pressure and being outside ended up being a godsend. After a hot and humid day exploring KL, it was actually really peaceful showering out in the open air.
The staff always make a place and Tian Jing Hotel is no exception. The service here was fantastic and everyone was willing to help out. From recommending restaurants and street food, to helping with luggage storage, they were always friendly and available.
Tian Jing Hotel’s location is adjacent to Chinatown’s famous Petaling Street. Chinatown is a short 20 minute train trip to Kuala Lumpur City Centre (Petronas Towers). I really enjoyed staying in Chinatown because it was positively bursting with character. The centre of KL is fantastic to explore but the skyscrapers and mega-malls don’t feel as unique as Chinatown. With fantastic cheap eats on your doorstep and Pasar Seni station on a few minutes’ walk away, the location of Tian Jing Hotel can’t be faulted.
THE ADDED EXTRAS
One of my favourite parts of Tian Jing Hotel was waking up. The breakfast here is s-u-b-l-i-m-e. Each evening you put in your preferences for breakfast which includes local classics like roti canai, dim sum, and marriage toast.
At the bottom of the hotel is Lim Kee Café, a perfectly-designed eatery with cakes and a real coffee machine. This café serves up great coffee and is the perfect place to sit and work for a while during the hotter hours. The best bit? You get two free coffees/beverages of your choice every day at Lim Kee as a guest of the hotel. Looks like Tian Jing knew the easy way to my heart.
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