Clean and comfortable lodgings for backpackers priced at RM30 to RM120 – that’s what Number Eight Guesthouse, a new, boutique-styled guesthouse offers backpackers visiting Kuala Lumpur.
Number Eight is housed in a refurbished row of old houses, about 80 years old, along Tengkat Tong Shin.
The location is ideal for travellers as it is within easy reach of the shopping and cultural centres of Chinatown, Bukit Bintang and the Petronas Twin Towers.
Just around the corner is the Jalan Bukit Bintang shopping district while good, cheap food beckons from nearby Jalan Alor.
For those who want a sampling of Kuala Lumpur's nightlife, the refurbished houses are also home to several stylish cafés, eateries and nightspots.
“I’ve had the opportunity to travel widely and have always wondered why backpackers have to make do with cramped, shabby, hole-in-the-wall sort of places,” said co-owner Sahara Lindsey at the guesthouse’s recent opening. .
“We believe it’s possible to offer accommodation that is cheap yet chic,” she said.
From the moment she set eyes on the old house, she was fascinated by their unique character and decided to ask whether the owners would like to turn it into a guesthouse.
Lindsey’s husband James, who designed the guesthouse, has kept the original layout of the house intact including the old wooden floorboards.
A row of simple, functional common bathrooms and toilets was also added.
A total of 18 rooms, all with air-conditioning and ceiling fans, are available ranging from courtyard double-rooms to six-bed dormitoriesand loft rooms tucked under the roof with a quirky, slanting ceiling sweeping down at an angle.
The courtyard rooms are the most expensive but have the advantage of being surrounded by potted palms in an open-air central yard fronting the rooms on the ground floor. The central yard also serves as a private garden for the rooms.
The twin and double-sharing rooms overlook the main road and come with washbasins and vanity tables although bathroom facilities are shared like backpackers’ hostels around the world.
The use of aqua colours for the walls coupled with warm mango and reds convey a feeling of contemporary chic.
Even in the double-decked bedded dormitories, the clever use of dark wood panelling for floor-to-wall beams convey a sense of space.
Each bed is fitted with an accompanying locker perfectly sized for a backpack.
In the lobby, facilities both Internet and Wi-Fi access are offered alongside office facilities, cable television with DVD, soft drinks, luggage storage and travel planning assistance.
Number Eight Guesthouse is located at 8-10 Jalan Tengkat Tong Shin, Kuala Lumpur (off Jalan Bukit Bintang. Tel no: 03-2144 2050 or visit www.numbereight.com.my.