I stayed at two different hotels during my trip to KL, the first of which was Hotel Stripes Kuala Lumpur.
This 184-room hotel opened in 2017 under Marriott’s Autograph Collection, the brand under which you’ll find more unique/quirky properties that don’t fit neatly into other boxes. This means an absence of brand standards, but in this case it’s really meant to be a feature, not a bug. If cookie-cutter is what you want, there’s a million other Marriotts and Sheratons ready to receive you.
Hotel Stripes is owned by YTL Hotels, and has a bit of a special connection to its parent entity- YTL Corporation’s very first office was built on the piece of land where the hotel now stands.
I booked this via Kaligo in order to unlock my pending referral bonuses, and paid S$127 for a one-night stay, inclusive of breakfast.
|🏨 tl;dr: Hotel Stripes Kuala Lumpur|
|Hotel Stripes is one of the better-value options in Marriott’s KL network, though breakfast could use some work.|
|👍 The Good||👎 The Bad|
Hotel Stripes Kuala Lumpur: Arrival & Check-in
Hotel Stripes Kuala Lumpur is located in Jalan Kamunting, dubbed “Kuala Lumpur’s most creative neighbourhood” by SilverKris magazine. It’s about a 15 minute taxi ride away from KL Sentral, or 50 minutes to KL International Airport.
Truth be told, you’re not as near the action as you would be at the Westin, JW Marriott or Ritz-Carlton, all of which are in the Golden Triangle area. However, what you lose in location, you make up for in price. Stripes is considerably cheaper than most Bonvoy options in Kuala Lumpur. I’ve noticed it prices even lower than the Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral, for instance.
And I wouldn’t call it ulu either. I mean, there’s plenty of good eats in the nearby vicinity, including Heritage Pizza KL, Restaurant Dominic, Gavel Coffee Kitchen Craft Beer, and Mojo Restaurant and Bar. You can access the Medan Tuanku Monorail station with a five-minute walk. KLCC is 2km away.
The hotel building is clad in bricks, much like its neighbours. At the end of the 19th century, most of the neighbourhood was destroyed in a fire, and during the rebuilding the British colonial administration stipulated that the wood and thatch materials were to be replaced with less flammable bricks.
It helps the hotel blend in organically with its surroundings, but also creates a pillbox effect, because it restricts the amount of light that can enter the rooms. Most rooms will look out to a pillar of bricks.
The Hotel Stripes lobby is compact yet elegant, with a string of bare lightbulbs running through like runway lights.
It was evening when I arrived at the hotel, and as such my room was already waiting for me. Since I booked this stay through a third-party platform (Kaligo), there was no question of any Marriott Bonvoy benefits, nor should I have expected them as a lowly Gold member (lifetime Gold actually, if that makes an ounce of difference!).
I booked the lead-in Deluxe Room category, and was assigned a room on the 16th floor.
The interior design is refreshingly modern. Warm lighting and neutral tones gave the room a sense of calm.
The mattress was medium-firm, with universal power outlets and Type-A USB ports on both sides.
Next to the window was the work desk, and though the chair looked like it opted for form over function, was actually quite comfortable (not every hotel room needs to have Herman Millers- though it would be nice!).
The hotel’s complimentary Wi-Fi network clocked in at a very middling 9 Mbps up and down, suitable for email and video calls but perhaps not HD streaming.
Two complimentary bottles of water are provided (with more on request), as well as a coffee machine. Additional drinks can be found in the mini-bar, plus a safe and kettle.
I’m sure you’ve already spotted an unusual design choice from the previous photos of putting the wash basin outside the toilet. I suppose it makes it more convenient for one party to brush their teeth while the other is relieving themselves (trust me, those two activities do not pair well).
At the wash area were toothbrushes, a shower cap, sanitary bag and vanity kit, as well as a bar of soap.
I kept thinking the amenities looked awfully familiar, and then it struck me: the packaging is a dead ringer for the Asprey Purple Water products found at Ritz! I’m starting to wonder whether all these toiletries are just made in a central factory, which slaps a brand on the packaging based on whatever marketing tie-up the hotel has secured…
Inside the bathroom was a toilet with a bidet hose, as well as a shower cubicle with a rain and hand shower. There was a bench to sit on while scrubbing your feet, and water pressure was excellent.
Mangosteen shower gel, shampoo and conditioner were provided in wall-mounted bulk bottles. Mangosteen, for the uninitiated, is a Malaysian skincare brand. I didn’t like the smell of these though, as I thought they were overpoweringly sweet.
Breakfast is served at Brasserie 25 in the lobby from 6.30 a.m to 10.30 a.m daily. It’s complimentary for Marriott Bonvoy Platinum, Titanium and Ambassador members, and if it’s not included in your rate, the cost per person is 63 MYR nett (~S$18).
The buffet spread began with cut fruits, a salad bar, cold cuts, cereals and porridge in one section (they did have a problem with house flies buzzing around the fruits).
Elsewhere was a selection of breads, pastries and preserves, plus a toaster.
Next to that was a spread with French toast, pancakes, dim sum, fried noodles, breakfast meats, baked beans and roasted vegetables.
Juices and yoghurt rounded off the selection.
While it got the job done, I thought that breakfast was a weak area for the hotel. The selection and quality were probably closer to what you’d expect from a 4-Star hotel rather than a 5-Star. Noodles tasted like they’d been bathed in ketchup, the dim sum tasted frozen, the bread was supermarket stuff, and it was overall quite forgettable.
Hotel Stripes’ outdoor swimming pool is located on the top floor of the hotel, and is open daily from 7 a.m to 7 p.m.
The pool is 1.2 metres deep and rectangular-shaped, making it suitable for lap swimming. The views aren’t half bad either, with the KL Tower easily visible together with other landmarks. It’s highly Instagrammable, if nothing else.
Next to the pool is the Man Tao bar, which serves up cocktails and light bites from 3 p.m onwards. Platinum, Titanium and Ambassador members receive a free flow of snacks, wine, beer and soft drinks here for two hours in the evening plus some snacks, though it’s nothing substantial (think chicken wings, onion rings, fries).
The hotel’s 24-hour gym is located on the 21st floor, equipped with a range of TechnoGym cardio and strength training equipment as well as free weights. I counted three treadmills, two exercise bikes, and four weight machines.
One final point that didn’t fit in anywhere: the roads leading to the hotel are closed every Sunday from 7 a.m to 9 a.m, as part of a car-free initiative. If you plan to depart during this window, you’ll need to walk until you’re outside the cordon then hail a cab.
Hotel Stripes is one of the better value hotels in the Marriott Bonvoy network in KL, and worth considering if you don’t need/want to be at the heart of the action, or if proximity to KLCC is more important than Bukit Bintang. The rooms are modern, there’s plenty of good eats a short walk away, and you’ll snap some nice holiday photos at the pool.
Breakfast is an area that could use some improvement, and if your rate doesn’t include it, you might be better off exploring one of the nearby cafes.