Where the Flash like to Crash: Number Eight Guesthouse, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Hot on the heels of reports that ‘flashpacking’ is the new backpacking comes the new breed of flash-hostel, epitomized by the Number Eight Guesthousein Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

In a predominantly corporate city like K.L., anonymous luxury high rises abound, leaving the budget traveler in roach-infested dives in the dingy part of town – until now. The Number Eight is, on paper at least, a regular budget guesthouse: a number of multi-bedded dorms, a few doubles, shared bathrooms. But that’s where the familiarity ends.

Number Eight describes itself as a ‘new concept’ in budget accommodation, and aims to be ‘your choice for comfortable, casual chic’. And it doesn’t miss – Number Eight has boutique style at bunk bed prices, with elegantly designed rooms featuring key note colours and ambient lighting, deliciously hot and powerful showers, queen-size beds which ease a travel-weary body in crisp cotton sheets and soft downy throws, which you might even use (despite K.L.’s steamy climate) if you turn your air con up high enough.

The simple complimentary breakfast is made special by French butter and organic preserves, while evening drinks can be enjoyed in the large, open-plan lounge or out on the terrace – perfect for people-watching. And, of course, there’s the requisite high-speed broadband and Wi-Fi.

Designer-appointed air-con rooms for the same price as the YWCA? I’m guessing it won’t be too long before this place becomes too popular for its own good. The developers have wisely limited the room numbers to keep the original asian shop-house architecture intact. This means, however, that it is regularly booked out at busy periods, so advance reservations are a good idea.

Number Eight has been receiving rave reviews from fellow flashpackers online in – the community listens to each other, and the word is good. The place could still do with adopting a few of the hostel-essentials which traditional backpackers seek — city maps and info at reception would be useful, as would be staff who could recommend nearby imbibing emporia –- but Number Eight is still an absolute gem in the rough, shining out as the leading example of the South East Asian flash-crash-pad.

W: www.numbereight.com.my.
A: No 8-10, Jalan Tengkat Tung Shin, Kuala Lumpur.
T: +60321442050.
F: +60321444250.
$: From US$8.00/€6.52/£4.46 per person. Price may vary by day.

Posted by Clare on August 31, 2006 in Travel

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