How planner / journal obsessed am I now? I stayed at a hotel just because it had the word ‘Journal’ in it. And I loved it. It even had some stationery-related bits too, so click through!
I had a chance to be in KL for a night and was looking for a place to stay. At my age, I am rather tired of staying in budget-friendly digs, and since it was for one night only, I decided to give myself a little treat.
The Kuala Lumpur Journal was one of the hotels that popped up on my search, and I was immediately captured by its name. I struggled with my decision for a bit, trying to rationalise it, but I thought, what the heck, I deserve a break!
The Kuala Lumpur Journal is a very new hotel in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia. It is a modern boutique hotel, that manages to capture a modern retro vibe in its decor while injecting some local Malaysian flavour as well.
The hotel is very conveniently located just off the main shopping strip of Bukit Bintang, but just far enough from the crazy weekend crowds of Sungei Wang and Low Yat Plaza. That being said, the immediate area is filled with local trinket shops that open late into the night, which was slightly intimidating as I returned quite late that night. But there were still a few tourists milling around and I did not encounter anything out of the ordinary.
The lobby, and the rooms, are gorgeously furnished with furniture that carry a modern retro vibe. The staff are dressed in smart-casual denim outfits and very friendly. Check-in was a breeze.
Image courtesy of KL Journal website
My room was located on the fourth floor, and look at the surprise that greeted me. For those not from these parts, this Pop Pop is a ‘fire-cracker’ toy that was very popular in Singapore and Malaysia many years ago. It contains small white packets that you throw on the ground and they make loud, popping noises that sound like fire-crackers. Sadly they are now banned in Singapore, but I think you can still get them easily in Malaysia. I wish I had gone to the other floors to see what decor they had but I was feeling rather tired and lazy.
The room I had was huge and tastefully decorated in muted colours, with a couple of colourful splashes. Full-length windows provided amazing lighting during the day, while the room has ample lamps and lighting to make it comfortably bright at night. Besides the queen bed, there is a big wall-mounted TV (did not switch it on), a big writing desk and a beautiful chair in front of it.
There is WiFi, slightly slow but still a god-send in this day and age, and one of the reasons I refuse to stay at established hotels, because they simply make you pay through the nose just to stay connected.
Beside the bed, there is another gorgeous armchair that again carries that lovely modern retro vibe. I wish I could bring it home.
On the other side, you get a JBL Bluetooth alarm clock radio (I believe it’s the JBL Horizon Bluetooth Clock Radio with USB Charging and Ambient Light (Black)). I had this on most of the time for background noise and music. I really fell in love with this gadget, and it’s another part of the KL Journal I wish I could bring home.
Having said that, the Journal really features a menu of items that you can purchase from them, including bed sheets, pillows, towels, the JBL, and get this, the arm chair, the desk chair, and the desk. wow.
Is it me? Have I lost touch with hotels so much that I don’t even know you can now bring home hotel furnishings?
Moving on. The hotel also has so many amazing features, like the bistro-like Bounty Cafe on the ground floor that serves breakfast and other meals, the Shack on the first floor for drinks, and the beautiful infinity pool on the rooftop. I really wanted to take a dip in it, but simple could not spare the time. There is a gym on the tenth floor that is open 24 hours, but meh (laugh).
Back in the room, there are many other little touches that really appealed to the stationery lover in me.
This next one, I am slightly ashamed to say, I hoarded it and brought it home. Again, for those not from the parts. the 555 notebook is an iconic feature of Singaporean and Malaysian history.
There is even a little story of the 555 notebook written down in this customised KL Journal 555 notebook. Other than being used in local stores, I remember my grandparents, parents and other adults around carrying one each. They used it to record down weekly lottery numbers they bet on and also winning numbers. Lottery days are on Wednesdays and Sundays in Singapore, and I remember either my grandma or grandpa flipping open their little 555, licking a short stubby pencil (why do people lick pencils anyuway), and copying down winning lottery numbers from the ‘ma pew po‘ (a colloquial name given to the newspaper that published winning lottery numbers on the front page).
I wonder how I am going to add this to my travel journal when I sit down to put it together. Any suggestions?
I also ordered some room service as I was delayed by monorail issues and missed lunch altogether. Look at the gorgeous basket my room service got delivered in! Another slice of local history!
This is a really iconic shopping/marketing basket (made of rattan?) that every grandmother and every mother used to have at home. My mum had one of these for some time, and would carry it to the wet market every Sunday to put in all her shopping. The material is really strong, and it could contain so much in it. I remember tagging along occasionally (my mum hated bringing me because I was a whiny brat *laugh*) and seeing so many other similar baskets. Sadly (luckily for mothers, because these can get heavy!) they started dying out very soon after people got used to using plastic bags instead.
Even though it was only for a night, I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at the Kuala Lumpur Journal. Everything in the hotel is so tastefully and beautifully furnished in one of my favourite decor styles. I love the touches of nostalgia and local flavour which contrasts so beautifully with their modern boutique vibe.
I wish I could review a bit more about it. There is so much I missed out because my stay was so short. But I would really recommend staying at the KL Journal if you are heading to KL anytime soon.