My First Experience at Holiday Inn Express Kuala Lumpur City Centre

holiday inn express 1200 x 630

Travelling on a budget is my personal mantra. I see to it that I book the cheapest accommodations there is when I travel. However, there are just times when unexpected circumstances happen where all you’d want is to find extra comfort when looking for a place to stay. This was what happened to me during my stopover in Malaysia.

After staying in Thailand for 12 days, I travelled by train from Bangkok to Butterworth in Malaysia with the plans of going to Penang, Cameron Highlands and Melaka. I’ve already pre-booked my stay in those places. The number one reason why I’m setting foot in Malaysia for the second time was to see the tea plantations of Cameron Highlands. But something I ate on my first night in Penang made me sick, which forced me to extend my stay in that UNESCO Heritage town. Then the inevitable happened. I had to cancel the rest of my travel plans within the country since I was too weak to move around and I couldn’t risk the thought of overland travel while nursing a stomach flu.

the ninja turtle at the Penang airport 😆

Sensing that a different environment would be good for my tummy after confining myself in my room in Penang, I decided to travel to Kuala Lumpur instead to recover before I head to Taiwan, which would be the last leg of my 3-country backpacking adventure. I was glad that it didn’t cost much to book a flight with Air Asia considering that the flight was for that next day. So after taking care of booking my plane tickets, I searched for the best hotel deals in Kuala Lumpur via Agoda. I wanted to take a break from hostels and find myself an affordable hotel where I can pamper myself and relax. After carefully checking reviews while also considering the amenities and pricing, I decided that the Holiday Inn Express Kuala Lumpur City Centre was the perfect place to stay for me. It was an easy win actually. Their rooms looked beautiful from the photos on the booking site but the winning factor that made me choose this hotel was their DIY laundry and ironing service. I badly needed to have some of my clothes washed before I fly out to Taiwan and I’d prefer washing my own clothes rather than sending it to a laundry shop. Seeing that Holiday Inn Express has this amenity, I immediately booked my 2 nights stay with them and prayed hard that the tummy behaves on my way to the airport and during the flight to KL.

Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express Kuala Lumpur City Centre
Holiday Inn Express

Holiday Inn Express Kuala Lumpur City Centre is conveniently located at the heart of Kuala Lumpur along Jalan Raja Chulan. It is just a short walking distance to the iconic Petronas Twin Towers. Bukit Bintang, the shopping mecca of KL, is just around the corner too where you can shop till you drop with the wide selection of malls available like the Pavilion, Lot 10, Berjaya Times Square and Sungei Wang Plaza. There are tons of things to do in Kuala Lumpur and the hotel’s location makes it accessible when exploring the city. To get here from the KL Sentral station, a free bus is available. However, being a noob in commuting in KL, it took some time for me to reach the hotel after missing my bus stop.

check in counter at holiday inn express in kuala lumpur
reception desk at Holiday Inn Express in KL

Checking inn was fast and smooth. Since I already pre-booked with Agoda, I didn’t have to pay anything. I tried to request a room with a view of the Petronas Twin Towers but the staff told me that it can’t be seen from where the building stands. Bummer.

Jalan Raja Chulan
Jalan Raja Chulan

When I went inside my room, I discovered that I had a great view of the monorail and across Holiday Inn Express is Hotel Istana, the hotel where we stayed on my first time visiting Kuala Lumpur.

bed at kl holiday inn express
my queen bed at Holiday Inn Express

The Queen Room I booked with Holiday Inn Express had ample space for me to move around. It was more than satisfactory actually. It’s the same as what you see on the booking site. As I stepped inside, a toilet and bath can be found on the right side then a queen sized bed was waiting for me.

holiday express inn toilet and bath
Bathrooms are en suite and come with shower facilities, a hairdryer and free toiletries.

The hotel’s signature bedding with the choice of Soft & Firm pillows was so tempting that I immediately dove on my bed the moment I walked in my room. At that instant, I realised that booking my stay at Holiday Inn Express was the best decision I made after the tiresome nights I had to endure in Penang.

queen bedroom at holiday inn express kl
Queen bed at Holiday Inn Express

I’ve also neglected work the past days that I was indisposed in Penang so seeing a working desk with a comfy swivel chair was a breather for me. It was just what I needed to finish off deadlines.

holiday inn express kl room amenities
room amenities at Holiday Inn

All of the 383 rooms at Holiday Inn are fitted with air-conditioning, a flat-screen satellite TV and a safety deposit box. My queen room came with a mini fridge, an emergency flash light and some hangers. There’s also a luggage stand available, slippers and a laundry bag. An iPod docking station with clock radio is available on the night stand. There are ample electrical outlets in there and I’m glad that those are universal outlets. Electrical adapters are available too upon request if you need more.

coffee and tea making facility
coffee and tea maker

A stay at Holiday Inn Express Kuala Lumpur City Centre comes with either an Express Start Breakfast or a Grab & Go Breakfast.

breakfast at holiday inn express kuala lumpur city centre
breakfast at Holiday Inn Express Kuala Lumpur City Centre

The breakfast buffet spread at this hotel is not as lavish as any average hotels. There’s only a few selections to choose from but I didn’t mind the limited options. Having breads and pastries paired with coffee is good enough for me.

holiday inn express kl restaurant
the dining area at Holiday Inn

The size of the dining hall of Holiday Inn Express allows guests to choose wherever they want to be seated. During my stay, I’ve noticed that most of the guests are there for business so they quickly eat their food and leave.

holiday inn express kuala lumpur lobby
spacious lobby at Holiday Inn Express KL

After eating, I then paid the laundry room a visit. Coins are needed to make the machines work. All I have to do was exchange my bills with coins at the reception desk. Once that was settled, I immediately placed my clothes inside the washer.

laundry and ironing services at holiday inn express kuala lumpur
self laundry and ironing room

I brought my laptop with me to see if I could catch up on work. However, I got distracted and roamed around the area. When I came back to transfer my clothes in the dryer, two more guests were in there ironing their clothes. Adjacent to the laundry room is the hotel’s fitness center.

fitness center at holiday inn express kuala lumpur city centre
fitness center at Holiday Inn Express Kuala Lumpur City Centre

Holiday Inn Express wants its guests to stay healthy so a fitness room with modern equipment is available for anyone to use. There are stationary bicycles and treadmills available. This room is available for use 24/7 and all you need is your key card to access it.

my recovery food at KL
recovery food for my sick tummy

After doing the laundry, I stepped outside and bought some comfort food and medicine for my tummy at the shopping mall nearby. By night time, I met up with Kathleen, a Malaysian travel blogger I met at the TBEX Conference in the Manila to catch up. We dined at one of the famous food joints near the area and had coffee afterwards. I love how the hotel was super accessible to the best places to hang out in Kuala Lumpur.


Before leaving Kuala Lumpur, I made sure I paid the twin towers a visit. The morning I was to check out from Holiday Inn, I decided to go for a quick walk to find the two towers. I know it was just within the area and with the help of my handy Flytpack pocket wifi device, I navigated the Jalan Pia Keng area leading to the back portion of the KLCC Park. I even saw a signage pointing to the Philippine Embassy in the area. After some obligatory shots, I headed back to my hotel on the opposite direction in order to gain familiarity of the place for future visits.

Checking out from my room was hassle-free when it was time for me to leave. Before I know it, I was off to the bus station on my way to KL Sentral. My connecting flight to Taiwan via Vietnam won’t be for another 12 hrs and I had enough time for last minute shopping at the mall inside KL Sentral before I rode the train back to the main Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Staying at Holiday Inn Express Kuala Lumpur City Centre Hotel by IHG was a pleasant experience for me and with their affordable room rates in Agoda, I wouldn’t hesitate to book my stay with them should my feet ever find it’s way to Kuala Lumpur again.

Holiday Inn Express Kuala Lumpur City Centre

Book here for discounted room rates
84 Jalan Raja Chulan
Kuala Lumpur 50200
Phone: 60 3 20288888


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