Our family tend to go on staycations a couple of times throughout the year. Just to get away from our routine or for special occasions. The Chow Kit was on our wish list ever since it opened. We finally got to try it out during this summer break.
The Chow Kit is a cosy little boutique hotel, unique in its own design, unlike any other in town (that we’ve come across yet). If you’ve stayed in hotels in New York City, especially those within walking distance to Times Square, you’ll be transported back there, the moment you step into The Chow Kit.
This time round, it was only my son and I who stayed, as we checked in during a weekday. We got the Towkay Suite and it was a delight! The size of the suite is on the small side if you compare it to a standard room in one of the big chain hotels. However, the furnishing more than made up for the size of the room. I simply loved it!
We got a tour of the hotel and only then did I realise that it actually has a sister hotel right next to it – Momo’s! If The Chow Kit is the refined older sibling, Momo’s is the fun and playful one. I could imagine plenty of flashpackers here.
Rooms in both hotels are small. In The Chow Kit, they do have the Towkay Soh Suite, which is large by its standards and can fit in a rollaway bed. You would have to check with the hotel itself, but they have other room options where you can fit a cot, should you need it. In our Towkay Suite, my son (who’s 11), fit comfortably on the sofa in our suite and could have slept on it for the night. It would not have been any different if we were in any other hotel.
During the hotel tour, I noticed empty food containers all laid out on a table. Curious, I asked what they were for. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the hotel donates meals from Mondays to Fridays. They supply meals in the morning to Kechara Soup Kitchen and meals in the evening to Pertiwi Soup Kitchen. It truly .warmed my heart when I heard this.
We whiled away the rest of the afternoon in the room, having heart-to-heart chats. They reminded me that my son is growing up so fast and to cherish these moments, as they won’t last forever.
The Chow Kit Kitchen & Bar
My husband joined us after work for dinner at the hotel’s F&B outlet, The Chow Kit Kitchen & Bar. It had quite a number of tables filled at dinnertime. Looking at the menu, I would describe it as western fare with a Malaysian twist. The food is delicious and absolutely worth driving into town for!
We headed up to the room after dinner and hung out. Even with all three of us in the room, we never felt cramped in.
Walking tour through Chow Kit
One of the things I’d been looking forward to with our stay at The Chow Kit, was their walking tour around the area. I’ve lived in KL for 23 years now, and have never, ever ventured into Chow Kit area, because of its past. But I was raring to go, to learn more about Chow Kit and its history, its community and people, plus we had a guide!
The bad bits… that’s what makes it history
We didn’t manage to go on the tour during our stay, as it wasn’t available. However, the hotel allowed us to come back on the weekend to do it. We sat off from the hotel at 9am on a Sunday with our guide, Fuad. He brought us all around Chow Kit, to parts we’d never seen before or knew about. He’d stop frequently during the tour to point out things to us. We saw the first electricity pole in the area, saw the bridge where Sudirman gave the first open air live concert and learned more about the vendors and their wares around the area.
Fuad would also show us the images on his phone for us to compare what it was like then and what it is now. What I truly appreciated from Fuad is his honesty. He would announce that we were venturing into the seedy part of Chow Kit, before we actually did. He was also completely open about the not so great parts about Chow Kit. For what is history if you wipe out the bad bits?
It was lovely to see Fuad greeting the locals during the tour. There were plenty of “Apa khabar?” and “Selamat pagi” going around. As this tour is recent and during the RMCO, we did not venture into Chow Kit market. Although, he did bring us to the edge of the market and told us the history from there. Even though we didn’t go into the wet market, Fuad brought us round to the quiet parts (i.e. the dry goods and F&B sides). The tour can take anywhere between an hour and a half to two hours, depending on your pace. We arrived back at the hotel at 10.45am, sweaty but oh so satisfied with the tour.
*In house guests get to do the tour at a special rate. Pre-booking is highly recommended. There are two tours a day, one at 9am and the other at 5pm. Tours are weather dependent. I would recommend doing the tour on a weekday, when all the shops along the street are open. Also, perhaps skip breakfast and have a meal along the way! Fuad brought us to the stalls which had long queues (testament to deliciousness!)
Our staycation at The Chow Kit gave us so much more than just one night to escape. My son and I got to spend QT together, we filled our bellies with such yummy food (and I with lip smacking good cocktails!). We were also well taken care of by its staff and got to know the local surroundings.
If there’s any downside to The Chow Kit, it would have to be their parking, which is extremely limited. On weekdays, we didn’t have an issue but when we went back on Sunday, the car park was full! We managed to find a lot further down the road in another open air car park.
Not just a hotel
A hotel on the edge of the city, that gives back to the community by feeding the needy, and which kick started the Chow Kit walking tour for its guests, to promote its local surroundings, is so much more than just a hotel. It’s a hotel that truly holds #kitajagakita close to its heart and beams with pride about its location. And for me, that’s truly boutique in my world.
The Chow Kits has got some great deals. Check them out here.
This is a sponsored post. We stayed as guests of The Chow Kit. All opinions, as always, are honest and our own.