Best hotels and hostels in Malaysia

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Bukit Bintang, KLCC & Pudu

    Villa Samadhi

    It’s hard to believe you’re in the heart of KL when staying at this gorgeous boutique property that epitomises Southeast Asian chic. The black polished concrete, bamboo and reclaimed-timber rooms combine with luxurious light fixtures, idyllic central pool, lush foliage, poolside bar (serving complimentary cocktails) and intimate modern Malay restaurant Mandi Mandi to conjure an antidote to urban stress.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Pulau Pangkor

    Pangkor Laut Resort

    An impeccably managed private island resort lies west of Pulau Pangkor, reachable only by prebooked guests on a 20-minute boat transfer from Marina Bay. The resort feels deliciously secluded: thatched-roof garden villas have luxe interiors, and sea villas perch on stilts above emerald water. Around the island are high-quality restaurants, a beachfront barbecue and sand that shimmers. Book ahead.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Sungai Kinabatangan

    Tanjung Bulat Jungle Camp

    Located on the bank of an oxbow lake, far from any village, this wonderful place is great for wildlife spotting. Digs are simple: six twin rooms with bug netting, flushing toilets and rainwater bucket showers. Owner/guide Afiq is a treasure trove of nature-related knowledge and great with kids, too. Arrange pick-up in advance, as it entails two boat rides.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Selangor

    Sekeping Serendah

    Woven into the jungle, Sekeping Serendah is a back-to-nature retreat with an appealing rough-luxe style. Accommodation is accessed by a boardwalk that spirals into the forest: glass cabins are suspended in the treetops, airy chalets mix industrial bare brick and ornate wooden screens, and open-air pools feel like a delicious secret. It's less than an hour's drive north of Kuala Lumpur.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Penarik

    Terrapuri Heritage Village

    The manicured grounds of Terrapuri Heritage Village resemble a film set about the lives of sultans of yore. Meaning ‘Land of Palaces’, Terrapuri is equal parts conservation and restoration museum, and resort. The resort features 29 classically furnished antique houses painstakingly restored and is laid out to resemble a Terengganu palace c 1850 (though all are fully equipped with modern amenities).

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Pulau Mabul

    Scuba Junkie Mabul Beach Resort

    The most eco-conscious of all Pulau Mabul's lodges, this place attracts a younger international crowd. Super-fresh chalets come with porches and bathrooms, dorms are airy and of a good size, plus there's a welcoming central gazebo that houses the restaurant, and a lively bar upstairs where Scuba Junkie does presentations on its many eco-marine causes. Seven Sipadan slots daily.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Belum-Temenggor Rainforest

    Belum Eco Resort

    Thrillingly remote Belum Eco Resort perches on a private island, thick with jungle and teeming with wildlife. Twelve A-frame chalets (electricity evenings only) line its shore and there are plain houseboat rooms offered, too. Accommodation is basic but it doesn't get closer to nature than this: friendly pet dogs, deafeningly loud cicadas, and breakfasts on a terrace overlooking the lake.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Kota Bharu

    Pasir Belanda

    Pasir Belanda Homestay, around 4km from the centre of Kota Bharu, is one of Kelantan’s choicest options. Three sizes of traditional Malay homes have been decked out with crisp bed linen and modern amenities. Relax under your kampung -style awning or in the swimming pool overlooking the river. On-site activities include cooking classes and workshops on batik and kite decoration.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Poring Hot Springs

    Lupa Masa

    A 45-minute jungle walk from Poring (meet at Nongling Restaurant at 3pm daily), this eco-camp is surrounded by forest and has two gin-clear rivers to bathe in, with waterfalls and natural jacuzzis. Lupa Masa isn't for everyone, though… bugs yes, electricity and wi-fi no! Accommodation is on mattresses in tents on raised platforms, or the delightful chalets with striking river views.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Pulau Pangkor

    Tiger Rock Resort

    Hidden deep in the jungle 1km south of Pangkor Town, Tiger Rock offers romantic rooms decorated with vintage flair. Local artwork and upcycled materials pile on the charm, and there's a library and bamboo-fringed outdoor pool. It doesn’t accept walk-ins (literally – the road shouldn't be tackled on foot; it's rough and there are dogs). Reserve at least a fortnight ahead.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Lahad Datu

    Bike & Tours B&B

    Winning applause for its cycling excursions in the area, and the quality of its accommodation, B&T is run by friendly Swiss/Malay couple Itisha and Simon. The four rooms are cool affairs with laminate floors and fresh linen. There's a dipping pool in the garden, great breakfast, fantastic candlelit dinners (RM70) and a complimentary pick-up from the bus station/airport.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Sukau

    Sukau Rainforest Lodge

    Named one of the Unique Lodges of the World by National Geographic, this is the most upscale place on the river. It has beautifully appointed split-level rooms with wood and terrazzo floors, rain shower, lounge area and mosquito nets. There's a fine restaurant, an on-site naturalist who gives wildlife talks and night walks, plus a welcome plunge pool to cool off in. Romantic.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Batang Ai Region

    Nanga Sumpa

    The flagship Batang Ai accommodation for Borneo Adventure, Nanga Sumpa features surprisingly stylish rooms – some with private bathroom – wooden verandahs, and a common space with perfect river views. Shared meals are substantial and tasty, and the lodge's guides are very knowledgeable about the area. The lodge is linked by swing bridge to an Iban longhouse where the residents are welcoming hosts.

  • Lodging in Lake Gardens, Brickfields & Bangsar

    Sekeping Tenggiri

    Providing access to architect Ng Seksan’s superlative private collection of contemporary Malaysian art – displayed in the rooms of the adjoining house – this is a lovely place to stay. The rough-luxe mix of concrete, wood and wire decor (with cleverly recycled materials making up lamp fixtures) is softened by abundant garden greenery and a cooling plunge pool.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Lake Gardens, Brickfields & Bangsar

    Majestic Hotel

    Originally opened in 1932 and the pre-WWII KL equivalent of Raffles in Singapore, the impeccably restored Majestic is one of the city's top luxury hotels. Whether you stay in the original building or the new attached tower block (where the majority of rooms are) you are guaranteed comfort and style. Other appealing features include an orchid-filled conservatory and two swimming pools.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Taiping

    Sentosa Villa

    Unquestionably Taiping's most attractive place to stay, this complex of villas is alive with durian trees, palm groves and teeming ponds. Chalets have an organic feel, with bare brick and polished wood floors, while split-level family accommodation has fun wooden ladders between rooms. Gathered in the main building are more standard hotel rooms: less sumptuous but tile-floored and well equipped.

  • Lodging in Gunung Mulu National Park

    Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa

    Situated 3km from park HQ, this 101-room complex has been designed and decorated in a way that is both stylish and sympathetic to its jungle surroundings. Rooms come with all the amenities you would expect from a five-star resort and have balconies overlooking the forest or river.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Cameron Highlands

    Bala’s Holiday Chalet

    In a sea of faux-colonial resorts, Bala's is the real deal. A boarding school in colonial times, the mock-Tudor resort is centred on a 1930s bungalow, surrounded by a sprawl of outbuildings in a lush garden with fine hill views. With its agreeably dated style, it could be a setting from an Agatha Christie novel. Spacious rooms are tastefully appointed, and there are split-level suites that are great for families.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Kota Bharu

    Zeck’s Travellers Inn

    Zeck and Miriam Zaki’s home, located in a peaceful nook north of the city centre, is a great way to experience Malaysian kampung (village) life in the heart of Kota Bharu. Light meals and drinks are always at hand. The Zaki family are a mine of information on Kelantan and can help you with your ongoing travel plans throughout Malaysia.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Port Dickson

    Avillion Port Dickson

    Beautifully designed and lushly planted with lily ponds, birds of paradise, bromeliads and palms, this highly awarded five-star has over-the-water chalets evoking a traditional Malay fishing village, only with luxurious amenities. Even the cheaper rooms are classier than just about anywhere else in Port Dickson, with hardwood floors, elegant wood furnishings, flagstone bathrooms and loads of natural light.