9 Hotels in Malaysia Every Foodie Should Have on Their List

Must Try

Planning your next food trip?

Base yourself at a hotel that offers all the perks a foodie will love – luxurious rooms to chill out in post-meal, bars with a view for after-dinner drinks and easy access to a city’s best food haunts.

We’ve done the hard work for you, so all you need to do is pack your bags and make sure you have enough of an appetite to savour sumptuous meals, Malaysian style.

The Chow Kit, Kuala Lumpur

This 113-key property located in Kuala Lumpur’s Chow Kit area shakes the dust off one of the city’s most underrated enclaves.

The hotel and neighbourhood derive their names from 19th-century tin mining tycoon Loke Chow Kit, a larger than life figure who, back in the day, controlled the area’s gambling and opium dens.

The Chow Kit reimagines the old-world glamour of the era, with opulent interiors inspired by the locale and its colourful, even seamy, history.

In the 38-square metre Tow Kay Soh Suite, the hotel’s most prominent, a deep green ceiling, custom headboard featuring tasselled brass and milk glass lamps, and a richly patterned brocade loveseat add a touch of class to the intimate space.

The culinary stylings of The Chow Kit Kitchen & Bar are equally Instagrammable and big on taste.

Signatures include Kambing Kuzi, meltingly tender lamb shoulder slow-cooked in a tomato and yoghurt-based gravy, and The Chow Kit Fish and Chips, whole fish marinated in tandoori spices, batter-fried to golden perfection and served with hand-cut fries and tartar sauce.

Wash it all down with The Chow Kit cocktail, a lip-smacking combo of Matusalem Platino Rum, Aperol, lemon juice, housemade lemongrass liqueur and maple syrup.

The hotel also runs a guided tour of the area, including stops at places like the bustling Chow Kit Market and Nasi Kandar Kudu restaurant.

La Pari-Pari Langkawi

Deriving its name from the Malay word for “fairy”, La Pari-Pari is a charming hideaway spread across almost a hectare of lush tropical gardens.

With just 12 cosy cottages, this boutique property at the southern end of Cenang Beach in Langkawi is truly a sanctuary for the soul.

The rooms come with private courtyards and feature a minimalist aesthetic with all-white walls and furnishings accented by tiny turquoise touches.

There are plenty of spots for contemplation or bird-watching on the grounds, a chlorinated saltwater swimming pool to splash in, and for the young at heart – a treehouse.

Also on-site is The Grove, a kitchen garden planted with various herbs and vegetables for the hotel’s resident eatery, fast cupid.

The family-run restaurant has an extensive menu of Western and Asian favourites, including Nyonya dishes based on heirloom recipes.

These include Nasi Ayam Pontay; chicken stewed to tender perfection with herbs, spices, shiitake mushrooms and potatoes, and Nasi Sambal Udang or sambal chilli prawns accompanied by spice-fried chicken and greens – both served with white rice.

Hyatt Regency Kuantan Resort

Mere steps away from the sandy shores of Teluk Cempedak in Kuantan, this gorgeous resort is a tranquil retreat for city slickers to recharge.

Here, guests can expect the best in resort living, where even the 34-square metre standard sea- and garden-view rooms come with a spacious ensuite and expansive balcony.

The property, a Kuantan landmark for over four decades, has now been refreshed to include a host of stellar dining options, which means you’ll not have to venture far for great food.

Kampung Restaurant is guaranteed to satiate your Asian food cravings with offerings like nasi lemaksup kambing Mamak (spiced mutton soup), rice porridge and chicken tikka.

Meanwhile, at the thatch-roofed Sampan Bar, salty sea breezes, mojitos and keropok lekor, a popular east coast snack made with fish paste and sago flour, are the order of the day.

Being close to the water also means the hotel’s dining outlets have plenty of fresh seafood to work with, and you can sample these treasures of the deep in delectable dishes like lobster risotto and Tuscan seafood soup at Italian Bistro.

Casa del Rio Melaka

There’s no shortage of accommodation options in Melaka, but if you want a slice of old-world charm in a city once famed as the “Venice of the East”, Casa del Rio is the place for you.

Located on the banks of the Melaka River, this charming property features stucco walls, red tile roofs and wrought-iron balconies that look like something straight out of the Mediterranean.

The best room is the Deluxe River View, which commands views of the river, a waterway once vital to the city’s rise to prominence in global trade.

The hotel’s River Grill plates up Western classics like Smoked Duck Carbonara, a cheesy, smoked duck-studded pasta drizzled with truffle oil, alongside local favourites such as Baba Nyonya Seafood Laksa, rice vermicelli and noodles in an aromatic coconut milk-based gravy.

With the city’s historic quarter only five minutes away on foot, guests are just a stone’s throw from centuries-old heritage buildings like the Cheng Hoon Teng Chinese temple, Kampung Kling Mosque and Sri Poyyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Hindu temple.

There’s also the food paradise of Jonker Street, the main strip of Melaka’s Chinatown. Must-tries include fragrant pandan and chicken fat-infused rice balls from Kedai Kopi Chung Wah and East & West Rendezvous’s divine durian cendol, a shaved ice dessert.

The Wembley – A St Giles Hotel Penang

Built on Wembley Park, a colonial-era entertainment venue, The Wembley is situated smack in the middle of George Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The hotel has 415 spacious rooms and suites, decorated with sturdy maple-hued furniture and boldly patterned carpets.

In a city that is top on every Malaysian foodie’s list, good food is everywhere, and the hotel’s dining outlets stand up to the competition. A good choice is Wembley Cafe, known for its excellent buffet spreads and weekend brunches.

Image: Instagram @thewembleypenang

If you’d like to try the local fare, the city’s top al fresco street food spots, including New Lane and Presgrave Street hawker centres, are only a five-minute walk away.

Here, you can indulge in plates of char kway teow or stir-fried rice noodles topped with juicy cockles, steaming bowls of savoury Penang Hokkien mee (prawn noodle soup) and oh Chien, fluffy oyster omelette served with a chilli dip.

But even the most voracious eater needs a break. To cap a day of eating, head for the relaxing environs of the hotel’s DSRT Sky Room on the 31st floor, where you can enjoy premium beverages and a panoramic view of Penang island.

WEIL Hotel, Ipoh

Image: WEIL Hotel

Located just outside the historic Old Town in Ipoh, WEIL Hotel sports a stylish facade and 313 rooms and suites.

At the top end are the Concept Rooms, a collection of expensive suites inspired by Ipoh’s colonial elegance and fit for any wannabe tin tycoons.

The Brewster and Summer Bliss Concept Rooms have their jacuzzis, perfect for reviving soaks to wake you up from a food-induced coma, which is almost guaranteed after an Ipoh food binge.

You can also dine like a king at Yuk Sou Hin, the hotel’s Chinese fine dining restaurant, much-lauded for delights like duck smoked with lychee wood and chicken xiaolongbao.

Or waltz over to coffee shops in the Old Town like Nam Heong White Coffee, where you can enjoy flaky egg tarts and an array of dim sum with aromatic white coffee, and Sin Yoon Loong, the spot for kaya butter toast, caramel custard and chee Cheong fan (rice noodle rolls).

After fuelling up on delicious eats, there’s nothing left to do but crawl back to the sanctuary of your room for a siesta under soft bed sheets.

If you’re up for a nightcap, head to Gastrobar, the hotel’s open-air rooftop lounge that offers views of the city and stunning limestone hills.

Holiday Inn Johor Bahru City Centre

Image: Holiday Inn Johor Bahru City Centre

Whether you’re flying solo or have the kids in tow, this 335-room city hotel delivers on ambience, facilities and proximity to Johor Bahru’s local attractions.

Bright pops of apple green and yellow decorate the rooms and suites, which feature high-speed internet connectivity, flatscreen TVs and pillow menus.

Still, there’s only so much Netflix one can watch. If you need a diversion, head to the rooftop pool for some leisurely laps with a view.

You’ll need to work up an appetite for dinner at the hotel’s main eatery, Dine@Eight, which showcases an open kitchen and a medley of international and Asian flavours.

Parents will be glad to note that kids under 12 eat for free at the hotel – another plus.

Also advantageous is the hotel’s location, which is just a hop, skip and a jump away from the city’s Old Town, where heritage eats abound.

Top picks include Salahuddin Bakery’s flaky minced lamb curry puffs, crusty Bengali bread, and Sang Heng’s Teochew noodles with minced pork and fishcake slices prawns, with springy homemade fish balls on the side.

The Marian Boutique Lodging House, Kuching

This 40-room property, perched atop a hill in Kuching’s Old Town, breathes new life into a former 19th-century colonial-era bungalow turned girls’ boarding house.

The Marian celebrates the site’s heritage with a nostalgic black and white colour scheme and vintage furniture that perfectly complements the original dark timber flooring.

Accommodation ranges from the standard Chapel Wing rooms that overlook the pool to suites like the Betty Johnson Room, a spacious split-level that sleeps four and is named after the boarding house’s former matron.

Right behind The Marian is Kantin at The Granary, a casual dining spot situated in what used to be a grain storage warehouse.

Popular menu items at the restaurant include Wild Honey Roasted Chicken and Rainforest Fried Rice, a vegetarian rice dish flavoured with fresh herbs and aromatics like shredded torch ginger and tapioca leaves.

The Marian is also just a short stroll away from the Kuching Waterfront and Main Bazaar, the city’s oldest street. You can find stalls selling various food, including delicious mee Jawa (egg noodles in spicy gravy).

Hotel Grandis Kota Kinabalu

Named after the Ascideiria Grandis, an endemic orchid found in the foothills of Mount Kinabalu, this hotel in the city centre is ideal for guests wanting to experience all that Kota Kinabalu has to offer.

With 188 spacious and elegantly furnished city- and sea-view rooms, a gym, a business centre and two swimming pools, Hotel Grandis is perfect for business and leisure.

Signature dishes at the hotel’s Rosea Cafe include grilled salmon with creamy miso sauce, lamb shank noodles, grilled fish doused in a flavourful shrimp paste sambal, and Tuaran mee, egg noodles stir-fried with more eggs.

To unwind post-meal, make a beeline for the hotel’s Piano Lounge or head to the rooftop Sky Blu Bar which looks out to the South China Sea.

It also helps that the hotel is next door to Kota Kinabalu’s premier shopping destination, Suria Sabah Shopping Mall, and Gaya Street, famous for its Sunday market and array of old school restaurants, cafes and bars.

Must-eats here includes Sarawak laksa at Yee Fung coffee shop and hortobagyi (crepes filled with minced meat) at Hungarian eatery Chilli Vanilla.


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