Hostel Cosmopolitan is located near the Chow Kit monorail station. It’s a bit hard to find when you first get to Chow Kit, so make sure you take a map with you! Also, don’t be put off by the outside of the building. It’s a bit rough looking, but the interior is very clean and comfortable. Hostel Cosmopolitan is one of the best places I’ve stayed, guest house or not.
I was a bit worried at first that the hostel was too far away from anything, but it’s actually within walking distance of quite a few eating establishments. Not to mention the street out front gets filled with stalls selling everything from satay to stuffed animals. That’s kinda fun, especially since the sellers aren’t over-aggressive like the ones on Jalan Petaling in Chinatown. Also, the monorail is a pretty quick and fun means of transportation. It takes about 20 minutes to get from KL Sentral (where you can switch to the RapidKL line) to Chow Kit and I think you can get off at Bukit Nanas and walk to the Petronas Towers. There’s also a bus stop a few streets over where you can get a ride to the Batu Caves for roughly 2 ringgit. So, don’t worry about the location. It’s not bad at all.
One of the best parts about staying at Hostel Cosmopolitan was how many great people we met, starting with the staff. The guy that greeted us and checked us in, named
Mohammad Abdullah, was very friendly and very helpful. He even let us have a real free meal when we showed up early and couldn’t check-in yet, but were starving because we’d missed breakfast. The other guests were also very cool and some had some interesting stories to tell and tips to share. Hostels tend to draw a fairly well traveled crowd. We met people from the US, the UK, Australia, Pakistan, Greece and Italy (just to name a few) who had traveled all over Asia and South America. During the mornings when everyone was getting ready to head out the door, they almost all stopped in at the kitchen area to grab a bite of the free breakfast. We had some great conversations with the other guests there.
The amenities are also very good at Hostel Cosmopolitan.
I can’t comment much on the mixed dorms, since we stayed in a private room, but I didn’t hear anyone complaining about them and they looked fairly comfortable when I glanced in on my way down the hall. Our bedroom was average sized. It wasn’t very big, but it didn’t feel small either. It had a place to hang our clothes, a set of shelves and a bed. Sheets and towels are also provided. The air conditioning was so cold at night that I woke up shivering and had to turn it off. The only complaint I had with the room was that the air from the air conditioner didn’t smell very fresh. It smelled a bit sour. I don’t think it was just our room unit either because we could smell it in the hallway as well. It wasn’t unbearable but hopefully it won’t be there the next time we go for a visit.
The community area has a lot of shelves with books to read, in case you get bored. It also has a TV with cable. I think it has a few movie channels on it too, but we didn’t spend much time watching it. What little time we spent in the community room was usually spent in front of one of the desktop computers available for internet access. The hostel also has wi-fi which I was able to use with my iPhone. The internet service is all completely free to guests. There is no hourly charge. The TV hours in the community room are 8 AM to 11 PM. The TV was usually on later than that, but
Mohammad Abdullah let us know that if it was bothering us we could ask that it be turned off. We never had a problem with noise there. Everyone was considerate of each other. Also, there’s no drinking allowed on the premises. That probably helped. There’s also no smoking allowed, but there is a ‘smoker’s corner’ in the stairwell just outside the hostel.
Interesting side note: Notice the guy with the long hair in the second photo in the above set. He played Baldur’s Gate on his laptop non-stop for the three days we were there. That must be a damn good game.
The kitchen area has a small range, a sink, and a storage area for dry goods. There is a microwave, two toasters and a radio. There’s no refrigerator available to guests. I’m guessing that there might have been one before, but people probably didn’t keep up with what they put in it and it became too much of a hassle for the staff. There is no refrigerator for guest use at all in Hostel Cosmopolitan but there is a 7-11 directly downstairs. I think it’s open all night long. Like I mentioned before, there’s a free breakfast set out in the kitchen area in the mornings between 9 am and 11 am. It consists of toast and a choice of jam or margarine. Each guest is allotted up to six pieces, but we never had more than 3 each. I have to wonder at what happened to cause the management to have to put up a sign limiting the amount of bread a person could have. Was someone snagging whole loaves and hoarding them?!
The toilet area was clean and ventilated. The plumbing all worked well and the showers had warm to hot water. The toilet area and shower area is all mixed, but the shower stalls have locking doors and are large enough to change in. It’s also very well lit. The hostel had a LOT of female guests while I was there and none of them seemed to have any issues with the arrangements. The whole place felt pretty safe.
Speaking of security, there are wall lockers that can be used. I’m not sure if locks are provided.
Also in the hallway are bulletin boards full of information. If you’re ever at a loss for something to do, all you have to do is read the boards! There are also warnings posted there, like information about taxi and gambling scams, like in the first photo. In that particular case women, believed to be Filipinas, would lure lone tourists to their home, get them to gamble and then cheat the person out of their money.
And last but not least, Hostel Cosmopolitan has three cat residents. My wife and I have two cats at home so this didn’t bother us. It was, in fact, one of the reasons we selected the hostel from the list of potentials. They really added to the atmosphere of the place. It’s fun to sit and have breakfast while watching two cats chasing each other up and down the hallway, or to have a cat taking a nap on the table next to you while you use the desktop computer.
Overall, the place is a great choice for a hostel to stay at in Kuala Lumpur. It’s very affordable and more than that we both felt very comfortable and welcome there. We had a lot more fun on this trip and I think that Hostel Cosmopolitan played a big part in it.
Mohammad Abdullah and Muhammad have really gone out of their way to make sure the place is as comfortable as possible for the guests and because of that, I’m looking forward to the next time we’ll have the chance to stay there.