After a year and a half of traveling around the world, I find I’m able to make more allowances for problems or challenges at places we stay.
In the case of the Sahabat Guest House in Kuala Lumpur, I came in expecting a lot since the feedback had all been positive.
Admittedly, it could simply be that we were in Kuala Lumpur at the wrong time.
But it could also be a function of the design of the house.
We spent 4 nights here in 2 different rooms.
The rooms were clean, the guest house staff was friendly, the location was decent (even if the taxis had a hard time finding it), and they took good care of our bags in a locked room while we left for 3 days in the middle of our stay.
Those are the positives.
The negative? If I hadn’t had the air conditioning on full, ear plugs in, and a pillow over my head, I wouldn’t have slept much at night.
You may wish to take this review with a grain of salt as well… I am a light sleeper.
The first room we were in was small but acceptable, especially considering we were spending $35/night.
However, because it was right off of the breakfast nook of the Sahabat Guest house, we were woken up several times throughout the night by a high-pitched squeal.
I got up at 1 AM to find out what it was.
It was the high pitch of the water filter spurting excess pressure into the sink.
Maybe they’ve fixed the issue by now, but I would definitely consider it an issue in need of a fix.
We were awake at 6 AM with guests clanging around making breakfast, and finally stopped trying to sleep at 7 AM when another set of guests were having a normal conversation, but which echoed through the atrium and breakfast nook (again right outside our room).
When we returned for our second stay (and, I’m happy to say, found our bags had been safely stored while we went to Brunei for 3 days) was larger.
However, this room was on the front of the house, with a ground level door which had direct access to the outside.
The room was right next to both the reception desk and the front door.
Over the sound of the air conditioner, in addition to hearing every conversation at the desk, the first night we heard drums at the temple across the street until 1 AM.
I got up to check out the ceremony at the temple.
It was an Indian celebration at a Chinese temple (interesting enough in itself) banging drums and singing through a megaphone. I was told they were celebrating the birthday of God. It was a really nice ceremony with women in Saris and people excited about the occasion.
Admittedly, there isn’t much the hotel can do about that except maybe have a better door for this room to block out sound, or block up the outside door access to this room altogether.
After the drumming, and with ear plugs in, I may have faded off to sleep by 1:30 AM.
At 6:30 AM, we were awoken by shrieks (actual shrieks) and stomping coming from above us.
We later learned that some women who stayed here had left their (second story) window open.
Someone had crawled through their open window and tried to take things from their room. They had awoken during the attempted theft.
The next hours were followed with visits from the police, owner of Sahabat Guest House, etc.
It was nice to see that the managers of Sahabat Guest House responded to this attempted theft in the way that they did.
At the same time, any theft would cause someone to be unsure that their things or room would be safe.
Even with bars on our ground level windows, (and especially with a door that opens to the outside).
Sahabat Guest House left a ground level access door to a room with access to the outside, in a city where burglars (apparently) crawl through second story windows to steal things.
It might be the first time it’s happened, but leaving the door to this room accessible doesn’t seem like a good idea.
We left the door locked and our shades closed for the rest of our stay.
And we could hear every entry and exit, and every conversation clearly.
In the case of staying in Kuala Lumpur, we stayed at Sahabat Guest House because it had received such positive reviews.
Even with the air conditioner noise, ear plugs in, and a pillow over my head, the voices were all still audible.
The larger room cost $50/night (average over the 3 nights of our second stay).
Sahabat Guest House was fine to stay at, but based on our experience, I would call it a good enough place to stay.
Again, the staff were friendly and everything except the noise level was fine.
At the same time, the reason you spend time researching hotels, and pay for a room at all, is primarily to sleep.
I’m glad to have already learned the immense value that ear plugs bring (to a light sleeper) when traveling the world.
Between the ground level access door to our room, the attempted theft in the room above us, and the noise from outside and inside the house, we didn’t sleep very well.
But again, that might just be a function of the time we were here, or the selection of room they gave us.