BackHome has built a loyal following of guests and it’s not hard to see why.
BackHome has been my go-to hostel since first visiting Kuala Lumpur in 2015. They are doing several key things really well, indicated by the steady flow of guests and frequent full bookings.
The first thing that impresses is the nicely designed branding on the outside of the two-story, restored heritage building. This is an early indication of the well thought-out design that flows throughout the hostel.
The hostel is 5 to 10 minutes walk from Puduraya Bus Station, a busy departure and arrival point close to Kuala Lumpur’s China Town. It’s a vibrant, colorful district, also home to many Indian shops and restaurants. BackHome sits like a calm oasis in a quiet side road and Masjid Jamek subway station is only a few minutes away.
BackHome has a team of professional staff who are upbeat and helpful. They do well to inspire confidence that this is a well run operation. The reception desk is manned for check-in until around 10pm. After that there’s someone on night duty to open the door but they cannot officially process you. You’ll need to leave your passport at reception until morning when the staff will do the paperwork. I’ve done this a couple of times with no problems.
A great perk at BackHome is the free breakfast. It’s pretty standard as free breakfasts go, toast, jams, cereals and fruits, but the open air courtyard makes a wonderful place to sip your free-flow tea or coffee and slowly wake up. Other extras like towels and padlocks need to be rented, though there is body/hair gel provided in the showers. Snacks, beer and soft drinks can also be purchased from reception.
BackHome has dorms and private rooms. I’ve only stayed in the dorms, which are basic but comfy. Overall there’s a minimalist, brushed concrete and black metal theme going on that’s pretty popular in a lot of hostels right now. The bunks are sturdy and equipped with a thick mattress. You get a woolen blanket which some may find scratchy, so bring your own or a sleeping bag liner incase.
Each bed has its own little cupboard at the head end with sliding doors. Inside are shelves, a light and power point. There’s also a wash basin in the dorm rooms, which doesn’t seem entirely necessary as both shower areas have one. The different rooms I’ve stayed in are a good size, so you don’t feel cramped at all. There’s a decent overhead aircon which the staff sets to 24° or 25°. The remote control used to be left in the room but more recently is kept at reception to prevent people playing around with the temperature.
My only real criticism about the rooms is that the walls are due for a fresh coat of paint. It’s a shame to see dirty stains on the walls The when the other areas of the hostel, such as the reception and lounge are presented so well.
The shared showers have an open air feel which I really like. The mix of wood, concrete and greenery create a natural vibe that makes showering a pleasure. Water is always hot and there’s good pressure.
BackHome does well to provide a few additional features for guests. These include a cool cinema room with huge library of movies and a massive luggage locker to keep bags safe. Next door is the excellent Lokl Coffee Co. run by the owners of the hostel.
Unfortunately, WiFi quality has never been great on each occasion I’ve stayed at BackHome. You get the best connection in the lounge. Similar connection problems next door in Lokl – they obviously run off the same network. I wonder why they can’t sort this out?
This is where BackHome really excels. The interior environment with its fusion of concrete, wood, brick and metal, splashed here and there with greenery and touches of color, is modern, light and airy. This contributes greatly to the relaxed mood felt in the hostel. The friendly staff also organize an impressive range of activities for guests, such as food tours, hikes and a local tea tasting twice a week where guests can get to know each other and share travel experiences.
BackHome’s dorm bed prices are average for Kuala Lumpur. Considering the great facilities, standard of cleanliness and free breakfast it’s very good value.
BackHome has built a loyal following of guests and it’s not hard to see why. A solid concept throughout provides a chilled out and homely atmosphere where it’s easy to meet other travelers or just enjoy time alone. Despite one or two areas for improvement in the dorms and poor WiFi, BackHome does an outstanding job and is my top hostel pick in Kuala Lumpur.
Overall Score: 4.5/5
30, Jalan Tun H S Lee, City Centre, 50100 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Have you stayed here? Anything to add to this review? Let us know in the comments below.