Every year, Kuching hosts its 21st Rainforest World Music Festival. It is undeniably the largest music festival in the region and growing. It’s one of those things that I think everyone should experience at least once in their lives.
The festival, or rainfest as it’s commonly called, is so huge that many hotels, inns, hostels, and homestays near the festival grounds at the Sarawak Cultural Village and Kuching City are sold out months in advance.
However, Kuching offers much more than its many festivals. I recommend that you head to this city during non-festival seasons to experience the wonderful culture, people and landscapes. This welcoming city is more than happy to have visitors all year round. There are plenty of accommodation options for solo travellers, groups and families.
Here are some of the quaint and quirky hotels, hostels, and inns around Kuching that we’d love to stay in during our next trip:
1. Check-in Lodge
Only about 1.2km from the famous Kuching Waterfront Bazaar, the Check-in Lodge is a hostel that comes with an indoor pool and a barbecue terrace. The rooms are classically decorated and air-conditioned. You can choose to have either private or shared bathrooms. There’s also a little shared kitchenette and the vintage decor is incredibly charming.
Location: Jalan Pandungan
2. Le Nomade Hostel
Le Nomade Hostel & Cafe was awarded the Hotels Combines 2017 Recognition of Excellence Award and was featured by the late Anthony Bourdain when he visited Kuching years ago. Le Nomade Hostel is all about making friends. If you’re travelling solo or in a small group, this will be a great spot. They have a games corner, barbecue pit, free bicycles and weekly activities to help you make friends and really get to know Kuching.
Location: Jalan Green Hill
3. The Ranee Boutique Suites
Right across the river from Kuching’s iconic State Legislative Assembly building, The Ranee is an old shop house turned luxury boutique hotel which creates the perfect combination of decadence and culture. Its location in the heart of Kuching’s old town also means you have easy access to many city attractions, public transportation and the main bazaar area where the city really comes alive at night.
Location: Jalan Main Bazaar
4. The Marian Boutique Lodging House
This lodge has a rich history . It started out as a family home for a migrant businessman, Ong Ewe Hai who became a prominent member of the local community. It was then sold to the Anglican Mission and was initially used as a boarding house and subsequently a guesthouse, before being converted into The Marian Lodging House. Its hilltop location grants guests impeccable views of the Sarawak River and the city below. Nothing beats a peaceful swim in the pool overlooking Kuching after a long day of sightseeing and exploration.
Location: Wayang Street
5. Backpackers @ Beacon KCH
About 1km from the Kuching Bus Terminal and 600m from the Boulevard Shopping Mall, Backpackers @ Beacon KCH is a great spot for young travellers, whether you’re backpacking or not. They have private rooms and dormitories, as well as common living areas, a smoking area and parking space if you fancy renting a car during your stay. The property also organises events for its guests. There’s music and art everywhere you turn. One guest even described it as a ‘hippy art hostel’. If that’s your kind of thing, you know where to go.
Location: Jalan Capital Garden
6. Batik Boutique Hotel
The Batik Boutique comes highly recommended by guests and won the 2010 Malaysian Institue of Architects Aware for Colour on Buildings (Interior). You definitely can’t miss this hotel if you happen to pass by. The neon Batik motif will surely grab anyone’s attention. The hotel is located in Kuching’s central business district and has a rooftop terrace and outdoor courtyard. Also worth checking out is its pod-concept beachside accommodation, BB Bunkers located at Damai Central in the Santubong Peninsula just outside Kuching city, which is close to the Sarawak Cultural Village, Santubong National Park, and Bako National Park.
Location: Kuching’s central business district