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“Funky, but needs work” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sekeping Kong Heng

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Sekeping Kong Heng
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75 Jalan Panglima, Ipoh 30000, Malaysia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #10 of 49 Ipoh B&B and Inns
Ottawa
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Funky, but needs work”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2014

This is the funkiest hotel I’ve ever stayed in. It’s all industrial design in a reclaimed building. And it doesn’t really work, which is a shame. First, the web site is too cute by half, and so photo heavy that it crashes an iphone. When you arrive it’s impossible to find, as there is no signage, except for a tiny business card taped to the gate down a long alleyway. The concierge is found literally in a hole in the wall. There are 4 keys for each room: one for the padlock on the gate, one for the padlock on the gate on the stairs, one for the bedroom padlock, and one for the pool`s. Only one set of keys per room, which means you have to leave at the same time, as you must open and re-lock the padlocks behind you. There is no elevator, so you must walk up, but there is a funky wire cage lift to take up your bags. The rooms have very comfortable beds and pillows, but NO drinking water nor safes in the room. First place in Asia that has happened. There are meathooks hanging from the ceiling to hang towels, etc. The pool is really lovely, except there is no seating except for a concrete bench. To get there, you walk by market shops and up yet another steel stairway, with another padlock. We enjoyed our stay, but this place needs work on its customer service. Swipe cards anyone??

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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37 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (11)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Singapore
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2014

I found it quite hard to write this review. I really wanted to love this hotel and at first sight, I did. The quirkiness of the location (behind an old-fashioned Ipoh kopi tiam of the same name) and the modern clean lines of the interior design which tried to preserve the original structure of the building while lending a modern feel to the place really gave it the wow factor.

With no lifts (except for the baggage) and multiple padlocks to lock and unlock to get in and out of the place - this place is not for the physically challenged or the aged. It is also, as one reviewer said, a firetrap so woe betide you if the structure catches fire because I don't think you will be able to open the padlock when panicked.

Still, on my first night, I found little not to like about the place as it was super conveniently located with most of the famous Ipoh food places located nearby. Many of Ipoh's new hip cafes were also dotted around the hotel so there is no lack of food once you walk out of the hotel.

The showers were spacious and powerful (though some may not have like the high step that one has to hop up and down on to get to it) and came with the obligatory bath towel and a brand-less 3 in 1 soap-shampoo-conditioner which was all fine.

The beds were not the most comfortable though. In fact, the pillows were the most uncomfortable I've ever had the displeasure of using and I got a neck ache using them.

Then, came the biggest problem with this hotel of all - NOISE. There is absolutely NO SOUND PROOFING in this hotel. If you are the only guest in the hotel, that's fine (which was the case when we stayed there on Friday night with a couple of friends). However, come Saturday, the hotel filled up and there were people living above and around us. The people who stayed on the second floor didn't go to sleep till almost 3 am and every time one of them walked across the floor, it sounded like a 50 ton gorilla was pounding above our heads. Not to mention we could hear every word they said! Then the guy next to our bedroom starting taking a piss and we could hear EVERY SINGLE thing. From the start of his piss to his flushing and then his washing hands. To top it off, the clown didn't switch off the light in his bathroom so the light filtered through to our room through those cardboard walls they have (and they literally feel and look like cardboard). I finally got to sleep at 4 am only to be woken up by the local mosque's call to prayer at 5 am which was then followed by the downstairs coffee shop dragging their shutters open, hauling their gas cylinders to and fro and god knows what else they were doing. Basically, I got about 1 hour of sleep in total.

Like I said, I really wanted to love this hotel but the discomfort created by the non-existent sound proofing really made my last night a nightmare. When you are on holiday, one of the things you want most is REST and PEACE. You aren't going to get it here so if please don't stay here if that's what you're looking for.

If you're looking for a place with full of character in a great location, by all means stay here but don't expect to get any sleep unless you plan to book the whole place to yourself or you wear super duper F1 style earplugs and have nightshades.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2013

Stayed over the weekend (16th - 17th November)with a group of friends after our cave exploration in Gua Tempurung. Sekeping Kong Heng is behind the popular "Kong Heng" coffee shop. We occupied 3 standard rooms and 1 family room on the first floor. The rooms I must say might look pretty antique but its very clean. The standard room is equipped with either 2 single beds or 1 queen bed with blankets, a wonderfully designed shower and bathroom, ceiling fan and aircon where as the family room has 4 single beds open air concept equipped with beds mosquito nettings and a ceiling fan and a queen bed right behind it with aircon.
The hotel has a communal space on the second floor for all guests to enjoy with a 40-inch television complete with a DVD home theatre system, board games and hammocks and charpoy daybeds acting as a form of relaxation and stress-free living while you are transported back to the days when life was at a much slower and relaxing pace. Should you feel the need to connect with your friends while you are away, you can do so with the wifi internet access made ready for all guests to enjoy.
There is a swimming pool on top of the hotel for those of you who wants to go for a swim.
Don't worry about not able to find food, as you know just infront of the hotel is the Famous Kong Heng Restaurant which serves good breakfast and next to it is a Plan B restaurant and opposite it is Harold's Cafe. A 5 mins drive out with take you to Onn Kee & Lou Wong Bean Sprout Chicken Rice and also Tuck Kee for its Hokkien Mee. Behind the hotel is Burps & Giggles Cafe, its a place you must dropby for good coffee!
As for parking, its pretty hard to find a spot infront of the hotel during the day as there are a lot of customers stopping by for breakfast & lunch at Kong Heng. Towards the end of the day you will have no issues finding parking infront. Do beware of those jaga kereta ppl infront, they will ask you for money. We paid anyway just to avoid anything bad from happening to our cars, after all its only RM2.

I will definitely be back again to this hotel.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shenzhen, China
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2013

I needed to go to Ipoh for business. This hotel seemed like a cool place to stay. Right downtown, even though there really is not a big downtown. Upon arrival at the hotel, there was not a clear place to check in. The gate was also locked. Finally someone came out to check me in and unlocked the door. He let me into the room. The condition of the outside of the hotel was old, and inside the rooms it was old, but not dirty. It was like staying the night at Pottery Barn. Very clean rooms, and a really cool vibe. The shower and toilet are really nice and clean with good construction. I would stay there every time I visit Ipoh if it were not for one thing. The rooms have windows on the top of the wall to the hallway, and someone has the light on in the hall ALL NIGHT. therefore.. it's light in your room all night. And, someone with a chair in the hall can see into your room.. not that anyone would do that, but it is possible. That bothered me a lot about this hotel. The area is ok. Good Indian and Malaysian food one block away. It was ok to stay there once to try it, but I would not stay there again because of the uncovered windows to the hallway.

Room Tip: Ask for a room that does not have open windows to the hallway and does not have light all night.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2013

Now that I have read other reviews and seen an outline sent to other prospective guests re: staying at this hotel I under stand a little better, what I didn't understand when I arrived at this stunning property. It is a beautiful design, there is no denying this, however I wonder how much money the owners of this place actually have as they dont really seem to have the comfort of the guests in mind. There are very steep steps all over the building. The rooms have no numbers and the floors and walls are designed to be lightweight as the building is a 90 year old warehouse. This means that the walls are more like cardboard than actual walls, and the floors are made of wooden board that echo each footfall in the corridor almost like staying in a tent. The rooms are appointed with recycled wood a stone sink and big open windows and a very large glass shower case that is sitting on a wooden platform and partitioned only by a curtain . Once you have climbed the enormous step onto the platform and drawn the curtain, you still feel quite exposed, there is one small stool and no where to put toiletries not very practical or comfortable and there is only so much I want to do to fit in with architecture. it has to be comfortable and functional not just good looking. I guess this is Ok if you are travelling with a partner but if you are singles or even a family this can be a little too close for comfort as the toilet is also barely hidden by this curtain. The bathroom sink is in the middle of the room. The beds are comforatble and good quality but also made out of fencing steel and the single beds are so close together I almost broke my toes kicking them a number of times on the steel frames. Upstairs on the top floor is a chill out area with WiFi and open on all sides but with fans and beanbags and hammocks and even a TV, tea and coffee making facilities. A great idea but until it is dark and late it is not cool enough to sit out side. I would rather have a jug in my room where I can rest in my own company and not have to get dressed to make a cup of tea. There are some fantastic cafes in this area. an incredible looking and most unusual place with no practical home comforts. no water, no leisure centre or pool, the gates are locked and its hard to get in. the restaurants downstairs are open late and start very early

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2013

Whether or not you'll like this place, comes down to two factors:

1) The design. Practicality is not a priority, the place has numerous fences and doors they give you a set of keys to manage while you whisk in and out. The bathroom and bedroom merge into one space. Steep stairs, creaky floors. That said, there is a huge amount of detail put into things and I personally found the kooky design wonderful. There's a communal rooftop area with tea/coffee and bikes to rent downstairs, the latter being a great option for Ipoh's generally flat roads (you've just got to muscle your way into roads a bit, anyone acclimatized to KL/crazy city driving should have no problem).

2) The noise, or rather how well you prepare for it. Other reviewers have mentioned it before, the restaurant downstairs preps early and they literally bang pans and pots so the noise is not something you can drown out. Another group staying in the dorm area (which is less insulated) told us that noise for them started at 4AM with loud motorcycles. Bring good ear plugs, mentally prepare for the noise and choose a good room.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2013

There is not a whole lot of choice in Ipoh, but this Sekeping retreat is genuinely fantastic!

It's tasteful, has character, and wonderful design. Set in an old warehouse building, it's been turned into a modern hotel.

This is not the place for you if you are looking for a more conventional hotel - the reception is basically a hole in the wall, there is no minibar/room service, gym, pool etc. But the place is charm central and if you are looking for something with character and quirks this where to come.

It's located in the tiny and only trend block of Ipoh, with the Hong Keng kopitiam, Burps & Giggles Cafe and Plan B restaurant all nearby. It's also in the middle of town and only a short walk from the train station.

All up I had a great time and at RM200 for a standard double room it's a steal. Great for solo travellers.

Room Tip: Room no 1 is one of the more spacious standard double rooms
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sekeping Kong Heng

Address: 75 Jalan Panglima, Ipoh 30000, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Perak > Kinta District > Ipoh
Amenities:
Kitchenette Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 49 B&Bs / Inns in Ipoh
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 10

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