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.