Boutique hotels have a lot of competition. Just like artisanal and handcrafted, boutique belongs to the family of overused words that occasionally breaks their promise.
Bello & Bella Boutique Hotel is situated in the residential segment of Cheras, Kuala Lumpur. Amidst a colourful mix of businesses, the establishment manages to keep said promise as a curated stay in this neighbourhood.
As starkly different in style from its surroundings, Bello & Bella can be a little of a blink-and-miss. But if you have the chance to stay in this newcomer, you might see why some would prefer it a little hidden.
Bello & Bella is decided European in style. The French feel of the premises is emboldened by a modern use of slate and ash, tipped by gold finishings. A honey-topaz chandelier hangs above the lobby, warmed up with plush carpets and orange-hued panels. This is where one would check-in, or serve as a waiting area for your Uber, with accompanying free flow of tea and coffee.
Up in the rooms, the sombre colours recede to allow paler shades to come in – a thankful choice as the smaller spaces of boutique hotels need all the help.
The Deluxe Room (SGD45 via Agoda) I chose was the 4th-tier option, with the Premier, Premier Suite and Executive Suite above it. My room didn’t have windows so opt for the higher-tier rooms if you need your daily dose of Vitamin D.
At 13sqm, the room is quite small, but expected. Most importantly, all necessary amenities are taken care of. There’s a night stand for each sleeper with cool adjustable wall lamps, a flat screen TV, small writing desk, kettle and tea-making facilities, and some space for your clothes to luggage to breathe.
The bathroom was impressively kitted out with full standard toiletries and even a sitting bathtub. For such a small space, the design has maximised the usage impressively, with good functional flow. Splash from the shower might be a small problem, but I can see why shower curtains were omitted for aesthetic purposes. Do note that the bathroom features full-glass panes, and even though the shower portion is considerately frosted and blinds can be lowered, let’s just say one shouldn’t be too fussy about being natural if you had a roommate.
Both living space and bathroom were gleamingly clean and I sunk into the full-sized queen bed with much appreciation. The room was soundproof enough, but maybe because mine was directly in front of an elevator across the narrow passage, I was honorary aural watchman for my floor.
The Cheras area worked out well for me. Only about from 15 minutes KL city central, this neighbourhood has a vibrant array of businesses that runs well into the night.
Nearby Cheras Leisure Mall will satisfy most needs readily, with familiar brands like the budget giant Daiso, Guardian and Starbucks. Out of the mall, the four to five streets around the area stocked a good number of noodle houses. My favourite was the stall selling Sarawak noodles at Restoran Segar Foong Leng , just round the hotel’s corner. They serve up a nice bowl of springy, bouncing happiness – just ask them to hold the dry char siew.
The hipster invasion is here too, in the form of ice-cream parlour The Inside Scoop. It was a bustling Saturday night at the family-friendly joint but I enjoyed the crisp waffles with a rich scoop of pistachio ice-cream at the al fresco area shielded from the din.
My two-day stay at Cheras turned out to be one of my highlights during my stay in KL – thanks to the combination of an unassuming but colourful neighbourhood, the nearby delicious food, and a boutique hotel that made me feel pampered and rested.
If I had a moment to give my two-cents, it’ll be for the hotel to maybe install some soundproofing lips for the doors. And because I wasn’t aware that there was a sitting area on another floor (I found that out on the website later), it would have been nice to have the hotel amenities listed out during check-in, or maybe on a card in the room.
That said, the staff at Bello & Bella are impeccable. I’m used to smaller brands having inconsistencies, but the rotating lobby staff were always on point. A special shout-out to the lady who checked me out on the morning of the 2nd – absolutely immaculate manners.
Great job Bello & Bella and I look forward to staying at every one of your expansion plans.