I’ve always had a thing for unique hotels — jungle abodes, glass igloos, tree houses, underwater rooms. I wish I could visit as many of these interesting places as I can, but some will of course, take time to reach. I recently stayed at a room made from drainage pipes in Sungai Lembing (read about it here: Time Capsule Retreat), and when I heard there was another such place in Langkawi, I just had to check it out. It’s called the Tubotel.
Langkawi is an island located on the northwest corner of the Malaysian peninsular off the coast of the state of Kedah. It is a popular holiday destination with only a few unique hotels that stand out among its many, many accommodation choices. One of them is the Tubotel; a small concept hotel overlooking the sea, with pipes and container rooms for the budget-conscious traveler. The hotel is inspired by the Austrian Dasparkhotel, created by architect Andy Strauss — however, there are tons of places around the world with a similar concept now.
Tubotel is located near Cenang Beach (about a 10 minutes walk), on the west coast of the island. The hotel has a total of 23 rooms with 3 accommodation types — the seafront tubes, the garden tubes and the container bunk beds. My impression of the hotel was that it exudes a relaxing and laid-back vibe, with an apt slogan that reads, “Don’t Be Square.”
During my visit, I stayed at the seafront tube room. I booked via Agoda, and it set me back about RM128 (~US$30) a night. The room was the highlight of my stay — it was fun spending the night in a drainage pipe with double glass doors, though it can be a squeeze if you’re not used to such a lack of space. There are 8 of these colorful tubes that open up to the sea; and they all come with a double king-sized bed, storage underneath the bed, plug points, a small fan and an old school air-conditioner. There is a hand-painted picture of two girls on the beach on the inside wall of my tube, adding a little color to the plain grey walls and clean white linens.
My friend (who was traveling with me) decided to stay at the much cheaper container bunk room. There are 4 beds in each of the 3 available rooms, and each bed costs RM50 (~US$12) a night — they are the latest addition to the hotel, and are probably a better option if you get claustrophobic from the tube rooms.
All the rooms share 2 separate communal bathrooms with adequate showers and toilet stalls. They are well-kept and pretty clean, albeit a little small.
One of the things that first caught my attention at the Tubotel was the colorful giant daybeds and chill-out benches at the spacious lounge area. They face the sea, and are the perfect places to lie-back and enjoy the gorgeous view from the hotel’s main deck, as well as to witness the sun set. I ordered myself a whole pizza while relaxing on those comfortable sun-loungers, which added to my lovely evening at the hotel.
Breakfast at Tubotel is served at the indoor restaurant and the outdoor lounge area, and they provide an ala-carte breakfast set menu with a few options; from fried eggs and frittatas to pancakes and muesli yogurt. The hotel prides itself for only using free-range eggs in their meals. I ordered the “chorizo and rosemary flavored hash with two fried eggs” and it came with a cuppa tea, orange juice and homemade bread with butter and jam — it was satisfactory enough.
Other facilities at the hotel include free filtered water, wifi, laundry services and bicycles for rent.
The Tubotel Experience
I had a pretty good time at Tubotel. The hotel had everything I needed to spend my whole day just chilling (enjoying some cocktails, sunbathing, and doing a little fishing off the decks), and then heading back to my one-of-a-kind tiny room for an afternoon snooze and a night’s sleep.
Tubotel is a simple, no-frills and affordable hotel for the budget-conscious traveler; but with world-class ocean views and the most gorgeous sunset. Imagine waking up in the morning to the sound of the waves crashing onto the rocks outside your tube room — can’t get any more island-dy than that!