O’Boutique Suites Hotel, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia

We chose this hotel because we had an engagement nearby. However, unless you need to be in this locality, O’Boutique Suites is not located near shops or transport facilities. We ended up having to take taxis everywhere since there is no public transport nearby. There are also no shops apart from furniture stores within walking distance.

IMG_1091Our room was comfortable, felt new and was very clean. It had twin beds pushed together, a flatscreen TV with Malaysian channels only, hanging space for clothes, a table and chair, coffee and tea making facilities, a phone, air-conditioning, and a large corner window between the bathroom and the bedroom. I have never been sure if these hotel rooms are designed so you can watch each other taking a shower, or so you can watch TV while you are on the toilet, but whatever the real reason, it can certainly make your stay more interesting! There was a curtain on the bathroom side, so privacy was possible. The bathroom was very nice, with a double-headed shower, but unfortunately the water pressure was so weak that a really satisfying shower was impossible.


Breakfast, served from 8am to 10am, was included but this turned out to be my only complaint about the hotel. Every day a buffet of nasi lemak and breakfast cereals was available, but these foods frequently ran out, as did the tea, coffee and juice, and spoons, forks, bowls, and so on, and were not replaced unless a guest found a member of staff and asked for more. The lack of attention to what was required was disappointing. We thought the food would vary from nasi lemak, but our second and third days were no different. We gradually realised, however, that it was possible to request other foods, such as soft-boiled eggs and toast, though there was no menu; we just saw what other guests were eating as asked for it. It was a poor system.


Apart from at breakfast, service was very polite and efficient and the reception staff were very helpful in booking us taxis throughout our stay. Our check-in process was easy, even though we checked in after 10pm.

Organic Recipe restaurant

O’Boutique Suites is located in a building called Casa Utama, on a residential street, and on the levels above the hotel there are residential apartments. On the floor below the hotel there is a great organic restaurant, called Organic Recipe, which serves Chinese food, Malay food and pizza, where we ate twice. They also sell health foods and other products. Our meals at the restaurant were delicious, and prices were very reasonable. Even if you are not staying at the hotel, the restaurant is well worth a visit.

The hotel is a 20-minute drive from Batu Caves, which cost us MYR21 by taxi. It cost MYR74 (fixed price) by budget taxi from Kuala Lumpur International Airport.


Batu Caves, Selangor, Malaysia

We found ourselves in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia for a few days and spent a few hours at Batu Caves. These caves have become a Hindu temple complex and cultural centre.

Murugan statue at Batu Caves

Upon arrival the spectacular golden statue of Murugan, the largest in the world, greeted us. It was absolutely enormous, and behind were tall cliffs and a staircase of 270 steps (so we were told, we didn’t count them). Climbing the steep steps and avoiding the monkeys hanging around, we entered the main cavern area. It was easily the most spacious cave I have ever been in. Walking through were several temples, and statues of Hindu gods and goddesses dotted around. The temples are still very much in use; many Hindus were visiting, bringing offerings such as flower wreaths and milk to the shrines of gods.
We looked around and made donations (it’s free entry) and check out the souvenirs on sale. Fortunately there were no pushy sellers.

Returning to the bottom of the staircase, we paid the small entrance fee to visit Cave Villa, an Indian arts and cultural centre. We crossed a walkway over a koi pond and watched a short performance of Indian Bollywood-style dance, performed every hour on the hour while we were there.

There was a reptile house in one of the caves which made us wish we hadn’t come to Cave Villa. The reptiles were kept in inhumane conditions and cramped tanks and the staff persisted in asking us to have our photo taken with a reptile (for MYR10) even after we had refused several times. Back outside we walked past the aviary where a variety of birds (and, oddly a skunk) were kept. After we had said clearly that we didn’t want our photos taken with a bird, the staff member just dumped a bird on my husband’s shoulder, as if he would want it if it happened to him. He continued to ask for the bird to be removed repeatedly, while I avoided taking any photos so as not to get asked for a MYR10 fee. Finally when the staff member realised that my husband really didn’t like having a bird put on his shoulder, he removed it, and we went on our way.

The redeeming feature of Cave Villa was the art gallery, which is also in a cave. It features statues and dioramas of many Hindu characters, showing scenes from epic tales. This was lit very effectively to make the scenes come to life.

But overall, Cave Villa, which smelt of monkey and bird excrement, was a poorly maintained disappointment. There was a dirty fish spa pool that I would never have dreamed of putting my feet into! The rest of Batu Caves was a fascinating combination of nature, religion and culture, worth a visit if you are in the area.

Outside Cave Villa, back near the base of the Murugan statue, there are several Indian restaurants. We chose the on with the most Indian people eating there, and had a tasty thali plate for MYR8 each.

Worth noting when you are trying to leave Batu Caves by taxi – a driver tried to get us to pay fixed price at double the price of our journey. We went outside the caves complex and within a few minutes hailed a cab that went by the meter.