As the year comes to a close, it’s time to treat yourself and your loved ones to a fun getaway filled with good company, good food and good times. What better place to head to for all of the above than good ol’ Melaka?
Combining excellent views of Melaka River and a convenient 5-minute walk to Jonker Walk, Aava Malacca Hotel is just the place to enjoy Melaka’s historical quarter and the best local eats – Jonker Street Night Market, anyone?
Cheerful pops of color
The boutique heritage hotel is situated right next to Melaka River and comprises three adjoining pre-war shophouses that have been restored with care and attention to detail. You’ll notice that the intricate tile flooring in the hotel lobby is the original, along with an antique chandelier and ornate wooden fittings.
Around the hotel, you’ll spot bright splashes of yellow and turquoise, which are complemented by the natural sunlight streaming into the air well, where the hotel’s dining area is located. (Tip: one of our favorite spots to take Instagram-worthy shots is at the air well on the second floor, where you can get a great angle of the birdcage-shaped light fixtures through the windows.)
Some modern touches have been added, of course, particularly in the hotel’s 15 rooms. There are eight different types of room, which range from the Classic Room with a comfy King-sized bed to the Grand Suite, with a private balcony offering a view of the river and a Jacuzzi for you to soak in after a long day.
Every room comes with a 43-inch LED television set, a coffee machine, hairdryer, minibar and in-room safe. Guests will also have access to the hotel’s high-speed internet. Some heritage hotels have the tendency to appear dark and gloomy, so we loved that the rooms were painted and decorated with cheerful pops of color that livened up the surroundings.
Pool with a view
If you’ve stayed in Melaka before, then you’ll know that most hotels within the core UNESCO Heritage Site won’t come with swimming pools due to space constraints. However, because Aava Malacca takes up three buildings, it’s got the space for a small infinity pool on the second floor.
So if you’ve had enough of walking around Melaka town, you can take a dip and watch the comings and goings along Melaka River. Worried about having the sun on your face or rainy weather? Don’t sweat it – the pool is covered, offering shelter from the sun and rain. (Though that doesn’t mean you don’t need to put on sunblock!)
Cycle around town
On a pleasant day, you can opt to explore Melaka on bicycle, as the hotel has a few available for guest use. The first two hours is free of charge, which is enough to ride by the river or around the small side streets surrounding Jonker. If you’re feeling hot and thirsty, just pop by any of the cozy cafes scattered in the area for some shade and a refreshing drink – we highly recommend Limau-limau Cafe, The Daily Fix and Alley No. 5.
But before you spend the day hopping through your itinerary, sit down for a simple, yet filling breakfast at the hotel. Have your choice of omelette, scrambled egg, sausage or pancake, in addition to various baked goods, fried noodles or fried rice. You can also fill your pockets with handfuls of old-timey snacks to-go from the jars in the lobby, like iced gem biscuits, chocolate-filled wafer rolls and sweets.
For an enchanting trip down memory lane that’s near all your favorite stops in Melaka, stay at Aava Malacca Hotel!
Top Things to Do in Melaka
Being near Jonker Walk, Aava Malacca Hotel is strategically located within walking distance to most tourist attractions and must-do activities. Here are our top picks of things to do while staying at the hotel:
Take a leisurely stroll along Melaka River
From the hotel’s private entrance that leads straight to the river, you can either take a right that heads towards Jonker Walk, passing by vibrant murals painted on the shophouses or you can head left, which will take you towards Kampung Morten.
If you take the walk around sunset, you’ll get to see the bridges and kampung homes light up as night falls. Don’t forget to give a friendly wave to the passengers on the river cruise boats as they pass you by!
Sample coffee from each Malaysian state at Calanthe Art Cafe
This cafe is legit one of our must-eat places in Jonker when we drop by Melaka – their Nyonya Laksa is comfort food at its best and never fails to satisfy. They’ve got plenty of other affordable rice and noodle dishes to choose from too, as well as Western options. If you’re not sure what to order, go for the signature dishes.
For drinks, you can’t go wrong with any of the 13 States Coffee, which is what Calanthe is known for. The menu features coffee from each state, which you can choose to have hot, iced or ice blended – the latter comes with yummy coffee jelly and is our personal go-to choice. If it’s your first time here, order the Melaka ice blended! The cafe’s interior, meanwhile, is filled with an offbeat mix of wall murals and curios, from old TV sets to faded, nostalgic posters.
Calanthe Art Cafe
11, Jalan Hang Kasturi, 75200 Melaka.
Opening Hours: 9.00am – 11.00pm (Sun-Thurs); 9.00am – 12.00am (Fri & Sat) | Open daily
Throwback to the heydays of Peranakan culture at Imbasan Melaka
Formerly known as Nyonya Memoirs, it’s basically a time tunnel/playground, where visitors can dress-up in traditional Baba Nyonya costumes and pose at various backdrops depicting scenes of everyday life for the Peranakan community in the 1920s.
Each scene has a brief description detailing the history and significance of what you see before you, from a shop selling Peranakan beaded slippers to an old-fashioned sundry shop. In the middle of the area, there’s a serene patch of (fake) grass and trees where you can play traditional games like congkak and batu seremban.
Level 3, Dataran Pahlawan Melaka Megamall
1880, Jalan Parameswara, Bandar Hilir, 75000 Melaka.
Opening Hours: 10.30am – 6.00pm (last entry: 5.00pm) | Open daily
With such a wide range of accommodation options across the country, it can be a challenge to pick the one that’s best for you. To be in the know when it comes to Malaysia’s stand-out stays, keep your eyes peeled for Traveloka’s ‘Super Stays’ posts, a bi-weekly hotel special featuring our top picks!