The Majestic Malacca, Malacca
Tel: 60 6 289 8000
Concierge.com's insider take:
With its January 2008 debut, this boutique hotel instantly became the classiest address within the historic port of Malacca. The original teakwood mansion, built in 1929 as the private home of a local rubber baron, oozes history: Malaysia's first prime minister stayed here when he announced the former British colony's independence in 1957. The restored two-story building now holds a breezy reception area, bar, library, and the Mansion restaurant, which boasts a menu every bit as multicultural as Malacca (Dutch green-pea soup with smoked sausage; Portuguese seafood paella with curry sauce; Peranakan-style shrimp). Behind a small gym and swimming pool, a new ten-story wing holds a ground-floor spa with six treatment rooms topped by a pair of suites and 52 spacious, open-plan rooms outfitted with teak four-poster beds, flat-screen TVs, and bathrooms with claw-foot tubs separated from the sleeping area by sliding wooden panels. Silk drapes frame floor-to-ceiling windows; ask for west-facing rooms, which overlook the winding Malacca River. The hotel also offers free guided walking tours of the old town.
From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
A fabled port of call for Malay, Chinese, Arab, Indian, Portuguese, Dutch, and British traders, Malacca retains its ethnically diverse charms, but until the owners of Malaysia's popular Pangkor Laut resort rescued this riverfront mansion, the town lacked worldly accommodations. The neoclassic structure houses the reception area and an old-fashioned bar with leather-backed planter's chairs. Fitting into this elegant environment are the well-presented staff, who address all guests by name, and the formal dining room, where a pianist plays nightly. The 54 graceful guest rooms are in a new building seamlessly added at the back. All come with a four-poster bed, plush silk fabrics, polished ebony floors, and a retro black-and-white tiled bathroom with a claw-foot tub and a powerful rain shower. Geometrically patterned floor tiles and saloon-esque swinging doors extend the historic aura into the outstanding five-room spa. Forgo the pricey car transfers to and from the Kuala Lumpur and Singapore airports promoted by the hotel brand's main reservations office; the accommodating English-speaking staff can help guests secure alternate options as well as organize walking tours of this culturally rich city.2008 Hot List
When to go: Malacca is best enjoyed during the dry days of March through October.
Which room to book: Even standard rooms have old-world appeal and afford glimpses of the Malacca River.