A night at the museum
A visit to Melaka is all about culture and history, and what better way to soak up as much as possible than to stay in a museum or at least the servants’ quarters of one? The Baba and Nyonya Heritage Museum provides just that opportunity at Cafe 1511 Guesthouse, offering a handful of charming rooms above their namesake cafe next door to the museum.
The delightful guesthouse is entered via the streetfront cafe, and as is the custom, guests are requested to remove footwear, before climbing the very steep original staircase to the rooms, each named after Peranakan specialties such as laksa and pai tee.
The building retains its original layout, so as you would expect of servants’ quarters, rooms are somewhat compact and some have only internal windows, however high ceilings give the interiors a sense of space and the light floods in. Wooden floors gleam, painted walls seem fresh and the place feels cosy and comfortable, with perhaps a few more accoutrements than their servant days including air-con and WiFi. Classically styled wooden furnishings include a small writing desk and framed pictures brighten the walls. Mattresses are a tad thin, possibly authentically so, but pretty floral-print bed covers and curtains add a homely touch.
Bathrooms are shared, but are clean and have had a modern upgrade too with hot showers and throne toilets. For a bit of quiet time off the streets, a pleasant sitting room with a TV and DVD library is shared by all guests. Breakfast is included in the cafe, except on Tuesdays when it’s closed. The guesthouse doesn’t accept guests under 30, but as they sell on booking sites, we’re not sure how they police that. If you’re keen to stay at Cafe 1511, it’s wise to book ahead as there are just a few rooms.
For a little more folding stuff, more spacious rooms (with ensuite bathrooms) in authentic Peranakan homes are on offer at Wayfarer Guesthouse and Heeren House or for a fistful more cash you an enjoy a cultural splurge at 5 Heeren.
Address: 52 Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Melaka
T: (062) 860 150;
Coordinates (for GPS): 102º14'46.66" E, 2º11'41.58" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: 60 to 120 ringgit
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Sgl air-con share bathroom|
80 ringgit on weekends
|70 ringgit||70 ringgit|
|Dbl air-con share bathroom|
100 ringgit on weekends
|90 ringgit||90 ringgit|
Sally spent twelve years leading tourists around Indonesia and Malaysia where she collected a lot of stuff. She once carried a 40kg rug overland across Java. Her house has been described as a cross between a museum and a library. Fuelled by coffee, she can often be found riding her bike or petting stray cats. Sally believes travel is the key to world peace.
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