Flashiest flashpacker in town
There are flashpackers, then there are FLASH-packers and NoMaps is the flashiest-packer in town. It's on the pricey side for a hostel, but it ticks all the boxes for value with an excellent location, great style, cleanliness and comfort along with included extras.
NoMaps opened in June 2016 in a renovated heritage house on historic Heeren Street (entry from the back lane). The creative contemporary industrial style mixed with traditional touches has been designed with the needs of travellers in mind, not just to look pretty (which it does). Choose from six-bed, four-bed or two-bed mixed and female-only dorms and private rooms. All share bathrooms, however a couple of the private rooms share facilities with only one other room.
Key-card secure air-con rooms are small but cosy and many are windowless, so they're good for a quiet sleep-in. Cleverly designed bunkbeds in the dorms provide a privacy nook for sleeping, proper bed linen on comfy mattresses, individual power points and reading lights, a small folding table so you can work on your laptop in bed, personal clothes-hanging space and two lockable storage cupboards, a small one for laptops and valuables and a large one for backpacks. Top bunks sport sturdy ladders with wide steps that won’t hurt bare feet. Although there is a safety rail, it only just rises above the mattress, so it's not that much use for wild sleepers. Four-bed dorms add a washbasin and mirror, as do some private rooms, but for others you’ll have to wander to the share bathrooms. Private rooms are a tad bare and basic, but comfortable.
Smart hot-water bathrooms continue the industrial theme with long polished cement sinks, and a steam-punk-style maze of exposed copper pipes leading to the rain-showers. A shower curtain between the wet area and shower-room door keeps your towel and clothes dry. Although the male and female cubicles are separated, the sink area is shared, and some modest guests may feel uncomfortable stepping straight out of the shower into a mixed gender area. Towels are available to rent for two ringgit.
Besides a comfortable place to sleep and spotless bathrooms, where NoMaps excels is the great communal areas. We love the cosy entertainment room packed with colourful beanbags and a large flatscreen TV with DVD library along with a selection of board games for having some good old fashioned non-digital fun with fellow guests, and if you’d like some quiet time to yourself, the sunny quirky-mural-adorned courtyards in the original lightwells of the building provide a pleasant spot to relax with a book. The spacious share kitchen opening onto Heeren Street could easily be mistaken as a funky cafe (which is what we thought it was when we first saw it). The bright white and cement room has a long wooden table for sharing a meal with your new friends. Free-flow cereal, toast, biscuits and snacks as well as tea, coffee and drinking water are available all day. There’s fast free WiFI, and if you haven’t brought a laptop and need computer access, the IT area has you sorted. There is also a no-charge self-service laundry.
Along with terrific facilities and smart style, the staff are friendly and helpful too. NoMaps is a no-smoking, no-drugs hostel. A 20 ringgit key deposit is required on check-in. You may need a map when you first arrive, but once you find Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, better known as Heeren Street, head around to the back lane and look for the wall of bright coloured shutters.
If NoMaps is a bit of a stretch budget wise, check out the dorm at Ola Lavanderia Cafe and Dormitory, where you won’t get breakfast, but a decent coffee is included. Or on the other side of town, Olive Flashpacker is a good deal too. For more spacious and possibly better value private rooms, friendly Layang Layang Guesthouse is not as modern, but offers a great location in a historic shophouse.
Address: 11 Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock (aka Heeren Street), Melaka
T: (0628) 38311; F: (0628) 38312
Coordinates (for GPS): 102º14'49.32" E, 2º11'38.89" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: Under 60 ringgit
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
Six-bed dorm. Weekdays. Weekends are 80 ringgit. Four-bed dorm: Weekdays 63 ringgit, weekends 90 ringgit. Two-bed dorm: Weekdays 70 ringgit, weekends
|55 ringgit||55 ringgit|
|Dbl air-con share bathroom|
Weekdays. Weekends 150 ringgit.
|120 ringgit||120 ringgit|
|Quad air-con share bathroom|
Weekdays. Weekends 420 ringgit.
|300 ringgit||300 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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