Riverside, family-run guesthouse
The west bank of the Melaka River is lined with traditional shophouses, many revitalised as a mixed bag of guesthouses. The pick of the bunch in this historic area is the charming family-run Wayfarer Guesthouse.
The simple but delightful digs offers eight classily styled rooms including two suitable for families, ranging from small and cosy to spacious and light-filled, all air-con cooled and with modern and clean ensuite hot-water bathrooms. The long, narrow triple-storey shophouse is designed with two internal courtyards, with most windows facing these. If you can bag them, it’s worth paying the extra 30 ringgit (40 extra on weekends) for either the Author Suite (room one) or our favourite, the Artist Suite (room six) with river views and furnished private balconies.
Spick and span interiors feature dark polished hardwood floors and classic lime-washed walls. Quality crisp white linens on the comfy beds and elegant dark timber furnishings enhance the colonial ambience. Some are accessorised with Peranakan ceramic lamps, adding local flavour. Generally the rooms are fairly modest, but suites add tea-making facilities. The guesthouse enjoys two spacious and homely communal living rooms, one opening to the river. The original floor tiles and leafy plant-filled lightwells, along with knick-knacks and antiques heighten the sense of history in this lovely old building.
There’s plenty of comfy chairs for relaxing and even an indoor swing. Watch the communal TV, help yourself to tea, coffee or snacks from the kitchen, or curl up with the cat riverside and watch the world go by. Breakfast is not included, but Wayfarer Guesthouse is excellently located, minutes from Melaka’s best food spots right in the belly of the UNESCO heritage area—your friendly hosts can offer great tips on the best nearby.
We love the authentic and calm ambience, but be aware that this is an old building with creaks and squeaks, and the wooden floors are not terribly soundproof. Bring earplugs if you’re a light sleeper and be respectful of other guests.
If you’re really keen on a river-view room, and Wayfarer’s are full, all rooms at Heeren House have windows overlooking the river, however they don’t really have a communal area as it has a streetfront cafe. Alternatively try next door to Wayfarer at Singgah De Jonker, although like the majority of Melaka’s guesthouses, you’ll have to share a bathroom here.
Address: 104 Lorong Hang Jebat, Melaka
T: (0628) 19 469; (0127) 230 875 (please no calls between 20:00 and 08:00);
Coordinates (for GPS): 102º14'59.45" E, 2º11'46.18" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: 120 to 250 ringgit
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Standard double room|
Weekdays. Weekends 170 ringgit.
|130 ringgit||130 ringgit|
|Superior double room|
Duplex/riverview. Weekdays. Weekends: 210 ringgit.
|160 ringgit||160 ringgit|
Weekdays. Weekends 260 ringgit.
|240 ringgit||240 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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