Luxurious Peranakan-styled guesthouse
Immerse yourself in Melaka’s rich culture and history living the life of a Nyonya or Baba by staying in the superb museum-like 5 Heeren. For a splurge, it’s our top pick in Melaka.
The quadruple-storey renovated Peranakan building is stuffed to the rafters with authenticity, chockers with antiques and much of the building’s beautiful original features have been restored to their former glory.
Smack bang in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage area, on the original “Gentlemen’s Street”, you’re just a step from museums, Melaka’s sights and great restaurants. The seven individually decorated rooms and three suites are comfortable and luxurious, rich in heritage features, yet they deliver on the mod-cons too, with air-con, WiFi, flatscreen TVs, minibar, tea-making facilities and in-room safe. We were particularly delighted by the ornate Chinese “opium bed” in the Opium Pearl room, and the exquisitely carved Chinese wedding bed in the Mandarin room.
Due to the restraints of the traditional architecture, not all rooms have windows, and some that do look only to interior courtyards. Two suite rooms enjoy wide furnished private balconies overlooking the Melaka River. Ensuite hot-water bathrooms are also uniquely styled, and suites add bathtubs.
Guest rooms are situated on the second and third floors (the top floor is the owner’s residence), and accessed by either the narrow and steep original staircase or a modern, less-perilous one. As is the local tradition, guests are asked to remove footwear so as not to damage the beautiful polished wooden floors. The ground floor and first floor offer plenty of cosy relaxing corners for reading or mingling with other guests. A tempting spread of local Peranakan delights is offered daily in the included breakfast buffet. Welcoming staff provide personalised service and are full of local knowledge and handy tips. For folks with cars, private parking spots are available on the nearby back street.
If 5 Heeren is within your budget, forget about the five-star identikit hotels and head straight here. Book well in advance, but if 5 Heeren is full, you may consider suites at Hotel Puri or less ornate Gingerflower Hotel. A public swimming pool is within walking distance of 5 Heeren but if you’d prefer a hotel with a pool, check out nearby Casa Del Rio which also offers comfort and luxury, albeit in a large hotel. And if your budget doesn’t stretch to the masters house, you can stay in the servants’ quarters at Cafe 1511 Guesthouse.
Address: 5 Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock (aka Heeren St), Melaka
T: (012) 274 4670;
Coordinates (for GPS): 102º14'51.38" E, 2º11'40.67" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: over 500 ringgit
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Standard double room|
Weekdays. Weekends 599 ringgit.
|499 ringgit||499 ringgit|
Weekdays. Weekends 999 ringgit.
|850 ringgit||850 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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