Since being named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008, the little city of Melaka has seen itself transform into quite the darling of the Malaysian tourist scene. The people are coming in droves to explore the history, culture, and cuisine of Melaka and as a result more and more hotels seem to be popping up all over town. In the midst of the old stalwarts, international chains, and boutique guesthouses, is Rosa Malacca. This new property is a rare gem that provides both the friendly, welcoming atmosphere of a cosy boutique hotel and the stylish, modern design of the larger chains – the perfect combination, if you ask me.
Rosa Malacca is located away from the busy streets of Jonker Walk, which we found to be more of a blessing than a curse. It’s only a brisk fifteen minute stroll or short Uber ride away, but once you step through their huge double doors, you will feel like you’re in another world. After a day of sightseeing in the hot Melaka sun, we were grateful for this oasis. The industrial chic look and feel of the hotel is quite striking, and it’s obvious that Rosa Malacca has been designed with a lot of care and attention to detail. I loved that every inch of the hotel looked beautiful, but also felt casual and comfortable – this new kid on the block is definitely not just a pretty face!
Checking Into the Deluxe King
Rosa Malacca has sixty rooms and suites which include Deluxe Twin and King rooms, Premier King rooms, and Family Suites, all kitted out in the hotel’s contemporary style. We checked into a Deluxe King room which was luxurious in style and space, making it the perfect place to relax after a day pounding the pavements, or in my case, recovering from a nasty lurgy. I spent a lot of time curled up in our huge bed, nestling into the cool, smooth sheets trying my best to kick the cold I had caught just days earlier – it was just what the doctor would have ordered, I’m sure of it.
Our room also came with a cushy lounge chair where a certain someone could be found either engrossed in his book or Twitter timeline, a desk for when we needed to catch up on some serious work or travel planning, and plenty of storage space for us to unpack and really feel at home. The bathroom was immaculate; it came well stocked with fluffy towels, all the toiletry essentials, and a shower with brilliant pressure – another godsend for weary travellers. We were impressed; the team had thought of everything, and everything had a place!
Breakfast at Bica & Co
We enjoyed our daily breakfasts at Bica & Co, the hotel’s modern European-style cafe. When it was served in the courtyard, the offering was a small but adequate buffet consisting of both western and Malaysian dishes; a personal favourite from this selection was the comforting congee which I could tailor to my tastes with a range of toppings. Other days, we chose from the a la carte menu in the bright and airy cafe area, and enjoyed pancakes and waffles!
What to See & Do in Melaka
Melaka may be compact, but there’s more than enough to keep you entertained for a day or two. The city is rich in history; it once served as a vital trading port, has been occupied by the Portuguese, Dutch, and the British, and is well known for its Peranakan culture of Chinese and Malay fusion. Each of these major milestones in Melaka’s history has left their mark on the city and can be seen through sites such as Christ’s Church, St Paul’s Hill, A’Fomosa Fort, and the Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum. Weaving through the streets of Jonker Walk is also a must, and if you can, time your visit for the weekend so you can indulge in the infamous Jonker Walk Night Market!
What to Eat in Melaka
Much like the rest of Malaysia, Melaka is obsessed with food and there are no shortage of delicious eats in the city. However, there are a few of dishes which should be on every food-lover’s hit list when they’re in the city. The first is Hainanese chicken rice balls; the poached chicken is served with rice rolled into balls… I have no idea why or how it came about, but it’s been a firm favourite of mine ever since I was a child! You should then try some unique Peranakan cuisine, as well as fitting in a couple of bowls of Nyonya laksa (there’s a really decent one at the Jonker Walk Hawker Centre just a few minutes away from Casa Del Rio Hotel or go further afield to 486 Baba Low in Tengkera) and cendol, a classic Malaysian dessert. Then finally, if you’re looking for something really different, try satay celup which is a similar concept to fondue but with a bubbling pot of spicy peanut sauce instead of cheese, and a whole range of skewered meat, fish, tofu and vegetables which you cook in the sauce – it makes for a really messy but fun dinner!
Have you ever visited Melaka in Malaysia? What did you explore in the city?
Thank you to Rosa Malacca for hosting us for one complimentary night and two nights on a media rate, but as always, all opinions are mine and mine alone!
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