If you like history and would like to learn more about Singapore and Malaysia’s colonial heritage as part of the Straits Settlement in the British Colony, a trip to Malacca in Malaysia would be right up your alley.
When in Malacca, why not stay at a heritage hotel to complete the history tourism experience?
The Majestic Malacca Heritage Hotel
Located on the banks of the river which in yesteryear teemed with Chinese junks and spice-laden vessels from all over the world, The Majestic Malacca provides a glimpse into the riches of the erstwhile Straits Settlement. The hotel is conveniently located to many of the main attractions in Malacca like Jonker Walk, Chinatown and Little India.
Attractions near the hotel:
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Out and about in Malacca on a walking tour to learn more about the legacy of the Malay Sultanate, Chinese, Indian, Portuguese, Dutch and British through the city’s heritage buildings, multi-racial population and narrow streets. Hosted by a guide from @themajesticmalacca, the heritage Hotel offers complementary guided walks around prominent historical landmarks. #themajesticmalacca #malacca #ytlhotels @ytlhotels photos taken with the trusty #huaweimate20pro #huaweisg
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There’s a mini #mamee museum at Jonker Street in Malacca, Malaysia, hometown of where this well-loved nostalgic snack brand was born in 1974. Just spend RM10 at either the store or cafe and you can enter the museum for free. #mameemonster #mameejonkerhouse #jonkerstreet #malacca #ytlhotels #themajesticmalacca
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Photos I took with my trust #huaweimate20pro while walking around Jonker Street and the main attraction areas in Melaka. The UNESCO-recognised city has a shared colonial heritage with Singapore with the iconic multi-racial architecture and cultural remnants. I stayed at @themajesticmalacca, a refurbished heritage house at Jalan Bunka Raya, close to attractions like Chinatown, Little India and Jonker, all within walking distances, making it a perfect base to explore the city on foot. #malacca #themajesticmalacca #jonkerstreet #melaka @huaweimobilesg #huaweisg
The heart of the hotel is a restored 1920s Straits Settlement mansion complete with its original porcelain tile flooring and teakwood fittings.
This serves as the bar and reception on the ground floor and an in-house restaurant on the second floor. Behind the original mansion, a new wing extension houses the guest rooms and suites as well as a spa centre and a swimming pool.
Here’s a look at the hotel interiors:
History of The Majestic Malacca Hotel
The origins of The Majestic Malacca began in 1929 as a private mansion of a tycoon named Leong Long Man where imported Victorian tiles, stained glass windows, expensive furniture and fittings were all incorporated into his home. Sadly, he fell ill and died in 1931, just two years after moving in. His son entrusted with the family estates squandered his inheritance and eventually sold the mansion to a businessman named Lim Heng Fang in 1955.
Fortuitously, Mr. Lim preserved the building and converted it into The Majestic Hotel. In the 1950s and 60s, the hotel was popular among travelers, with a clientele that comprised mainly of British planters and even played host to Malaysia’s first prime minister when he announced the former British colony’s independence in 1957.
Before its doors closed in 31 July 2000, the hotel had taken a turn for the worse, operating as a guesthouse with a dilapidated air. A public outcry to restore the mansion back to its former glory ensued in the years after its closure. Acknowledging the need to preserve an integral part of Malacca’s rich heritage, YTL Hotels stepped in and the property acquisition was finalised in 2006. The historic building was fully restored and reopened as The Majestic Malacca in January 2008 and has been in operations under the same owner since.
Staying at The Majestic Malacca
I was invited to stay at the hotel for 3D2N to experience their hospitality and F&B offerings, including a collaboration with a KL-home-grown cocktail bar, PS150.
PS150 pop-up bar at the hotel, the drinks they designed for the collaboration and the pairing with a special dinner menu created at The Mansion to go with these drinks:
This was how the room I stayed in look like:
The welcome ceremony to your room when you check into the hotel:
Each room features bespoke furnishings that calls to mind, the glory days of old Malacca with floor to ceiling windows framed by silk drapes, timber flooring and an inviting four-poster bed finished in rich teak.
When staying at a heritage hotel like The Majestic Malacca, one of the ‘con’ is that you will be so enthralled by the hotel’s history itself that you just want to stay indoors for the whole trip to soak in the nostalgia and get inspirations for your creative works.
Nonetheless, this was my first ever visit to Malacca and there’s much to see and experience.
The hotel staff have come up with a useful map for a heritage trail walking tour to experience Malacca’s unique blend in heritage through the local lifestyle, historical landmarks, architecture and traditional trades.
You can download a copy here or ask the hotel reception for a copy when you are there. Malacca is perfect for walking tours, due to the small size of the city and the concentration of the heritage attractions to a limited radius near the hotel.
Hungry after your walking tour?
Kirstang and Peranakan Cuisine at The Majestic Malacca
The in-house restaurant at the hotel, The Mansion, specialises in Kirstang cuisine. While most people would know of Nonya cuisine, Kristang cuisine describes a unique Malacca-Portuguese cuisine which is only found in the Straits Settlement.
Kristang cuisine, with its fiery sambals, comforting stews and fragrant coconut curries, is an ode to Malacca’s cosmopolitan past. While not as well-known as other ethnicities that comprise Malacca’s colourful ethnological tapestry, the ever elusive Kristang cuisine is influenced by a harmonious mix of culinary styles including Dutch, Portuguese, Malay, Indian and Chinese – making it unlike any other yet uniquely Malaccan.
Kristang cuisine cooking class with the head chef at The Mansion:
The cooking class includes a visit to the nearby local market in the morning. I really enjoyed this tour and if you are interested to participate in a similar experience, you can enquire with the hotel reception on their Kristang cooking class and market visit when staying at the hotel:
Where Peranakan cuisine is characterised by complex, labour intensive methods, the beauty of Kristang cooking lies in its simplicity, emphasising high-quality and the freshest of ingredients.
Kristang dishes served at The Mansion:
Breakfast at the hotel which include Kristang breakfast items as well:
Traditional Kristang dishes such as Aros Fretu Keluak and Kari Seccu can be sampled over lunch and dinner at The Mansion while the colourful traditional Peranakan cakes known as kuih can be tasted over casual afternoon tea at the lounge.
Peranakan high tea:
After a sumptuous meal, guests can choose to relax at the hotel spa or take a dip in the outdoor swimming pool or even head to the gym.
Spa Village Malacca
Spa Village Malacca is the world’s only spa to base its therapies on the healing heritage of the Baba-Nyonya or Peranakan culture – a unique combination of Chinese and Malay influences. Spread across the two levels at The Majestic Malacca, the rich heritage is reflected not only through the therapies but also within the architecture, which provides an environment designed to capture the essence of the location.
Inspired by the elaborate and colourful 12-day Peranakan Wedding Ceremony, every guest enjoys a pre-spa experience that includes a soothing hair care ritual. Therapies are molded around a person’s cool or warm energies based on Peranakan belief and inspired by traditional Chinese medicine.
The combinations of age-old traditional remedies sourced from indigenous ingredients are believed to cleanse, replenish and reinvigorate, both physically and mentally. I tried their 100 minutes Egg Rolling Therapy and was truly reinvigorated after the treatment. The treatment is said to be beneficial for stressed individuals who are sensitive to heat and prone to tight muscles and cramping. Heated hardboiled eggs were rolled over my body, followed by a full-body massage.
If you are interested to book a stay with The Majestic Hotel Malacca, visit their official website for details.
188 Jalan Bunga Raya, 75100 Melaka, Malaysia
Telephone: +60 6 289 8000