On our last trip to Malaysia we chose to visit Malacca (or Melaka), located south of Kuala Lumpur and easy accessible by a two hour bus ride from KL. Malacca is a must see in Malaysia, it’s rich in history, having been, by turn, a Portuguese, Dutch and British colony. Since 2008, Malacca’s centre has been declared UNESCO heritage site.
We chose to stay at The Majestic Malacca. After the memorable experience we had with The Majestic in Kuala Lumpur, we were sure that this experience will be at least the same memorable as the previous one. And we were right.
The hotel’s story
It all began in 1929 when the mansion was built by Leong Long Man. Imported Victorian tiles and the best furniture and decorations were used in the construction. After its death, which occurred only two years after moving in, the mansion was taken over by its son. In 1955 he sold the mansion to a businessman, Lim Heng Fan who converted it into The Majestic Hotel. Unfortunately, in 2000 the hotel shut down its doors, until 2006 when YTL Hotels acquired it and in a two year period completely restored the building into The Majestic Malacca we know today.
From the moment we entered the hotel, we were fascinated by the lobby’s architecture and we could feel the rich history of the place. Its original porcelain tiles are something beautiful, an incredible and rich bouquet of flowers is always in the middle of the lobby, the waiting area has immaculate furniture and porcelain lamps, a perfect spot to enjoy the welcoming tea. On the right side you’ll find a nice bar offering cocktails and other drinks, while the reception is on the left side. The library is accessible from the lobby, but we’ll talk about it later, at the afternoon tea section.
We were greeted with nice smiles, from the doorman to the receptionists.
The check-in process is quick and smooth and after we drank our welcoming tea, we were immediately escorted to our room.
We were welcomed in the Deluxe Room and after an introduction of the facilities, we were offered a delicious lychee tea presented in a very nice tea set. The first impression: tradition and luxury combined with modernity, offering a feel of history with every small detail, from the furniture to the wooden floor, the porcelain lamps and the carpets.
The bed is a four-poster with very comfortable mattress and immense, soft pillows in which you can sink. A chaise lounge lies by the floor-to-top windows where you can relax and enjoy a view of the city and of the river of Malacca. The bathroom is an open space concept with folding wooden screen doors, a luxury clawfoot bathtub and a spacious rain shower.
Water, tea and coffee are complimentary during your stay.
The Library and the British afternoon tea
The afternoon tea is served in the Library and is a big thing at The Majestic Malacca. Leather sofas and armchairs will comfortably sit you back and while the afternoon tea is prepared, you might take a look among the green shelves and find yourself an old book to browse. The afternoon tea was presented with sandwiches and sweets, with a Malay touch on desserts. We really enjoyed Onde Onde, a traditional Malaysian dessert made from glutinous rice flour with pandan and filled with palm sugar, which will burst in your mouth when you bite into them. The tea was absolutely delicious, we opted for two flavours: lime & ginger and passion fruit.
SPA Village Malacca base its therapies on the healing heritage of Baba Nyonya or Peranakan culture (Peranakans are an ethnic group descended from Chinese settlers from the southern provinces who came to the Malay archipelago). Before starting the therapy, we were given a list with types of massage from where we had to choose. We chose the Balinese treatment, respectively the traditional Malay massage.
Before the treatment started, we enjoyed a lychee tea relaxing on the traditional Peranakan Chinese day bed with a nice view over the swimming pool. We received a pre-spa experience which included a hair care ritual.
That treatment alone was very relaxing and our hair was taken care of with natural ingredients. It was washed with water with tropical flower blossoms, followed by a scalp massage done with a fruit shampoo. Olive oil was then poured on our hair and a bamboo comb was used to comb it. The ritual finished with a rinse of fresh lime juice and banana conditioner. My hair was never taken care of in such a manner.
We then moved to the upper floor of the SPA Village for the massage. We had to choose the fragrance of the oil that was going to be used and then we were seated on the massage beds and magic followed, we received the best body treatment that anyone could dream of. The indigenous ingredients and the traditional remedies are believed to cleanse and reinvigorate physically and mentally. We surely felt fresh and reinvigorated after the massage, like a newborn.
The swimming pool
The swimming pool is located in front of the SPA Village and near the gym. It’s a small pool, but surely enough for the size of the hotel. If you feel like working out, you can enjoy the fully equipped gym and finish your workout with a refreshing swim.
The Mansion is the dining area and it offers a warm atmosphere with its wooden floors and traditional furniture. The menu at The Majestic Malacca is influenced by the rich multi-cultural heritage of the city and it combines flavours from the Nyonya, Portuguese, Malay, Chinese and Indian cultures, along with Kristang dishes (Malacca-Portuguese cultural heritage). The recipes were created by chef Melba Nunis and even if she is no longer working for The Majestic Malacca, the chefs are still using her recipes in the kitchen. They are proudly presenting her recipes book to the guests of the hotel.
We enjoyed every meal at The Mansion and among our favourite dishes were Soy limang terung – pan fried aubergine in soy and lime gravy and Kachang – wok fried French beans with taukwa, carrots and egg. The desserts were absolutely amazing. Our favourite were Sagu Kung Sukri Malaka – sago pearls from glutinous rice soaked in coconut milk and melted palm sugar and Pulut kung kaya – glutinous rice with coconut milk tinted with bunga telang (blue pea flower) with homemade coconut jam (kaya).
Even if you are not accommodated at The Majestic Malacca, I think that The Mansion is a must try in order to have a unique and rare culinary experience influenced by so many cultures.
The Majestic Malacca was a unique and memorable experience for us. We can recommend to everybody this amazing hotel. It has very well trained staff with impeccable attitude and professional services. More, you’ll get to experience a place with a rich history and heritage from different cultures which makes it unique.