So many new places are opening up in Melaka that this section is particularly vul-nerable to change. The good news is that quality is improving, but the bad news is that there's simply not enough tourism to keep all these places open. Rooms have private showers and dorms have shared bathrooms, unless otherwise stated.
If you have the option of staying in Chinatown, do it. This is what Melaka is all about.
Voyage Guest House ( 2815216; Jin Tukang Besi; dm RM12) Head here for clean, industrial-sized dorm rooms and common areas decorated with a nouveau-heritage Chinatown jazz lounge look. It's run by Voyager Traveller's Loung.
Sama-Sama Guest House (305 1980; 26 Jin Tukang Besi; dm RM12, d RM20-40) This place has a great hippy-ish vibe, with a courtyard overflowing with potted plants, mini-ponds and wind chimes. Rooms are intimately linked by creaky wood floors and the breezes that run through the wide walkways. The whole place, including the shared toilets and showers, is kept sparkling clean, but when anyone walks down the hall (usually barefooted) it sounds like they are stomping in combat boots. Not for light sleepers but a ran and quirky place to meet other travellers.
Jalan Jalan Guesthouse : This lovely hostel is in a restored old shophouse painted periwinkle blue. Fan-cooled rooms with one shared bathroom are spread out over a tranquil garden inner courtyard. Like some other older places though, noise from your neighbours mignt keep you awake at night. Internet and Wi-fi are free and there's bike rental available.
Ringo's Foyer : Just far enough out of central Chinatown to be quiet, but close enough to be convenient, lok your stay at lonelyplanet.com/hotel .Dingo's is plain and clean, has friendly staff and a relaxing rooftop chill-out area.
Chong Hoe Hotel : Chong Ho has stayed true to its no-frills functional personality and now, after all the years of staying exactly the same, it has an unpretentious charm that's lacking elsewhere. Air-con rooms with bathrooms are some of the cheapest in town and (except when the Kampung Kling Mosque starts blaring) it's a quiet and blissfully unexciting place to catch some Zs.
Kota Lodge : Heritage not your thing? The brand-new Kota Lodge offers freshly painted characterless rooms, all with good beds, air-con and hot showers. It's stumbling distance from central Chinatown - just follow the signs on Jin Tun Tan Cheng Lock.
Baba House : This elegant Baba building has beautiful tile work, carved panels and a cool, interior courtyard, but rooms, many window-less, aren't nearly as glitzy as the lobby and are dark and worn.
Heeren Inn : Housed in an attractive building, the motel-like window-less rooms here lack the ancient flair of the common areas. Rooms bordering the light-filled central courtyard are the brightest of the bunch.
Number 20 Guesthouse :A1673 Dutch mansion meets urban-Zen chic with dark-wood beam construction, high ceilings, a touch of Chinese art, low opium beds, modern lighting and a common area with elongated windows that look over Jin Hang Jebat. Unfortunately, not all rooms have windows, but you can always get a little air on the rooftop garden. To conform with Melaka city's preservation standards, the guesthouse wasn't allowed to build en suite baths, so all rooms here have shared bathrooms. Breakfast is included and it's gay friendly.
Aldy Hotel - Stadhuys : This boutique-style hotel opposite the foot of Bukit St Paul is a great choice for families. Worn grey carpet and decades-old decor darken the halls, but things perk up again in the rooms that are newly remodelled, modern and equipped with satellite TV. The on-site bistro is a great stop for Western favourites and fresh fruit juices.
Heeren House :The airy, clean and lovely rooms (six in all) in this former warehouse largely overlook the river, with polished floorboards, traditional furniture (some with four-poster beds) and clean showers. This is one of the more unpretentiously restored places in town - it's beautiful in its simplicity. A window-lit cafe is in the foyer - perfect for trying the daily baked goods over the morning paper.
Hotel Puri : One of Chinatown's gems, Hotel Puri is an elegant creation in a superb old renovated Peranakan manor house. Its elaborate lobby, decked out with beautiful old cane and inlaid furniture, opens to a gorgeous courtyard garden.
Standard rooms have butter-yellow walls, crisp sheets, satellite TV and shuttered windows. There's an on-site spa and breakfast is included.
Jalan Taman Melaka Raya & Around
This area is close to some of Melaka's better bars and nightlife, plus it's only a short walk to the historic centre and Chinatown.
Samudra Inn : This charmingly homey place is for lovers of peace and quiet. Caged birds chirp softly in the courtyard area, but other than that you won't hear a peep out of anyone. There are kitchen facilities if you want to cook and ex-teacher owners take extra steps to make sure their guests are comfortable, such as taking lone visitors out to dinner.
Shirah's Guest House : Brightly painted walls and a gentle Malay welcome make this place sit somewhere between a backpackers and a homestay. Some rooms have balconies and all have high ceilings.
Emily Travellers Home : Enter the humble entrance off the busy road and it feels like you've stepped into another dimension filled with plants, koi ponds, a bunny hopping around (named Mr Playboy) and happy, mingling people. Every room in the heritage building and its annexes is different, from funky cottages with semi-outdoor 'jungle showers' to simple wooden rooms in the house - the dorm rooms have only two beds apiece. The whole place is decorated with recycled or found objects, including a very cool coffee table that transforms into a barbecue. Rates include breakfast and all-day tea or coffee.
Travellers' Lodge: This is one of the more social and deservedly popular backpacker places in town. The kick-up-your-feet common area has an elevated platform TV lounge with cushions and mats strewn about - per-fect for lounging. Rooms are all clean, have windows and tiled floors and the sheltered roof terrace is a boon, dotted with flowers and plants.
Kancil Guesthouse :About a 10-minute hoof from Chinatown, this guesthouse is in an elegant, immaculately kept, open and airy heritage home that offers spacious and comfortable rooms (all with fan). You'll want to wander the house, which is lovely and deep, with a gorgeous garden out back. The owners are pleasant and helpful. Bus 17 goes past here.
Fenix Inn : Efficiency is the name and business is the game at this crisp hotel. Rooms are small and characterless, but most have a window. A particularly good crop of terminals for internet access make this a good choice for anyone who has to work on the road.
Malacca Straits Hotel : Smack up against the Hotel Equatorial, this hotel calls itself a 'batik boutique' hotel, and it's not a bad description. Ask to see a room or two here before you decide; all are spacious but only about half have hard-wood floors and a handful are furnished with some especially nice teak furniture.
Holiday Inn : Boldly facing historic Melaka like a gleaming white middle finger, this brand-new Holiday Inn is absurdly tall and doesn't have a single heritage quality about it. Rooms are comfy and carpeted yet bland. Ask for a top-storey room for fantastic views over the Strait of Melaka. Hotel Equatorial . The Hotel Equatorial can't be beaten for its location near the historic centre. While it's a bit frayed around the edges, good discounts online can cut prices nearly in half, making this elegant choice excellent value. It's worth upgrading to a deluxe room, which have either balconies or heaps of extra space. Special packages are available through the hotel, which include tours and specials such as cookery courses Room prices include a RM88 meal credit at any of the hotel's four restaurants.Little India to Bukit China
This is one of the busiest and traffic-clogged areas of Melaka, but it's convenient if you're visiting on business and is relatively close to all the sights.
Eastern Heritage Guest House : With one foot in Chinatown and the other in Little India, this superb though deteriorating 1918 building, with Peranakan tiling and impressive carved panelling, has lots of open spaces with plenty of natural light. There's a dipping pool, sunroof area, a downstairs common room and breakfast is thrown in. The upstairs dorm is airless and bland, but double and single rooms are brightened up by original murals on the walls.
Tony's Guesthouse :This is a scatterbrained, old-school hippy backpacker's place that looks like an ap-pealingly untidy artist's living room. The host couldn't be friendlier and it's a great place to meet other budget road warriors over tea.
Aldy Hotel - Chinatown : While the name says it's in Chinatown, this second location of the Aldy boutique hotel (opened in 2008) is actually outside the main Chinatown heritage centre on the busy thoroughfare of Jin Bunga Raya. The 16 rooms, housed in a 1966 building, are comfortable and verging on trendy.
City Bayview Hotel : This hotel with a modern edge has a smallish pool, dance club and breakfast included in the room price. The views over the old town from some rooms are quite spectacular. This is a favourite with families, and kids will enjoy the rather weird ; computerised speaking lift.
Renaissance Melaka Hotel : The take advantage of views that sweep over Melaka in all directions, while the spacious rooms, equipped with comfy beds, are modern and chic while incorporating classic Chinese touches. Build up a sweat in the squash courts or at a yoga class then sink a drink in the pub (with regular live music).
Majestic Malacca : This elegant new hotel is an interesting mix: the lobby is in a 1920s colonial-style mansion while the bulk of the hotel is in a modern high-rise built behind. Rooms continue with this old and new theme with hardwood floors, sheer ivory-coloured drapes and heritage-style wood furnishings (including claw-footed bathtubs) - yet all are very modern in their sublime level of comfort. Of course, the place is stacked with amenities including an outdoor swimming pool, a gyrn, spa and a library.
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