I stumbled upon this place while reviewing rooms on TripAdvisor when my usual place (The Chulia Heritage Hotel, another fantastic place) was fully booked. When the hotel blurb read 'converted coffee factory' I was immediately intrigued (I like Georgetown style coffee you see, the 'kopi peng' or iced coffee at Toh Soon Cafe being my favorite). I usually stay at backpacker-type digs, but decided to upgrade for this trip, so booked a room through Agoda.
I arrived on a Friday afternoon and walked to Lorong Stewart from the Jetty. its not too far away, and you get to walk along Lebuh Chulia, always an amusing place at any time of day. Once you reach Jalan Kapitan Keling and spot Eu Yan Seng, hang a right and walk a bit til you see the Goddess Of Mercy Temple. Take the left lane and just walk along it for maybe 5 minutes and you'll see the hotel.
I arrived and looked around for a your traditional hotel counter. There's none, which was a plus sign for me. The very perky and bubbly Filipino concierge (Razlyn? Rozlyn? I can't recall exactly) greeted me, checked me in and ushered me into the room. She took pains to explain to me the safety rules, the showed me into the drawing room... Yes. A drawing room. With an eclectic mix of groovy China pop-art and antique furniture decorating it. The lighting was just really somber and soothing. I got Suite 47A which was the lower ground unit.
Now as the website described it, there are only 4 units. I took it to mean there were 4 rooms. I was wrong. I got the entire lower ground floor of a converted turn-of-the-century shophouse all to myself! This was just plain awesome!
To enter the room, you'll enter through a vestibule first, then a small antechamber/ dressing room with another antique wardrobe and dresser, setting you up for the room proper. With a four poster bed and mosquito netting (only for you gwailos, us Asians are immune to mosquitos... plus there's no bugs whatsoever. Its a really clean place! I don't understand that reviewer who said he/she found this place disgusting. Probably a poor perpetually disgruntled soul taking it out on any place.), cozy lighting and lots of cushions and pillows, this was really, really nice.
The room leads into the rear kitchen/ bathroom area. you can still see remnants of the brick stove where families used to cook and prepare their meals. The bathroom is quite cool, with a 'kolah' type thing. For the mat sallehs out there, a 'kolah' is where water is filled up in a trough and you splash it over yourself as you bathe. Very old-school. The most charming thing about this area is the ceiling/ roof. Very light and airy, you can see and hear raindrops pitter-patter overhead when the skies pour.
Amenities are not lacking, you get groovy batik bathrobes, organic bath products, wi-fi, satellite tv. Location-wise its not 'dodgy' at all as some reviewers say (they're probably the type who flinches at a sneezing dog anyways). Walk up the street and you can go to the Camera Museum, quite an amusing place to spend an afternoon. Or walk back along the lane to Lebuh Kapitan Keling and gawk at the life, color and noise that is Little India. There's a bicycle rental shop just outside on Lorong Chulia/ Leboh Pasar.
Some points to note:
i. Breakfast is provided, yes its nice and the coffee is top-notch, but I'd rather have local food out there. A tip here: Walk up to Lebuh Campbell and have coffee at Toh Soon, or go to Argyll Road and have the awesome roti canai with the trademark red beef curry.
ii. Wi-fi is a bit dodgy inside the room, but if you sit in the drawing room outside, the reception is fine.
In short, I really like this place and I'd definitely come here again.
I think if you're travelling with a family, they'll automatically assign you to the top-floo...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.