Wow. I think that's a good way to start. This guesthouse was one of the highlights of Mr 37tigers and I's Grand Malaysian Adventure... we'd 100% recommend it.
We stayed for 2 nights, but it felt like a week, leaving relaxed and chilled, despite the buzzing central location just of Jonker Walk. And it really is just off Jonker Walk – one street back, less than 2 minutes to all the stalls, bars and food hawker fabulousness.
It's probably best to start, well, at the beginning. You know you're in for a special experience when your taxi pulls up outside what looks like a museum. In fact it is. Well, next door is anyway – the Baba Nonya museum, where you can learn all about a very Melakan people. Well worth a visit. But I digress...
The building itself is stunning, the servants quarters of a wealthy Baba Nonya family. Victorian tiles that'll be familiar to British visitors contrast stunning chinese carving, mosaic work and wow-factor 'airwell' – shaft through the middle of the building with a pond at the bottom, opens to the sky at the top, complete with a pet terrapin! This airwell keeps the communal spaces feeling light and airy and is certainly dramatic when it storms. Beautiful and practical...clever lot, these Baba Nonyas.
The guesthouse is also home to a really cracking cafe... but more on that later.
So to bed. We'd requested a quiet double – travelling down from the Perenthians was bound to be a bit hectic, and we knew we'd need a good rest. Our room was exactly what we'd requested – in the centre of the building with a window out onto the communal areas. Not huge, but absolutely adequate, very comfy bed, immaculately clean, with good aircon. We slept brilliantly both nights we stayed. Decor in our room was simple, modern and tasteful, with some nice watercolours of local scenes. The only reason I can't give it an 'excellent' is the lack of ensuite... which brings me neatly to...
A note on bathrooms. Be prepared for shared. This is because, I believe, adding the plumbing for ensuites would contravene planning regs in this amazing historic building. Well done planning people – it would be a travesty to ruin such a beauty for the sake of an ensuite in every room. The shared bathrooms are very clean, close by, and there's even complimentary toiletries. Absolutely fine by me – just don't forget to take a robe with you!
The staff are friendly and offer lots of tips on what to visit – I'm terrible with names, but the one gentleman was an absolute star – David I think – suggesting places to visit, helping us organise our transport on to Port Dickson (cheaper and easier by taxi FYI!), and dishes to try... which neatly brings me onto the food.
Aaaaaah, the food. Now Malaysia, as you'll soon discover, is an absolute paradise for foodies. I put on about half a stone in 3 weeks it was SO good. But I would say the Cafe in 1511 was one of the food highlights. Be brave, go for the Malay breakfasts – amazing. The hardest thing is deciding what to have. And if you're not quite up to spicy noodles first thing, Mr 37tigers highly recommends the waffles! We also ate a lovely traditional Baba Nonya lunch here – we'd tried other significantly more expensive places whilst in Melaka, and the Cafe knocks them for 6.
One final note. Complimentary coffee 'tea bags'. Real (black) coffee can be a bit tricky to come by, so this tiny touch that made me very happy. So a big thank you Cafe 1511. You're stars, and if ever we're luck enough to be in Melaka again, you'll be our first port of call!
Not really related, but whilst you're in Melaka, we'd recommend: checking out the Baba Nonya museum (next door); the Hereen St restored shophouse (same street – walk towards the river, it's on your left) as a contrast showing how less wealthy people lived; being a complete tourist and taking a trip up the cheesy revolving tower to get your bearings; then relaxing on a riverboat tour, before mooching the backstreets to see what you can find to snack on. We stumbled upon a riverside satay stall, where some middle-aged ladies insisted we join their family table for a satay feast, giggling at our lack of satay-eating skills and smiling non-stop. Fantastic!
Ask for a quiet room so you're not facing the street – we were in the middle of the building and...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.