If you are looking for an affordable, clean, comfortable, convenient, charming, historic hotel in Malacca, Malaysia, I don't know how you could do any better than Hotel Puri. Located in the heart of the historic district, the hotel provides an intimate, local experience. Seriously, why would you stay in a big, modern, could-be-anywhere hotel when you can enjoy a true-blue Peranakan experience staying here?
The hotel is in the renovated home of a wealthy Straits Chinese businessman. When you see pictures of the renovation in the hotel's "history room," you'll be amazed at the finished results.
The lobby is part of the original home and is light and airy thanks to the large light well in the middle of the room. These used to be open to the elements, letting in light, air and yes, rain. The one in the Hotel Puri is now closed up. It still lets in the light, but the air con keeps the place cool. It's decorated with classic ornate furniture featuring intricate designs of inlaid mother-of-pearl.
Past the check-in counter is another room filled with historic objects. Shady garden courtyards flank either side of this room. Breakfast is served in one of them (the Heliconia garden). You can wait out the afternoon heat enjoying drinks in the other. Some of the hotel suites are located at the back of the gardens.
This was a girls' trip and we booked a triple room. The room was in the modern addition upstairs. It was very basic - three single beds side-by-side with a lamp in between each. But it was very clean and comfortable and we weren't planning to spend much time in there anyway. The wi-fi worked great in there. The bathroom was clean and modern with great shower pressure. One minor hiccup - it was a triple room but there were only two coffee sachets! Horrors!
Breakfast in the courtyard is a lovely way to start the day. The buffet is quite comprehensive with Western and Asian dishes available.
As for that spa -- When I booked the hotel I noted that it had a spa, but I didn't know how NICE the spa was. Since we were only there for two days, we just booked foot scrub/massages for two of our traveling party (the other enjoyed a Tiger beer in the aforementioned garden.) Do yourself a favor and do at least that. Or do yourself a bigger favor and plan some time for a full massage or other treatments.
The hotel is located just one street over from the famed Jonker Street. You can also walk to the river cruise launch point and to all the other sites in the historic district of the city. (During our stay the sidewalk in front of the hotel was being redone so it was quite hazardous getting in and out of there. Hopefully that will be finished soon.)
The hotel does not have a pool and other than breakfast I don't know what other food it serves. But there are plenty of cafes nearby (the Geographer Cafe is just a block away).
We enjoyed our stay at the Hotel Puri and would definitely book it again if returning to Malacca.