Melaka has a laid back charm of an old town but for the hordes of tourists flocking the historical city of Melaka day in and day out. Only those with more than average patience could stand hours of traffic into the heart of Melaka over the weekend, especially with the road construction, as at April 2016. So, in between my two business trips, I decided to spend a night in Melaka to experience the romance of the old days of Melaka, which could only happen during the weekdays when the narrow roads are less crowded.
Not knowing where to stay, I parked my car at the open car park in front of Casa Del Rio for RM4 per entry. The car park closes at 12am. However, you can still park at the open parking at your own risk. Since I informed the car park guy that I wanted to park overnight, he suggested that I parked my car close to the Casa Del Rio entrance because the guard from Casa Del Rio would be on the watch.
Walking towards the M Café, I came across a row of shop houses in Straits Eclectic style along Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, which was formerly known as Heeren Street. Originally, it was called “Kampung Belanda” and later nicknamed as the Millionaires’ Row because the wealthy Straits-born Chinese (Peranakan Cina/ Baba & Nyonya) chose to live there.
Wandering aimlessly to find a place to stay in a court shirt is not fun. My crazy craving for Malay traditional kuih put myself on auto-pilot and had me walking to Jalan Hang Kasturi in search for the best onde-onde in town at Kedai Aku dan Dia. The Malay old lady who occupied the beautiful Peranakan house wore a pair of sunglasses. The last time I paid her a visit, she just had an eye operation. A bag of 5 pieces onde-onde costs RM2.00. It is a tad bit too expensive, but I would consider it as okay price as she used the real gula melaka instead of the mixed one.
As I continued walking, I wanted to eat at Le Que Restaurant at Heeren Street, but a pungent urine smell penetrated my nose and turned me off from the restaurant; its Pisang Sira Gula Melaka made me drooling earlier. A lot of shophouses at Heeren Street were empty or at least had its door shut. Some antique shops were in quiet operation. I knew at the end of Heeren Street, there is Puri Hotel, which I had stayed once. It was not too bad a hotel housed in a Peranakan Cina mansion. But I wanted to try a different boutique hotel and I came across Courtyard @ Heeren with many Tripadvisor stickers on the glass door.
I went in to check the rate, which turned out to be RM200 – RM260 for the cheapest room. A little over my budget. But yeah, whatever for I only had 2.5 hours of sleep for the past 36 hours. As they had fewer guests, I was upgraded from Superior Room to Deluxe Room. Each room has a distinctive feel, with ornate beds, wood paneling, decorative carving and bamboo screening.
4 pillows and a bolster, definitely not sharing with anyone else.
The television had less than 5 channels; I would appreciate more selections for the price I paid for the room.
Over the décor screening was the bathroom with open air rain shower.
The flower motif Terra-Cota titles.
Courtyard @ Heeren has their own car park at the back of the hotel, but if you were to park at the open car park near Casa Del Rio, there is a shortcut which can be accessible by your room access card.
Location wise, Courtyard @ Heeren is 5 minutes’ walk from Jonker Street and Casa Del Rio. If you are a big fan of tandoori chicken, the famous Pak Putra Restaurant is just 10 minutes’ walk away.
The wifi connection was good! But I heard over the weekend, it might get a bit lagging for sharing is caring.
The next morning I was sent for breakfast at the shop across the street. The restaurant was located in the second hall as the first hall was a souvenir shop. As there weren’t many guests, buffet breakfast was not available. So I have entertained a la carte. western menu The Nyonya who took my order was very friendly and kept on checking on my needs from time to time. When she saw my medicine, she offered to bring a glass of warm water. First class hospitality, indeed. What made my morning breakfast was when I was served with a plate of nyonya kuih, a glaring reminder of authentic Melaka breakfast and that put to shame my western breakfast. The nyonya came again and asked if I would like a refill for the nyonya kuih. I told her I wish I had more time to enjoy her kuih but I was running late for court and I had to excuse myself.
My room description says I am entitled to a daily newspaper and I remember ticking News Straits Times as my selection of newspaper. But, the newspapers never arrived at my room’s doorstep. I am very particular about getting newspaper sent in the morning especially when it was represented that I would be getting my morning newspapers.
I would recommend staying at Courtyard @ Heeren, Melaka for its locality to Jonker Street, the vibe of traditional Peranakan house and for the experience staying in the old town of Melaka.