Updated: Dec 16, 2019
I mentioned before in a previous post: Singapore to Malacca on a Shoestring that my preferred lodging in Malacca, Malaysia, is Hangout@Jonker. Its main branch is located in Emily Hill, Singapore, and named Hangout@mt.emily. It is a Singapore-management hotel.
Now, more on why I prefer Hangout@Jonker in the old town of Melaka.
My first time in Melaka, was in 2006 and subsequently in 2010, 2013, 2015, four times in 2016 and latest visit in February 2017. As a budget traveller, I prefer to stay in guest houses when in Melaka be it solo or with companions. And the best place to stay is right in the old town itself, being in closer proximity to almost everything in the historical city. Basically, eat, see, sleep and idle in cafes within a radius of 700 metres — the historical city of Melaka is about that small.
Melaka's ancient Chinatown used to be pretty serene from my first two visits. After Melaka and Georgetown, in Penang, was designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008, things started to change. Apart from rapid developments, the old town is also losing its tranquility at night. All thanks to the rickshaws with their loudspeakers and, recently, a new pub that setup shop to blast rock musics into quiet nights — on weekdays too.
It is annoying to be awakened from sleep every night by rickshaws that passed by guest houses in the old town with their loudspeakers blasting away. Some can still be heard past midnight. Since 2016, I sort-of "abandoned" the antiquated, rustic guest houses with wooden walls and flooring. It's not the fault of these guest houses, they need to preserve the ancient architectures, but I need my sleeps. And I found Hangout@Jonker on Agoda.com.
Guess what? I stayed at Hangout@Jonker ever since. Five times till date. Below are the whys.
Hangout@Jonker is situated near the main junction of Jonker Street, close to Tan Kim Seng Bridge, which spans across the Melaka River. This is the main bridge that links the old town to the historical sites and commercial zone (hotels and shopping malls).
From the map, Hangout@Jonker is at the centre of main activities, such as places of interests, the old town, eating places, shopping malls, other hotels, etc.
On arriving in the historical city by local Bus 17 from Melaka Sentral, drop at the Dutch Square (or "red houses" to the bus drivers), where the famous Christ Church is. Cross the main road and head towards the bridge. After crossing the bridge, turn left after passing H&M. You should see the 5-storey hotel. It is only 100 metres from the bus drop-off point.
If you are going by other means, do download iPackTravel (iOS only) and use the Location Finders to find the hotel. The coordinates are Lat: 2.1948151, Long: 102.2481726. It is easier to enter coordinates in iPackTravel then in Google Maps or Apple Maps.
The lobby is the reception area and for non-guests. The glass panel separates the lobby from the common area, which is accessible by electronic key-cards.
After check-in at the counter, registered guests will be issued with key-cards to access the main door, the lift and their rooms.
The Common Area
The common area is where guests can use Internet PCs and have breakfasts. There are free flow of hot and cold water, coffee and tea — 24 hours. Cold drinks, bottled mineral water and instant noodles are available for sales.
To go up to the rooms, use the key-card to access the lift. The key-card will automatically select the level where the room is on.
A windowless single room with attached bathroom. The most quiet place on Earth. This was where I stayed when I went solo to spend time in tranquility.
A glimpse of the bathroom of a single room. Bigger rooms may have bigger bathrooms.
A standard room with a window but faces away from the road. The rooms are always clean when check-in. And they will not be tidied when occupied. Towels are not changed daily to reduce negative effects on the environment and keep room rates low. But, they can be done upon request (preferably for more than 3-days stay).
A twin-bed room (triple-bed room will also be similar). It is a spacious room with three windows. This was where I stayed on my latest trip. But...
The windows of this unit face the road. As mentioned above, loud musics from rickshaws and a new pub opposite the hotel have became noise nuisances, not just to Hangout but to all hotels and guest houses in the vicinity. Don't be disheartened yet, ask for windowless units towards the back of the hotel. They are pretty quiet and also closer to the lift.
I never need windows, apart from being able to look outside (unless there are nice views), they are openings for unwanted lights and noises. Most people draw the curtains in hotel rooms anyway.
On the 4th floor (ground floor is not 1st floor in Malaysia), follow the arrows to the rooftop, which is accessible from 8am to 10pm. The photo above was the view on one side of the hotel. The other side will be the roofs of buildings along Jonker Street. Directly in front of the hotel? Well, they are obscured by the newly-erected H&M building. Otherwise, the rooftop would have a wide view of the Melaka River and probably the red-painted structures in the Dutch Square.
Breakfast is from 7:30am to 10:30am in the common area. It's free. Bread and toasters are available at the pantry. Self-service.
Hot water, coffee and tea sachets, jams and margarine, utensils, on the wall table.
A simple breakfast with toasts and coffee. After breakfast, do wash all utensils and clean the table so other guests can use them. Self-service.
I don't usually take breakfast at the hotel, except for a cup of coffee while waiting for my companions (if any). There are a lot of nice food options in the old town, such as dim sum, noodles, traditional breakfast sets, etc. Those are what I go to Malacca for, different local tastes every morning. This is one of the reasons why I don't stay in luxury hotels, where I have to pay to eat their breakfasts, and probably the same thing every morning.
Local Food around the hotel
WiFi is available in all rooms and the common area.
Hangout@Jonker is a budget hotel with no frills, so the rates can be very much lower. Rates are seasonal, so check them on Agoda.com. Normally, booking with Agoda.com (with discounts) is usually cheaper than walk-in — personal experience.
Going to Malacca in the near future? Stay at Hangout@Jonker.
Get to Malacca for S$10?