I must be in a holiday mood. To celebrate Husband's birthday, I planned a roadtrip to Malacca, where we stayed for one night at the lovely YTL hotel, Majestic. OK this is a good deal alert right here--the Majestic Hotel was an excellent & not-really-expensive choice. It is a Peranakan-themed hotel and it was the little touches that made it enjoyable--like the jars of Peranakan sweets you could dip into free of charge at the lobby, or the fact that the bellboy serves you cups of Lychee Black Tea in Peranakan porcelain cups & teapot upon arrival at your room. There is also a Peranakan-themed spa--apparently, the world's only--but I wouldn't recommend it since it IS expensive. And finally, there is the lovely old colonial-styled furniture, replete with a four-clawed bathtub, and the nostalgic-throw-back-in-time restaurant that serves breakfast.
The Majestic is situated out of the Jonker Street area. Being more familiar with that area, having stayed at the Equatorial for multiple church camps, we were a bit worried we'd have nothing to do around the hotel. But no! From the window, we caught sight of something very curious--held snug in place by the winding river, we spotted a kampung, surrounded by high-rise buildings. It turned out to be Malaysia's oldest living kampung--Kampung Morten--and we visited the Villa Sentosa, a kampung house that had been converted to a living museum. What made the visit special was that it was hosted by the grandson of the former head of the village. Apparently, there will always be a relative around to host your visit, so it is very worth it. His grandfather was a former Justice of Peace in Malacca, a well-decorated man whom even King George officially thanked for his services. The story of the Kampung, and how it acquired this piece of land, and how it has been preserved, is an amazing story, and the house itself, a beautiful kampung house, is made of original wood 100+ years old.
Also near The Majestic is the start of the Malacca River Cruise, a new addition to the tourist scene in Malacca which has really opened up an entirely new view of the city. As we drifted past muralled shophouses & caught the sunset on the cruise, I really felt like we might be in some European country, if not for the karaoke music in Malay blasting in the background of course.
And the final surprise of our trip--The Majestic prepared a special chocolate cake with chocolate lettering, candles & matches all waiting for us when we returned from our cruise, and slow jaunt back to the hotel. They had even laid out quirky Peranakan plates & English-cottage napkins for our cake celebration! Amazing!
All in all, it definitely felt like a wonderful holiday and special treat!