If you’re looking for a hotel situated at the centre of where the action happens, Jonker Boutique Hotel might be the place to stay during your next trip to Malacca.
At first glance this 1930’s British colonial style building is not much to look at, sure it’s imposing and art deco in style, but it’s a little grey and uninspiring. Upon stepping inside, however, you can expect the warmest of welcomes from this family run business.
The reception area is cosy with decor that draws on both English and Asian influences. The walls are panelled, much like an old English library whilst gold ornaments and red Asian style fans adorn the walls. Reception backs on to a pretty courtyard that houses lots of greenery in the form of potted plants, and adjoins the hotel to it’s very own cafe, aptly named ‘Jonker cafe’. Whilst we didn’t frequent that often due to numerous other places we were keen to explore, it’s ideal if you’re in need of an early morning caffeine fix.
The team at Jonker have got customer service nailed. Whether you need a restaurant recommendation, extra pillows, or just need to know where to get a decent cup of coffee, each staff member is more than willing to go that extra mile. We were met daily with friendly smiles and greetings; everyone from the receptionists to the owner himself made sure we were enjoying our stay. Our check in and out process was swift and efficient, just the way I like it. Customer service – tick.
Location wise it really can’t get any better. Nestled at one end of the famous Jonker Street, you’ll find yourself right in the heart of the old town that is UNESCO world heritage certified. With shops, cafes, historical sites, bars and restaurants all within walking distance you are in prime position to make the most of this quaint Malaysian micro city.
Be warned however, there is a cultural stage directly in front of the hotel. Whilst it’s great to witness various performances first hand, it can supposedly get a little loud over weekends. Though we didn’t experience this and all of the festivities tend to stop at a reasonable hour regardless. As the old saying goes ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ so if you’re visiting over a weekend I suggest you get out and enjoy it rather than sitting in your room! Failing that ask for a room at the back of the hotel when booking to guarantee a peaceful stay.
The 16 rooms on offer are all unique in design. We took a nosey round several of them and irrespective of budget or size of travelling party, there is something to suit everyone. Whilst the rooms range in size and price, from Superior (starting from RM198 per night) up to Grand Deluxe Family (starting from RM318 per night), there are certain traits that are consistent throughout.
First is the generous size of each room. Upon drawing up the plans for the hotel the team specifically opted for quality over quantity. I’m glad they did, fewer rooms means bigger rooms. Even the smallest one available at Jonker is more than comfortable for a couple sharing, whilst the Grand Deluxe Family room is huge with lots of space to relax. The high ceilings and light, bright interior all enhance the feeling of space.
Secondly, I always judge a hotel by it’s beds, and I was not disappointed here. Each room features a large bed, some of the Deluxe rooms even have the luxury of a four poster. The mattresses are comfortable and our pillows were plump – ideal for ensuring a good nights’ sleep.
The theme of this hotel is ‘old on the outside, new on the inside’. True to it’s word, the exterior of Jonker has retained it’s art deco facade, whilst the interior is modern in design. Most rooms feature signature, flocked wallpapered walls, modern fittings and chic black and white bathrooms.
Talking of bathrooms, an absolute must for me is a warm, powerful shower. Though our shower was over a bath instead of a walk in, the water was always warm with good pressure. Not a pathetic, trickling tap in sight – hooray! Our towels were also fluffy and changed daily. The selection of toiletries was also good. Forgot your toothbrush? Not a problem, Jonker provide you with one anyway.
Finally, I am also a stickler for having enough plug sockets to charge my numerous gadgets and gizmo’s. Hallelujah then that Jonker has plug sockets galore. What a novelty it is these days to be able to charge everything at the same time in a hotel. Wifi is also free and the connection is reliable.
One of few downside’s at Jonker currently is the lack of a lift. Pack light if you don’t fancy trekking up three flights of stairs with a heavy suitcase. That said, there are plans to make the rooms more accessible over the coming year and besides, we had a porter on hand to do all of our heavy lifting.
Given it’s size, there is not a huge amount of space to accommodate any additional features such as a swimming pool or gym. Though we spent our days exploring Malacca rather than being cooped up indoors, so we didn’t feel as though we had missed out.
Whenever I leave a hotel I think the best possible way to judge my stay is to decide whether or not I would return. The answer at Jonker Boutique Hotel is a resounding yes. It’s clean, it’s friendly, it’s in a fantastic location and were I to head back to Malacca I know exactly where I’ll be staying.
Expected Damage: From RM 236 a night