After two years of COVID restrictions, we are finally able to travel freely within the country. So, with a group of girlfriends we decided, on an impulse, to leave our husbands and children for one night and drive to Melaka.
This charming UNESCO World Heritage city is rich with history, culture, colonial buildings, ancient landmarks, and of course fantastic food. It is also just an hour and a half’s drive away, making it ideal for a quick getaway and a nice respite from KL city life. The question was: where do we stay?
A lot can change in two years, so we had to do a quick hotel search to see what accommodation was available. All of us decided that a boutique hotel named Liu Men sounded perfect.
A place with a history
On arriving at the hotel on Jalan Tokong, you cannot but be awed by the beautiful white facade of the building. We found out that just before the outbreak of the Second World War, there were six shophouses at this address, tenanted by six families.
After the war ended, the families moved out, and the shophouses were transformed into one large family home. It now belongs to the Pang family of the Mamee – Double Decker food business. They were the ones who restored the building to its former glory, opening it to the public as a stylish boutique hotel in 2019. They also named it Liu Men, meaning ‘Six Doors’, in a nod to its past history.
Upon entering the lobby you notice that, although modern in style, the place still retains colonial and heritage elements, blending Art Deco and Peranakan styles with family heirlooms tastefully displayed throughout the interior. The lobby sets the mood of the hotels’ interior with its black and white walls and flooring, and bursts of colour coming from the furniture, crockery, paintings and floral arrangements.
Continuing on to the courtyard, you are immediately attracted to the magnificent red cast iron spiral staircase and the glass sky roof. The attention to detail is amazing. Everywhere you look there are beautiful surprises, whether it’s the gold rimmed hexagonal chandeliers, the exaggerated royal blue lounge chairs or quirky antiques, such as an old radio or vintage telephones and fans.
Private balcony or red bath tub?
There are 30 rooms in Liu Men, ranging from the grandest of all – the Parameswara Suite, which comes with its private balcony – to the serene and intimate Kapitan.
If you want something really unique, opt for the Cheng Ho suite where the bathroom comes with their signature free standing red bathtub. Each bedroom maintains the black and white walls with dark wood floors and the occasional red accents like the bathrobe and slippers. The beds are plush and comfortable with six pillows of various sizes, which ensured a very comfortable sleep.
The bathrooms are just as impressive in their understated elegance with Peranakan tiles, ebony framed mirrors and copper finished fixtures. We found the L’Occitane toiletries a welcome touch.
The room also offers complimentary water and a selection of snacks as well as local delicacies (pineapple tarts anyone?) at turn down service.
The hotel only serves breakfast and high tea (on request) at the moment, but tea and coffee and local sweets are served throughout the day in the courtyard.
The morning spread offers pastries, cereals, fruit and an à la carte menu of a few local dishes. All of them were done to perfection and the coffee was excellent.
There is a Japanese restaurant in the same building called Hamasho Bistro, serving Asian fusion cuisine. Unfortunately, it was closed during our stay.
Service with a smile
You cannot have a great hotel without great people. The Liu Men staff are amazing – polite, friendly and accommodating. From the concierge to the housekeeping and right down to the restaurant staff, all of them made us feel welcome and all were ready to assist in any way possible. They were also very knowledgeable with tips on all the nearby attractions and where to shop and eat.
There are many lovely boutique hotels in Melaka, but Liu Men really stands out. The stunning decor, fantastic location just metres away from all the key attractions, the attentive and helpful staff all made for a wonderful and memorable stay. It has all the modern facilities whilst retaining its old world charm.
Saying that, I got the impression that, whilst I’m sure young guests would be very welcome, the hotel is more suitable for couples or families with older children. It is more like an oasis of calm and serenity, which might not be the most suitable choice for the little ones. For our group though, it was the perfect getaway. Suffice to say we are all thinking of an excuse for our husbands to justify going back as soon as possible…!
If you’re looking for a place with a pool, a customised menu for children and other special amenities or activities, you may appreciate DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel better for example. Our review here!
More info about the hotel here on their FB page. Address: 46-56 Jalan Tokong, Melaka. The hotel offers free private parking on site.
This post is written by Agnes Bartoszek.