Melaka has almost half of my life footprints in it since I frequently spent so much time gallivanting around this beautiful state. And yet, every visit is still filled with new knowledges and new surprises every single time. This time around, I am part of squad #YTLNomad as part of the YTL hotel’s social media engagement program. We started the first leg of this staycation at the Majestic Hotel Melaka. The hotel itself is a historical building as a house to a former tycoon back in the 1920s and as a wealthy businessman to impress his guests, every piece of the house was luxuriously designed and built and impressively being preserved and took over by the YTL group long after it was sold off when the family couldn’t afford it anymore. There were days when the mansion turned hotel did not sustained but the property took a turn when YTL group took over the acquisition in 2006. After some brilliant restoration, a new building was added at the back, connecting the beautiful mansion to a ten storey building. Remaining Colonial- Peranakan heritage with gorgeous finishing of beautiful furnishing and replica of antique details, it is probably the closest to the heritage of Melaka.
A welcome tea awaits as soon as we checked in and we head straight to the restaurant lounge right at the heart of the mansion for the one of a kind Afternoon tea, featuring the sweet treats of Peranakan Heritage. A little rest after, we gathered for dinner and tasted not only the unique flavour of yet another unique diversity of Malacca, but also a walk through the cultural heritage of the Kristang community in the state with our host in the mansion as we savour the delicious Kristang dishes that has the most beautiful an interesting culinary history. The Kristang is a representation of traces and descendant’s hybrid of when Portugal claimed Malacca port, when the settlers then married the local women. Their cuisine, characterised by plenty of spices and local herbs, and a heavy use of coconut is a well representative of harmonious cosmopolitan flavour. I am not a certified gastronome but it has come to my understanding and agreement that the Kristang represents the root of Melaka as a renowned hybrid as much as the Peranakan Baba and Nyonya, which the hotel also pride themselves on. There’s a great intense of fiery dishes but is at the same time with potent sugar as most Malay dishes would be exhibit. Plenty of well-known peranakan dishes on the menu, yet I was told that the resemblance of the two can be a whole chapter of history study all by itself. I was really looking forward to some Keluak during my stay. Alas, it is a produce that is rare to gather in consistent.
Bath tub me time
Daily Nyonya kuih in the room in the evening. I look forward to this every evening. Opening the basket to see what’s the kuih of the day was a delight.
Best way to taste local kuih in colonial vibe. Read my post on this High Tea here
Appetiser and dessert at dinner , featuring Kristang specialty.
Which leads to the highlight of the Kristang cooking class (or should it be the cook-off session) when we participated in The Kristang Culinary Journey. The journey begins with a visit to the local market, guided and vastly interactive with the friendliest people you could ever meet, as we were being introduced to the common herbs and spices commonly used in Kristang cooking. The Chef will lead you through a private cooking class, upon returning to the resort. But we obviously turned the place upside down, it’s really just a fun and casual cooking class. Aprons and hats and some light refreshments were all provided and the market tour includes transportation back and forth so there really isn’t much to prep ahead. After all, it is a staycation isn’t it? Bring an open mind and the heart to accept different cultural knowledge.
When influencers gather is predictably common with plenty of shenanigans, mostly shutter involved, so it was of course crazy with extra fun and noisy, I almost felt a little embarrassed with all the unnecessary attention that we are getting in the market. I was worry we could be interrupting the business of the local stalls and vendors but the locals were accommodating and most warm and friendly to show us and teach us some of the rare and extraordinary sized produce we would sometimes hardly notice in any dish, no matter how great of a foodie you can be.
Adam and Emily (@papertigress) were out hunting for ikan hering (kipper) because Adam loves it so much, while Mar (@onceinalifetimejourney) and Jub were all about the raw form of most ingredients in Jub’s vegan meal. I’m not gonna get started with veganism now but myself experienced quite an eye-opening trip to this Pasar Besar in Melaka. Charis (@charissachong) and Alex both took this opportunity to practice couple shopping, I guess. Haha… That two love bird is the sweetest.
I would really say we did well….. ok fine, the team did well…. hahaah.. (I was really giving plenty of moral support there … And, I styled this flatlay)
The dry part of the market with literally ALL the ingredient I can think off
The most beautiful bunga kantan I’ve seen. It would be so fabulous to be able to buy bunga kantan like this one for my styling work but it is rather sad to say that this is almost quite impossible in KL.
The Kristang Culinary class isn’t the only thing offered by the Majestic Malacca because there is a Historical Walk with a very knowledgeable and friend guide who is able to walk us through the charm of the evidences of the legacy of the Malay Sultanate, Chinese, Indian, Portuguese, Dutch and British, from the narrowest alley to some prominent historical landmarks, as well as stories of the preserved culture and some of the interesting heritage traditions.
I managed to snap a photo of this popular instagram wall with a nice sunlight shadow cast .
Also at the hotel is the Gin’ O ‘clock where guests can head to the Bar at the Ground floor and give it a go at making your own cocktail based on the provided recipe carts. Now don’t worry, cause someone is obviously there to guide you. We tried the Pandan-Infused Gin & Tonic (RM35), Malacca Collin (RM40), and the Celery Gimlet (RM40) which turns out to be my favourite.
Emily is totally dressed to blend into the bar and she looks absolutely stunning with a perfect colour match.
Lastly, go for a spa session at the Spa Village. We were carefully guided through with a step by step rejuvenation and relaxation starting with a quick questionnaire to have the best treatment most suited to each of our preferences. The Spa village in The Majestic Malacca here is the world’s only spa with therapies base on healing heritage of the Peranakan Baba and Nyonya culture. Some may say this is the perfect gimmick but myself have experience the tranquil and serenity throughout the session of full body massage starting with a hair wash, and a muscle relaxing and rejuvenating full body massage. I would come back just for the spa session alone. They’ve meticulously crafted each steps of pampering session with detailed treatments it is ideal the destress both the mind and body, and at the same time incorporating the heritage of Peranakan Baba and Nyonya. Read about my Spa session here .
Throughout the staycation has plenty of leisure time we managed to do some walking about, had some Longkang Siham (here for the blog entry) Charissa wanted, and got some bitter herbal tea in the middle of the night by the street ! The kind of experience you can only get in this beautiful town of Melaka.
L-R Bottom: Adam, Mar, Charissa, and Jub at the herbal tea ( Alex is the only one enjoying the bitter herbal tea btw)
L-R , Top: Emily, Jub (not eating cause he is a vegan) , and Alex for longkang siham .
The Majestic Malacca can be a destination on itself with and if anyone is looking for a staycation to fully experience the art and heritage of what the state can offer, this proven is the perfect place to check in. Next up as team #YTLNomad, we head to Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur, so stay tuned for the next blog entry.
The Majestic Malacca is at:
188 Jalan Bunga Raya
75100 Melaka, Malaysia
+6 06 289 8000
Here’s my itinerary recommendation for a 4 days 3-night of super chill staycation to fully enjoy Melaka heritage :
Arrival at the hotel at 3pm assuming departure from KL at noon. Afternoon high tea at the dining lounge followed by a quick tour at the mansion. Dinner at the hotel/ around the neighbourhood. I recommend New Wang Food court within walking distance.
Join the guided tour of the Historical Walk, and be back on time for the Gin O’clock evening cocktail session. Take a night river cruise or stroll around the town. Retrace the historical walk, this time on your own and a different sight of the street when the sun goes down.
Market tour in the morning for the Kristang culinary class at noon. After savouring lunch, head to The Spa Village for a Spa session before dinner and maybe another session of cocktail at a local hidden bar I’ve recently posted, called the Xiao Bar (Read about it here)
Check out and bid farewell to the warm staffs at the mansion.
Watch the highlights of this staycation with #YTLGroup as part of #YTLNomad influencer program, for more of other videos on this collab engagement, follow my Youtube Channel.