For anyone who is interested in the culture and history of a place, picking a heritage hotel for your holiday is a good way to extend the exploration into the inviting space you return to after a day in tourist mode. A good hotel does wonders to relax you after all. Malaysia is a top choice for short trips away from Singapore, even if just to unwind over a weekend. Trust these gorgeous heritage hotels around Malaysia to satisfy your escapism.
Great Heritage Hotels in Malaysia
1. Eastern & Oriental Hotel – Heritage Hotel in Penang
This iconic hotel situated at a prime seafront location in Georgetown needs no more introduction. The name itself is synonymous with the British colonial era in Malaya. First established as The Eastern Hotel by the Armenian Sarkies Brothers in 1884, the name changed to the Eastern & Oriental Hotel in 1889 after a merger.
The hotel offers all the trappings of luxury that let you experience the elegant living of a bygone era. Did we mention the legendary 24-hour butler service? Foodies will also know this place by the award-winning restaurant, 1885. Honeymoon-goers will love this place to bits!
2. The Majestic Malacca, Malacca
Pamper yourself at the most elegant establishment Malacca has to offer.
Located along the banks of the Melaka River, the history of The Majestic Malacca goes back to 1929. The hotel was built by a tycoon named Leong Long Man who furnished the mansion with imported Victorian tiles and exquisite furniture. The mansion remains as the heart of the hotel although a new building has been built to house the 54 lavishly decorated rooms and suites. The extension still gives you the unmistakable old-age elegant vibe.
3. Sarang Paloh Heritage Stay & Event Hall, Ipoh
This gorgeous Sarang Paloh Heritage Hotel located in the centre of Ipoh’s Old Town was once the famous Oversea Building and Yick Woh Building in the 1930s. The restored façade of the buildings are given a new lease of life with a coat of fresh paint, but the structure otherwise is left untouched.
Furnished with traditional timber flooring, each room is named after popular local birds to represent the distinctive features of each room. For example, the Green Magpie room is facing the tranquil water garden just like the bird itself that inhabits the evergreen forests.
4. The Majestic Hotel – Heritage Hotel, Kuala Lumpur
Situated on a serene hillside at the edge of the Lake Gardens, facing the Neo-Moorish style Kuala Lumpur railway station, the location couldn’t have been more perfect. Built in 1932, the 51-room hotel was constructed in a blend of Beaux-Arts and Art Deco styles, contributing to the glamour and grandeur of the building.
The Majestic Hotel is now restored to its former resplendent glory by YTL Hotel after its closure in 1983. Spend your afternoon indulging in the high tea selection in the midst of blooming orchids at The Orchid Conservatory.
5. The Jesselton Hotel, Kota Kinabalu
Right smack in the heart of the city, the Jesselton Hotel was built in 1954, after the World War II to redevelop the city. At the hotel lobby, you will be greeted with its charming pink marble interior. Though the hotel rooms come with modern amenities, the décor still retains a distinctive colonial allure.
6. Seven Terraces – Heritage Hotel, Penang
Banker-turn-hotelier Christopher Ong transformed seven Anglo Chinese conjoint decrepit shophouses built in the late 19th century into 18 splendid suites — and thus the name: Seven Terraces. The hotel is bound to transport you back to the romance and resplendence of the Peranakan Chinese era.
The strong colonial charm shines through the collected antiques such as Blackwood mother-of-pearl inlaid furniture and original Peranakan Chinese wedding bed. If you want to relive the golden era of Baba and Nyonya in the past, Seven Terraces is the hotel to go to.
7. The Ranee Boutique Suites, Kuching
Restored and modernised from two dilapidated 19th-century shophouses, this boutique hotel is anything but typical. The Ranee Boutique Suites tastefully fuses the rich colonial heritage with Sarawak’s indigenous cultures, create an attractive one-of-a-kind ambience.
The hotel is centrally located in the heart of Kuching’s Old Town, facing all the iconic landmarks: the riverfront, the Astana, and the State Legislative Assembly building. Don’t check out from the hotel without trying the popular Sarawak tipple: The Ranee’s Tuak — a local brew made from glutinous rice.
8. Ban Loong Hotel, Ipoh
Exposed brick walls, lofty high ceilings, rustic furniture — Ban Loong Hotel is a 102-year-old restored heritage building with bold characters. The building is the ancestor home of the Loh Family, which then was converted to a boutique hotel by the family in 2015 to cater to the surge of tourists in Ipoh.
Most of the original brickwork and the wooden beams of the building are preserved to maintain its historical character. There are only 9 rooms on the premises so you can expect warm hospitality from the staff, treating you like one of their big family members.
9. Temple Tree at Bon Ton, Langkawi
Each building is 70 to 110 years old. The owner bought these buildings, dismantled and then reassembled them at the Bon Ton estate which is nestled in the lap of nature, overlooking vast green spaces.
10. Courtyard at Heeren Boutique Hotel, Melaka
Located right in the heart of Jonker Street, this converted historic shophouses boutique hotel provides a glimpse of how the old Chinese and Peranakan merchants used to live. Heeren Boutique Hotel is nothing short of opulence and decadence, just like how they lived in the past (minus the opium!).
While the furniture and fittings of the rooms scream traditional (think about ornate four poster bed and decorative carvings), each room also comes with modern luxuries such as LCD TV, iPod and Android dockings with Bluetooth so that you can pamper yourself in style and convenience at the same time.
So many options! Uncover the heritage of Malaysia’s top cities on your next short getaway. You don’t have to hit the old boring museums to get a glimpse into their past.