English-style B&B Heeren House gives you a summary of modern Malaysia:
- most friendly and helpful owners,
- charging premium prices but not delivering up to the promise
- service and facilities having seen better times.
I would have loved if Heeren House would re-plaster their rooms. But in stead you get a clear view (as there are no curtains) from your window facing the latest modern Melaka tourist attractions: the Eye on Malaysia and the Malacca river cruise:
Unfortunately I bought a house in Malacca because I wanted to enjoy Heritage Historical Melaka. What you get is declining old charm and in stead of restoring old heritage buildings, Malaysian tourism opts for constructing:
- a new sight seeing tower (Malacca Tower – Menara Taming Sari),
- the new Eye of Malaysia and
- construction is on the way for a … roller-coaster …
If you expect to find good old English colonial charm in Malacca or all over Malaysia for that matter, be prepared to look hard or get disappointed real bad.
How did we started our stay in Malacca in Heeren House?
We should have had a look ourselves, but we just booked Heeren House out of the Lonely Planet book. What’s great for a backpacker like Ian Wright, therefore isn’t up to similar standards for retired backpackers like me and my wife who want some luxury when we pay for it.
At about 259Rm a night, we got a four-poster double bed at about half of the price you would pay at The Old Smokey House in Fraser’s Hill. Mind you, we had 2 extra beds to put our niece and nephew who had driven us here all the way from KLIA International Airport.
Once our siblings headed back to KL, we took a single room, for only 150RM or a bit less than $50. Still half the price compared to a stay at the 5 star Equatorial Hotel Malacca.
For us however, Heeren House was a perfect start to blend in with the locals. We kept on coming back during our winter stay. In the end all we needed was a decent room with all basic facilities and a chat with the owners to get to know Malacca from the eyes of the locals trying to make a living.
What to expect in Heeren House?
As with any B&B: if you love to spend lots of time with the owners -Bernard and Liz-, then Heeren House is a great choice.
With only 6 rooms, you better book way in advance. In our one week stay, we noticed that during the weekend, Heeren House was buzzing.
Heeren House is situated in the historic old quarter of town: a logical location to stay when you are visiting an historic town.
Each room has full or partial river view and comes with pretty basic facilities and without a closet.
English breakfast is included in their pricing… Being a food lover in food paradise Malaysia, you wonder why you get served good old boring English Breakfast. But I can imagine not everybody is as adventurous as we are in discovering Melaka food.
Prices are less for guest houses in the modern section of Malacca. However I prefer to pay a bit more for a place like Heeren House to be in the heart of old Melaka.