Love the feeling of nostalgia? Then you’ll adore these seven classic heritage hotels in Malaysia that promise to take you back in time. The country – at least, the more touristy cities – may long have become strewn with high-rise buildings and glitzy mega malls, but it’s the classic properties that still maintain Malaysia’s charming antiquity.
Unsurprisingly, the best ones – from refurbished horse stables to period era concepts that kept up with the times – can be found in the capital Kuala Lumpur, and also the UNESCO World Heritage sites Malacca and Penang.
The Majestic Hotel, Kuala Lumpur
The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur is a classical colonial structure that quickly became one of the Malaysian capital’s top hotels after its launch in 1932, playing host to a myriad of glamorous social events and internationally-esteemed guests for decade after decade. Now, as a designated national heritage site, the hotel sees more contemporary facilities, a new wing, and luxurious elements throughout the building, including a screening room, card room, cigar room, and The Majestic Spa.
Prices: From USD101 per night
Anggun Boutique Hotel, Kuala Lumpur
Size isn’t the only thing that matters. Located next to the famous hawker food street Jalan Alor, Anggun Boutique Hotel is Kuala Lumpur’s only four-star traditional boutique hotel, with just 18 rooms to its name. Great care has been taken to bring back the charm of the past, especially since the hotel was converted from two 1920s shophouses. The rooms feature handcrafted teak beds, mahogany floors, and modern amenities like flat-screen TVs and free broadband access. Also, most rooms look out into a lush and peaceful inner courtyard that’s splendidly serene.
Prices: From USD58 per night
Eastern & Oriental Hotel, Penang
In Penang’s Georgetown, no hotel is so well known as the Eastern & Oriental is, established in 1885 and boasting famous literary names in its guestbook such as Somerset Maugham, Hermann Hesse and Rudyard Kipling. The majestic colonial building retains the same charm and grace it first possessed, featuring a brand new Victory Annexe consisting 128 sea-view suites with private balconies, in addition to the original 100-room Heritage Wing – all fitted with modern luxuries and amenities.
Prices: From USD134 per night
Seven Terraces, Penang
Built in the late 19th century, the Seven Terraces is a contiguous row of Anglo-Chinese terrace houses, located right around the corner from Penang’s iconic Goddess of Mercy Temple. Its expansive open courtyards and gorgeous lantern-lit interior make for an unusual hotel experience and an impressive draw for tourists. It’s worth noting that there are only spacious suites here, decked out in the splendour of the Peranakan era while being structurally similar to traditional Chinese houses, and there’s also a swimming pool, lounge, and the excellent Kebaya restaurant.
Prices: From USD167 per night
Muntri Mews, Penang
The fascinating Muntri Mews was created from what was a communal parking space for horse carriages, transforming Edwardian-era buildings into a luxurious accommodation complete with the original wooden windows, doors and trusses. It’s a small hotel, but the rooms are quaint, spacious, and clean with marble flooring, old enamel trays, equine saddles (because why not?) and framed old photographs taking you back to the late 19th century. Outside, a lush garden with three pavilions completes the ancient tropical vibes.
Prices: From USD125 per night
The Majestic Malacca, Malacca
Like its KL counterpart, The Majestic Malacca isn’t a towering mega-building laden with sky-high rooms. Still, the restored 1920s colonial mansion is stunning, showcasing the original porcelain tile floors, teak fittings, and delicate antiques curated to echo the history and culture of the city. Expect authentic Nyonya cuisine and an award-winning spa melding heritage and luxury – think a cooling bird’s nest facial and star fruit masks. What’s more, the open-concepts rooms and suites are all elegantly appointed with amenities like clawfoot bathtubs, floor to ceiling silk drapes, and a matching silk-upholstered chaise-lounge to look out over the river.
Prices: From USD158 per night
Courtyard @ Heeren Boutique Hotel, Malacca
A boutique heritage hotel right in the heart of Malacca’s Jonker neighbourhood, Courtyard @ Heeren offers an intimate glimpse into Straits Chinese culture – think an old world charm ambience scented with lemon grass and distinct rooms with all the modern luxuries you need, from LCD TVs to rain showers and mini bars. The style is traditional, featuring large ornate beds, decorative carvings, bamboo screenings, and lovely tiled floors, interplaying between modern and antique.
Prices: From USD58 per night
Top Image: Seven Terraces