Malacca has always been our choice destination to break up the journey to or from Port Dickson. This time, we hit on a gem of a place to stay and that made all the difference in our two-night stopover. Calanthe Artisan Loft is a two-storey shophouse in the Jonker Street area.
Unlike the other hotels in the area, the original shophouse has not been converted into dozens of rooms. Instead, we got the whole place, lock, stock and barrel to ourselves!
Hubby and Shannon at the main door. The place is run by the multi-talented Joe, who is also a jewellery-maker, cafe owner and history buff rolled into one. He doesn’t live there. He hands us the key and goes back to his shop, popping by once a day to water the plants outside.
The living room of the shophouse, which reminds us of our grandma’s furniture… in a good way!
The kids exploring the place. Jason is opening the doors to an air-conditioned TV room with huge beanbags.
The TV room where they spent many happy hours!
The hallway leading to the kitchen straight ahead and stairs to the loft room on the left.
Up a steep flight of steps and there are two double beds. Perfect for the four of us. The drapes are a must because of the mosquitoes. That might be my only gripe about the place.
The kitchen with a garden! Love, love, love.
Filled with everything we needed, but hardly had time to use.
Outside, drainage pipes are transformed into an ingenious work of art and a herb garden.
One of the best things about the place – our own private parking. No need to fight with the rest of the Jonker guests or residents for parking or risk getting fined by a parking attendant. It is only one of two shophouses in the area with a car porch – because a bomb was dropped right about where our car is, during WW2…! The bomb took off the original front room and roof of the shophouse and the space was left as it is. In fact, under the floor rug outside the main door, is the sealed cover of a former well.
Shopping was literally steps away from our door. After a lazy few days in Port Dickson, I was ready to go out and look around. It was so convenient to run out for a quick bout of shopping, or send the kids back if they were tired.
Hubby’s favourite activity, while I took the kids out for walks!
We girls got ourselves matching floppy hats!
Gazing longingly at one of the lovelies displayed to attract little girls like her!
A surprise find was the weekend night market. We were about to go somewhere else for dinner when we heard there was a night market just round the corner.
We ended up having dinner there and Shannon loved the assam laksa in between big gulps of water.
Joe, the history buff, is also a licensed tour guide. He does mainly small group tours for his guests. So he took the four of us out on our last morning in Malacca, for a three hour walking tour that was one of the best tours I’ve had in a long while. We told him we doubted our city-bred kids would be able to take the three-hour walk. But he reassured us we could stop any time they were tired. Amazingly, they walked the whole journey with just a quick Mcdonald’s break in between.
Reason? He’s an animated story teller. Instead of regurgitating facts or numbers, he told the kids stories about the Dutch, the Portuguese, the British, that had Jason riveted. Historical facts were mentioned in passing if salient to the story.
He quizzed them from time to time and that was how I realised Jason was in fact listening because he called out the correct year for one of the questions Joe asked. Don’t ask me which year…
He fielded all our questions knowledgeably. He shared interesting nuggets of information that only kids would be interested in…
Shannon made it all the way up A Famosa counting the steps along the way.
Entertaining herself while waiting for the boys to finish their tour.
We had a good time in Malacca, and recorded our favourite parts in a postcard we sent to ourselves!