With a schedule packed with work, it is difficult for me to travel as often as I did. Therefore, like the millions of employees in Malaysia, I, too, have begun counting the days to the next public holiday.
You can imagine how delighted I was with the recent long weekend, which enabled me to sneak away to the historic city of Melaka, about 5 hours south from Ipoh by the North–South Expressway.
It has been a few years since I visited Melaka and welcomed the opportunity to get a product update. I was eager to experience something new, one of them being Encore Melaka. More on that in a future post.
My first stop was ibis Melaka (pronounced as i-bis), located within the UNESCO World Heritage Site, just on the fringe of Melaka’s Little India.
Opened for business on 23rd June, 2017, ibis Melaka, a member of French hospitality group AccorHotels, features a unique eye-catching English-style architecture, far different from its neighbours.
Its location is a definite plus point for me, someone who heavily depends on public transport. Ride hailing service, Grab, is available but unnecessary if you wish to visit mainstream attractions of the city, such as Christ Church, Dutch Square, A’Famosa Fort, Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, Jonker Street, Pahlawan Square, Jalan Bunga Raya (Melaka’s version of Ipoh’s Concubine Lane) and the vibrant F&B strip along Melaka River.
All these places of interest are within walking distance. I should know because that was what I noticed during my walk around. Walking is good exercise. Besides, I personally feel that I see more things on foot, as opposed to travelling in a vehicle, especially when I get lost. Haha
While an ideal location is always my top priority, I am big on comfort and services, too. The main purpose of going on a holiday is to refresh and rejuvenate not only the body, but the mind, above all.
Indeed, that was what I managed to do, with the friendly smiles and warm greetings, along with the soft, cosy bed that enveloped me as I laid my weary body down for the night, tired from rediscovering Melaka after a few years interval.
Boasting 249 well-appointed contemporary guest rooms, the categories are: Standard, Superior, Family, as well as Suite, all with the exclusively designed Sweet Bed by ibis.
For the convenience of guests, there is a garden gym that is equipped with a ceiling-to-floor wall that looks out to a lush garden, F&B outlet (ibis kitchen), bar (Savioe) and Lobby Bar Café.
ibis Melaka also makes a wonderful venue for meetings and conferences, as there are three function rooms and a banquet hall, to meet the requirements of modest-scale business or social events.
Before planning my trip to Melaka, I spoke to a few friends to get insider knowledge on what to eat while visiting Melaka. Armed with a list of ten eateries that locals patronise, my holiday almost became a food trial. In the end, I only visited one outlet, as most of my other meals were settled at ibis Melaka’s ibis kitchen.
Oh, why? Was it for the sake of convenience? Not actually. It’s because the dishes tasted too good to give them a miss! The culinary crew is led by Head Chef Mior, who used to serve at Ipoh’s Casuarina Hotel. Perakians know that Casuarina was the default caterer for the Perak palace. That experience really counts for something.
As both of us are from the same state and conversant in loghat (dialect) Perak, I had the privilege of visiting him at his “territory”. Do take note that the kitchen is usually only accessible to authorised personnel.
My accommodation already came with complimentary breakfast at ibis kitchen but that wasn’t enough for me. I had to go for their buffet, as well as sink my teeth into their Nyonya lunch set that included main courses of steamed fish in Nyonya sauce, ayam pongteh, and Nyonya chap chye.
My mouth-watering lunch wrapped up with a smooth crème caramel. There are two dessert options, actually. The other is Nyonya cendol. I would have both if I could, greedy me!
Oh, by the way, the Savioe (bar) is very happening at night, from about 8pm onwards. Photos not available as there were other guests dancing the night away. LOL
ibis Melaka may be a 4-star leisure/business-class city hotel, 3-stars according to AccorHotels’ international rating, but I give it five stars. Do I plan to return for another, longer stay? You bet!
Add: 249, Jalan Bendahara, 75100 Melaka, Malaysia.
Web: ibis Melaka
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