Our Kuala Lumpur-Melaka trip was a mix of budget and luxury. We spent USD 5 for lunch and USD 200 for dinner the next night! Another luxurious escapade was spending a day at the Casa del Rio at Melaka. The Mediterranean architecture and balconies with bougainvillea reminded us of our accommodation at Mykonos two years ago, albeit without spending the airfare to reach Europe. Here is a snapshot of Casa del Rio…
Melaka was the seat of power during colonial times. Casa del Rio is a five minute walk from the Stadthuys, A’Famosa and St Paul’s church – the living and breathing colonial architecture.
Is bargaining at the local market your game? The Jonker Street is right next to the hotel. As always, it’s location, location location while zeroing down on our accommodation. Casa del Rio was perfect!
We loved our room – comfortable queen sized bed. I slept like a baby. Every room overlooks the Melaka river and has a small sit out balcony. Even if you are not a coffee drinker, you would want get a coffee mug and perch yourself on the balcony railing to watch the boats go by. Well, if sitting in the balcony is not your thing, dunk yourself in the bath tub, which also offers the river view! I cannot stop raving about the excellent toiletries, including bath salts and the fragrant cinnamon soap that the hotel provided. They even have a small bag to put the soap and carry it back. There is also a tiny squeaky water duck for the little ones to play with!
If you can spend a little more, the suites in the hotel are worth the money. Bigger rooms and bigger balconies. Order room service and have a relaxing meal…it’s ok to spoil yourself silly sometimes!
You can ‘walk’ around a ship while you are in Melaka! Obviously, the ship is not in water. The old ship forms part of the Maritime Museum in Melaka. Somehow, walking around it does not do justice to the grandeur of the vessel. You can get a perfect view of the ship while sipping a cocktail from the Casa del Rio. Oh, I forgot to mention… the view ‘feels’ even better when you are splashing in the infinity pool. The roof top/pool side bar is a great place to get an orange tan.
Besides the infinity pool, the hotel has a gym and a reading room with an exchange library and board games. Hush hush! The reading room has an unlimited supply of candies; enough to motivate us to read indoors while we were on vacation! Their souvenir shop needs a special mention – they have some excellent handmade cinnamon soap (which is also in the room). You will definitely want to pick up a few bars to take home.
When we got married, I was the spa fanatic. Now, Ankur and I sail in the same boat. This boat springs into action when we visit any country in South East Asia and had its sails unfurled in Melaka. Casa del Rio has an excellent spa with professional therapists. A one hour signature massage cost us approximately USD 50 each and was worth every penny.
There has to be a mention of vegetarian food on all our trips! And oh, lets not forget the drinks. Casa del Rio has a well stocked bar – great for a glass of wine in the evening or for a beer in the sunny afternoon. The bar and the restaurant, both are by the river to add some romance to the scene.
We had a delightful dinner at the River Cafe. Considering that we had been stuffing our cheeks with roti canai in Kuala Lumpur, we wanted to have a light dinner and hence, opted for the ‘steam pot’. We had never had one and the entire experience was interesting. The chef placed a little stove at the table which continuously heated up some flavoursome stock. We were given a tray full of noodles, greens, mushrooms, tofu and other assorted vegetables to add to the stock. Two minutes in the pan and then on our plates… and soon into our tummy – simple, fresh and healthy!
We had our breakfast at the River Grill. There was plenty to choose from – eggs to order, a spread of cereals, variety of cheese and jams, traditional Malaysian food including the Nasi Lemak and Roti Canai – lots of variety to keep the vegetarian souls happy.
We felt happy and special at the Casa del Rio. The resort aims to be ‘your home by the river’…and it does that really well. From the minute we reached the gates till the time we left, we were taken care of really well. Service standards were high, and it was service with a smile!
The next time that we are in Kuala Lumpur, we will make sure that we make time for Melaka, just to stay at the Casa del Rio once again!
Many thanks to Casa del Rio for hosting. Our views continue to be our own and we continue to rave and rant about things that pop into our mind!