For the past few years, boutique hotels and resorts have become one of the most desired accommodations among travellers, which may due to its well-designed architecture, personalised service and strong local identity and characteristics. Thus, it is no surprise to see that this kind of property is spreading rapidly in Malaysia to cater to tourists’ desire to staying at properties with a palpable sense of place.
Below is the list of our choice of boutique hotels and resorts that Gaya Travel thinks proudly feature the quintessential Malaysian style, which is drawn from the country’s multi-culture. Let’s escape, rest and even be inspired at these places!
1. Terrapuri, Setiu, Terengganu
Terrapuri (The Land of Palaces) features 29 Terengganu Malay classic houses that are over a hundred years old and converted into 20 lovingly restored villas, reception pavilion, gallery, beach house, private function pavilion, open-air dining pavilion and library. These houses stand out with its raised platform on stilts, triangular steep gabled roof, slightly curvy gable ends (peles), rhomboid-shaped terracotta roof and tiles and walls made of timber panels.
2. Kampung Tok Senik Resort, Langkawi, Kedah
Kampung Tok Senik’s environment itself speaks volume about the island’s culture and history. Rustic chalets harmoniously blend in with the lush greenery and diverse bird species, giving guests a quiet escapade far away from the bustling city. It also offers an authentic kampung-style experience without compromising guests’ comfort and functionality by providing standard modern conveniences.
3. Bon Ton Resort, Langkawi, Kedah
Being some distance away from the busy part of Cenang Beach, Bon Ton Resort still allures people in with its strong rustic charm – its accommodation offerings consist of 100-year-old traditional Malay wooden houses that are reassembled on its grounds, which was formerly a coconut plantation. Each house or villa is kitted out with contemporary furnishing and modern conveniences. The resort also supports a good cause by funding the Langkawi Animal Shelter and Sanctuary in receiving, rehabilitating and caring for neglected, abused and needy animals, so guests should expect to encounter plenty of cats throughout the property.
4. Courtyard @ Heeren Boutique Hotel, Melaka
Conveniently located in Chinatown with easy access to multiple tourist attractions, Courtyard@Heeren is indeed an excellent choice for a place to stay in Melaka. Be inspired by the strong unique Peranakan influence that is greatly applied all over the property as rooms show a wealth of traditional style and comfort, with large ornate beds, wood panelling, decorative carving or bamboo screening, generous drapes and tiled floors.
5. Pasir Belanda Resort, Kota Bharu, Kelantan
For travellers who seek personal experience and a chance to engage with the grassroots community, do make a quick trip to Pasir Belanda Resort located in the predominantly Malay Kelantan. Besides staying in wooden traditional houses, there is a wide range of activities available here for guests to experience such as cooking class, batik workshop, cycling tour, kite decoration workshop, boating, traditional Malay massage and a self-guided walking tour.
6. Borneo Tribal Lodge, Kuching, Sarawak
Borneo has always had an irresistible pull among travellers due to its vibrant culture and distinctive indigenous tribes. Today, travellers may get a glimpse of this unique culture by staying at this humble lodge, which incorporates the concept of the longhouse design and uses rare local handicrafts as decorations, bringing travellers’ experience in interacting with Borneo as authentic as possible.