By Aina Nabiha on September 12, 2018
Topping the blockbuster list as the first all-Asian cast movie since 25 years ago, Crazy Rich Asians is on its feeding its global frenzy. Led by Malaysian sweethearts Henry Golding and Michelle Yeoh, the movie also features a number of local venues that boast extravagance.
But you don’t have to be a crazy, rich Asian to indulge. Other than the sets shown in the movie, here are six places you can go for a grand expedition.
In the beginning scenes of the movie, one of the lavish backdrops was portrayed as a hotel named Calthorpe. With extravagant interior and sparkling ambiance, you can replicate that same feeling at the Eastern and Oriental hotel that struts its historical heritage with glam.
The hotel consists of two wings, the Heritage wing that holds a few hundred colonial and early century-styled rooms that boast age-old luxury and comfort; and the Victory Annexe wing that combines modern architecture and classic elements seamlessly with glorious present day details.
If you can splurge, opt for the spacious corner suite with an extra-large, soft, double bed, and bathroom with double vanity sink, a claw foot bathtub and two separate rain shower for that extra touch of indulgence. And lounge at its expansive balcony that allocates you with an unobstructed view of Penang’s coastline for that movie magic moment.
#Good to Know: If you are searching for a lower budget hotel, head out to Melaka and try staying at the Quayside Hotel. Although the rates are much lower, the extravagant interior and flashy dome chandeliers can easily sweep you off your feet.
One of the most iconic sets that were shown was the Raffles hotel in Singapore where the backdrop of the hotel’s jaw-dropping beauty accentuates the couple’s slow progress into Nick Young’s (Golding) wealthy heritage.
Located in the neighbouring country, the hotel is currently going under reconstruction, so with or without the money, it stays inaccessible until its completion in 2019.
Instead, spend your night at the colonial-esque luxury hotel, the Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur. Similar to the Eastern and Oriental hotel, the building sports two wings that have its own distinctive charms. Have a luxurious experience at the Majestic Suite, with over 100 square metres of space, and 24-hour butler service that caters to all your needs. Dressed in ostentatious decorations, one would easily feel like royalty.
#Good To Know: If you are not planning to stay overnight, head over to the hotel’s The Orchid Conservatory where you can gloriously have teatime surrounded luxurious hanging garden.
Carcossa Seri Negara
Featured as Eleanor Young’s private and passed down luxurious estate, the Carcosa Seri Negara was a majestic mansion that had become an emblem of the Young’s family wealth. In reality, the mansion is a local patriotic symbol that marked Malaysia’s journey to independence.
The building originally belonged to the first British Commissioner in Malaya Sir Frank Swettenham and was turned into a guest palace for many historical figures in the past. After the Malaysian government retrieved it, it was repurposed into a boutique hotel until recently.
Now, the mansion had transformed into a historical museum with hundreds of historical artefacts and is currently holding an exhibition called “Jalan Merdeka” that encompasses Malaysian’s journey to its independence.
No one could get over that wedding scene, shot gloriously at the Chijmes, Singapore. Here is a tip: try visiting the Stadthuys in Melaka, which is part of UNESCO world heritage site to revisit that excitement. Clad in striking red paint, the building exudes Dutch colonial heritage and was believed to be one of the oldest Dutch remains in the city.
It is a simply beautiful spot to walk around as the exhibits educate visitors with the essential details on its history. And with local joints and stalls situated right beside the structure, scrumptious snacks and foods are barely a few minutes away.
Quick tip: Generally popular with tourists and the locals, try opting for bicycles, as the roads get congested easily during peak holidays. Wear practical clothes and cycle away into the city so that you can discover more of Melaka.
Cheong Fatt Tze
The iconic entrance scene by Eleanor Young (Yeoh) in the mahjong scene was actually shot in Cheong Fatt Tze in Penang! Initially owned by a Chinese merchant who had wanted to protect and continue his heritage through architecture, the building was left in disrepair after a while but was resurrected into the new strikingly classic blue mansion. You will definitely feel the grandeur of old money when you step into this mansion.
Another spot you can go to have a taste of Baba Nyonya ancestral heritage is the Penang Peranakan Mansion. One of the grandest pre-war houses, the building is coloured in bright, turquoise paint and illuminated by a huge sky well. Hoards of artefacts and pieces of jewellery are displayed to bring back elements of history for posterity.
Central Market is also a great option if you seek a historical and cultural escapade. Accessible by trains and buses, the market offers a long list of antique and artistic collectibles by multiple vendors that have a deep passion towards their heritage.
Langkawi Island is featured in the movie, as a location for Aramita’s bachelourette especially at the Four Seasons Resort Langkawi.
Those who long for that setting should try nestling into Kunang-Kunang Heritage Villa situated near Cenang beach. The arrays of stunning villas are understated by mere images, over pouring with lavish Malayan heritage architecture and interior design. Traditional furniture graces the space with a sense of nostalgia and its wooden structure that stretches wall-to-wall brings out a Balinese vibe around the space. Chill by their poolside and calm yourself by the exquisite sound of nature and crashing waves.
Next, step into contemporary excellence with The Danna Langkawi that offers breath-taking sea-facing suites, packed with posh interior and direct view of Langkawi’s magnificent coastline spreading out into the horizon. Have tea at the hotel’s food and beverage outlet that spells quintessential classic elegance that also surprises you with a casual twist. Finally, be sure to pamper yourself at The Danna Spa that spoils you with an immersive and a seriously calming massage treatment that you can experience while facing the sea! Finish off by sunbathing at the poolside and soaking your feet into their extravagant three-tiered infinity pools.
Our final recommendation is truly one of a kind. The Terrapuri Heritage Village is a cluster of traditional Terengganu Malay villas that teleports you to the age of Langkasuka and the historic Malay kingdom. Secluded in Terengganu’s small district Setiu, this cultural preservation cum holiday resort is the kind of getaway you can only get in the movies. Here, you would truly feel like a crazy, rich Malaysian with the villa’s palatial structure and interior. Disconnect from your busy life and live out a fantasy in this heritage village, which oozes authentic ‘kampung’ lifestyle and royally undisturbed tranquillity.