Sunday 3 April 2016

Hotel Review: The Explorer Hotel, Melaka

Recently I went to historic city of Melaka, a UNESCO World Heritage city, on my own for some work and stayed at The Explorer Hotel, Melaka.

Below is my review of the hotel following my overnight stay there.

1. The Hotel

The Explorer Hotel, Melaka, is a 3* budget hotel. It has just over 140 rooms in a 4-storey building on Jalan Merdeka, right across the road from Dataran Pahlawan.

1a. The Reception

The lobby is quite spacious with plenty of sofas for guests to use whilst waiting. I didn’t have any problem checking-in quickly as there was only one other guest checking in at the same time. It’s probably because I was there a bit late in the afternoon (I arrived there at around 6 p.m.) 

1b. The Room

I was assigned a twin standard room (Room 339) at the hotel. My room is neither big nor small, although I would say it’s slightly smaller than an average room size that one would expect. However, personally I found the size to be okay for an overnight or 2-night trip to Melaka, especially if you’re on a budget but still would like to have the privacy of your own room. The view that I had from the room is that of Mahkota Parade, a shopping mall which is located next door.

The room comes complete with 1 bedside table (between the twin beds) and a small dressing table, on which there are a tea/ coffee making facility and 2 complimentary bottled water. It also has an LCD TV (local TV channels + one cable channel only) on the wall and, surprisingly (for a budget hotel in Malaysia, that is), a hairdryer in the bathroom. There is no wardrobe although there are some hooks with hangers on the wall where you can hang your clothes.

The mattress and bed are comfortable – I was actually planning to go out exploring early in the morning but ended up staying in bed until around check-out time. There is however only one pillow per single bed. Personally, I prefer to have two pillows but as I was travelling alone, I just took and used the pillow from the other bed. Linens and towels are okay although the towels that I got were rather on the thin side. The bathroom (shower only) is small but would still be adequate for most guests. Toiletries provided include toothbrushes & toothpaste and a shower cap while shower gel/ shampoo is provided in a container that is fixed to the shower wall.

Overall, the room is furnished adequately like you’d expect of a 3* budget establishment. The furnishing is simple and looks well maintained (and somewhat new too). If you’re familiar with rooms at chain hotels like Tune Hotels or IBIS Hotels, then you’d know what to expect as their room concepts are almost similar to each other. Although, unlike Tune Hotels, the room rates at The Explorer Hotel already include everything, including breakfast.

1c. Breakfast

Breakfast, as mentioned earlier, is included in the room rate. If you’re bringing an outside guest for breakfast, it costs just RM15 per person for the buffet. It is offered at a small café just next door to the hotel. The morning I was there, there were plenty of options for the buffet, including some Malaysian favourites like nasi lemak, char kuey teow and fried noodles. There were also some (banana & sponge) cakes, tit bits (biscuits), cereals, porridge, chicken nuggets, and breads & toasts. On a busy morning, you might have to wait for a bit before you get your seat. 

1d. Internet Access

Internet access is available for free via Wi-Fi at the hotel. The password is given at check-in. There are also a couple of desktops in the lobby area should you need to do some work.

1e. Other Facilities

Being a 3* budget hotel, The Explorer Hotel doesn’t have much of other facilities but they do offer free car parking space to all hotel guests. They also have 2 discussion/hanging out areas (in addition to the lobby), a "back" garden, a small kid’s playground area, and a nicely done koi pond.

The latter two probably makes the hotel more family-friendly despite its budget status. (From observation whilst waiting at the lobby, there were plenty of families with kids staying at the hotel.) 

2. Where to Eat

The hotel doesn’t have any in-house restaurant. However, if you’re looking for some food, you’d be spoilt for choice without even needing to walk far from the hotel. There’s a 24-hour restaurant located right in front of the hotel and there is more, including a food court, just next to the building complex.

Behind the hotel is Mahkota Parade shopping mall and just across the road from the hotel is Dataran Pahlawan Megamall, both of which also have plenty of restaurants and a food court. With the hotel location being on Jalan Merdeka, there are also plenty of restaurants & food courts along the road further down from the hotel. Ee Ji Ban Chicken Rice Ball, which is one of the more popular restaurants that serve (halal) chicken rice balls in Melaka, is located about 800 meters from the hotel.

3. Getting Around

How to get there:
The best way to get to the hotel is probably by driving or taking a taxi. The hotel offers free parking space for hotel guests. If you’re going to Melaka by bus, you can take Panorama bus no. 17 from Platform 17 at Melaka Sentral (where Melaka Bus Terminal is located at) and ask to be dropped off at Menara Taming Sari (Taming Sari Tower). The hotel is located just across the road from the stop. The bus ticket costs just RM1.50 at time of visit.

Interesting places nearby, if any:
The location of the hotel is one of the main selling points, in my opinion. Almost every major tourist attractions in the city centre are within walking distance from the hotel. Menara Taming Sari (Taming Sari Tower) is just across the road. A’Famosa, Sultanate’s Palace, St Paul’s Church, the Stadhuys, Jonker Walk and the jetty for the river cruise, along with countless of other museums (including Maritime Museum, Navy Museum, Stamp Museum, Ethnography Museum and Islamic Museum, among others) are all within 5 to 15 minutes’ walk.

Masjid Selat (Strait’s Mosque) – opened to non-Muslim visitors, and a great place to enjoy sunset – is about 30 minutes’ walk from the hotel (although it’s more advisable to either drive/take a taxi or rent a bicycle to get there as it gets really dark in the area between the mosque and the main road).

There are also 2 shopping malls nearby where you can do your shopping, have meals or catch a movie, among others.

So yes, the location of the hotel is one of the main selling points.;)

4. Location

5. Further Information

No.1, Jalan Plaza Merdeka, Plaza Merdeka, 75000 Melaka, Malaysia
+6062882662 / +6062882668 (24 hours)
Website | Facebook

Check in 3 p.m. / Check out 12 noon.

For blog entries on Malaysia, click here.


Comments and feedback are always appreciated. So do leave one or two if you have the time. Thank you!

  1. Seems like The Explorer hotel is a solid choice and well located. Nice, clear description and a convinient "home away from home."

    1. Yup, I was pretty pleased with my stay at the hotel. Nothing luxurious but well above my expectation for a 3* budget hotel. Couldn't have been happier with the location either.

  2. I agree that location is one of its main selling points. I saw this while I was walking around, checking out the tourist attractions in the area. Like you, I always have to have two pillows. Nice that you enjoyed your stay. :)

    1. I was not sure about the location at first because it was my first time in Melaka on my own but yes, pretty happy with the location - easy to get to from the bus terminal & easy to get around for some sightseeing and meals as well.

  3. I've seen a few posts about Melaka recently - its looks like a great place and I've heard the street art is amazing. And I love it when hotels are close to loads of amazing local restaurant - so great to try so many places without having to walk too far! The Explorer looks like a great place to stay :-)

    1. Melaka is one of the more popular destinations in Malaysia and a lot of visitors do a day-trip from Kuala Lumpur. I however do believe that it warrants at least a 2D/1N trip, at least, to enjoy what it has to offer. Even then, I felt a bit rushed trying to cover places that interest me.

  4. I think this hotel has a lot of character! Loved the big mural on the reception wall... that food looked delicious as well. I'd love to stay here - seems like a perfect, centrally located fit!

    1. I should have asked their staff about the mural, heh! Anyways, I do agree it's got some character. I was surprised to find a small play area for kids, in a budget hotel at that, when many 4* & 5* hotels don't even have it.

  5. I love the design in the lobby. It looks like a solid choice to spend a few days to explore the area and I love that the beds were comfortable. I agree on the pillow situation though, I think 2 pillows should be standard in a hotel :)

    1. Yes, I'd have loved to stay here for at least 2 nights and also explored more of the city. Next time perhaps!

      And yes, 2 pillows should be the standard in all hotels. ;)

  6. Looks like a great stay. I love the eco friendly guy at reception with the earth head. Too cute! I want that on a tee shirt. The breakfast looks fab too.

    1. The breakfast buffet spread was a surprise actually. I was just expecting one heavy meal (Malaysian breakfast style) option, and some toasts and cereals.

      Now that you mentioned it, I do think it'd look kind of cute on a t-shirt, or even on a tote bag.

  7. Looks like a decent, no frills hotel. I love that its near a food centre, many times I prefer not to eat in the hotel but look for good food close by. Comfy beds are always welcome!

    1. Yes, me too. That's why I was very happy with the countless options available around the hotel area. There was no need to go far for some good food.

  8. I always enjoyed visiting Melaka when I lived in Singapore. I haven't been to the Explorer Hotel, but it looks quaint and a nice stay, especially for a budget hotel.

    1. Ah-ha! Interesting to know! It was my first time there on my own and I did plenty of sightseeing over the weekend but it was still not enough time. Have to go back there again soon.

  9. Baru balik dari Melaka tapi tak perasan hotel ni. Maybe boleh check lain kali. Hehehe.

    It looks well-maintained though.

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