Casa del Rio
88 Jalan Kota Laksamana, Malacca (06 289 6888 / www.casadelrio-melaka.com). This relatively new luxury hotel right by the Malacca River was designed in such a way to pay tribute to the culture of Arabic, Portuguese and Dutch traders. The 66 rooms are luxuriously appointed, blending Mediterranean design with Peranakan flourishes. Casa del Rio’s spa has been highly praised, but the hotel’s family-friendly service deserves brownie points. The twobedroom suites are ideal for families.
Philea Resort & Spa
Lot 2940, Jalan Ayer Keroh, off Jalan Plaza Tol, Ayer Keroh (06 289 3399/ www.phileahotel.com.my). This resort could certainly do with some maintenance and TLC, but we’re still fans of the spa, the kids’ club and the hotel’s beautiful natural settings. Do take note of the following: The food here wavers between mediocre and bad, so if you have transport, venture beyond the hotel’s walls to sample Malacca’s culinary heritage. Furthermore, the resort uses buggies to help guests get around the resort grounds, but these can be difficult to procure; if you have young children, we recommend asking for a room near reception and the restaurants.