Combine old world charms with modern facilities and breath-taking views, and you have Casa del Rio – a luxury boutique hotel that pays tribute to the cultural heritage of Melaka. Casa del Rio offers 66 luxuriously appointed rooms and is the only hotel located by the banks of Melaka river.
My Casa del Rio experience started with a refreshing lime sorbet upon check-in, and a cold towel to freshen up from the humidity of Melaka state. Soon after, I was lead to my room – beautifully decorated and designed, creatively blending Mediterranean style with Peranakan elements.
From my balcony, I got a beautiful view of the Melaka River and the clear blue skies. My bathroom was spacious and comes with a bathtub and a separate shower stall for convenience. The room also includes high-speed internet access, flat screen TV, iPod docking station, in-room safe and a mini bar.
While there are many nearby attractions from Casa del Rio, guests can also enjoy a day-in by checking out the rooftop infinity pool that offers a view of Melaka skyline. There is also a children’s pool for travellers with young kids. The rooftop gym is equipped with modern cardio training and strength equipment — perfect for fitness buffs, while those who seek a pampering experience may find one at Satkara Spa.
I dined at The River Grill for both dinner and breakfast the following day. I think they do pretty good local/Asian dishes so if you stick to those selections, you can’t go wrong.
I especially loved the Thai-style prawn salad – robustly flavoured, fresh tasting and sweet from the seafood. Breakfast is half buffet and half ala carte, where you pick one main dish and get your breads, cereals, fruits and drinks from the buffet spread.
Casa del Rio boasts easy access to Melaka attractions such as Jonker Walk, Christ Church, A Famosa and St Paul’s Church. You can opt to walk to these sites (recommended) or take a taxi. The latter is more time consuming. Besides, you’re in Melaka. Walk, and explore!
Guests can also go for the river cruise, a service extended by Casa del Rio. River Cruisers depart daily between 9.30am to midnight on thirty minute intervals from the jetty on the opposite side of the hotel. The cruise cost RM15 per foreigner – adult and RM7 per foreigner – child. For locals, it’s RM10 and RM5 respectively. It’s best to go for the evening cruise as that is when the city is beautifully lit up. :)
I noted that the hotel staff are attentive to their guests’ needs. It was full occupancy when we were there and despite that, the staff remembered which guests needed to leave for KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport) and arranged for the transportation based on the flight details. I overheard their conversation when I was getting cereal and milk.
Truly a Home by the River! rif and I had a wonderful weekend at Casa del Rio. Prices are naturally higher compared to the rest of the hotels in Melaka but I reckon you’re paying for the overall experience and hospitality. I wouldn’t mind doing so on special occasions.
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