Hotel Equatorial Melaka (Review)

Hotel Equatorial Melaka
The lobby
Was in Malacca recently and stayed in Hotel Equatorial Melaka for 5 days (for a church camp). Hotel Equatorial Melaka claims to have a 5 star rating and its d├ęcor is on the vintage side (it has been around for some time and its age does show). Fortunately some areas seem to have undergone some refurbishment, but unfortunately the hotel ends up with what seems like an identity crisis: while some areas retain its old vintage-ness (and tired chairs / sofas / carpets), other areas attempt to be modern (but both not complementing each other in any way).

Hotel Equatorial Melaka
Tired chairs and carpet

In addition, there are certain things that could be improved (since it’s claims to be a 5 star hotel, my standards are higher). For one, the chairs in the lobby, as well as those in the rooms could be renewed as their age was starting to show. Also, the carpets (especially those in the ballrooms / conference rooms) could definitely be updated as well (that and/or vacuuming more often or investing in better equipment to clean the place). It has been the most ‘dustful’ experience that I have had thus far. So people with sensitive noses or sinus should take note.

Otherwise, service rendered is reasonably good and the food is not too bad. The best part about Hotel Equatorial Melaka would be its location. It is one and a half hours south of Kuala Lumpur and just a two hour drive (depending on the traffic) from Singapore. It is also smack right in the hub of it all: walking distance to shopping and entertainment districts (e.g. Jonker Street) and historical places (e.g. St. Paul's Hill, Church of Melaka).

The room which I stayed for 5 days has a balcony overlooking part of the swimming pool (located on the 4th floor). The room is on the 7th floor and at a corner. It is spacious (enough), and the bed is relatively new and comfortable (of medium hardness), and the pillows (there are two more pillows in the wardrobe) were a soft fluffy delight!

Hotel Equatorial Melaka
The comfy (and new) bed and fluffy pillows to boot!
Hotel Equatorial Melaka
Sofa, table and the balcony overlooking part of the pool
Hotel Equatorial Melaka
Additional pillows, an iron and iron board, and an aging yellow tinged safe.
Hotel Equatorial Melaka
The mirror and study table. Can't say I am a fan of the red cushioned rattan chair though, not comfortable at all.

Usual amenities (e.g. soap, shampoo, body lotion, toothbrush & toothpaste, cotton buds, 2 bottles of water etc…) were provided and replenished on a daily basis. There is even an iron and ironing board for you to iron your clothes when the need arises. Housekeeping was prompt and everything done efficiently (e.g. drinks were replenished, towels replaced and the bed made).

Hotel Equatorial Melaka
Complimentary bottles of water and coffee / tea replenished daily
Hotel Equatorial Melaka
Toiletries: conditioning shampoo, shower gel, body lotion, show cap, cotton buds etc...
(Not a fan of the 'cheap' brown marble counter.)

While the toilet was clean and the water pressure good (nice and strong enough), the materials used for the bathroom’s refurbishment seems to be of inferior quality as it was already showing some wear. Equipment such as the hairdryer and phone were tinged yellow with age, something that does not befit a hotel which is supposed to have a 5 star rating.

Hotel Equatorial Melaka
Clean towels replaced daily. Together with an outdated yellow-tinged hairdryer at the side

One thing, ok a couple of things that irked me were the hairdryer, chairs / sofas, and the lift / elevator. Firstly, the hairdryer, in addition to its tinge of yellow-with-age, was outdated in design, form and function (there is only one setting and you have to keep your finger on the power button). Secondly, the chair and sofa in the room did not give off a vibe (vintage or otherwise) of a 5 star hotel; let alone those in the lobby.

The elevator / lift was a whole different issue: it had no display of which floor the lift is at, leaving you to guess which floor the lift is on and when it will arrive with only the UP and DOWN arrows as indicators (and it's super slow too).

Hotel Equatorial Melaka
7th floor lift lobby

Like I said earlier, the hotel and its rooms’ seem to be having a bit of an identity crisis and it extends from the lobby into the room: while part of the room (bed, flat screen TV and remotes) has a modern ‘feel’, the bathroom has a different ‘feel’ of vintage tiles decorating part of the wall (disconnecting it from the room outside).

Hotel Equatorial Melaka
A not so impressive bedside remote control for the lighting and other controls
Hotel Equatorial Melaka
Phone that has seen and shows the passing of time.

TV reception was good and there was even complimentary tea / coffee (though not much variety) and wifi. However, the wifi although complimentary was not clearly indicated and spotty (reception was not so good). It would have been better if the hotel clearly state their policy on this (if it’s complimentary there should be no ‘extra’ charges for ‘additionals’ (Ok, so it positions itself as a business hotel but still…). This is in stark contrast to Hotel Quote (Taipei) where the wifi and the minibar was complimentary and clearly stated, even the toilet seat was heated (which is a blessing on cold mornings).

Hotel Equatorial Melak
Flat screen TV, channel guide and room service
Hotel Equatorial Melaka
It can be misleading when there is no clear indication of complimentary wifi on the website, plus contradictory a note about paying for 'better' service on the study table
Hotel Equatorial Melaka
The swimming pool while pretty (nice to look at) and good for a swim, is not that big. 

Overall, Hotel Equatorial Melaka is more like a comfortable (homey) hotel with reasonably good service and excellent location, but it neither impresses nor stands out as one befitting of a hotel with a 5 star rating. Given the (not so luxurious) experience (for a 5 star hotel), unless the hotel lowers their prices / rating, or ups their game in the aesthetics and functionality area - having cultural heritage and being vintage does not mean that things have to be 'tired' -  the price is not really worth it; updating with consistency would be nice too. Until then, I might give this hotel a second chance.

  1. Service              
  2. Value                 
  3. Sleep Quality       
  4. Cleanliness       
  5. Location            
  6. Rooms              
Overall Experience:

Hotel Equatorial Melaka

Bandar Hilir, Melaka 75000, Malaysia

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