Written by Beverley Lennon
Co-written by Candice Neo
When do you ever say no to a trip to Melaka with your family or friends? The little coastal state is an intriguing mix of centuries-old and modern, traditional and hipster with quirky cafes, bars, the most legendary local food, exciting food streets and scenic riverside.
There’s just so much to see and do here both for adults and kids and it’s always captivating no matter how many times you come over and again!
As you’ll most likely spend most of your time eating and shopping, you might well save your hotel cost and opt for convenience – these affordable hotels come with family rooms for 4 adults under RM 160 per night (which is under RM 40 per pax!!) which are so close to the iconic busy Jonker Street and Kee Ann Food Street that you can simply walk over! (We do not recommend driving over as the traffic and parking in that area is crazy on weekends!) Plus, some of them are uniquely designed, have river view rooms and a pool too!
16 Affordable hotels in Johor Bahru near the best shopping/eating areas with family rooms under S$60 for 4 pax!
Note: The prices reflected below are the low season rates, and they exclude tax and service charges. Accommodation rates often change with room availability, and low or high seasons. We recommend double-checking for the final prices before confirming your booking.
1. Dive deep in history – Muk by Victoria Home
Located 15 minutes’ walk to Jonker Street, this boutique hotel set in what looks like a historical building is a real showstopper. In fact, passersby often stop over for a few Instagrammable shots by the building. It’s a quirky, creative stay, rather new on the scene too (as of 2019) and it comes at an incredibly affordable price!
When we stepped into the room, we were greeted by contemporary minimalist decor that almost feels like a spacious Muji shop, with extremely calming shades that you’ll be glad to come back to after a day of exploring and eating around Melaka!
We stayed in their Superior Room with two queen beds that can accommodate four adults! It’s super clean and comfy, with all your necessary toiletries provided. What we loved best is that they even have water dispensers in the reading and cafe areas so you don’t need to head out to buy your own bottled water (yes, it’s a pain to always have to remember to do so when travelling, right?).
And you read us right – there’s a lovely reading area where you can just plonk down on the beanbags and pick up a good book from their shelves. Or if like us you are a digital nomad, you can use your laptop in the cafe area which is nice and quiet with good wifi and charging ports – almost like a library (but bring a sweater as it can get pretty cold!).
So if you’re there for more than the weekend (Jonker Street and Kee Ann Food Street are only open on Friday to Sunday nights, so that’s when you can enjoy Melaka in its full vibrance), you can chill or use your devices on weekdays and head out at night to enjoy Melaka’s cafe and local food scene. And on weekends, of course you need to spend the whole day out – that’s when the streets of Melaka truly come to life!
TripCanvas’ Tip: If you’re driving, you could also contact them prior to your arrival to reserve a parking spot, as there are limited parking spaces. And if possible, try to drive a smaller car; we drove an SUV and it was a little bit of a squeeze when parking!2. Every room comes with a unique theme! – Fantasy Hotel
An unusual stay experience without the added price tag – that’s exactly what you get at Fantasy Hotel! In here, you get to step into another world – your affordable family-friendly stay takes imagination and cartoon/movies depictions into something real and features rooms that can accommodate your whole little tribe of four!
Whether your childhood dream was to be transported to the world of Hello Kitty or meet Doraemon, be friends with Winnie The Pooh and conquer the world with the Avengers, all these come true at Fantasy Hotel as each room here comes with a unique theme! That’s one way to get the kids excited too!
And it isn’t as though you’ll be set in some far-off area as the stay is merely a 10-minute walk from the buzzing Jonker Street too!
3. One for the hipsters (with a pool too)! – The Rucksack Caratel
Experience life in a caravan at The Rucksack Caratel! This little hipster gem right here is perfect for when you want to get out of the city and experience “camping” but don’t exactly want to be outdoors!
Then again, where can you even find an appropriate campsite in Malaysia; even more rare, where can you get yourself a caravan?!
At The Rucksack Cartel, guests get to choose between staying in their indoor stationary caravans, rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, some with a jacuzzi and more! But it’s really the Buddy Caravan that you’ll want to check into if there’s four of you!
Besides just that, it’s also one of the very few affordable hotels in Melaka with a swimming pool! The common area (known as their Caravan Park) features some exciting amenities too – a foosball table, rustic swings and stationary bikes to keep both adults and kids occupied!
4. With its own mini waterpark! – PLAY Residence at Atlantis
Now, when it comes to affordable stays, it seems that you often have to forgo some of the facilities higher-end hotels offer – for instance, a gym, pool or kids’ playground (cries inside).
What if I told you that for less than RM 100 per night, you could have a whole family suite to yourself (up to 4 pax) and use all the condominium amenities, including a jacuzzi and swimming pool with its own mini-waterpark for the little ones?!
However, this also means you’ll have to be located a little further from the main food streets but not too far either as within 20 minutes’ walk, you’ll reach Jonker Street. Plus, it’s an entertaining walk there with several cafes and local hidden gems along the way!
5. Take a quick trip to the Mediterranean paradise! – Santorini Hotel
Lately, it seems like Santorini has been recognised as the queen of the Mediterranean islands and rightly so – their beautiful whitewashed buildings with a splash of blue are the perfect backdrop for your IG needs.
Well, it seems like this hotel in the heart of Melaka has jumped on the bandwagon of everything in trend as the rooms here are Santorini-inspired!
Be it on the outside or indoors, every corner of Santorini Hotel is bound to transport you to the magazine-approved destination!
Your room is adorned with a backdrop of the iconic Greecian buildings and you might even wake up in their family suite feeling a little disoriented as to where on earth you really are.
Coming back to reality, you can walk over to Jonker Street in a mere 5 minutes and further to Kee Ann Food Street to get your hands on various Taiwanese and Korean snacks!
6. Cross over the scenic river to reach your stay! – Glex Hotel
Glex Hotel surely isn’t an easily-missed building. Not only is it in bright green, but it also sits smack bang in a family-friendly area that is quiet enough yet not too much, ideally close to the ever-so-popular Upside Down House and the Melaka Thousand Tales of Adventures – attractions that win the hearts of adults and kids alike!
You’ll also find a bunch of eateries in the surroundings while Jonker Street is accessible within less than 15 minutes’ walk.
The rooms at Glex Hotel are nothing fancy, rather they’re where you’ll feel at home – especially good for those of you who plan on spending the whole time out and only looking for a place to get some sleep at the end of the day.
7. Your home-away-from-home right on the food street! – Prima Hotel
Every now and then (especially when travelling with little ones), we love finding a stay that’ll make us feel at home, right? I give you Prima Hotel – an affordable hotel option for those of you who prefer coming back from a day of exploring to a comforting room that allows you to sleep as deep as you do at home!
And what’s better than being located right on a food street? Yes, you heard it right! Prima Hotel sits perfectly along the vibrant Kee Ann Food Street; now who even needs Jonker Street?!
That means you can simply head down from your comfy rood to grab a delicious range of snacks, bubble tea and nip a couple of cute Korean-style hair accessories!
This is a good option if you’re travelling with your kids and spouse and just want some me-time at the end of the day – while they enjoy the comfort of the room, you can enjoy the lively food street that’s just right below your hotel!
8. Hidden in a traditional shophouse – Hotel Hong
Meanwhile, while some stays are looking at being the trendiest in town, you’ll find Hotel Hong staying true to itself, hidden in what looks like a traditional shophouse and easy to be missed but that does not mean it ain’t got charm.
Quite like stepping into your Ah Ma’s house, that’s exactly how you’ll feel at Hotel Hong. There’s something so charming and comforting, we don’t quite know what but it’s possibly about the hosts welcoming you! If you’re coming from Melaka Sentral Bus Station, the hotel even offers a free pickup (to and from).
And nothing better than meeting a helpful local when you’re travelling with a group (their quad room sleeps up to four adults). You’ll be directed to the best spots around town and Jonker Street is only 8 minutes’ walk away, while we’ve also heard from former guests that there’s a closer food night market right outside the hotel running on the weekend.
Close enough, you could try the famous Durian and Dragon Fruit Cendol at Cendol Kampung Hulu; that is, if you’re patient enough to join the long queue, or a short walk brings you further to cafes right by the river with peaceful vibes.
9. Be surrounded by local food options – OYO 825 Mio Boutique OYO 88
I recall going on my first trip to Melaka and was shocked by how most people were just coming here to eat and so were my local friends (yes, there’s actually lots of hidden yet legendary local food options)! I was even more surprised when they told me that they were heading out for supper at midnight while I was comfortably heading under the blanky!
Well, if you’re one of those foodies heading over to Melaka with friends and family who love to eat as much as you do, then this stay could be a good option to base yourself at since it’s surrounded by goodies.
From here, you can even find the traditional chicken rice balls that Melaka is famous for within a short cross along the road, and Kee Ann Food Market sits just 6 minutes’ walk away, with Jonker Street being reachable within 15 minutes walk as well; so you’ll never go hungry!
Now, back to your hotel room, you can expect it to be spacious, clean and contemporary with an affordable option when it comes to their family suite selling as low as RM 60 per night and sleeping up to four adults!
10. Free-of-charge bicycle rental to bring some fun to your trip! – CK Hotel
No frills but clean and well-located – that’s exactly what you need on a budget trip, right? If you think so too, CK Hotel might fit what you’re looking for when in Melaka.
Within 3 minutes’ walk from Kee Ann Food Street, you’ll find this affordable yet comfortable stay sitting right in the middle of local food stalls that attract crowds on the daily (famous char kuey tiao, pork lard popiah and other seafood restaurants are aplenty).
If you’re coming with family or friends, their family room features two large queen beds and plenty of space for all your luggage. You can also walk over to the riverside within only 3 minutes, or why not rent their bicycles (it’s free!) and explore Melaka differently?
Who knew a family trip could end up being so affordable? Let us know below which stay gets you most excited!