Rimba Hang Kasturi Airbnb is a guesthouse located in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Jonker Street, Melaka. The strategic location of this guesthouse itself has put the place to an awesome start!
However, our host, Ms.Rachel, shared with us a story of how Rimba Hang Kasturi came to be, and the story has only made the place much more special.
Living Room attached with Courtyard
Here’s a sneak-peek for you – if you love greenery, cooling pools and the old-school heritage homes, you’re going to love this place.
Like most other Airbnbs that we have interviewed in the past months, Rimba Hang Kasturi Airbnb puts a delicate balance between a simple, minimalist design and nature, with a special focus on plants and water features.
Learn more about what this lovely guesthouse has to offer!
1) Please tell us about yourself and the story that contributed to you becoming an Airbnb host.
I studied and graduated with a Bachelor Landscape Architecture from University Technology Malaysia and gained a 1-year experience in CKOA Landscape Architecture Firm in Singapore. I did not continue working in this industry as I wanted something with more time flexibility and passion. Regardless, I still have a passion for design.
Therefore, I came back to Melaka, my hometown which to me had a full and rich history. I felt like this was something I could make to be useful, and so I turned to my great grandfather’s goldsmith shop lot.
2) Can you please tell us the origin of the name of “Rimba Hang Kasturi”?
I named it Rimba is because of the guesthouse’s design concept. I developed my design with nature greenery as my main design concept, thus the name “Rimba” which is a Malay word meaning jungle.
Hang Kasturi meanwhile was inspired by the name of the road where the residence located at.
I believed that including the street name in the name of my guesthouse and was wondering if this could be easier for guests to search this up-comping guesthouse in the future, that is why I named it Rmba Hang Kasturi, Melaka Heritage Residence.
3) Can you share the history of this heritage Rimba Hang Kasturi Airbnb with us?
The guesthouse was actually my great grandfather’s goldsmith shop lot. Passed down for generations, you can tell that this place still retains its traditional looks.
I believe this guesthouse will provide a great experience for travellers in Melaka. The experience that I have in mind for them is for them to lodge in a heritage residence in Melaka.
4) What inspired you to have this open concept interior design for Rimba Hang Kasturi Airbnb?
All heritage shophouses are built up with an open courtyard space. When I initially planned to turn this into a Rimba Hang Kasturi Airbnb Guesthouse, I try to maximise potential with the available space, especially the open courtyard elevated.
The design that I ended up with gives the guests the experience of spaciousness. When they stand in the courtyard, they can see towards the end of the house. That, I think, is part of the beauty of a heritage residence’s open concept design.
5) What is the biggest challenge to refurbish an old shophouse to a large green courtyard with a private pool?
The challenge was mainly with building the private pool. We were unable to dig deep into the ground. The old shop lot was built atop of black mud ground, which is not suitable for the installation of a deep or large swimming pool.
We were only able to get a 2-feet depth pool only in the end – just barely enough for the kids to play in the water and adults to soak in it.
The pool sized up to 8ft x 4ft x 2ft, and the size managed to blend in well with the surrounding spaces in the house.
6) Can you please tell us why you have this great idea to build a dipping pool in the middle of house?
The green courtyard was an exciting space of the house, I try to maximise the green courtyard spaces to connect towards all spaces at ground floor.
As you can see from the photos, the courtyard is connected to the living hall, staircase to upper floor and open kitchen and dining area.
With this connectivity, I was trying to figure out how to make this space more exciting – it has to be more than just greeneries.
Figuring out the next part took me a while, but eventually I made a decision. I decided on having a pool in the house. I figured that having a pool in the house would lover the premise temperature, making it more soothing and also better ventilated.
7) There is a lot of plants inside, could you give us some tips on how to take care of it?
While our plants do include fancy-looking jungle trees like Arang Kayu to match our Rimba theme, these plants are surprisingly each to maintain once it has adapted into its new home.
There isn’t much tip to give for Arang Kayu since these I left these plants to grow naturally to give the place a more jungle-like vibe, unlike the typical nicely-trimmed plants used for landscaping works.
Plants like Achalypha also needs minimum care. The other plants that we have around are planted at the open courtyard area.
What I would advice if you have plants around your house is that you install a transparent awning so that these plants will receive enough sunlight. Having an awning like this also means that rain water may sometimes do all the watering job for you – but not too much either.
8) Do you have any special reason why you want to keep the old water well in the open courtyard?
Oh, that’s the precious historical element in the house. You can hardly find water wells in heritage houses now, and so keeping it gives our guesthouse a historical feel.
The well still functions, so what we did was to keep it functioning by installing a water filtration system. We also have a water pump which will direct the water flow into the pool.
Guests who stay in Rimba Hang Kasturi will experience the extra cooling water in our pool, and the best part – it’s chlorine-free too!
See, the well helps to keep our guesthouse naturally cool, safe for kids to play in and we can refill the pool water easily after cleaning it too.
9) Have you ever met any special guest that make a great story to Rimba Hang Kasturi?
Oh yes, we do have lots of memorable stories. There were surprise marriage proposals which we thought to be unforgettable.
We also have groups celebrating their anniversaries, birthdays, wedding ceremonies and plenty of other happy occasions in Rimba Hang Kasturi.
10) Can you tell us more about the neighbourhood surrounding your place? Any hidden gem to share?
There’s no one special guest, but rather, the memories that they make at our guesthouse make them all special to us.
Along Jalan Hang Kasturi for one, there’s a mural art street – the place may be small and quaint, but you can take plenty of mural art photography here.
Not many people know about this place, so now that you know about it, you can head there and take some pictures while you’re staying at Rimba Hang Kasturi.
There’s also an old uncle operating a metal sheet shop right opposite the guesthouse. It might not seem like much at first glance, but every product here is handmade and personally customized. You can’t find much of these around anymore these days.
Visit Baba Nyonya Museum if you’re dropping by the guesthouse area too! This museum is located nearby, at Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock.
11) What’s your recommended food in your area?
If you’re visiting Melaka, you have to try the Baba Nyonya food. There’s the Peranakan Place at Jalan Hang Jebat and Wild Coriander at Jalan Kampung Pantai, which I personally recommend for an authentic peranakan experience.
As for vegetarians, you can have your meals at the only vegetarian food place in Jonker area – Shui Xian Su Shi Yuan at Jalan Hang Lekiu; Long name, yes, but that’s your only bet for vegetarian food.
12) Any plan that coming soon in the near future?
We have received plenty of overwhelming responses from guests, and just recently in January 2019, we opened a new heritage residence, this time named the Rimba Jonker, Melaka Heritage Guesthouse.
We will be trying to stabilize the plans for this guesthouse and will not be making new plans till then! Hopefully, Rimba Jonker will also provide a good accommodation experience for all guests.
13) Anything else you'd like to share with our friends that I didn't ask?
The bedrooms used to be interconnected before the renovation – no doors. We have taken the liberty to install doors between the bedrooms.
These bedrooms aside, I personally recommend the Master Bedroom Suite with Loft experience which can accommodate up to 8 people. The space was optimized for the heritage house height, and there are two bathrooms in this master bedroom suite too!
I think it’s worth mentioning that our bedrooms are all connected to the green courtyard, so you will always have a good view regardless of which room you stay in. They all have their own balcony seating area as well.
I think that’s as far as what we have in mind for the exclusive interview, but of course we also want to welcome our guests to stay with us should they visit Melaka!
Well, that’s the end of the interview!
This interview session has given us a sneak peak of what’s to come from Rachel, and we are enthusiastic to see how Rimba Jonker is going to turn out! If anything, we are sure that the new guesthouse is going to be just as promising as Rimba Hang Kasturi, but what’s going to be different?
We can only wait to find out more! If you decide to drop by Melaka, do make sure to put Rimba Hang Kasturi Melaka Heritage Residence into your list of guesthouses for consideration, and remember to bring a good camera with your for a beautiful, photographic memory of the guesthouse!
Book your stay at Rimba Hang Kasturi Melaka Heritage Residence at:
P.S. Do you have any unique Airbnb/lodging to share with us? Comment below and we’ll reach out to them!
P.P.S This is not a paid advertising, all the interviews are done by invitation only.