Casa del Rio Melaka Review

Casa del Rio, Spanish for ‘home by the river’, is the first boutique hotel right in the center of the historic town of Melaka. 

It’s hard to miss because the imposing Mediterranean-styled hotel can be seen from almost anywhere when you’re in the city center.

I remember seeing it for the first time in 2012 while on the Melaka River Cruise and thought to myself it must be fancy staying there. Well, 6 years later I found out I was right! 😀

We arrived a week before Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, so rangolis are practically everywhere in Malaysia.
Casa del Rio’s welcome drink

The bus dropped us off right in front of Casa del Rio, and the warm and enthusiastic staff immediately helped us with our bags and ushered us to the front desk.

Instead of the usual check-in where guests stand in the front desk counter, they just asked for our passports and had us seated in the cabana to relax. A welcome amenity of cold towels and very refreshing sorbet soon followed. What a treat after a tiring journey from Singapore!

I knew right then that this is indeed our vacation from vacation. It actually felt more like staying at a resort than in a hotel!

My mom chilling like a boss at the cabana. 😀

After check-in was done, the Front Desk Officer even showed us around and gave a brief background of the hotel and its facilities and services before finally showing us our room.

Casa del Rio has 66 luxury rooms and suites decorated in Mediterranean style with Straits Chinese influences. The Peranakan touches are especially reflected in the suites. 

The hotel’s old-world atmosphere pays tribute to Melaka’s various cultural influences such as Portuguese, Arab, Dutch, and Straits Chinese from its role as a global trading post in the 14th century.

Deluxe River View Room

As soon as I stepped into our Deluxe River View Room, I felt like we were staying in a suite. 

Again, we were given a brief tour of our room, so we know where each amenity is since some of it are tastefully hidden in drawers and shelves.

A sliding door separates the dressing area from the luxuriously appointed four-point bathroom.

Immediately to the left upon entering the room is the dressing and luggage area.

In-room safe and insect repellent are in the topmost cabinet while the fluffy bathrobes and slippers are in the drawers below it. The iron & ironing board are neatly tucked in the cabinet door to the right.

I have to say, they have one of the nicest bathrobes. It’s not the usual ‘Asian size’ ones.

The private bath with separate shower stall has both rain shower and telephone shower heads.
Small details like this handmade cinnamon soap are what I love about boutique hotels.
The sliding screen opens up to the room and a view beyond the balcony.

On our last night, I indulged in a luxurious bubble bath. I also used the bath salt provided. In case you’re wondering, yes, the rubber ducky is included in the room. haha

Leaving the bathroom, we go back to the small ‘hallway’ before going to the sleeping area.

The warm colors of magenta, yellow, and ochre paired with wooden floors and furniture make the room very homey.

Check out our king bed. It has just the right firmness, but the foot of the bed feels like marshmallow to me, and I love it!

If you have a pillow preference, you’d be glad to know that they have a Pillow Menu too.

All rooms are equipped with 42″ flat screen TV with satellite channels. CD & DVD player with iPod dock are in the TV console. The mini bar, coffee and tea-making facilities, and personal refrigerator are hidden in the console as well.

We also found a sweet treat waiting for us. It was ondeh-ondeh, a traditional Peranakan delicacy made with rice flour with a center of liquid palm sugar then coated with desiccated coconut.

To the left of the console is a work desk with IDD phone, LAN cable, power outlets, hotel compendium, and some reading materials about Melaka.

The terra cotta blends with old wrought iron railings and ornamental lighting to provide a warm touch of the Mediterranean. 

The private balcony is a nice place to lounge and watch the river boats pass by.

Casa del Rio is directly on the bank of the Melaka River, so the Deluxe River View rooms get to see this scene on a daily basis. They also have their own jetty where guests can board the river cruise.
We were pleased with the turn down service.

After a tiring jaunt in the night market, we returned to the room with the lights dimmed, curtains closed, scented candle lit, hot chocolate-making facilities on top of the TV console, bottled water and floor mat by the bedside, and comforter turned down.

Exploring Melaka

We arrived on a Friday, so after resting for a couple of hours, I was so excited to check out the Jonker Street night market. It was just a 2-minute walk from the hotel. 

My excitement died down when I realized we didn’t have Ringgits yet, and the two money changers along Jonker Street were already closed! 🙁 We thought of going back to the hotel to ask if they can change our Singapore Dollars, and thankfully, they did. 

These trishaws are lit! (pun intended)

I woke up early the next day, so I could take pictures of the Red Square and the murals along the river before the busload of day-trippers arrived. I’m glad it paid off!

Melaka is best explored on foot, but Casa del Rio also has bikes that guests can use. They can also help arrange your tours or book a trishaw.

Rooftop Infinity Pool

If you’ve been to Melaka before, you’ll know how hot it can get. We thought it was the perfect time to check out the rooftop infinity pool, and we were right. We had the pool to ourselves! We got a panoramic view of Melaka’s skyline and the Straits.

One of their F&B outlets, Bar Sol, is located beside the rooftop infinity pool. They can prepare specialty mixed cocktails, wines, tapas and snacks.

Dining at The River Grill


Semi buffet breakfast is served at The River Grill from 6:30 am to 11:00 am.

Casa del Rio has a unique semi buffet breakfast setup where you order one set/plated item from the Ala Carte menu and then also get to enjoy the offerings on the buffet spread.

On our first morning, I ordered the Eggs Benedict while my mom had the Croque Monsieur (which she also ordered on our last day). I also tried the Eggs Your Way, and I chose the omelet. These alone, plus the unlimited coffee and teh tarik, are already satisfying and enough to start the day. But who are we to say no to the buffet spread? :p

Other items on the buffet spread not pictured are the make your own Nasi Lemak; assorted cereals and muesli; variety of cheese, jams, and fruit preserves; grilled chicken sausage; turkey ham; roti; potato gratin (or pasta dish of the day); traditional noodles like Lou Si Fun; Danish pastries; unlimited coffee of your choice from the Franke coffee machine; unlimited teh tarik (love <3!); and fruit juices. 

Riverside BBQ Buffet

On our last night, we got to try out their Riverside BBQ Buffet. 

Unfortunately, it was drizzling that night, so we didn’t get to dine al fresco and enjoy the whole barbecue experience. Nevertheless, the food was exceptional! 

I started with the clam chowder. It was creamy and flavorful – just enough to whet my appetite. Then I got the seafood jambalaya; a bit of the devil chicken curry, which was oh so spicy, but delicious; grilled buttered corn on cob; cajun-marinated chicken thighs; marinated lamb; beef satay; grilled prawn; and the mango salsa, which was divine!

For the second round (lol), I tried the cheesy baked macaroni and some of the assorted nyonya kuih. I was pleasantly surprised that they taste like our local delicacies, sapin-sapin and kutsinta. 🙂

Last but not the least is my favorite – desserts. There’s just so many to choose from! The ones I tried were chocolate cake (the whole cake was wiped out in less than an hour), tart topped with dragon fruit, mango panna cotta, bread pudding with vanilla sauce (always a favorite!), cheesecake, and their self-service ice cream station.

While enjoying the buffet, we were serenaded with live entertainment by Mango Soul.

I can say that I’ve tried a lot of hotel buffets around Asia, and this is one of the best. It’s also very obvious because people kept coming back for seconds.


There’s no better place to stay at in Melaka than Casa del Rio. More than its location, amenities, and food, it is the heartfelt service of the staff that make it your #HomebytheRiver. 

88, Jalan Kota Laksamana, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia

Tel: +60 6 289 6888 / +60 6 289 6888

Part of “The Boutique Collection by HPL Hotels and Resorts”


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