Knocknock Home in Melaka, a novel spot to stay in

The green-themed bathroom at Knocknock Home in Kampung Jawa, Melaka.

Knocknock Home is a boutique guest house in Java Lane, close to the historic heart of this Unesco World Heritage city.

Java Lane (Jalan Jawa) is part of Kampung Jawa named after the Javanese community who settled in this area from the 1600s onwards.

The original kampung was redeveloped in the 1880s in what was probably the first planned housing project in Melaka.

Today it comprises a few narrow lanes of plain whitewashed residential houses and shophouses, close to the iron pedestrian bridge crossing the Melaka River (Jambatan Kampung Jawa).

Like much of Melaka, the area was in decline for many decades but now the buildings are protected and are slowly being gentrified.

Knocknock Home is in one of these old two-storey buildings. The entrance foyer and owner’s apartment are on the ground floor while upstairs is one huge room for guests.

The original exterior of the building has not been changed and the owners have done a good job of retaining many of the architectural period features while providing guests with a contemporary and stylish interior which is visually appealing and homely.

The room is ‘generous’, measuring some 304 square metres.

One word comes to mind regarding this place and that is “generous”. Firstly the space is generous. The room is 304 square metres, bigger than many homes in this part of the world.

The owner could easily have divided the space into two or more rooms but decided to retain the whole floor for single occupancy.

The sleeping area is at the far end on a raised wooden platform behind sliding glass doors and air-conditioned. The sleeping configuration is one king-size mattress and one queen size mattress.

Obviously with such cosy sleeping arrangements, this place is only suitable for families, couples or very close friends.

You can shower using either the rain shower head or bathe Japanese-style sitting on a wooden stool in front of a water jar.

The cavernous shower area is at the other end of the room. Those bamboo blinds above unroll to provide privacy.

There is a rain shower head or, if preferred, guests can bathe Japanese-style sitting on a wooden stool in front of the ornate water jar with a hand-held shower tap. The toilet is in a separate cubicle.

Also generous are the room amenities such as the home movie system which projects onto the wall. A stock of Chinese and Western DVDs are provided. There is also cable TV for those who cannot be without the news or Cartoon Network.

There is a fridge with cans of beer and soft drinks sold almost at cost price.

Complimentary bicycles are available as well as tea and coffee making facilities in the room, a safe deposit box, hair dryer and WiFi.

Lastly, the owner Gus is most generous with his time and attention. Don’t be surprised if he offers to take you for a guided night walk to Jonker Street.

Knocknock does not provide breakfast but Gus will suggest various places you can try such as Dutch House Cafe, Limau-Limau Cafe, The Baboon House and various dim-sum shops.

Breakfast at The Baboon House.
Enjoy a nightcap at The Bridge Street Cafe in Lorong Jambatan, the dark alleyway leading to the iron bridge.

You will get the impression that for Gus, running Knocknock Home is not about making money but more a labour of love. He certainly makes his guests feel at home.

This article first appeared on