Think of Cintra Heritage House as an “entry level” heritage stay, here a row of four restored late 19th century shophouses offer comfortable homely antique-filled rooms and home-stay like hospitality at a more affordable price than many others in the city.
This charming guesthouse has preserved not only the facade, but the integrity of the building is still very much intact with shuttered rooms opening to the inner courtyards linked by gangways with beautiful ornamental Malay-style carved wooden balustrades.
Well sized rooms are named after Penang’s streets with options to suite from singles to families, all with private bathrooms. Equipped with both air-con and ceiling fans—if you don’t mind a bit of noise, we’d keep the shutters open and flick on the fan as interiors can be a bit dark. Rooms are clean, but sadly a little ware and tear is showing in some, and they could do with a lick of paint, or you could just pass it off as authentic heritage (though there’s nothing ancient about the wear and tear!).
Antique style wooden furnishings includes a desk and seating in most rooms and the beds in the twins and singles are also lovely old-style wooden numbers, but in the doubles modern spring ensembles seem out of place—perhaps as the base is exposed, and could do with a cover. Nevertheless they are firm and comfortable, and sport clean linen and pretty batik bed runners. Amenities include a kettle in each room (and very non-heritage Nescafe sachets and plastic water bottles) and a minibar in some, but don’t expect a TV.
Black and white tiled bathrooms are clean, but rather compact with the hot-water rain shower almost over the toilet. A couple of hooks and towel rails will keep for clothes off the floor, but not sure that they still won’t get drenched.
Guests are asked to remove footwear on the upper level to minimise noise and preserve the wooden floors, however it can still be a bit noisy as the streetside rooms catch some traffic noise, but they’re light and very airy, while the rear rooms are darker and while safer from the traffic, cop more sound from the nearby mosque. The furnished courtyard with potted ferns and piano is a pleasant spot to soak up the heritage ambience, or hang out with the buggies on the airy furnished terrace upstairs.
Breakfast is included in the rate served in the small downstairs cafe by the very obliging Staff. Cintra Heritage House sits just off busy Lebuh Chulia, a short walk to sights and excellent food. If you’d prefer a quieter area (but not necessarily a quieter stay), Lang Hoose offers a lovely heritage feel and for a homely atmosphere in a more upmarket and spacious heritage hotel consider East Indies Mansion.
Address: 1-7 Lebuh Cintra, Georgetown
T: (0426) 28 232;
Coordinates (for GPS): 100º20'2.79" E, 5º25'7.7" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: 120 to 250 ringgit
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Standard single room||115 ringgit||115 ringgit|
|Standard double room||155 ringgit||155 ringgit|
|Deluxe double room||170 ringgit||170 ringgit|
|Family room||180 ringgit||180 ringgit|
|Deluxe Suite||210 ringgit||210 ringgit|
Sally spent twelve years leading tourists around Indonesia and Malaysia where she collected a lot of stuff. She once carried a 40kg rug overland across Java. Her house has been described as a cross between a museum and a library. Fuelled by coffee, she can often be found riding her bike or petting stray cats. Sally believes travel is the key to world peace.
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