With a name and address such as 23 Love Lane how can this gorgeous historical boutique hotel be anything but romantic?
Hidden behind a high wall, within a leafy fragrant garden retreat, piercing the heart of Georgetown’s heritage zone, this eclectic mix of buildings and architectural styles, some from the early 1800s, have been everything from private residence to stables to a backpacker hotel. Now lovingly restored, the property won a Malaysian Institute of Architects award in 2013.
Rooms on offer are as diverse as the collection of buildings, some more private than others and several suitable for families. The main double-storey building housing the lobby enjoys a number of peaceful and relaxing communal areas, with a coffee machine and snacks to help yourself anytime in the cosy library upstairs.
Bowls of fruit and nibbles await in the breezy lounge open to the tranquil private garden on the lower level—a perfect spot to kick back and indulge in the included afternoon tea (how civilised) after a day of sightseeing.
Delightful staff are happy to serve you a cuppa or a cocktail from the bar anytime too. Rooms are bright and spacious, some more so than others—we particularly love the “Straits Eclectic” rooms, with towering ceilings and wall-high shutters opening to the garden, but were also quite taken with the smaller Anglo Indian Garden room, which enjoys a private entrance and outdoor bath tub.
Interiors feature a well curated collection of antique Asian and colonial furniture, furnishings and collectibles complemented with striking contemporary artworks creating the homely ambience of a private villa. Huge beds are super comfortable and rooms offer both lounging and working space. Modern amenities include air-con and ceiling fans, large flatscreen TVs, iPod docking stations, tea-making facilities and a safe. All that’s noticeable missing is a minibar in most rooms, although it is included in some and available in the library.
Ensuite bathrooms feature double basins and rain showers, some with tubs and two are wheelchair accessible. Lush fragrant lotions and potions are presented in a bakul siah, a lacquered cake box bestowed as Peranakan wedding gifts, one of the many small touches that makes 23 Love Lane special.
Included breakfast is served in their adjoining restaurant, SteakFrites@23 and comprises an a la carte local or Western menu along with a buffet selection. The restaurant is also open for lunch and dinner, and as the name suggests, serves premium cuts and chips.
Even though the hotel lacks a swimming pool, the enchanting garden offers a relaxing outdoor space that is absent in many other heritage digs in Georgetown. We love the authentic character and style of 23 Love Lane and along with the personal and warm service makes this a top pick in Penang.
Online deals offer a more affordable option than the rates we were quoted for a spot of romantic luxury. If you can’t live without a swimming pool in the tropical heat, Noordin Mews, Jawi Peranakan Mansion and Yeng Keng Hotel are all worth considering.
Address: 23 Love Lane, Georgetown
T: (0426) 21 323;
Coordinates (for GPS): 100º20'13.61" E, 5º25'11.21" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: over 500 ringgit
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Superior double room|
Jack Roof Annexe
|404 ringgit||404 ringgit|
|Deluxe double room|
Straits Eclectic 545 ringgit for the Anglo Indian Bungalow
|515 ringgit||515 ringgit|
|785 ringgit||785 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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