Noordin Mews

Noordin Mews

Tropical Deco meets Chinese retro

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Taking its inspiration from 1950s Asian cinema and fashion, Noordin Mews a former trishaw garage and servants quarters now boutique hotel, is a delightful and utterly charming choice among Penang’s heritage picks.

Travelfish says:

Added to the sway is a long, cool, sparklingly swimming pool, a rarity in Georgetown's tropical swelter. Located a little outside the main tourist drag, it’s still less than a kilometres’ walk to Lubuh Armenian and just around the corner form the Presgrave Street night market where you’ll find some excellent street food.

Street frontage at Noordin Mews. : Sally Arnold.
Street frontage at Noordin Mews. Photo: Sally Arnold

The main street-facing building is a classic narrow 1920s Peranakan shophouse, restored in all its splendour and behind, in a walled garden, the double-storey L-shaped mews edges the (unfenced) pool—careful stepping into your groundfloor room if you’ve had a few!

Built by the team behind the Galle Fort Hotel in Sri Lanka, you can expect a little luxury. Mews rooms are of a very generous size with cool terrazzo floors and lime-washed walls. Decor is tropical deco meets Chinese retro Pop: you’ll find curved-armed lounge chairs, round-mirrored teak dressing tables complete with glam 50s film-star-type framed photos along with a glass shadowbox collection of retro Chinese cosmetics with a pair of cats-eye grasses thrown in for good measure as well as other 50s cultural treasures—museum-like, but restrained.

Spacious rooms, TV from bed can be a challenge! : Sally Arnold.
Spacious rooms, TV from bed can be a challenge! Photo: Sally Arnold

A cosy built-in bed nook is surrounded by a wide shelf affording a bit of extra elbow room and somewhere to rest your book. The built-in day lounge by the window easily converts to a bed for an extra bod. The present day is not forgotten and mod cons include air-con, a pod-style coffee machine (hopefully they recycle) and a flatscreen TV.

Ensuite bathrooms are immaculate, keeping with the 50s theme with retro checkerboard mosaic-tiled floors and adding a Chinese hawker-style metal stool. Hot-water rain showers and stylish modern amenities bring you back to the here and now. Larger suite rooms with timber floors and slightly more formal mid-century styling are also up for grabs, but they were full at time of research, so we were not able to view.

Not your average decor. : Stuart McDonald.
Not your average decor. Photo: Stuart McDonald

The swimming pool is small, but long and narrow enough for a lap if you can work up the energy in the heat—grab a pool towel form a display of old suitcases, or just relax poolside in one of the rattan lounges or outside your room in a comfy armchair.

Included breakfast is also served poolside in the open-air cafe. Warm and charming staff can point you in the direction of the best local street food, and according to their blurb, arrange cosmetic surgery too—so if you’d like a new nose, Noordin Mews makes the perfect place for a recovery.

Work off that Georgetown food with some laps. : Sally Arnold.
Work off that Georgetown food with some laps. Photo: Sally Arnold

We like the quiet location of Noordin Mews, but if you’d prefer the action on the doorstep of your heritage digs, Ren I Tang (sans pool) and Muntri Grove (also with a swimming pool) are decent options.

Contact details for Noordin Mews

Address: 53 Lebuh Noordin, Georgetown
T: (0426) 37 125;  
Coordinates (for GPS): 100º19'53.12" E, 5º24'41.91" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: 250 to 500 ringgit

Room rates

What we were quoted as a walk-in.

Superior double room 370 ringgit 370 ringgit

Reviewed by

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.

From US$81

Provided by Travelfish partner Agoda.

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