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Noordin Mews

Tropical Deco meets Chinese retro

53 Lebuh Noordin, Georgetown T: (0426) 37 125

Noordin Mews

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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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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Walk-in rates at Noordin Mews

Type of room
Type of room, low and high season prices
Superior double room
370 ringgit
370 ringgit
Room: Superior double room, low season: 370 ringgit, high season 370 ringgit. Notes:

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Where is Noordin Mews

Noordin Mews
53 Lebuh Noordin, Georgetown
T: (0426) 37 125
Coordinates (for GPS): 100º19'53.12" E, 5º24'41.91" N
Room rates: 250 to 500 ringgit

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