Tropical Deco meets Chinese retro
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Superior double room||370 ringgit||370 ringgit|
Our top 10 places to stay in and around Penang