Homely and luxurious
Some of Penang’s most beautiful heritage hotels have been salvaged from decay and neglect by local developer Chris Ong, the man behind the Galle Fort Hotel in Sri Lanka, often pouring profits into saving more crumbling buildings and the latest effort is the Jawi Peranakan Mansion.
This stately Anglo Indian mansion stands imposingly on Jalan Hutton, once known as Georgetown’s “Malay Millionaires Row”, about 400 metres north of Jalan Penang. Much of the original architectural elements have been bought back to life: wooden lattices, plantation shutters, and arched windows mix with Mughal and Indian motifs.
Three styles of rooms: Mansion Room, Mansion Villa and Mansion Suite accommodate from two to four guests. We viewed the Double Mansion Room, a large and breezy space with cool terracotta tiled floors, high ceilings and lime-washed walls. Rooms are air-con cooled with the option of a ceiling fan too. Quality finishes and simple but luxurious decor affords a relaxed homely ambience full of charm and character.
A cosy living area with built-in daybeds and antique roll top deck is separated from the comfy bed by a glass-panelled screen. Textiles and linens reflect the origins of the original occupants and Penang’s early days of trade with kilim rugs, rich Indian hand-blocked textiles, silk throws and Moroccan lamps. The only thing we found a little odd was the placement of the TV—above the seating area, so not possible to view from bed, and also would mean twisting your neck at an odd angle if you were in the living room—but who’s here to watch TV anyway.
Spacious ensuite bathrooms tiled with beautiful Peranakan and mosaic tiles provide hot-water rain showers. The Villa and Suite enjoy more space, with the Suite adding a second storey loft and additional double bed plus a tub in the bathroom.
Breakfast is served at a long communal marble-topped table offering an opportunity to meet fellow travellers. Outside a small raised swimming pool looks more like an attractive water feature with checkerboard tiles, arched relief elements and running taps, and even tough it’s rather exposed, makes a welcoming spot for a refreshing splash after a day in the heat.
Friendly staff are able to offer recommendations as to which room is most suitable for you needs, and point you in the right direction for local food and sights. We think the location is excellent, a little away from the hubbub, although still on a fairly busy road, and be warned you may be woken early by the call to prayer from the nearby mosque—bring earplugs if it’s a concern.
While the rates here are in the top end, the quality of this beautiful and luxurious small hotel makes it very good value. Alternatively 23 Love Lane is an equally beautiful and good value top range choice with a slightly more eclectic style.
Address: 153 Jalan Hutton, Georgetown
T: (0421) 89 858;
Coordinates (for GPS): 100º19'45.03" E, 5º25'14.87" 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|
|318 ringgit||424 ringgit|
|Deluxe double room|
|400 ringgit||450 ringgit|
|500 ringgit||600 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.
Provided by Travelfish partner Agoda.
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