The good life isn’t always about fancy lounge areas and cutting-edge architecture. The old and worn has its charm, too — especially in Penang.
If you need to crash, make sure it’s at a pad with history.
Artfully restored, this Anglo-Indian mansion is all about wood lattices, lime plaster walls, and Peranakan floor tiles. The hardwood furniture is softened by Kashmir throws and Kilim rugs, and the brass Mughal mirrors give this mansion an upgrade in fashion. If you’re an aspiring novelist, you might even get a room with a vintage roll top desk, not unlike Jane Austen’s.
This deluxe heritage establishment will be the reason for extending your stay in George Town. With wooden panel floors, vintage rattan-woven furniture, expansive Persian rugs, and a vibrant color scheme, this hotel makes everything brighter — especially your day. Close to the Hainan Temple and the Camera Museum.
Welcome to Bangkok — the street, not the city. Furnished with Chinese screens, ceramic basins, and four-poster beds made of expensive dark wood, this hotel is a handsome delight on the quiet street. It’s super close to the Wat Chaiya Mangkalaram and the Dhammikarama Burmese Temple, and if you want to see how local housewives — and husbands — make their grocery rounds, the Pulau Tikus wet market is just four minutes away.
This place doesn’t do cheap — and we don’t mean for your wallet. With a pool, restaurant, bar and full-service spa, you might forget that this isn’t a resort hotel, but the eclectic mix of old and modern furniture will assure you that you’ve come here for the skilled massages as well as the cultural heritage. You’ll also be pleased to know that the WiFi here is speedy.
Step into Seven Terraces, and you’ll step right back into the 19th century. With open courtyards, gold-gilded doors, and marble-on-hardwood chairs and cabinets, this boutique hotel is Anglo-Chinese architecture at its best. If you’re just married, be sure to ask for the room with a complete set of Peranakan bridal furniture! The hotel also houses the Kebaya Restaurant, which is arguably the best Nyonya fine dining experience in town.
Love Lane may be short on lovin’, but love may be all you feel for this hotel. This cheerful, well-maintained establishment features architecture from five different periods since the early 19th century, and includes a Chinese-Indian terrace, a lush garden courtyard, and a library in an Anglo-Indian bungalow. If it sounds too cool to be true, wait until you check out their SteakFrites@23 Restaurant — it’s steak, frites, and pre-war curios and architecture.
Part of the Georgetown Heritage Hotels collection, this hotel will make you want to create your own Peranakan quarters. High ceilings, burnished wood corridors, courtyards with thick vegetation, and 1940’s teak-wood dressing tables are all part of its charm, and the upper floor boasts a small swimming pool with deck chairs in the lounge. Don’t confuse this with Muntri Mews or Muntri House; it’s the Grove you should be getting groovy with.
Even if you’re not Buddha, you might still want to take a look at this famous Bodhi tree, which affixed itself to Spices Hotel’s party wall and is now part of the building. Rooms are vintage-feel, with simple furniture tastefully put together. It’s close to Armenian Street (home of the highest number of street art), the Acheen Street Mosque (founded in 1801), and the Khoo Kongsi (a heavily-ornamented clanhouse).
This hidden gem is located a little further away (about 10 minutes) from the main attractions, which means you have to exercise your feet a little more, but which also means you won’t be kept up all night by younger travelers painting the town red. Breakfast is a tasty affair, after which you should check out their antique collection.
Fancy discovering more plush hotels in Penang? Check out our pick of the best hotels to book in George Town, Penang, bookable with Culture Trip.
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