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Best heritage hotels in Penang

Steeped in history, these heritage hotels will redefine your stay in George Town

Pre-war buildings, century-old shophouses and more – there certainly isn’t any shortage of charming accommodation in George Town. Go back in time and plan your next stay at one of these heritage hideouts.  

Jawi Peranakan Mansion
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Jawi Peranakan Mansion

The Jawi Peranakan Mansion is an Anglo-Indian mansion designed in the colonial British style with Mughal architectural characteristics. Restoration took three years to complete, and all the original design elements are present – you can still see the Doric columns, wood lattices, wheel window arches and more.

There are eight rooms and six suites here – cosy enough that you won’t feel crowded with other guests. The mansion is located in what was once known as the Malay Millionaire’s Row, and with its ornate architecture and opulent design, the mansion fits right in.

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Campbell House Penang
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Campbell House Penang

The Straits-Chinese building that Campbell House Penang calls home was built in 1903 and has always been used as a hotel. The current owners, the husband-and-wife team of Nardya and Roberto, bought the building in 2007 and have restored the building to its former brilliance, keeping most of its initial features like the floorboards and wooden arches.

First-rate service and stylishly decorated rooms are among the top compliments for this boutique accommodation. Rooms and spaces are decorated with furnishings that draw inspiration from a mix of colonial, Chinese, Malay and Indian styles, and a warm colour palette lends a welcoming ambience to the entire hotel.

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George Town
The Edison
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The Edison

The colonial building that houses The Edison was built in 1906 as the private residence of a wealthy tycoon. That being said, you can expect the same sense of extravagance that was often associated with the affluent – think grand architecture, an impressive façade, wide open spaces within the mansion, and plenty of elaborate detailing.

There are three types of rooms available at The Edison – Deluxe, Deluxe Premium and the Suite. And in line with the opulent experience The Edison strives to provide its guests, all rooms come with personalised concierge services and a pre-dinner wine discovery at The Lounge.

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George Town
Chulia Heritage Hotel
4/10

Chulia Heritage Hotel

This 45-room hotel in the middle of George Town is housed in an elegant century-old mansion. The entrance to the building is by way of a long curved driveway, bringing to mind a sense of opulence and luxury.

Inside, the minimalistic white theme is clean and modern, and the rooms are comfortable and welcoming enough after a day out. It’s a great place to stay if you’re coming in a group – the 45 rooms are outfitted with contemporary facilities like designer furnishings and complimentary WiFi; and the hotel’s strategic location in the middle of George Town plus its free bike rental service make it easy to get around.

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East Indies Mansion
5/10

East Indies Mansion

The Straits-Chinese mansion East Indies occupies was once the home of Koh Lay Huan, the first Kapitan Cina of Penang. Fun fact: The house was once slated to be demolished to make way for offices, but the Penang Heritage Trust put a stop to this due to its historical importance and architecture. The building and its original detailing were then comprehensively restored, creating the cool accommodation it is today.

There are ten rooms in the mansion, each with their own individual character and all outfitted with modern amenities to make stays comfortable. The quiet courtyards – a typical feature of traditional Fujian houses – allow plenty of natural light and breeze to flow through the entire mansion, and terracotta floor tiles only add to the charm of the place.

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George Town
The Blue Mansion (Cheong Fatt Tze)
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The Blue Mansion (Cheong Fatt Tze)

Recommended

One of the most famous heritage buildings on the island, The Blue Mansion is over a century old, having been built towards the end of the 19th century by the wealthy Chinese businessman and diplomat Cheong Fatt Tze. It epitomises the grandeur of classic Chinese mansions of the time and showcases various architectural and design influences – from English art nouveau stained glass to Cantonese timber lattices. That said, restoration of the building was carefully done with traditional methods and minimal modern additions, ensuring the original structure was preserved and took to six years to complete.

The Blue Mansion houses 18 boutique rooms and five courtyards, and offers daily tours so visitor can get a true sense of the house and its history.

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George Town
Loke Thye Kee Residences
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Loke Thye Kee Residences

Loke Thye Kee Residences are located in refurbished shophouses that bring to mind the charisma of the early 1900s. The century-old shophouses exude a sense of old world charm and transport guests back in time when staying here.

There are only five suites in this boutique residence, each with its own front garden and a private balcony. In the rooms, exposed brick walls reminiscent of hipster cafés and present-day conveniences (like a fully equipped kitchenette and even a pillow menu) offer a contrast to the traditional feel of the residences. If you want to experience staying in a century-old building but with all the modern amenities that will leave you wanting for nothing, this is where to go.

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Macalister Mansion
8/10

Macalister Mansion

This colonial English mansion was built in the early 1900s. Its commanding façade and extensive grounds can be a bit imposing, and inside the interiors are impressive – think elaborate archways, columns and staircases (all of which are original and were reinforced during the building’s restoration process). The building’s old features have been carefully combined with contemporary touches, making Macalister Mansion a gorgeous blend of the old and new.

There are eight luxuriously appointed rooms here, each individually designed and outfitted with all the conveniences of modern day facilities. Each room also contains specially commissioned art pieces, and come with plush 400 thread count bedding.

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George Town
Noordin Mews
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Noordin Mews

This boutique heritage hotel is housed in a row of classic 1920s Peranakan shophouses that were once homes for the servants of wealthy families who lived nearby. The street the hotel is on was previously home to an entertainment centre in the ‘50s and ‘60s, which has inspired much of the hotel’s current look and feel.

There are 16 rooms and units here that are fully furnished with antique tiles or wooden flooring alongside furniture that hark back to 1950s Shanghai, and there are plenty of modern amenities to make stays comfortable.

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George Town
23 LoveLane
10/10

23 LoveLane

This boutique hotel is made up of different buildings that were built at different times, the first of which dates back to the 1800s. The main building has gone through several owners and tenants from the being a colonial residence to the home of a wealthy local family, and retains a homely vibe.

There are four wings that make up the living quarters – the Anglo Indian Bungalow, Straits Eclectic Building, 1920s Jack Roof Annex and the Indian Shop House. And if it gets full, there are also additional suites within walking distance of the main building that are situated in pre-war shophouses.

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George Town

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