This collection of traditional 77-year old townhouses lining a quiet street is ideally located on the edge of the fray – yet within easy walking distance of George Town’s heritage charm. With only seven suites in total – each with its own private floor in one of the townhouses – the feel is intimate and exclusive, but not pretentious.
The enthusiastic founders represent a new breed of young, “global” citizen: well-travelled and culturally-hybrid, they have blended both old with new and East with West, to create a completely unique aesthetic. Furniture comes in an amalgam of styles, with little touches of luxury. Inside the Garden Suite, a large, flat-screen television, complete with a DVD player, a large library of DVDs, a coffee machine, kettle, and mini-fridge stocked with complementary drinks and snacks. An outdoor space completes the suite, making the feel much more that of a private apartment than an anonymous hotel room.
A swinging wooden seat stands amid the foliage and, for night time, there is even a glass candle-lit lantern. Though upstairs suites lack the outside space, they benefit from two double-bedded rooms, making them a great hideaway for families or groups of friends. Understated design features abound: quirky lighting fittings, shaped like huge matchsticks, and hand-sewn cushions lining the walls. One of its room keys come with a little bird attached which, when not in use, snuggled itself into a tiny birdhouse affixed to the wall.
The entrance to each townhouse doubles up as a large common area shared by upstairs- and downstairs-inhabitants; each comes with a cosy sitting area, table, reading material and an internet-ready computer. This being Mango Tree, the décor is absolutely individual to each townhouse.
It is hard not to feel the love aching through this place. Its staff provide a warm and informative check-in: all guests receive their in-house pamphlet/map detailing not only essential cultural hotspots, but also the whereabouts of such practical amenities as the nearby supermarket, ATM, 24-hour 7-11, and local eateries. Following the breakfast tiffin, filled with variable sweet and savoury hawker delights (roti canai, char koay teow, coconutty Nyonya kuih and fresh fruits), a free shuttle service takes guests to the heart of the heritage area.