Heritage Boutique Hotel in George Town
Yeng Keng Hotel at Chulia Street
A heritage boutique hotel in George Town, which occupies a nicely restored old
heritage building at Chulia Street has been opened recently in 2010. What sets it apart from other buildings
along the street is, it has a wide open courtyard in front of the
Yeng Keng, literally means
"City of Swallow" in Mandarin. The trademark entrance gate
welcomes you as you step in from the busy street to this retreat.
The cute logo depicts a couple of swallows
circling the entrance gate.
There is a story behind this portal. It used to
shelter many little swallows which build their nests here. Hence
the name and the logo.
The walls and pillars are
painted in bright ochre. The spandrels are decorated with a riot of colors
using classic Chinese chien nien mosaic patterns.
Naturally, images of phoenix are depicted to signify prosperity.
If we were to study the significance of the architecture, we can see several
layers of influence, as this building first was built by a wealthy Indian Muslim
merchant, Shaik bin Eusoffe bin Shaik Latiff. In 1897 the trustees of the
Cantonese Club 'Ying Han Pit Shu' bought the property. The club donated
the property to Association of Straits Chinese Building in 1939. Further, it was leased to
a businessman who turned it into a budget hotel.
In restoration effort, the current owner of this hotel, Hoo Kim Properties
Sdn. Bhd. engaged the same team of architects who rebuilt Cheong Fatt Tze mansion.
The chien nien and frescoes were painstakingly rebuilt based on the original
by Xiao Wen Si, from Fu Jian, China. He is also the leader that supplies
workers for restoration work. Xiao Wen Si also played a crucial role in
restoring the Blue Mansion too, another heritage boutique hotel in George Town.
I was invited to visit the hotel in early June 2010 by the Hotel Manager
Jacky Chung. It was quite interesting to learn about anomalies one can find at
the hotel. For example, if we look at the front elevation, we can see that the
right side of the building appears to be purposely built to be skewed. What is
the reason for this? No one knows.
Do you notice the skewed beam
on the right side of the building?
The front courtyard
The corridor are lined with terracotta tiles;
Common areas are furnished with antiques and batik paintings.
There are twenty rooms, including four suites. The largest suite
is named Yeng Keng Suite. It was formerly a room meant for entertainment, as
there is a wooden sign that signifies: Game, Drink, Room. It consists of three
sections, an outdoor balcony, a living room and a bedroom.
The living area and the bedroom for Yeng Keng Suite.
All other rooms and suites are well equipped with standard hotel features like
en-suite bathrooms, flat LCD panel televisions, air-con units and also hot water
Most furniture are genuine antique pieces sourced out by the owner himself. Many
paintings, notably batik paintings grace the walls. Old fashioned terracotta
tiles were chosen for the flooring. Another good thing about the hotel is, it
has many wide open areas for guests to sit quietly, have a chat or read.
The back door of the building.
If you are looking for a stylish hotel to stay in, conveniently located right
in the city center, Yeng Keng hotel is the place to be for an experience staying
in a heritage boutique hotel in George Town.
Follow the link here to book the hotel.
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