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Heritage Boutique Hotel in George Town
Yeng Keng Hotel at Chulia Street


yeng keng hotel main gate

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 building.

yeng keng hotel logoYeng 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.

yeng keng hotel reception areaThe 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.

front elevation of yeng keng hotel
Do you notice the skewed beam
on the right side of the building?

view of the front courtyard of yeng keng hotel
The front courtyard

corridor of the top floor, with terracotta tiles common area with antique furniture and batik paintings
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.

yeng keng suite  yeng keng suite
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 showers.

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
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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