Heritage Hotels in Penang
There are several fascinating heritage hotels in Penang. How do you categorize one? Imagine an old sprawling estate with a few scattered buildings, still keeping the old facades and also the feel of Old World.
Huge pillars, large sweeping staircase that leads to the ballroom, spacious rooms with wooden louvers and verandahs.
Think about the time when the gentlemen had to wear white tropical suits and the ladies strolled around in flowing gowns and holding parasols with gloved hands; and they would not be out of place when placed in such surroundings.
Many people would only think of the E&O Hotel when they talk about old distinguished hotels in Penang. I beg to differ, it's sister hotel, the Lone Pine Hotel at Batu Ferringhi, is also something you would like to experience. Lone Pine Hotel is right next to the beach, with generous six acres of space, complete with a stable to make you feel as if you are back in the good old days. They also serve old-fashioned Hainanese cuisine at their restaurant.
True that the E&O used to boast to be "the hotel with the longest sea-front in the world". It had played hostess to many dignitaries and celebrities from around the world but it is not only European-styled buildings that are worthy to be considered as heritage hotels.
Right now Eastern&Oriental Hotel in Penang has to be one of the most famous venues for chic functions or a luxurious stay in Penang. Having said that, you have to experience the place itself to validate this opinion.
The successfully restored Cheong Fatt Sze Mansion, with its interesting Feng Shui elements is now turned into a boutique hotel, right in the heart of George Town.
The restoration effort of this mansion won several awards from the architectural community.
The Blue Mansion almost fell victim to the development of the city center but thanks to a group of caring citizens, they managed to collect enough funds to buy back the building and turned it back to its former glory. Top notch service and a complete feel of luxury is abundant when you stay here.
Please do not forget too, smaller place like Segara Ninda, which had been lovingly maintained and cared for by the descendants of a Malay royalty. Having only twelve rooms, it is almost impossible to get a room here unless one makes the booking well in advance.
A stay at a heritage hotel does not need to be expensive. A good example is 1926 Heritage Hotel at Burmah Road. This hotel offers rooms from as low as RM100 per night (about USD30.00). Now, that is what I call a good deal. Yes, it may not be strategically located right in the city center but if you are on holiday, does it hurt to lose a few extra minutes of traveling time to get there?
At Love Lane, the small street where a few guest houses receive backpackers and budget travelers, quaint shop houses also can be termed as heritage lodgings. Granted that you do not get a lot of space or ample service here but they are still old buildings and they are a dying breed.
A lot more old buildings are being turned into such hotels. China Tiger is one of these places. It is only a matter or time before staying at these hotels become more fashionable than at big modern fancy hotels. After all, if you come to visit a UNESCO designated heritage city, you would prefer to stay at such hotel, right?
For a unique holiday experience, stay at the newly restored China Tiger in George Town.
Yeng Keng Hotel
Brand new hotel at Chulia Street. Very nicely done.
Check out Yeng Keng Hotel.
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