The island of Penang is known for its exotic holiday experiences, from unique local gastronomical offerings to exquisite heritage sights.
Penang is also an island of mesmerising natural charms, cultural sights and countless hidden gems that more than justifies a short stay there.
Listed as a Unesco World Cultural Heritage Site in 2008, the island boasts an impressive lists of historical buildings, some of which have gone through gentrification to become brand new establishments — including hotels. Here are six of the best.
Located along Muntri Street in George Town, Muntri Mews was once a communal parking space for horse carriages back in the 19th century.
This double-storey establishment however has undergone a few phases of restoration, with its architectural framework maintained as close as possible to its original form and only minor additions to strengthen its structure.
Muntri Mews is perfect for those who travel in big groups as the rooms are spacious. The largest is Mews Residence 1, located in the building opposite the Mews Cafe which can house a maximum of 20 people.
The smallest, the Mews Standard Room, can fit a small family of four (terms and conditions apply).
Quietly tucked away at the corner of the same street as Muntri Mews, right behind Thean Hou Temple, is Muntri Grove.
This was once a row of 10 modest houses built as living quarters for workers serving the wealthy families of the grand houses of Muntri Street.
It was originally among the earliest double-storey houses built in the 19th century with low roofs, small living spaces, and only two rooms per each unit.
Muntri Grove, as opposed to Muntri Mews, is catered to couples who want a peaceful and pristine stay while experiencing the romance and ambiance of the Edwardian era.
Due to the limited space, Muntri Grove offers only one type of room – the Deluxe King. These rooms are spacious, thanks to its high ceiling lined with burnished recycled timbers that give off a sense of warmth and comfort.
Back in the 1900s, this building was the residence of wealthy Chinese tycoons. After World War II, this mansion was transformed into a hotel before becoming an administrative office during the Japanese Occupation.
Today however, The Edison is known as a luxury boutique hotel – the best role it has played yet.
Prioritising comfort in simplicity, every room at The Edison is styled with modern touches, down to the type of tiles and marble used.
Kim Haus Loft
More than just a boutique hotel, Kim Haus Loft right in the heart of Campbell Street has under its same roof, a goldsmith museum that pays homage to the building’s history as a renowned jewellery store in the 80s and 90s.
The Goldsmith Museum is the first of its kind in Malaysia that offers an array of vintage goldsmith tools from different parts of the world.
Adopting a minimalistic yet functional decor, each room is fitted with a private bathroom equipped with a bidet and shower (except the private room).
There are three types of rooms — private (hostel-style with common baths), standard and studio with an en-suite.
Rope Walk Guesthouse
Rope Walk Guesthouse along Jalan Pintal Tali is made up of three double-storey heritage shophouses. The name pays homage to the historical street it is built on.
These shophouses, erected back in the 19th century when ropes were in demand, was built by a traditional rope spinner, who made ropes out of coconut husk.
The Frame Guesthouse
The name speaks for itself. Located within the Unesco World Heritage Site, this three-storey shophouse was once a frame-making shop.
The restoration process was minimal, leaving much of the structure untouched, including traces of electrical appliances that were used once upon a time, as well as rough, peeling walls.
Featured images via George Town Heritage & Hotels.
This article first appeared in uppre.com