George Town’s sights may be just a stone’s throw away, but once you set foot in Hotel Penaga—a downtown oasis sprawling over an entire city block—you may never want to leave. Renowned Malaysian architect Hijjas Kasturi has transformed three rows of heritage shop houses into 45 breathtaking rooms and suites, plus a bar, restaurant, boutique and spa set at the edge of a peaceful courtyard with an 18-meter swimming pool. In the individually decorated rooms, dark timber floors are a nod to the hotel’s namesake—before being claimed by the British in 1786, Penang was covered with forests of ironwood, or penaga, trees—while photographs, paintings and multimedia artworks from Kasturi’s personal collection share space with an eclectic mix of Southeast Asian furniture and textiles, central Asian kilims and brightly colored soft furnishings. Jacuzzi baths, walk-in showers, LED TV’s and mini-bars invite nesting. Which room to book? Try one of the sumptuous upstairs Transfer suites, which have a roomy separate living area and two balconies, one overlooking the garden and the other with a bird’s-eye view of the fascinating street life below.
Corner of Jalan Hutton and Lebuh Clarke,
George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Telephone: +60 4 261 1891