In the newly minted UNESCO World Heritage town of Penang sits a century-old gem: the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion. This historic courtyard house was the brainchild of Cheong Fatt Tze, a prominent Chinese merchant in Penang during the 19th century, who rigorously incorporated feng shui principles and Western decorative sensibilities in the creation of this architectural masterpiece. Beneath its distinctive indigo-blue, ostensibly Chinese façade, the interiors are a meld of cosmopolitan influences: ornamental archways, Cantonese timber lattices and Hokkien “Chien Nien” porcelain works are featured alongside trompe l'œil paintings, Art Nouveau stained glass windows and Scottish cast-iron balusters.
However, despite its eminent founding, the mansion fell in severe disrepair with the passing of Cheong until a group of dedicated conservationists—and a RM7.6-million restoration budget—returned it to its former glory in the 1990’s. Today, the heritage mansion turned boutique hotel stands as one of the island’s most acclaimed and iconic properties. Famous local artists were engaged to design the 16 unique rooms, each thoughtfully appointed with Southeast Asian artefacts as well as modern amenities such as air-conditioning and en-suite bathroom. An enchanting destination in its own right, expect to spend hours browsing the mansion’s intricate decorations and landscaped gardens or join the daily historical tour for a quick immersion in its storied past.
14 Leith Street, Georgetown,
Telephone: +60 4 262 0006