Penang's Happening Art Hotel
November 18, 2014
Art meets accommodation in George Town's heritage
zone. Story and photos by Marco Ferrarese.
Published on Nov 18, 2014
A hotel in Penang's vibrant capital is giving travelers a one-stop shop for culture and comfort. Guesthouse and art space Sinkeh is a restored 19th-century Straits Chinese shophouses at the western end of Malay Street.
This quirky addition to the island's boutique accommodation boom, aptly named "newcomer" in the Penang Hokkien dialect, is run by theater director Chee Sek Thim and actor Ho Sheau Fung. Their fresh concept is simple yet powerful: to build a symbiotic relationship between refined hospitality and artistic communality. "Our guests become art patrons, because a portion of their expenses go towards sustaining the activities of our art space," Sek Thim says. Re-imagined by award-winning Malaysian architect Lillian Tay, Sinkeh's nine rooms mix contemporary design with original timber beams and luminous limestone walls. The vista from the sky patio takes in the best of George Town's heritage rooftops, while on the ground floor local artistic types sip cups of red wine in a traditional open-air courtyard. The gallery at the back of the house offers a kaleidoscopic calendar of theater performances, art cinema screenings and book launches. If you want to soak in Penang's creative scene, Sinkeh is the best place to marinate. 105 Lebuh Melayu, George Town; +60 4 261 3966; sinkeh.com.