Known as the Pearl of the Orient, this stretch of the Malaysian Peninsula has some of the best food and beaches in the land. Its capital, George Town, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Once an important trading port, it now boasts gleaming malls and shiny skyscrapers, however, it’s also filled with multicultural heritage. Tourists are taken by trishaw for afternoon teas at historic hotels, to see British colonial buildings, Chinese temples and mosques, passing the wealth of creative street art that’s become synonymous with the city. If you’re looking for somewhere to stay in Penang, this is the place to come for the finest hotels.
Eastern & Oriental Hotel
The E&O as it’s fondly known was first established in 1885 and remains the only hotel in the city to occupy prime sea frontage. A new wing, the Victory Annexe was opened in 2013, adding a sixth-floor infinity pool, an art gallery and a Thai spa. While the Heritage Wing is an ode to a bygone era, with antique furnishings. The decor at the Eastern & Oriental is, in the main, classic and polished, with muted earthy tones, marble and dark wood. Planters Lounge serves drinks and snacks with a view, while the 1885 restaurant offers European style fine menus and a buffet or a la carte can be enjoyed at Sarkies.
This century-old mansion was the first member of Design Hotels in Malaysia. Each of its eight unique suites has specially commissioned artwork, different architectural features and mod cons like minibars and Nespresso machines. Blanc, serving French – Asian fusion cuisine is considered to be one of the finest contemporary dining establishments in the city, while The Cellar, is a sophisticated haunt, specialising in whisky and cheese. Guests can stay active in the small gym, or with laps in the shimmering green pool.
The Prestige Hotel Penang
Thoroughly modern glitz and quirky features await at the light, bright,162 bedroom Prestige. Look out for showers encased in golden cages, floating beds and tropical accents in among the almost exclusively ivory colour scheme. Ministry of Design – also responsible for Macalister Mansion’s decor – have created the interiors here. A sleek, glass-walled saltwater infinity pool looks out onto the harbourfront from its elevated fourth-floor position – a great spot to recline on a lounger, drink in hand and watch the port comings and goings. A pastel-hued Glasshouse restaurant is a place to eat and drink at The Prestige, or you can order food to your room.