‘A sight to behold’ is one way to describe Design Hotels’ new member, Macalister Mansion, an exclusive boutique hotel in Penang.
Authentic, quirky, stylish and sophisticated, Macalister Mansion is the first addition from Malaysia to the Design Hotels collection. The 100-year old colonial estate was creatively renovated by its owners – Dato Sean H’ng and Datin Karen H’ng in close collaboration with Colin Seah of Singapore’s renowned firm Ministry of Design. While striving to restore the original features, like the wrought iron spiral staircase leading to a viewing tower in one of the guest-rooms, the designers brought the hotel into the modern era by adding luxurious contemporary amenities and bespoke fixtures and furnishings. The result is an exquisite combination of old and new, preservation and innovation, unique, exclusive and unexpected.
Macalister Mansion and Penang
“Penang is one of those places that could definitely use an influx of luxury”, how can you say that, we hear you scream! Well, quite simply, Paul Godbold MIOJ, the owner of Luxurious Magazine (the worlds top ranked luxury magazine) lives on Penang island. If there is one person in the whole of Malaysia that is in the position to make that statement, it is him.
Penang is one of those places that, on the one hand tries to keep its quaint feel and traditions to ensure that the precious UNESCO status is maintained, whilst at the same time markets itself as a premier vacation destination. The UNESCO status is probably simpler to maintain than elevating the island to the levels required to be considered luxurious. The majority of the islands hotels are at best 4 Star, some hotels such as the Eastern and Oriental stand out, others that claim to be of a luxury standard are tired and the staff struggle to know what a discerning luxury traveller requires. So it is with great interest that the Macalister Mansion has opened, will it achieve its goals, will Macalister Mansion be the first luxury hotel in Penang that we’ll feature in Luxurious Magazine? We’ve been there, we’ve sampled the fine dining, we’ve looked around, it does look beautiful, it is luxurious, but is Penang ready? Only time will tell..
About Macalister Mansion
Located along the historic Macalister Road in George Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site city and the capital of Penang, a bustling, diverse and colourful metropolis amid the sea, Macalister Mansion is perfectly in tune with its surroundings. Not unlike the city itself, it strives to preserve its multicultural heritage whilst keeping up with the modern development. Macalister Mansion is the first project under Heritage Redefined, a conservation initiative headed by Dato Sean to showcase the regeneration of Penang’s old colonial buildings and bringing them into the 21-st century.
Named after Colonel Norman Macalister, the first British Governor of the state at the dawn of the 19-th century, Macalister Mansion is paying homage to history by displaying unique art work and bespoke decorative pieces representing various stages and adventures of the colonel’s life throughout the guest-rooms and public areas. No two rooms in the building look the same. There are 8 beautiful spacious guest-rooms, each following a different theme and thus individual in every way from size and décor to furnishing and original features. With the owners being renowned supporters of local arts and crafts, unique pieces of artwork were specially created by prominent Southeast Asian artists for decoration and furnishing of the hotel, like the specially commissioned love sonnet for The Bridal Suite or the Grace Tan textile piece in Room 7 that pays tribute to the tartan colors of the Macalister clan. Bespoke Furniture pieces and hand-picked carpets, filigree inspired silver and white mosaic in the bathrooms and circular mirrors suspended from the ceilings at a distance from the walls – these are only some of the features that create a special feel of warm and relaxing ambiance that make guests feel like they are staying in a beautiful private mansion rather than a typical hotel. Attention to detail at Macalister Mansion deserves a special mention, from specially designed uniforms to personalised stationery; nothing escaped the designer’s careful and thorough consideration.
Macalister Mansion is also a new hip hangout place to see and be seen, highly desirable for events, gatherings and parties. Dato Sean is using his new creation to strengthen his reputation as a successful culinary entrepreneur by offering the guest a choice of five restaurants and bars catering for variety of tastes and pallets. From contemporary French cuisine in The Dining Room, that would please the fine-dining enthusiasts to local variety with a special twist for those favouring Asian flavours at The Living Room. There is an exclusive Cigar Bar – The Den, where guests can indulge in an impressive collection of cigars and whiskies, a ‘swim-up’ pool bar The Lawn and a hip and trendy Bagan Bar attracting a sophisticated night-club type of crowd with a great selection of drinks, a dance floor and live music performances.
On top of the unforgettable experience of actually staying within mesmerizing colonial estate, the location of Macalister Mansion, while being set somewhat away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, allows you to explore the Penang Island with its historical architecture, world-famous culinary delights, and diverse and coulourful multicultural heritage.
Go to www.designhotels.com/macalister_mansion for more information Macalister Mansion