Best Boutique Hotel in George Town Penang – Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion aka The Blue Mansion
Built in the 19th century, Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, or better known as The Blue Mansion in the heart of UNESCO World Heritage Site, George Town in Penang, Malaysia, has always stood out because of the main colour on its buildings, the bright indigo blue. A group of local conservationists bought the property in 1989 and took 6 years to restore the mansion into its former glory after it fell into ruin due to poor care, The Blue Mansion was subsequently fitted out and opened as a boutique hotel and for public viewing. Most notably, Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, The Blue Mansion won the 2000 UNESCO ‘Most Excellent’ Heritage Conservation Award and laid the foundation for the UNESCO World Heritage Site for similar buildings in George Town. Today, this beautiful property operates as an 18-rooms boutique hotel cum museum, which we had the opportunity to stay there recently on our Penang staycation.
Given that we were still not totally out of the woods with the pandemic situation, we were happy to just stick to a small boutique hotel which was less crowded and had enough things to do in the house which therefore negated the need to venture outside. We were upgraded to the Ming Collection rooms with direct pool & garden access, and got the ‘Lean Hwa’ room, which means Lotus Flower in Chinese. Located on the ground floor of the left-wing in the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, this quaint and cosy room Furnished with art and antiques from left behind by the Cheong Fatt Tze family. Extra precautions were taken by the hotel to use UV lights to sanitise the room beforehand and it smelled fresh when we first stepped into the room.
I loved this spacious double bed room with a high ceiling, and came also with an ensuite bathroom with a rain shower. Nice touch from the hotel by including the traditional sarong for the guest to swap into to be comfortable, as well as some home-made chocolate cookies for the guests. The bed was also comfy and we had a good night’s sleep.
Dining Options – Indigo Restaurant
We have heard so much about this modern Asian fine-dining restaurant in Penang and this was our first time dining at this restaurant. We booked a table for dinner when we checked in to the hotel earlier in the day, and was glad that we made the right decision to stay in instead of venturing out to other dining places. Located on the first floor of the Mansion, Indigo Restaurant serves a mixture of Asian and Western dishes, from the freshest available ingredients available on the Penang island.
We thoroughly enjoyed the starters, Indigo Tiger Prawn & Crab Cake for me (MYR36+), Signature Chilled Capellini for Big Teddy (MYR25+), and the House Salad with Seared Boneless Chicken (MYR35+). I thought my main, Torched Mentaiko Rice with Glazed Eel (MYR35+) was okay as my favourite is still the one at Uokatsu, Kuala Lumpur, but Big Teddy absolutely loved his Roasted Half Poussin (MYR33+). We ended our dinner with the Lemongrass Creme Brulee (MYR18+) and Signature “Brookie” with Chantilly Cream (MYR18+), of which the Lemongrass Creme Brulee was the standout dish of the night. Check out their full menu here.
This is definitely the blue-est bar that I’d ever visited, perfectly designed to match the most unique characteristic of the mansion, by being blue! Happy Hours all day every day (11am – 10pm) is the best part of this bar with reasonable prices for alcoholic drinks. We had tried the Cosmopolitan and Tequila Sunrise here, as well as their signature mocktail which was made out of pineapple, lime and ginger.
Afternoon Tea & Breakfast at The Courtyard
Included in our room package were also the afternoon tea and breakfast which we took full advantage of. The afternoon tea set was meant to be snacks but we decided to have it as lunch instead since we had late breakfast in Taiping on the way up in the morning. It was beautifully presented and consisted of a selection of sweet and savoury pastries, from a peach cake, dark chocolate truffle, strawberry shortcake, lemon drizzle, egg tart, miso eggplant bruschetta and cream cheese onion sandwiches. I’m never a sweet tooth person although the sweet pastries were delicious, I’d still prefer the savoury selections. We enjoyed our quiet afternoon tea with coffee and tea in the Courtyard, as we were the only couple there at that time.
As for breakfast, we had the option between dining in the room or the Courtyard, and we chose the Courtyard once again since it’s such a lovely space in the mansion. We had to pre-select our breakfast choice the day before, with selections such as big breakfast, creamy cheese sandwich, and local dish such as Teochew porridge. A warm tray of steamed dim sum and a plate of fruits were also given as part of the breakfast set for 2 people.
Daily Mansion Tour
Since we were staying in the mansion, we were treated with a complimentary mansion tour. There are daily tours twice a day at 11am and 2pm, with normal prices for adults going at MYR25 and children at MYR12.50 each. Covering the reception hall, the famed courtyard and the museum exhibition on the second floor, the tour takes about 45 minutes in total.
We learnt about the rich history of The Blue Mansion, from its ups and downs, and to all the famous movies and TV shows it had been featured.
Did you know? The reception hall of this mansion was featured in the mahjong scene in the Crazy Rich Asians.
Instagram Worthy Spots In The Mansion
Being a heritage building with such unique features, there are plenty of Instagram worthy spots within the mansion. Just use your imagination and creativity and some beautiful shots are a guaranteed here.
Final Thoughts on Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, aka The Blue Mansion
We had stayed in a few luxury boutique hotels in Penang throughout the years, and this Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion aka The Blue Mansion is definitely one of our top choices. The service was prompt and friendly, the ambience was chill and relaxing, the food was good and tasty, and the room was spacious and comfortable. Apart from the patchy internet connections during our stay and limited TV channels with non-watchable channels (except for BBC news) in the room, we were overall very happy with our stay. I personally loved the design of this heritage boutique hotel which is rich in history, exactly the main reason why I chose the hotel for our staycation in Penang. George Town is an excellent place to explore in Malaysia, and the prime location of Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion makes it one of the best places to stay in Penang. If you love a design boutique hotel with a strong heritage history, I’d strongly recommend you to check out this beautiful Blue Mansion.
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