Cheong Fatt Tze – The Blue Mansion
It’s safe to say that The Blue Mansion has become a symbol of how far George Town has come since gaining their heritage site status. This mansion epitomises the story of how a poor boy from China came as a teenager to seek his fortune, which he made after years of hard work, and finally ends up being known as the ‘Rockefeller of the East’. With eight wives and a brood of children, he installed some of them at his remarkable home on Leith Street, which was then known as the finest Chinese mansion outside China and built in the late 1880s.
Fast forward to the 1990s and with the mansion almost in ruins, a group of Penang conservationists bought the property with the sole aim of restoring it. To do this, careful planning and renovation was carried out utilising local and specialist artisans to maintain the integrity of the building. With their philosophy of ‘treading lightly and touching softly’, The Blue Mansion was brought back to life and has become the most famous boutique hotel in Penang with its iconic indigo colouring.
There are 18 rooms in three categories – Tang Suites, Han Suites and the Liang Collection – all decorated beautifully keeping with the Chinese heritage aesthetic. If there was such a thing as discreet opulence, the décor here is just that, and the original artefacts from bygone eras only serve to enhance this. Most importantly, the beds are ultra comfortable and the complimentary jar of butter cookies were very welcome.
14 Lebuh Leith, George Town (+604 262 0006/www. cheongfatttzemansion.com). Depending on season and promotion, from RM318.