Located at the corner lot of Jalan Hutton and Lebuh Clarke in George Town, Penang, Hotel Penaga’s unique art deco terraces surely catch the eye of passersby.
Constructed in the early 1920s, this building was originally a three-row cluster of fifteen double-storey block with terraced houses and shops.
Many locals would remember this property as being left vacant and fell into disrepair for many years, until it was acquired by the husband-and-wife team of Hijjas Kasturi & Angela in 2008.
Long story short, the block of buildings were restored and converted into a forty-five room heritage boutique hotel, using traditional architectural methods and original furniture.
The timber and lumber used at Penaga were recovered and repurposed from demolished colonial buildings within the island.
Mr. Kasturi, an architect and Angela, an environmentalist, have jointly put their heart and soul into the hotel, not forgetting the investment of time and money.
About five years ago, Hotel Penaga opened its doors to their first guests.
If you have wondered what “Penaga” means, actually the hotel is named after Tanjung Penaga or the Cape of Penaga, a species of trees that grew here, and was used as a name for the first settlement in Penang Island where George Town is situated.
As soon as I set foot past the door of Hotel Penaga, I was transported back in time to the era of my great-grandparents.
Away from the hustle and bustle that is George Town, Hotel Penaga offers a cosy retreat for guests, until they are once again ready to explore the cultural heritage city again, as it is strategically situated within UNESCO World Heritage Site in the heart of George Town.
During my stay at Hotel Penaga, I had the opportunity to view some of the rooms. The hotel offers four categories of accommodation: Hutton Deluxe, Clarke Terraces, Transfer Suites and Penaga Suites, to cater to the different requirements of guests.
Each room or suite boasts a unique style and I was hard pressed to search for one that was similarly furnished.
Yes, guests would never get bored even if they put up at Hotel Penaga multiple times as every room or unit is laid out with its own distinctive theme.
Hutton Suite / Deluxe
Finely appointed, Hutton Suite / Deluxe, although the lowest category of rooms at Penaga, are reconstructed with Chinese antique furniture, restored timber flooring and individual art pieces.
Each unit is equipped with a hot tub, and some have balconies. The unit that I was assigned to had a staircase that led up to an attic-like open concept bedroom.
Named after the street fronting it, these are terrace houses, which make a perfect fit for families or those travelling as a group.
Not only are Clarke Terraces spacious, they provide privacy as well. Again, the units have been furnished with beautiful reconstructed antique furniture.
With only eight Transfer Suites, these are of course very popular among larger family groups, although they may not be suitable for the elderly as they are only accessible by stairs.
Some are with balcony and some without, so do specify what you require when you make a reservation.
These are corner units with a larger floor space of 60sq. m. The two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a living room are most suited for large family groups, and the good news is that no climbing is necessary.
Browsing through my photos, you can see that Hotel Penaga gives off a homely feel. Indeed, I felt very at ease during my stay and had considered extending my holiday, if only I did not have other engagements in Ipoh!
Besides accommodation, other in-house facilities include a restaurant (The Cinnamon), lounge (The Tanglung Bar), business centre, spa (Penaga Spa) and lap pool.
Oh, another plus point of Hotel Penaga would be that it was the first heritage restoration project in the country to be awarded a Gold Rating by the Green Building Index.
What is the Green Building Index?
The Green Building Index (GBI) is Malaysia’s industry recognised green rating tool for buildings to promote sustainability in the built environment and raise awareness among developers, architects, engineers, planners, designers, contractors and the public about environmental issues and our responsibility to the future generations.
The GBI rating tool provides an opportunity for developers and building owners to design and construct green, sustainable buildings that can provide energy savings, water savings, a healthier indoor environment, better connectivity to public transport and the adoption of recycling and greenery for their projects and reduce our impact on the environment.
Parking, albeit limited, is available to guests on first come, first served basis.
Add: Corner of Jalan Hutton & Lebuh Clarke, 10050 George Town, Penang, Malaysia.
Tel: 04-291 3201
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