Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, The Blue Mansion of Penang
One of Penang’s most recognisable attractions, the Blue Mansion is as much a museum as it is a hotel. The former home of a wealthy Chinese merchant, the house officially known as Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion allows visitors to enter on guided tours to see its atmospheric interiors and learn about Penang’s Peranakan culture. The hotel rooms in the two wings that flank the central part of the house are not part of the tour and remain the private sanctuaries of in-house guests lucky enough to experience Malaysian hospitality in historical surroundings (and in-house guests can go upstairs to see the informative displays anytime). With only 18 rooms and suites, accommodation at the Blue Mansion is highly sought after. As in many historical properties, each room is different in size and configuration. The larger, more elaborately decorated rooms such as the Escoy Room are spacious and airy; some ground-floor rooms have French doors leading out to the garden and swimming pool. Upstairs suites are perfect for families.
Very conveniently located in George Town’s UNESCO World Heritage zone, the Blue Mansion is a great base for exploring Penang, a city that becomes more interesting and enjoyable with each passing year as the restoration of its traditional architecture continues to transform old into new while still respecting the past. Penang is famous as one of Asia’s culinary capitals, and the Blue Mansion’s Indigo restaurant is a popular place for enjoying Malaysian cuisine at lunchtime and an appealing array of
Western dishes from the evening’s dinner menu. As throughout this property painstakingly restored by the current owners, the first-floor restaurant’s veranda still retains the decorative elements original to the mansion. The more time spent walking around the inner courtyards, corridors, and public rooms, the more the attention to detail is noticed. Breakfast is served in an alcove off the ground-floor courtyard that is the physical centre of the house. Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, the Blue Mansion, can make arrangements for weddings, anniversaries, and other private celebrations and, thanks to its small size, also serves as an ideal venue for a corporate retreat or teambuilding exercises.
Penang is easily reached from Australia with Scoot Airlines, which has recently integrated its longhaul Dreamliner routes with the former Tigerair’s Asian route network, giving Australian travellers a seamless flight experience to Penang with just one change of planes at Singapore’s user-friendly Changi Airport.