Once a renowned trading port, Penang is a commercially developed province and one of Malaysia’s most visited regions. Its capital, Georgetown, has sacrificed few of its traditional architecture to modernity and as a result dotted all over the place are some of the best British colonial structures in the country.
Despite the profusion of hotels and guesthouses, Georgetown is one of the few places on the whole island where you might experience difficulty in finding a room, particularly at the budget end of the scale. Arrive early or book ahead; the Pearl of the Orient’s range of luxury uber-resorts tends to be concentrated in Batu Ferringhi.
Ever since Georgetown’s inclusion on UNESCO’s World Heritage list in 2008, Penang’s seen an increase in heritage-house-cum-hotels that are fast gaining in popularity such as the Cheong Fatt Sze Mansion. These non-standardised boutique offerings boast personalised service, unconventional exclusivity and unique amenities. If you’re searching for a good way to immerse yourself in Penang’s colonial past while also experiencing not too pricey facilities, these non-generic properties rival those of five-star establishments hands down.