- Style High-fashion heritage
- Setting Curious Georgetown
Corbusier and Eames don't normally kick back on original Peranakan floor tiles, but at Penang boutique stay Hotel Penaga modernist marvels and vibrant Malay details go hand in hand. Set in a grand central building and rows of shophouses that straddle two blocks, this design den adds a dash of glitz to boho Georgetown.
Need to know
- Rooms 45, including eight suites.
- Rates Double rooms from $114.09 (MYR368), excluding tax at 16 per cent.
- More details Rates include Malaysian or western breakfast.
- Facilities Spa, boutique, library, gardens, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, CD/DVD player, iPod dock. Suites also have an espresso machine.
- Poolside Leave your modesty at home if you plan to take a dip here. The blue-tiled lap-pool runs through the lush courtyard between the Cinnamon restaurant and casual alfresco tables, so diners have a front-row seat for those less-than-elegant tumble-turns.
- Check–out Midday; check-in, 3pm.
Children The two-bedroom Penaga Suites and Clarke Terraces are ideal for families. Baby cots are free of charge and beds for older kids cost RM105, including breakfast. Babysitting can be arranged for RM20 an hour, given 24 hours' notice.
- Also Pets are permitted in the Clarke Terraces, just give staff a 72-hour heads up that your pooch or cat is coming along.
In the know
- Our favourite rooms In all rooms, rainbow-bright Cambodian bedspreads and flora prints from old botanical books are teamed with statement lounges for a look that's both current and cultured. Pick of the bunch are the Transfer Suites with balconies, which have deep verandas, high-beamed ceilings and deco-style stained glass.
- Packing tips Colourful threads to match the boho-chic Peranakan aesthetic, or swanky black for perching purposefully on a mid-century LC2 couch. Pack light... the boutique is brimming with take-home treasures, from arty knick-knacks to covetable cow-hide rugs.
- Also Feeling less than fresh in these polished surrounds? Get thee to the day spa, one of Georgetown's finest, and the haute hair salon, filled with Starck Ghost chairs, lavish silver mirrors and ornate brass wash-basins. Holistic and traditional Malaysian therapies are a specialty in the spa, along with tempting treatments such as the Sensual Vanilla Coconut Wrap and the kooky-sounding Fruity Bath.
Food and drink at Hotel Penaga
- Hotel restaurant If casual restaurant the Cinnamon was any closer to the pool, the waiters would have to wear flippers. Traditional floor tiles and curvaceous Chinese furniture may dominate the decor, but chef Haron Muzaffar Abdul Aziz deviates from the classics, drawing from the Orient and Europe to create some left-of-centre fusion dishes, such as char siew lamb, duck with kimchi (pickled cabbage) and beef carpaccio with ginger-flower dressing.
- Dress code Light linens for poolside lounging, then segue into something smarter for after-dark assignations.
- Top table Nab one of the banquette seats in the air-conditioned dining room for a quiet meal away from the splashing.
- Last orders The kitchen calls it quits at 11pm, but the bar will mix you a martini until midnight.
- Room service No one goes hungry at Penaga, as you can have your pick of the restaurant menu delivered to your room 24 hours a day.
- Hotel bar Adorned with brass lanterns imported from Guangzhou, the Tanglung Bar is a cosy spot for a cocktail and a pre-dinner snack of pappadam crisps. Try the signature Penaga Punch or a refreshing fruit mocktail, perfect if you're laying off the booze.