Penang, Malaysia

Macalister Mansion

Rates from (ex tax)$171.72

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (MYR840.00), via, using today’s exchange rate.


Colonial couture


Fringe of heritage Georgetown

With enough eye-candy to impress the most hardened of gallery-gazers, boutique hotel Macalister Mansion in Penang boasts eye-boggling artworks and lashings of luxury. From the giant white tree in the Dining Room and the deer portraits in the Cellar to the handpicked Malaysian furnishings, you'll be spoiled for choice with what to admire here.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A home-made 'Chilled Infusion' crush (orange, lemongrass, mint juice, pineapple and cardamom) each


Photos Macalister Mansion facilities

Need to know




12pm; earliest check-in from 3pm. Late check-out is available on request, subject to availability.


Double rooms from $171.72 (MYR764), excluding tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional resort fee of MYR50.00 per person on check-out.

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (MYR840.00), via, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates usually include WiFi, minibar snacks and breakfast (choose from local favourites and Western options).


Keep a sharp eye for the white animal statues in the courtyard outside the Dining Room – bonus points if you spot the covert cat. Budding historians, take note: the hotel is named in honour of Sir Norman Macalister, one of the first British Governors of Penang.

At the hotel

Fitness room, library, courtyard, guest lounge with billiards table. In rooms: Bang & Olufsen sound system, Nespresso coffee machine, TV and Blu-ray player, free WiFi, mini fridge, blackout curtains and H20+ bath products.

Our favourite rooms

Traipse up the wrought-iron staircase in Room 4 to your private turret. With a snug alcove and views at the top, the turret is the perfect nook for enjoying a night-cap or romantic clinch. Room 3 is the largest at Macalister Mansion and boasts the only private balcony, which overlooks the pool. Whichever room you choose, each suite has white shutters, glittering mirrors, an abundance of light, personalised stationery and unique design touches, including a storage box disguised as a pile of magazines.


The unheated, mosaic outdoor swimming pool is divided into two areas; the larger space perfect for laps to burn off holiday indulgences, and the smaller pool with a sunken swim-up bar and submerged seating.

Packing tips

Khaki pith helmet and linen suit; if you enjoy a sleep-in, a set of ear-plugs to block out early morning construction noise from next-door.


Guests can puff away in the Cellar and the Den. If you want to light up in your room, there's a MYR500 surcharge.


This hotel is not suitable for Little Smiths.

Food and Drink

Photos Macalister Mansion food and drink

Top Table

For a romantic meal or intimate soirée, bag the table nestled under the window in the Dining Room. Seating four, it's slightly tucked away off the main room and features a window seat and garden views.

Dress Code

Slinky and sexy; avoid whites and pastels that will get lost amongst the white decor of the Dining Room.

Hotel restaurant

Walk into the Dining Room and your eye is immediately caught by the white leafy tree in the centre of the room. Once you're convinced it's not real, your eyes will wander down to the Narnia-esque baby-blue stag and baby-pink deer underneath. Not to be outdone by its whimsical aesthetic, the Dining Room serves modern and innovative cuisine; the menu changes every two months, but typical dishes include pan-seared miso cod and braised Wagyu cheek. The Living Room is a light-hearted and casual spot for a relaxed nibble, imaginatively decorated with quirky lamps, hanging green foliage and wall stencils of the fireplace and grandfather clock.

Hotel bar

Sinking into one of the enveloping brown leather armchairs at the Cellar will have you thinking you're in a cosy sitting room rather than an exotic hotel. Offering more than 300 labels of wine, with 16 available by the glass, the Cellar has a drop to leave every oenophile humming with delight. If you're after something with a stronger kick, the dimly lit Den specialises in single cask and malt whisky. Don your finest velvet dinner jacket and break out the Cubans for an evening of tumbler-swilling and grand philosophical discussions.

Last orders

Breakfast is served in the Living Room Café from 8am until late; all-day dining is available in the Living Room; the Dining Room is open only for dinner from 7pm–11pm. (Bookings for the Dining Room are recommended.)

Room service

Available between 8am–10.30pm, typical room-service offerings include Thai-inspired Caesar salad with mango; braised barbecue beef ribs, mini burgers and angel hair pasta. Nibble on the free minibar snacks if you're peckish.


Photos Macalister Mansion location
Macalister Mansion
228 Macalister Road
George Town


Macalister Mansion is a 30-minute car trip from Penang International Airport (


Butterworth station ( in Penang is a 45-minute drive from Macalister Mansion.


If you have the moxy to navigate the one-way streets and hectic Penang traffic, free onsite car parking is available.

Worth getting out of bed for

Georgetown keeps visitors flocking to its vibrant streets with its heady blend of Indian, Chinese and English cultural influences. A short car journey from Macalister Mansion whisks you into the heritage heart of Georgetown, with quaint shops and knick-knack boutiques to explore, authentic Malaysian cuisine to munch on and rich historical treasures to gawk at. A historical excursion, Khoo Kangsi (+60 (0)4 262 2591) is an elaborate and over-the-top clanhouse hidden in Cannon Square, the oldest area of Georgetown. Its ornate Chinese architecture symbolises the power and influence of the Khoo family. With nary a sugar-coated fantasty or roller-coaster in sight, Escape Adventureplay (+60 (0)4 881 1106) at Jalan Teluk Bahang has visitors climbing like monkeys and leaping through the air. Navigate the rope-course, scale the gecko tower and race down a trail to get your heart pumping. The young – and the young at heart – can have a crack at the activites. Or for a slower change of pace, the lush greenery and pleasant strolls at Penang Botanic Gardens (+60 (0)4 227 1354) at Penguasa Taman & Kebun make for the perfect location to enjoy a picnic – watch out for the resident monkeys – and with a herb garden, waterfall and cactus house, you'll be discovering your inner botanist in an eye-blink.

Local restaurants

Fine-dining at its most relaxed and casual, 32 at the Mansion (+60 (0)4 262 2232) is nestled on the beach at Jalan Ahmad Shah and has a picturesque outdoor dining area that makes the most of the soothing sea air. Chef Mathjis Nanne serves up subtle and light flavours and stellar seafood dishes, including roast cod and crispy fish salad with marinated watermelon. For a perch with a bird's-eye view over Georgetown, 360 Revolving Restaurant (+60 (0)4 263 3161) at 25-A Farquhar Street dishes up Western fare with amazing views. The restaurant completes one full rotation per night between 8.30pm–9.30pm, so bookings are recommended. And after the rotation, it's a mere meander over to the adjoining open-air Sky Bar (+60 (0)4 263 3161) to indulge in a cocktail and enjoy the breezy atmosphere. 

Local cafés

Dishing up handmade local and Western fare, Micke's Place at Lorong Love keeps it simple. If the chatty-happy owner and relaxed atmosphere don't guarantee your return, the scrummy chocolate brownies and pancakes will. 


Photos Macalister Mansion reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this boutique hotel in Penang and unpacked their dinner jackets and parasols, a full account of their luxury city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick postcard from Macalister Mansion in Georgetown...

Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by Sir Norman Macalister. Or rather, his giant fiberglass head, perched at the entrance to Macalister Mansion. Whether he’s there as welcome party or host with the most, this imposing statue offers just a taste of the whimsical designs tucked away behind the white heritage façade. Inside, the boutique hotel is all contemporary mod-cons and eye-catching whiz-bangs; the light installation behind the front desk is gallery-worthy and each of the eight rooms showcases privately commissioned works of art. The owners have hand-picked the furnishings in all the uniquely styled rooms and communal areas; a touch that gives Macalister an intimate feel, more reminiscent of a fabulous friend’s pad than a luxury hotel. We challenge any blasé hotel-hopper to not instantly feel at ease as they sink into the lounge by the fire in the Cellar, languidly sipping at a pre-dinner tipple or nightcap. You’ll be adding pastel-coloured deer statues to your Christmas wish-list faster than you can order a bowl of char siu.

The Guestbook

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