Clove Hall is an elegant two-storey bungalow of Edwardian Anglo-Malay heritage now lovingly restored and decorated in the peranakan style. Built in the 1920s, it’s an evocative reminder of another era, befitting a visit to Penang that will inspire you to "get into the spirit" of the historic Georgetown. Penang has a good choice of heritage accommodation but Clove Hall has the edge if you're looking to combine relaxation and sightseeing.
The hotel is augmented with all the modern amenities – aircon in the guest rooms, pool, and excellent bathrooms. Everything is generously proportioned, spotlessly clean and well-maintained. The common areas are wide open to the garden and reflect a wonderful colonial ambience. The wonderful old world charm of Clove Hall is still there with the same unhurried and comfortable atmosphere.
Stay The residence is divided into 6 spacious suites, all of which are bespoke and individual in nature. Three rooms are on the ground level and three on the first floor. The tastefully furnished rooms in period Malay/Chinese decor invite you into the world of recluse and comfort. Our Cardamom room was welcoming with French windows, poster bed and other vintage pieces. Fully air-conditioned with LCD TV and large bathrooms had luxury products with wash rooms and tasteful decor. In addition, each suite has indoor and outdoor seating either overlooking the pool or under the shade of mature trees.
Dine The house functions more like an upmarket boutique guesthouse or a stylish "Malaya" home with 4-5 star amenities. Staying in Penang means eating is very much the order of the day. A fully cooked breakfast is served in the garden, by the pool, under the porch, or in the common lounge/dining area. It just depends on your mood and the weather. Extensive Western breakfasts are fantastic and do well to set you up for the day, but Malay cuisine can do the same. Our choice was Nasi Lemak.
Food is not served throughout the day but you can get tea and coffee anytime. Complimentary afternoon tea set by the pool is particularly pleasant and is accompanied by homemade cakes. However, tea can be taken in little niches around the house/garden, and everywhere we sat, we got a different, interesting perspective of the house and garden.
Relax A large pool compliments the outside temperature with a nice sized deck and plenty of deck chairs to recline upon. For quiet reading, there are many nooks that you can retreat to within the splendid gardens to have your own quiet space. The residence is located about 20 minutes walk, or 5-min by taxi from the centre of Georgetown, known for its Peranakan culture and recognised as a UNESCO Heritage site.
Explore For those wanting to explore the Georgetown; the Love Lane, Chulia, Campbell Street and Armenian Street are lovely to walk around. Look out for the incredible street art supported by the government. Sights include the lovely Cheong Fat Tze house and the butterfly park which is fun for kids and if you get hungry, eat at Monkey Tree, a great Thai place next door. Other eating joints are hawker stalls on Chulia Street, try the curry mee and the apom (sweet pancakes), China House for live music and great cocktails and cakes, Kerbaya at Seven Terraces for a special dinner.
The Founders The owners Jo and Jim are the picture of the perfect hosts, and take the time to engage with every guest to make sure everything is to their liking. Their knowledge of Penang and the local sights, attractions and eateries is flawlessly comprehensive, and they have put together their own guide available at the front desk with highlights of what George Town and the rest of Penang Island has to offer. They will guide you to fantastic eating venues and if it is beyond walking distance a taxi can be arranged.
Malaysia Airlines operates to major International airports worldwide and connects from KL and from Singapore to Langkawi, Penang and Medan. The budget carrier Air Asia connects from KL to all major Malaysian and Indonesian airports, including Langkawi and Penang, plus major southeast Asian airports. From the UK, you can fly Malaysia Airlines from London Heathrow and Air Asia from London Stanstead.
The hotel is located in a non-touristy area of Georgetown, within walking distance of local food eateries such as the popular New Lane evening food market. It is between 15 and 30 minutes by taxi to the main attractions of Kek Lok Si Temple, Batu Ferringhi and the street art of Georgetown, all worth seeing in this buzzing Malaysian city.