Hotel Penaga is a charming boutique hotel in the heart of George Town, in Penang. The hotel was originally a three-storey art deco house that had fallen into disrepair because it had been vacant for years. In 2008, Hijjas, renowned Japanese architect and his wife Anjela, an environmentalist bought the building and began converting it into the type of hotel that they wanted to stay in while exploring the delights of GeorgeTown.
Such was their passion that the ground floor tiles had to be specially made in the traditional style prevalent in the 1930s. The original upper floors made of timber strengthened only with timber recovered from demolished colonial buildings. The roof replaced with ‘Indian’ tiles used on the older Penang buildings and the decorative tiles on the facade and granite slabs in the garden were brought from China. Today is a luxury boutique hotel in Penang.
Stay There are 45 rooms and suites. These are classified as Hutton Rooms, Clark Terraces, Transfer Suites and Penaga Suites. Each of these rooms are lovingly and individually decorated with Chinese and Asian antique furniture mixed in with modern Japanese design which really adds to the quirky ambience of Hotel Penaga. As well as classic character, these rooms feature a ceiling fan or air-conditioning, wifi, kettle, microwave, sink, fridge and a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaves coffee maker. The large bathroom includes a Jacuzzi spa bath, separate shower and beautiful locally made toiletries crafted with ingredients from the region.
Dine The Cinnamon is the main restaurant and serves a range of culinary options ranging from Continental, European and Asian. It has earned praise for its rich heritage-inspired decor as it has for its cuisine. The Tanglung Bar got its name from the glass lanterns brought from Guangzho, “Tanglung” meaning “Lantern” in Chinese and is a perfect place to enjoy your drink while you observe the passing traffic of GeorgeTown pass by.
Relax The Penaga Spa was inspired by the early residents who once lived within these terrace houses in the 1920s. The traditional Penang folk had many traditional secrets of health treatments. Through years of research, various benefits of the Penaga Tree have been discovered, which contribute to the holistic approach of well-being in Penaga Spa. The spa features three private treatment rooms where you can relax. Additionally The Spa opens into the garden so that guests can relax before and after while overlooking an oasis of private green.
The pool is long enough for a workout or just a cooling dip, and it has a spa corner for extra muscle relaxation. Built above ground and opened up with a glass wall, which shines like a jewel in the garden at night.
Explore Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, George Town, was cited as a remarkable example of historic colonial towns on the Straits of Malacca. Today, you can sample the local cuisine, explore the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the world famous Penang Butterfly Farm which are all in easy walking distance of Hotel Penaga. In addition, you can visit Fort Cornwallis, City Hall, Kapitan Keling Mosque, Cathedral Of The Assumption and St. George's Church.
Environment The hotel is a result of dedicated passion of Hijjas Kasturi, a Japanese architect and his wife Angela working with WWF Malaysia who bought a set of properties and converted them into the hotel. Being an environmentalist, they were keen to ensure every aspect of it is sustainable. It was Hijjas’ job to ensure that this concept was taken throughout from the original reconstruction – from using recycled materials to the collection of water and solar heating. This care for the environment has gained the property a Gold rating from the Green Building Index.
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.
Public transport in Malaysia is reliable and inexpensive, particularly in Peninsular Malaysia. Budget flights are a great option for hopping around the region, especially given that no ferries connect Peninsular and east Malaysia. Sabah and Sarawak have their own travel peculiarities – in Sarawak, for instance, you’re reliant on boats, and occasionally planes, for some long-distance travel.
Hutton Rooms These rooms are a perfect combination of luxury and affordability. Most rooms are on the first, second and third floors. All rooms are furnished with Chinese antique furniture, comfortable beds, restored timber floors, individual art works from emerging or established artists, and Jacuzzi baths with separate showers. Some rooms have a balcony. Size: 40 sqm
Clark Terraces These are a whole terrace house and perfect for families as it used to be in the past with enough space and privacy. Entering from the traditional double layer doors into the main room, it is floored with encaustic tiles and furnished with antiques, classic modern pieces, and stunning works of art. A private Jacuzzi spa in the back garden leaves lots of space for al fresco dining, and features your own gate which leads to the hotel’s inner garden.
Transfer Suites These eight suites are located above the Spa, four which feature balconies. Each offers a sitting room, a large bedroom tastefully decorated, and bathroom with a Jacuzzi bath and separate shower. Rooms on the top floor have two balconies, looking towards the Penang Hill and over the garden. The suites are accessible only by two flights of stairs. Size: 60-70 sqm
Penaga Suites This is a corner unit on the 1st Floor, which accommodates two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a sitting room. This suite is ideal for families who do not want to deal with stairs. Additionally bathroom offers a Jacuzzi spa bath. Size: 60 sqm
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Marine Park Take a day trip and explore the colourful underwater world of the Pulau Payar Marine Park in Penang. Spend the day snorkelling and swimming, plus enjoy a scenic ferry ride between Penang and Pulau Payar. Day tour include all equipment, a savory buffet lunch of Dominican fare, and round-trip transport from your hotel!
Monkey Beach Escape the urban landscapes and make your way to sandy shores on this Monkey Beach excursion including BBQ lunch from Penang. You’ll enjoy a quick boat ride over calm and clear waters to an uninhabited Malaysian island for a day of sun, sand and ultimate relaxation. Choose to fish, trek through the jungle or just lounge on the beach before tucking into a delicious BBQ lunch cooked on the beach.
Orangutan Island See Orangutans up close in a small island. Take a day tour to Orangutan Island, Mangrove Forest, and Charcoal Factory with your own private guide. Visit Taiping Lake Gardens, one of the oldest lake gardens in Malaysia. Study different species of mangrove and diverse wildlife at Kuala Sepetang Mangrove Forest. Not to be missed for nature lovers! Witness the process of transforming mangrove wood into charcoal at charcoal factory.
Nature Walk Explore one of only two remaining virgin forest areas on the island of Penang during this 5-hour nature walk excursion at The Habitat Penang Hill. Take a stroll along the 1-mile (1.6-kilometer) nature trail through this ecotourism park, marveling at the habitat’s unique range of plants and animals. An included lunch at a British colonial-style restaurant and great island views add to the experience.
Art Hunting Go street art ‘hunting’ in George Town. There’s a lot of very cool street art scattered across Penang, especially in George Town and it is a great way to explore the city. There’s a famous collection by Ernest Zacharevic, a young artist from Lithuania, who was commissioned to create six works in the streets of George Town. The result was stunning and quickly gained worldwide fame.
When to go The rainy season on the west coast of Peninsula Malaysia typically comes between April and October but often the rains don't really arrive until June or July. Even during the monsoon, the rains tend to come in sharp bursts, usually during the afternoon, with sunshine for the rest of the day. Penang, however, does get heavy rains in September and October.
The east coast monsoon, which falls between mid-November and February, is more marked, churning up the seas and making some of the island destinations inaccessible. These rains also affect the interior of Peninsula Malaysia, and the whole of Malaysian Borneo.
Visa & Customs Malaysia tourist visa is not required for citizens of United Kingdom for a stay up to 90 days. However, all travelers will need a passport valid for at least 90 days following your departure date from Malaysia. However, we strongly recommend traveling with 6 months validity on your passport at all times.
Most destinations, including Malaysia, require that you have adequate un-used pages in your passport. We recommend that you have at least two free pages in Visas section of your passport before any international travel.