Interior designer Raymond Lee spends the weekend at Georgetown’s most recent upscale hospitality venue.
Written By Raymond Lee
My recent work in the interior design and restoration of several early 20th century Penang shophouses has rekindled my romance with this charming city best known for its hawker fare and scenic beach resorts. Georgetown was also was nominated into the Unesco World Heritage List a few years ago and this has certainly helped promote the conservation and preservation of its built heritage. Many locals and expatriates have bought bungalows and shophouses, some near derelict, in the core designated area and have sensitively restored them for the purposes of using them as homes or businesses.
One such project is the recently opened Macalister Mansion located along Jalan Macalister. Housed in a grand building built it in the early 1900s, MM as it is fondly known, was designed around the idea of an old English mansion. Each space is designed to provide hospitality of an actual home. You have designated areas for both fine and casual dining, drinks, music and rest.
Its simple understated reception welcomes you with a stylish projection of stylish images on the back wall. Friendly staff, dressed in smart gray uniforms checks you in swiftly, and transports you to your room.
Macalister Mansion’s eight rooms all invite you to experience pure luxury and comfort. Each room is individually designed with specially commissioned art pieces to accent the contemporary theme. Each art piece is influenced by the life story of Sir Norman Macalister, one of the first British Governors of Penang from 1808 to 1810. In Room 5, Ashley Yeo’s master piece hangs above the beds.
Its large well-appointed bathrooms feature wall-to-floor mosaic murals reminiscent of tea rose vines in an English garden. A small selection of complimentary snacks and soft drinks plus a Nespresso machine (with capsules replaced daily) add a nice touch to the amenities offered.
The Living Room is the all day casual dining space offering local and international flavors. Set in a brightly lit wing of the mansion, its décor reflects a quirky, colorful mood and invites you to linger on with a book or a magazine, or hang out with your friends over a latte.
Smart & masculine
Just next to the reception is The Den, which reminds me of a smart gentlemen’s club somewhere in Mayfair. Here you can enjoy a wide range of cigars and single-malt whiskies from Scotland to Japan.
The menu at the Dining Room promises a selection of creations of both Western and Oriental inspiration. (P647) An impressive wine list ensures a complete culinary experience. Unfortunately, my schedule did not allow me to dine here this time.
Enjoy great cocktails or a long cool beer at this plush venue where you can enjoy live music every Friday and Saturday. Bagan Bar is truly a place to relax and catch up with friends.
Swim and tan
A large swimming pool recently added with a great pool bar is the place to be to work on a tan or for a sunset drink before venturing out for the night.
The Macalister Mansion is by no means a large sprawling hotel like those you can find along the stretches of Batu Ferringhi but it makes up for it by offering a most unique experience – small, intimate and luxurious in a most modern way. Can’t wait to return!
Raymond Lee runs Xceptional Interiors and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or +60-12-3988302.
Email them at: email@example.com or check out their website: www.macalistermansion.com