Macalister Mansion

Macalister Mansion, Malaysia’s Only Design Hotel, Penang, Malaysia

There’s no doubt that Penang is filled with beautiful boutique hotels, each with their own character and charm, and one such property that we keep returning to is that of Macalister Mansion. The only member of Design Hotels in Malaysia, a stay here is just as inspirational as the art you’ll find on the streets of Penang itself – only boosted with all the conveniences of contemporary living.

Macalister Mansion, Boutique Design Hotel, Penang
Entrance to Macalister Mansion
Macalister Mansion, Boutique Design Hotel, Penang
Macalister Mansion at Night

Arriving on a Friday evening we’re happy to be welcomed by the green and peaceful setting. Frangipani and jasmine waft their elegant fragrances as aromatherapy as we park the car. We’re greeted at reception with a welcome drink and, formalities taken care of, we’re up to our room minutes later. Eight rooms is all this hotel contains and we’ve stayed in a number of them with one of the highlights being Room 4, which has its own spiral staircase leading up to the mansion’s turret. This round we try out new lodgings in Room 2.

Macalister Mansion, Boutique Design Hotel, Penang
Room 2
Macalister Mansion, Boutique Design Hotel, Penang
Bathroom, Room 2

Light, bright and cheery the room is extremely spacious with separate bathroom featuring dual sinks and a luscious bathtub. Open cupboards give a sense of further capacity and high ceilings play their part too. An espresso machine is a welcome benefit, and so too is the complimentary mini-bar. Ravished from the drive up from KL, we’re ready for something comforting and head to the Living Room, which is the property’s casual dining setting.

Macalister Mansion, Boutique Design Hotel, Penang
Living Room

It’s here we try chef’s signature Lamb Rendang – a wonderfully succulent shank elegantly spiced with meat that melts at the touch of our forks. Read more about what to order at the Living Room here.

Macalister Mansion, Boutique Design Hotel, Penang
Lamb Rendang at Living Room, Macalister Mansion

Tired from the work week, but not quite ready for bed, we decide to take a nightcap in The Den. The cosy space not only provides an intimate place to enjoy a drink with friends, but a fine collection of whiskies – perhaps even the largest on the island. The specialty to have here is something from their Single Cask selection – an exclusive range of premium whiskies where each bottle has been taken from an individual barrel – no blends, no mixing, and usually less than a few hundred taken from the barrel in total.

Macalister Mansion, Boutique Design Hotel, Penang
The Den
Macalister Mansion, Boutique Design Hotel, Penang
Single Cask Whisky

Still smiling from satisfying meal and beverage, we get a sound night of rest in Room 2’s lush beds. We love the idea of breakfast until midday and take full advantage of the sleep in. A simple breakfast with coffee and juice is found in the Living Room and it’s enough to fill our tummies before setting out to catch up with the latest boutiques and galleries in Georgetown.

Macalister Mansion, Boutique Design Hotel, Penang
Living Room
Macalister Mansion, Boutique Design Hotel, Penang
Big Breakfast
Macalister Mansion, Boutique Design Hotel, Penang
Breakfast

Returning after a fun day of exploration, we again look for sustenance and this time are glad we have a reservation for afternoon tea. As we arrive we note that all tables are booked. It’s a popular activity on weekends with just cause. Read more about the experience here.

Macalister Mansion, Boutique Design Hotel, Penang
Afternoon Tea in a Very Pretty Setting at Macalister Mansion
Macalister Mansion, Boutique Design Hotel, Penang
Afternoon Tea in the Living Room

A hot afternoon convinces us that some relaxation time by the pool is in order and the sun chairs on The Lawn and frangipani garden provide the ideal spot.

Macalister Mansion, Boutique Design Hotel, Penang
Pool Side
Macalister Mansion, Boutique Design Hotel, Penang
By The Pool at Macalister Mansion

And, before we know it the sun has set and The Cellar seems to call our names for an aperitif. Barman Din shakes up the hotel’s signature cocktail, Sir Macalister, a colonial twist on sangria, and hubby can’t resist a flute of Champagne.

Macalister Mansion, Boutique Design Hotel, Penang
Aperitif from The Cellar
Macalister Mansion, Boutique Design Hotel, Penang
The Cellar
Macalister Mansion, Boutique Design Hotel, Penang
Private Room at The Cellar

The night is still young, and it’s time we effectuated the reason we’ve actually driven to Penang: to try the Chef’s Tasting menu in the Dining Room. (I think our host country culture has rubbed off on us – Malaysians are the only citizens I know that wouldn’t batter an eyelid at the thought of a four-hour drive to eat). Chef Johnson Wong heads the kitchen and showcases Malaysian produce with European and western cooking techniques. We delight in course after course of cleverly crafted quality ingredients, matched with wine, and feel that the trip up here has been well justified. It truly is an experience not to be missed, so gourmands should put it high on their to-dine lists. Follow this link to find photos, prices and menus.

Macalister Mansion, Boutique Design Hotel, Penang
Table For Two At Dining Room
Macalister Mansion, Boutique Design Hotel, Penang
Beautiful Degustation Menus at Dining Room

Once again grateful for the late breakfast (available until noon), we rise when the sun is high and fill up on well-brewed coffee and a simple brekkie before bidding farewell to Penang and Macalister Mansion.

Macalister Mansion, Boutique Design Hotel, Penang
Entrance to Living Room
Macalister Mansion, Boutique Design Hotel, Penang
Sir Macalister
Macalister Mansion, Boutique Design Hotel, Penang
Macalister Mansion as Viewed from the Pool

It has been another delicious and inspiring stay: one I’m sure we’ll continue to return for.

Reasons to visit: the only Design Hotel in Malaysia; excellent drinks selection and setting at both The Cellar and The Den; a true gourmand experience at the Dining Room.

Macalister Mansion
228 Jalan Macalister
11400 George Town
Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
+6 04 228 3888
www.macalistermansion.com

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11 Comments

  1. The ambiance is warming and soothing, and the big breakfast would be too big for me…however, I absolutely love my eggs sunny side up, just like in the photo, and of course the lamb would be something I would definitely want for a dinner. And I love the tea and all the delights that come with it! 🙂

  2. The mansion looks so magical at night!
    Having a pool in front of your house is a good fengshui practice, ha ha!

  3. We really are spoiled for choice in Penang, but looks like you are right: this is a top one! Would love to stay here next time!

  4. Been there once, for their afternoon tea but it seems like they have changed the menu again. I’d love to revisit.

  5. the living room is a feast for the eyes! 😀

  6. Wow, this is living the high life for sure! ^_^ With just 8 rooms of guests to fuss over, I’m sure the service will be exemplary since they’ll be at your beck and call ^_~

  7. Hello, this place is just amazing. Everything is just beautiful ! Thanks for sharing your review.
    Have a happy day and new week!

  8. Everything looks wonderful. The beautiful mansion, food, drinks and scenery.

  9. So beautiful and cosy!

  10. This looks like the perfect place to stay and eat 🙂

  11. I love the colonial architecture. Beautiful!

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