Penang 2011 - Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion

We decided to check into the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion for our Penang sojourn. Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion - or The Blue Mansion as it is commonly known - is one of the most beautiful old mansions in Penang. It is located along Leith Street - not far from the Eastern & Oriental Hotel.

The mansion was built by the old patriach who was one of the richest man in Asia - once known as the "Rockefeller of the East". He had businesses in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and China. As is common for a man of his stature in those days, he also had numerous wives, children and grand children.

The mansion has been restored not long ago - I wouldn’t say to its former glory, but mostly in pretty good condition. It is now open for visitors, and is also run as a “Heritage Homestay”. It has a total of 16 rooms in the 2 original residential wings of the house. Don’t expect much in terms of facilities - but your stay does come with a continental breakfast. There are no TVs, no swimming pools, no gyms or F&B outlets. The service could also use with a bit more polish. Still it was one of the most memorable stays for me, due to the rich history that still permeate from the pores of the building.

The rooms are very spacious and with tall ceiling. Attached bathrooms have been added to provided the minimum comfort that a modern hotel guest would expect. Not everything works to perfection, but it really doesn’t matter when you are essentially staying in a century-old house.

There are no room numbers - each room is given a different name according to its history. Our room has the name "Towkay" - which means "The Boss", but I thought it was a bit too small and basic to be the old master's room.

The house is needless to say magnificent. Staying there as an in-house guest, you get to enjoy the house through different times of the day. It is at its most beautiful at dawn - when the blue-washed walls achieve their richest hue.

The interiors are even more impressive then the exterior - with beautiful details and decorations everywhere. Being a very well-traveled man for his time, he had also incorporated many Western elements into the architecture and interiors of the mansion, including some really beautiful cast iron works.

Breakfast is served in the old dining room.

The rooms are in the 2 side wings of the house. Each wing has a large courtyard allowing light and ventilation into the heart of the house.

The rooms are generous in size and nicely decorated with vintage furniture. There are no TVs, but there is a small safe, fridge and drink making facilities.

If you expect 5 star service and amenities, then the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion is not for you. Just go for the guided tours that is scheduled 3 times a day. If you enjoy immersing yourself in history, then this could be one of the most enchanting stays in Penang.


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The Blue Mansion is an amazing place, and the right guide will be able to reveal all the magnificent details for you.

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