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Macalister Mansion Opens in Penang, Malaysia

Dec 18, 2012


Macalister Mansion in Penang has opened as Design Hotels’ first member property in Malaysia. The quaint eight-room hotel pays tribute to Colonel Norman Macalister, the first British governor of the state in the 1800s. From his love life to sea voyages, Macalister Mansion’s design explores intimate details of the colonel’s life. The result is an authentic vintage vibe set in a modern context.


Housed in a 100 year-old historic mansion, the hotel is house of treasures, from curated art to specially designed uniforms and personalized stationery to handcrafted paperclips. Local owners Dato Sean H’ng and Datin Karen H’ng collaborated with Colin Seah of Singapore-based firm Ministry of Design to craft the design. The H’ngs have commissioned pieces throughout the hotel’s public spaces and guestrooms. Each of the eight themed rooms traces different periods of Colonel Macalister’s life and different Southeast Asian artists were invited to create works for them.

The rooms are dressed in bespoke furniture pieces and carpets. Bathrooms are fitted out with filigree-inspired silver and white mosaic, and circular mirrors are suspended from the ceilings at a distance from the walls. Many of the mansion’s original features were restored to their former glory including a wrought iron spiral staircase in the middle of one of the guestrooms leading to a viewing tower. Guests also have access to five restaurants, including the Dining Room, Living Room, the Lawn, Bagan Bar, and the Den.






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