“The Cheong Fatt Tze Blue Mansion is an incredibly unique hotel. Built in the late 1800’s, the mansion was the family home of Chinese businessman and politician Cheong Fatt Tze. The mansion symbolized his wealth and prosperity, with extraordinary detail given to the original building and restoration. In modern terms, it’s one of the most “Instagrammable” buildings I’ve ever seen! Keep reading to find out why I highly recommend staying at the famous Blue Mansion.
The original version of the Cheong Fatt Tze Blue Mansion was built with 38 rooms, 5 courtyards, and 7 staircases, and is one of the largest buildings of its kind outside of China. Feng Shui played an important role in the design of the mansion, and each part of the layout had a specific a purpose. For example, the number of open air courtyards is because water is seen as wealth, so the more rain you have naturally coming into the house the better. Once that water was inside, there are winding drainage pipes to keep the water underneath the house as long as possible before flowing outside.
There is so much history behind the building that the Mansion runs daily tours several times a dat so you can learn about the Mansion even if you are not staying there. However, I would still highly recommend booking a room because the tours only cover the common areas and not the guest rooms to maintain guests’ privacy. While the tour is still worth it if that’s your only option, staying in the hotel itself allows you to have the full experience and get better pictures!
The Blue Mansion has 18 rooms, each with its own name and backstory. I was in the Escoy room, named after an old smelting company in Penang. Located on the ground floor, the room had beautiful tall ceilings, detailed gold carvings, and plenty of space to spread out. In addition, there are little heirlooms and authentic 19th century furniture scattered throughout to give it even more personality. The rooms all have amenities that would have made Cheong Fatt Tze himself jealous, including a large HDTV, speedy wi-fi and a heavenly rainfall shower. It was truly a unique experience to stay in a place with such history, while still having full access to luxury amenities!
Breakfast is served each day in the central courtyard, which is where the “Feng Shui” is strongest. The staff does a great job transforming the beautiful open air courtyard into a wonderful breakfast spread. There is a self-served area for pastries, toast and fruit, as well as made to order hot dishes from the waiter. You can also choose local flavors to be ready for your day!
There is also a wonderful on-site restaurant called Indigo which was also great. Located upstairs above the central courtyard, Indigo fuses Eastern and Western culture in both the food and the ambiance. The in-house chef creates wonderful dishes each night, with each dish looking like a piece of artwork itself. The lamb and fish were especially good, so be sure to make a reservation during your stay!
Once you are well fed, you’ll see the Blue Mansion is perfectly located to many walkable sites. Given that Penang is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, there are countless beautiful buildings and little areas to visit. These include the Clan Jetties, Little India, and Red Garden, a great night food market which is literally next door! One of my favorite parts of the location was is the short walk to many of the famous works of street art dotting the alleyways of Penang. Be sure to grab a map and ask the concierge for the locations of the art because some of them can be tricky to find but worth the effort!
Staying at the Cheong Fatt Tze Blue Mansion was one of the highlights of my entire trip to Malaysia. The history behind the building itself is extremely interesting and the hotel itself was beautiful. Be sure to bring a spare memory card when you visit because you will take countless pictures of both the Mansion itself and all the amazing sites nearby. The Blue Mansion is a very special experience and I highly recommend staying with them next time you are in Penang!
Stayed January 2017, traveled as a couple”