Penang’s Macalister Mansion

  • The hotel's lap pool.

    The hotel's lap pool.

  • A bust of the island's former governor, Norman Macalister, stands outside the newly renovated mansion.

    A bust of the island's former governor, Norman Macalister, stands outside the newly renovated mansion.

  • Checking in before moving to one of the hotel's unique guestrooms.

    Checking in before moving to one of the hotel's unique guestrooms.

  • Guests can choose between casual and fine-dining.

    Guests can choose between casual and fine-dining.

  • The hotel lawn.

    The hotel lawn.

  • Each room pays tribute to an aspect of the life of the former governor.

    Each room pays tribute to an aspect of the life of the former governor.

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Husband-and-wife owners Dato Sean and Datin Karen H’ng have brought Penang’s colonial past into the 21st century with the opening of Macalister Mansion (228 Macalister Rd.; George Town; 604/2283-888; doubles from US$265). Revamped by Singapore firm Ministry of Design, the 100-year-old building is now a contemporary showpiece with just eight individually designed suites featuring Bisazza-tiled bathrooms and original artworks that reference the life of Norman Macalister, the island’s British governor from 1808 to 1810. Come evening, guests can sample a fine selection of single malts in the Den or head straight to the nearly all-white Dining Room for a menu highlighted by quail confit and Dover sole—dishes Macalister himself would surely have approved of. –Harry Jacques

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