The Luxe List 2015

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The reception area at Loke Thye Kee Residences.

The Luxe List 2015: Loke Thye Kee Residences, George Town, Malaysia

Converted shophouses may not be a revelation among accommodations in Penang’s George Town, but Loke Thye Kee Residences is raising the benchmark. Under the direction of local development group 1919 Global, Singaporean architecture firm Ministry of Design took five shophouses that date back to the 1870s and massaged them into loft-like suites best described as “George Town Modern.” Their original shells of brick walls, wood floors, and soaring ceilings have been finessed and filled with contemporary white furnishings, glossy glass vanities, works from local artist Ch’ng Kiah Kiean, and kitchenette areas stocked with all the obligatory local snacks. Large windows overlook bustling Penang Road; in the back, each has its own charming garden area and patio. More rooms are additionally set to come as part of the larger development project 1919 Global is carrying out in the area, including the restoration of the Straits-Chinese black-and-white Majestic Theatre and the adjacent namesake Loke Thye Kee building, whose restaurant is remembered by an older generation as the requisite spot for matchmaking teas. Now, it serves some of the best Hainanese food around.

60-4/264-1919; Loke Thye Kee; doubles from US$205

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