The Best Boutique Hotel in Penang

The Best Boutique Hotel in Penang

The Yeng Keng Hotel Penang

Do you have any interest in destinations full of rich history, cultural diversity, delicious food or killer street art? If so, the Malaysian city of George Town might need to be your next vacation. Often referred to as the street food capital of Southeast Asia, George Town, on the island of Penang, is a city that seriously has it all. Proudly boasting a UNESCO World Heritage designation, George Town is a history buff’s dream and a true, traveler’s paradise.

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Prior to visiting Malaysia, we’d heard loads about the city and seen tons of pictures showcasing its awesome architecture and buzzing street art scene. While we certainly had high expectations, we were absolutely blown away by how cool it really was! Despite being Malaysia’s second biggest city, George Town maintains an unbelievably chill, laid-back vibe perfect for exploring its ancient streets and many hidden gems.

Home to a serious mishmash of cultural diversity, George Town has a history as unique as its residents. Officially established as a trading post by the East India Trading company, George Town was under the control of the British for many years. While this Euro-colonial influence is quite noticeable just by looking at the architecture, the cultural makeup is vastly more complex than this. Due to Penang’s island location it was an extremely popular trading port, leading people from all over to settle on its shores. After many years of relaxed tariffs and liberal trading policies, George Town accumulated a population of people hailing from all over Asia. While Chinese, Indian and peninsular Malay are the primary influences that you can see, it’s their unique blend that gives George Town its one of a kind feel.

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As the city started to gain popularity, one street in particular began to emerge as somewhat of a cultural center of the city: Chulia Street. Now home to Chinatown, Little India, budget hostels, endless street food stalls and beautiful boutique hotels, Chulia Street is a must see while in George Town.

Lying right in the heart of the UNESCO Heritage zone, The Yeng Keng Hotel stands as a living piece of the city’s history. Originally built as a private home for an Indian Sheikh in the early 1800’s, it was later converted into a Gentleman’s Club for Chinese businessmen, before finally being renovated into a hotel many years later. With its unique architectural style and interesting past, not only does The Yeng Keng Hotel have an unbelievable story, but it’s also a beautiful example of the city’s history.

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As soon as you approach the hotel’s traditional Chinese archway, you begin to get a sense of the property’s past. The incredible level of detail on everything from the doorways to the tile work and even the pearl inlay on the furniture are examples of the care and detail that have gone in to the property. After talking with the manager over the course of our stay we found out that they actually commissioned and flew in an artist from China - it doesn’t get much more authentic than that!

Housing 19 uniquely decorated and incredibly authentic rooms, the property maintains a super intimate and romantic feel. While some of the rooms can be on the smaller side simply due to the buildings age, there are plenty of tastefully done common areas to relax in after a long day of sightseeing. Most of the furniture in these common areas is restored, traditional wooden pieces giving you a feel for the history and luxury of the hotel.

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Given the often blistering temperatures that can plague George Town, The Yeng Keng’s pool is a Godsend after a long, hot day of sightseeing. While we were in town the heat index hovered right around 105 degrees Fahrenheit or 40 Celsius, so needless to say, having the pool is a huge perk.

While the pool, furniture and incredible history of the hotel are just pieces of The Yeng Keng’s amazing puzzle, in our opinion the best part of staying there is the location! Situated right on historic Chulia Street, The Yeng Keng’s location is second to none. During our time here we had the luxury of walking everywhere that we needed to go, making our time in George Town just that much more special. We strongly believe that the best way to get a feel for a city is by exploring it on foot, and thanks to the hotel’s location, we were able to do just that. In a short twenty minute walk you can be at any number of the city’s best attractions, making The Yeng Keng an awesome base for exploring the city.

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From the world famous hawker food centers to the delicious restaurants and nighttime street food stalls, there’s more places to eat than you could ever imagine. If you’re interested in the city’s traditional architecture, both the Blue Mansion and the Peranakan Mansion are a short walk away. Looking to explore some of the city’s famous street art scene? Just a few blocks down (here's a self guided tour). Care for a drink at one of the local bars? The Love Lane backpacker district is only a few steps away. We’re not kidding when we say it, The Yeng Keng Hotel’s location is the best in the city!

Given the unparalleled location of the hotel, we spent our days wandering the streets of George Town, taking thousands of pictures and tasting everything along the way. Since we are both HUGE food lovers, we definitely did our fair share of overeating, but hey, that’s where all the walking comes in! Between the night time food vendors, the neighborhood restaurants and the number of famous hawker centers nearby, you’ll be lucky to leave without your clothes fitting a little bit more snug (we definitely know ours did!).

If somehow the surrounding cuisine options aren’t enough, the in-house restaurant and cafe at The Yeng Keng serves up some seriously delicious options too. Since the hotel offers complimentary breakfast with each room, we ate there every morning and thoroughly enjoyed every dish we tasted. Between the awesome traditional Malay and western options, it’s the perfect way to get ready for a day of sightseeing. Not only did we have the chance to taste some incredible Malay breakfast foods, but we also had the chance to learn a ton about modern Malaysian culture and cuisine thanks to some of their incredible staff. Every morning we were greeted with huge smiles, hot cups of coffee and great conversation. We always value the chance to learn about local cultures, and by having coffee and a chat with the staff each morning was the perfect way to do this.

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The staff at The Yeng Keng went above and beyond to make sure that we had an amazing stay, and that really made all the difference for us. From start to finish, every staff member that we met was nothing but kind and helpful, offering us everything from assistance with our bags, to their favorite restaurant suggestions and must-see sights. Now we understand that in the service industry some of these things are expected, and we totally agree. However, we honestly felt that the staff here went out of their way to ensure we had a perfect stay in George Town.

If we ever have the chance to return to George Town in the future, we can confidently assure you that we will most definitely be staying at The Yeng Keng Hotel again. Accommodations can really make or break a trip, so why not assure you have the  best time by staying in the best hotel possible? We hope this advice proves useful when planning your trip to George Town and would love to hear about your stay at The Yeng Keng Hotel!

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Yours in Adventure,

Joel & Marla

The Yeng Keng Hotel Penang

Do you have any interest in destinations full of rich history, cultural diversity, delicious food or killer street art? If so, the Malaysian city of George Town might need to be your next vacation. Often referred to as the street food capital of Southeast Asia, George Town, on the island of Penang, is a city that seriously has it all. Proudly boasting a UNESCO World Heritage designation, George Town is a history buff’s dream and a true, traveler’s paradise.

Prior to visiting Malaysia, we’d heard loads about the city and seen tons of pictures showcasing its awesome architecture and buzzing street art scene. While we certainly had high expectations, we were absolutely blown away by how cool it really was! Despite being Malaysia’s second biggest city, George Town maintains an unbelievably chill, laid-back vibe perfect for exploring its ancient streets and many hidden gems.

Home to a serious mishmash of cultural diversity, George Town has a history as unique as its residents. Officially established as a trading post by the East India Trading company, George Town was under the control of the British for many years. While this Euro-colonial influence is quite noticeable just by looking at the architecture, the cultural makeup is vastly more complex than this. Due to Penang’s island location it was an extremely popular trading port, leading people from all over to settle on its shores. After many years of relaxed tariffs and liberal trading policies, George Town accumulated a population of people hailing from all over Asia. While Chinese, Indian and peninsular Malay are the primary influences that you can see, it’s their unique blend that gives George Town its one of a kind feel.

As the city started to gain popularity, one street in particular began to emerge as somewhat of a cultural center of the city: Chulia Street. Now home to Chinatown, Little India, budget hostels, endless street food stalls and beautiful boutique hotels, Chulia Street is a must see while in George Town.

Lying right in the heart of the UNESCO Heritage zone, The Yeng Keng Hotel stands as a living piece of the city’s history. Originally built as a private home for an Indian Sheikh in the early 1800’s, it was later converted into a Gentleman’s Club for Chinese businessmen, before finally being renovated into a hotel many years later. With its unique architectural style and interesting past, not only does The Yeng Keng Hotel have an unbelievable story, but it’s also a beautiful example of the city’s history.

As soon as you approach the hotel’s traditional Chinese archway, you begin to get a sense of the property’s past. The incredible level of detail on everything from the doorways to the tile work and even the pearl inlay on the furniture are examples of the care and detail that have gone in to the property. After talking with the manager over the course of our stay we found out that they actually commissioned and flew in an artist from China - it doesn’t get much more authentic than that!

Housing 19 uniquely decorated and incredibly authentic rooms, the property maintains a super intimate and romantic feel. While some of the rooms can be on the smaller side simply due to the buildings age, there are plenty of tastefully done common areas to relax in after a long day of sightseeing. Most of the furniture in these common areas is restored, traditional wooden pieces giving you a feel for the history and luxury of the hotel.

Given the often blistering temperatures that can plague George Town, The Yeng Keng’s pool is a Godsend after a long, hot day of sightseeing. While we were in town the heat index hovered right around 105 degrees Fahrenheit or 40 Celsius, so needless to say, having the pool is a huge perk.

While the pool, furniture and incredible history of the hotel are just pieces of The Yeng Keng’s amazing puzzle, in our opinion the best part of staying there is the location! Situated right on historic Chulia Street, The Yeng Keng’s location is second to none. During our time here we had the luxury of walking everywhere that we needed to go, making our time in George Town just that much more special. We strongly believe that the best way to get a feel for a city is by exploring it on foot, and thanks to the hotel’s location, we were able to do just that. In a short twenty minute walk you can be at any number of the city’s best attractions, making The Yeng Keng an awesome base for exploring the city.

From the world famous hawker food centers to the delicious restaurants and nighttime street food stalls, there’s more places to eat than you could ever imagine. If you’re interested in the city’s traditional architecture, both the Blue Mansion and the Peranakan Mansion are a short walk away. Looking to explore some of the city’s famous street art scene? Just a few blocks down (here's a self guided tour). Care for a drink at one of the local bars? The Love Lane backpacker district is only a few steps away. We’re not kidding when we say it, The Yeng Keng Hotel’s location is the best in the city!

Given the unparalleled location of the hotel, we spent our days wandering the streets of George Town, taking thousands of pictures and tasting everything along the way. Since we are both HUGE food lovers, we definitely did our fair share of overeating, but hey, that’s where all the walking comes in! Between the night time food vendors, the neighborhood restaurants and the number of famous hawker centers nearby, you’ll be lucky to leave without your clothes fitting a little bit more snug (we definitely know ours did!).

If somehow the surrounding cuisine options aren’t enough, the in-house restaurant and cafe at The Yeng Keng serves up some seriously delicious options too. Since the hotel offers complimentary breakfast with each room, we ate there every morning and thoroughly enjoyed every dish we tasted. Between the awesome traditional Malay and western options, it’s the perfect way to get ready for a day of sightseeing. Not only did we have the chance to taste some incredible Malay breakfast foods, but we also had the chance to learn a ton about modern Malaysian culture and cuisine thanks to some of their incredible staff. Every morning we were greeted with huge smiles, hot cups of coffee and great conversation. We always value the chance to learn about local cultures, and by having coffee and a chat with the staff each morning was the perfect way to do this.

The staff at The Yeng Keng went above and beyond to make sure that we had an amazing stay, and that really made all the difference for us. From start to finish, every staff member that we met was nothing but kind and helpful, offering us everything from assistance with our bags, to their favorite restaurant suggestions and must-see sights. Now we understand that in the service industry some of these things are expected, and we totally agree. However, we honestly felt that the staff here went out of their way to ensure we had a perfect stay in George Town.

If we ever have the chance to return to George Town in the future, we can confidently assure you that we will most definitely be staying at The Yeng Keng Hotel again. Accommodations can really make or break a trip, so why not assure you have the  best time by staying in the best hotel possible? We hope this advice proves useful when planning your trip to George Town and would love to hear about your stay at The Yeng Keng Hotel!

 

 

Yours in Adventure,

Joel & Marla

 



2 thoughts on “The Best Boutique Hotel in Penang”

  • Stayed at the Yeng Keng about 5 years ago , loved the place . Our room was small and next to the pool but was comfortable and air conditioned. If we had a problem ( our was we didn’t have right power adapter) staff went out of their way to help . Breakfast at the hotel was excellent and food anywhere in the city was the same. Our favourite place was the Red Garden food court but also the Indian restaurant on the corner on the way there ( we had many beers sitting out front of it and at the resort . At the time we were there lots of Ladyboys were on the same street but they were no problems and the gates of the hotel are locked at night with a security gaurd in place .My wife and i stayed a week and loved every minute of the Hotel and Penang even down to the Geckos chirping at night and the fighter planes practicing overhead. Best room for us was in the back as we had friends staying in front rooms and they were awoken each morning for morning prayers by the Muezzin from the mosque across the road.

    • 5 years later and we experienced the same hospitality! Now that’s what we call an amazing hotel. The Yeng Keng felt like home to us and made our time in Penang so very special. Thanks a ton for sharing!

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