If Colonel Norman Macalister returned to the capitol of the island he governed 200 years ago, he’d be in for a surprise. Formerly a British shipping port, Penang’s George Town is now a vibrant international metropolis that proudly displays its English, Chinese, Indian and native Malaysian influences. A UNESCO World Heritage Site city, George Town strives to strike a balance between past and future, preserving its heritage buildings as it continues to develop into a vital center of industry and tourism. Experience this unique combination for yourself at Macalister Mansion, a quirky and sophisticated lifestyle destination that nods both to Penang’s colonial past and to its colorful present.
Macalister Mansion owners Dato Sean and Datin Karen worked with Colin Seah of Singapore’s renowned Ministry of Design to renovate and revitalize a 100-year-old colonial mansion, preserving the building’s heritage aspects and original elements while adding modern-day amenities and contemporary design touches. Together, they conceived of the hotel as a complete holistic concept, with all rooms, restaurants and lounge areas belonging to a single, unique vision.
Each room has its own bespoke features and artwork, from the privately commissioned love sonnet in the Bridal Suite, to the spiral staircase and turret room in Room 4, to the Grace Tan textile piece in Room 7 that pays tribute to the tartan colors of the Macalister clan. The rest of the hotel is equally thought-out: two restaurants offer options for casual or fine dining, a mosaic lap pool has a “swim-up” bar attached, and visitors to the Bagan Bar can enjoy signature drinks and jazz music.