Two weeks ago, the Buro 24/7 Malaysia team embarked on our first-ever #BuroRoadTrip with a one-night stop in Ipoh (more on this quaint small town to come next month!) on the way to Penang. We planned it for months, had so many plans of what we want to do (eat), and eventually had to narrow it down after realising we only had three days there. Check out the video below for snippets of our #BuroRoadTrip and read on for our tried-and-tested mini guide to Penang.
You can also check out Dato' Nicol David's mini guide to Penang here.
WHERE TO STAY
Between luxury hotels and boutique options, one thing's for sure: Penang has some of the most amazing-looking accommodations to offer in Malaysia.
An impressive new addition the roster of luxury hotels in Penang that flaunt the island's heritage and coastal atmosphere, The Edison on Lebuh Leith is a shining example of modern extravagance done right. Details, no matter grand or minute—from a distinguished malachite green giving life to the elegant neutral interior palette with accents of brass and dark wood, to the keys to its 35 luxurious guestrooms adorned with suede tassel attachments—everything was given meticulous attention. Whether it's sipping cocktails in its tranquil courtyard or stepping out to explore the many offerings of the city beyond, The Edison awaits your stay for your next George Town getaway.
Crafting a masterpiece out of the derelict, it is a wonder to imagine how the once abandoned site could transform into the grand homage to the city's heritage it is today. The seven Anglo Chinese terraces house 18 double-storey suites that cast their regal shadows upon the beautiful courtyard below. A stone's throw away from the Goddess of Mercy Temple, Penang Peranakan Mansion, and Penang Museum, one cannot get closer to feeling the island's cultural heartbeat than this. The seamless fusion of elaborate Peranakan Chinese furnishing with contemporary amenities gives this boutique hotel a truly unrivaled old world charm.
The Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa is Shangri-La's answer to an island resort that embodies the serenity of a tropical paradise. Towering rain-trees and lush foliage surround magnificent structures built in tribute to distinctive Minangkabau architecture. Perched on along the slopes of Batu Feringghi, the resort gives access to one of the best stretches of sandy beaches the island has to offer. To sink further into the state of blissful tranquility, guests can also unwind and indulge at one of the 11 villas or yoga pavilion at the award-winning spa, Chi. For world-class service and five-star luxury, there is no need to look further than Rasa Sayang.
Penang is also home to a few other great boutique hotels you may want to consider:
WHAT TO EAT AND WHERE
So much to eat, so little time (unless you're a resident). However, it's not just the popular hawker fare that you have to look out for while in Penang—the island is also known to have several amazing restaurants and cafe culture is picking up there too.
WHERE TO SIGHTSEE
Two things come to mind (especially) when we think about sightseeing in Penang: Heritage buildings and street art.
Having been a home on stilts for the Chew Clan community for more than a century and till today, Chew Jetty is a testament of living heritage that has withstood the test of time. Take a stroll along the cluster of houses there, snap some photos and browse through some of the stalls and restaurants that have added itself to the scene, but above all, embrace that one-of-a-kind ambiance.
It's so lovely to explore Armenian Street on foot as you pass by charming shophouses, art galleries, cafes and some of the best street art in Penang. There's a photo to be taken at every corner, and even a snack or two to indulge in.
Fondly known as the Blue Mansion, its vibrant colour and history are often linked to an image of Penang. Today, it is one of the most iconic boutique hotels on the island but even if you're not staying there as a guest, you're welcomed to join a tour of the building or dine at its flagship restaurant, aptly called Indigo. For those who are interested, the restaurant was actually inspired by Cheong Fatt Tze himself and offers a marriage of Eastern and Western flavours in one menu.
WHAT (ELSE) TO DO
Besides eating? A lot more than we expected. From pampering yourself with a spa treatment to finding the perfect spots to take an #ootd (coming soon!) to something a little more adventurous.