Cover Photo: Clans Kongsi Georgetown

Plan a stay at these stylish and understated spots recommended by Over Penang co-author Bettina Chua Abdullah

1. Tien Hotel-Residence

Elegant, welcoming and laidback, Tien Hotel-Residence strikes the perfect balance between quirky and cosy. The hotel boasts 12 charming rooms, a lounge, a peaceful 'hidden' patio known as Tien Patio and a sky bar by the pool where comfortable lounge chairs are the perfect place to sit back and soak in the surrounding views.

Foodies staying at this boutique hotel will find no shortage of amazing street food close by. According to Chua, the Tien Hotel-Residence is located above one of the most popular roasted duck kopitiams in the area.     

Tien Hotel-Residence | 348, Lebuh Chulia, George Town, Pulau Pinang | 04-263 8116 or WhatsApp 012-4918116 |

More: 3 Most Expensive Neighbourhoods in Penang

2. SAVV Hotel Penang

"I am very fond of The SAVV, which is in a repurposed office building," shares Chua. "It's really well done: a family-owned property with nice rooms and great staff. Breakfast is only available on request— and that's because there's already too much good food outside! There's also a splash pool and a garden space." 

Opt for SAVV Hotel's deluxe rooms (that includes a wheelchair-friendly room) if you want plenty of space and great views of the pool as well as Penang Strait in the distance.  

SAVV Hotel Penang | 39C, Pengkalan Weld, George Town, Pulau Pinang | 04-261 6228 or WhatsApp 019 239 7228

3. Clans Kongsi Georgetown

Take a walk down memory lane in this Peranakan heritage boutique hotel, housed in a restored building in Khoo Kongsi that's about 160 years old. The hotel officially opened its doors in February 2019, and if you haven't had a chance to check it out, be sure to book your stay soon.

"The hotel is right on the edge of the local mosque," says Chua. "I love the sound of the azan in the morning. Rise early and explore George Town as it comes to life. Grab an early breakfast at the hawkers near the clan jetties just five minutes away."

Clans Kongsi Georgetown | 2, Cannon Square, George Town, Pulau Pinang | 04-262 8212 

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4. The Prestige Hotel

If you're in the mood for some seriously posh pampering, The Prestige Hotel is the way to go. Aside from being named Best Luxury Contemporary Hotel in Asia at the World Luxury Awards 2020, The Prestige Hotel has also been certified as a Covid-19 compliant hotel by the Penang state government, ensuring a high standard of guest safety and exclusivity in the post-Covid travel era. 

The Prestige Hotel | 8, Gat Lebuh Gereja, George Town, Pulau Pinang | 04-217 5888

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5. Areca Hotel

Another small hotel that's slightly less expensive but filled with Instagram-worthy nooks is Areca Hotel. Bright bunches of foliage emerge from various spots throughout this cheerfully designed space, fittingly named after the Areca Palm or 'Pinang palm'. The family-friendly quarters here consist of the Garden Room, the Family Suite, the Heritage rooms and the Heritage Loft. 

Areca Hotel Penang | 5, Jalan Khoo Sian Ewe, George Town, Penang | 04-261 0050

Related: 5 Penang-Based Lifestyle Brands Championing Minimalism

6. Bonus: The Writer's Suite at Hikayat

Feeling literary? For a truly off-the-beaten track experience, you can now book a stay at the Writer's Suite at Hikayat, a creative arts space of which Chua is currently the director.

"Guests get to stay above a bookshop in the heart of the heritage zone," she says. "We use it to house visiting writers, but we rent it out on request." 

Hikayat Penang | 226 Lebuh Pantai, George Town, Penang | 04-261 9001

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