boutique hotel Georgetown

The Blue Mansion – Cheong Fatt Tze, Penang, Malaysia

The Blue Mansion Penang

Monica Tindall

You may have reckoned by now that I’m a cautious person and not particularly comfortable in crowds post-pandemic. Since the announcement was made that we could cross the borders, my stays have been in private pool villas and resorts with large open-air spaces. Our visit to Penang saw us switch modes with a stay in a boutique hotel, The Blue Mansion.

Benefiting from only 18 rooms, the hotel is small enough for extraordinary management of hygiene SOPs. Going above and beyond the mandated regulations, the team at The Blue Mansion Penang have placed prime importance on guest and staff safety. Regular temperature checks, hand sanitiser, wearing of masks and visitor registration is the standard. Additionally, shoes are cleaned upon entry, and foot pedals have been installed removing the need to touch sanitiser pumps and handles for some doors. On top of rooms being well-cleaned, they are also zapped with a UV light for the ultimate in germ control. The buffet has been done away with for breakfast. Instead, guests request their a la carte meal the night before, which can be taken in the open-air courtyard or delivered to the room. I must say we are impressed.

The Blue Mansion Penang

The Blue Mansion Penang

The Blue Mansion, however, offers much more than the safety of guests and staff. It’s an icon in Georgetown. Even those who are not staying at the hotel visit for tours because of its historical importance.

Once home to the man who the New York Times described as the ‘Rockefeller of the East,’ Cheong Fatt Tze, The Blue Mansion is cloaked in a rich history and intrigue. Located in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of George Town, this 19th-century property is the ideal venue from which to explore and embrace the vibrant historical and cultural essence of Penang.

boutique hotel Georgetown
boutique hotel Georgetown
boutique hotel Georgetown


Sitting in the heart of Georgetown, a few minutes by foot can have you on the seaside enjoying a cocktail at the landmark Farquhar’s Bar at the E&O. A short walk further will have you stumbling across historical sites such as forts, clock towers and piers. Head towards the city, and you’re met with a plethora of food options; hipster cafes, old school street stalls, as well as an increasing number of brilliant contemporary dining experiences.

The Red Garden Food Court, a celebrated hawkers’ nest, is in the very same street. Nearby shop-houses are home to galleries, antique stores, boutiques and artisans. And, of course, alleyways showcase the now-famous street art Penang has grown a name for. All are easily accessed on foot, but the hotel also provides complimentary bicycles if you’d like to take in the sites on wheels.

Cheong Fatt Tze – The Blue Mansion Rooms

Changing management in recent years, The Blue Mansion underwent significant refurbishments, turning the once charming but budget hotel into an oasis of opulence and calm. The grandeur of the past is layered with contemporary amenities in the 18 rooms making up the boutique hotel. Each room is individually themed and furnished, with exquisite heirlooms from the family’s private collection, alongside modern amenities such as TV, mini-bar, Wi-Fi, electronic safe, hairdryer and rain shower.

Double stories built around two garden courtyards house six different room categories. From the beautiful Nanyang with pool and garden access to the grandiose 50s ROOM, a stay here guarantees an authentic romp mirroring the historic district in which the property is rooted. The Escoy, 50s, Nanyang and Lean Hwa rooms have direct pool access. The Tang and 50’s Rooms offer the most decadent living quarters with Jacuzzi baths hallmarks of each. The Han with a sitting room, dining lounge and ensuite bathroom including tub and shower is well-designed to fit a family of three.

Rooms are marked with names rather than numbers. We’re in the Nanyang and appreciative of the direct access to the pool and garden afforded by our back door (sarong, beach towel and pool basket provided to take advantage of the position).
Shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and hand sanitiser are provided in pretty floral ceramic dispensers, eliminating the waste of single-use plastic, and much classier than disposable bottles.

An oriental garden and Chinese water garden are at our back doorstep on the way to the pool. Apparently, both were envisioned by the late Mr Cheong Fatt Tze and were finally realised 100 years later. Salvaged granite carvings make interesting scenery amongst the garden of blooms, shrubs and trees.

By the entrance to our room, there is a long courtyard lined with the signature blue walls, shrubbery and day beds. Arched wooden windows and doorways indicate the height of the lofty ceilings in each room – a true luxury in these times of monetising every square inch. Coffee tables mark the entrance of each residence, and we find this a favourite spot to sit early morning catching up on the news and getting our daily caffeine dose thanks to the personal espresso machine.

The Blue Mansion Penang
Pink Chair – The Blue Mansion Penang
The Blue Mansion Penang
Day Bed
The Blue Mansion Penang
Nanyang Room
The Blue Mansion Penang
Pretty Ceramic Dispensers for Bath Products
boutique hotel Georgetown
Back Door Access to Pool
boutique hotel Georgetown
The Blue Mansion Penang
Garden – The Blue Mansion Penang

Food and Beverage

As mentioned, a simple a la carte breakfast is served in The Courtyard. It’s also the setting for afternoon tea, which is included in some stay packages. They say Chi energy is strongest here. Makes sense to us considering it’s the hub of food and a common meeting point. Evenings on the weekend, guests can enjoy a guzheng performance, where the musician is dressed immaculately while playing the enchanting string instrument.

The Courtyard Bar serves snacks, desserts, classic cocktails, spirits and wine. Also part of specific stay packages, guests can enjoy a cocktail here upon arrival. We try two classics, a mojito and margarita, and approve of their quality.

The Blue Mansion Penang
Evening Cocktails

Contemporary cuisine with French, Japanese and local influences is served in the beautiful Indigo restaurant. With chef Jack Yeap at the helm, the menu reflects the luxurious lifestyle of its past inhabitants, promising a gastronomic journey fusing exciting flavours in an elegant fine-dining experience. Dinner here is a ‘must’ while in Penang so do be sure to reserve a table – with time for cocktails at The Courtyard beforehand. Follow this link to find our recommendations of what to order (in-house guests are entitled to a discount on food, even more reason to stay).

Indigo Blue Mansion Penang
Indigo Blue Mansion Penang

Guided Tours The Blue Mansion Penang

Home to two museums and an exhibition featuring house artefacts, furniture, memorabilia and clothing, a guided tour of The Blue Mansion is highly recommended. An engaging guide shares the scandals, historical details, and some surprising Feng Shui facts. This tour is in hot demand with outside visitors having to book in advance and pay for the experience. In-house guests, however, often have the tour included. Be sure to reserve a time upon (or before) arrival.

The Blue Mansion Penang
Take An Historical Tour of The Blue Mansion

The Blue Mansion Review

The Blue Mansion, with a fabulous tale behind it, enriches any stay in Penang. Whether visiting for a relaxing weekend getaway or a schedule full of sightseeing, this stunning boutique hotel ensures the details from start to finish are furrowed in the elegance of tradition but embedded with the comforts of modern times.

Malaysian Residents Experience

Malaysian residents can take advantage of some special packages for as low as RM340 per night. Valid until the 31st of August, residents receive reduced rates (prices vary depending on the room) inclusive of daily breakfast, afternoon tea, two complimentary cocktails at The Bar, complimentary guided tour of the mansion, room upgrade (if available), Wi-Fi, use of house bicycles and 10% off food and beverage bills. Changes can be made to reservations up to 24 hours before arrival at no additional charge. This sure is a welcome benefit with the unpredictability of the current situation—details on this and more promotions here.

Reasons to visit Cheong Fatt Tze – The Blue Mansion Penang: fantastic location; a culturally significant stay in a beautifully maintained museum with luxurious amenities and modern-day comforts; lap pool and garden; Indigo restaurant.

Cheong Fatt Tze – The Blue Mansion Penang
14, Leith Street, George Town
Pulau Pinang 10200, Malaysia
+604 262 0006
[email protected]

Find more Penang hotspots here and stay up to date with the latest food and beverage happenings in KL here and here.


  1. I bet "pounds to peanuts" that THIS BLUE BOUTIQUE HOTEL" could tell
    more stories of intrigue etc etc than Arthur Conan Doyle of Sherlock Holmes
    mysteries could dream up.
    If only walls even blue ones could talk – maybe even the air would be "blue".
    Plots and counter plots galore.

    Love the toilet view!!! Tut tut – the lid still up????
    However no doubt compensated by the monogrammed toiletry spices,
    soaps and lotions bag for thee and "T.O.H." – Oooooooh delightful
    decadence !!!

    Very chic and oh what stories hidden within the walls.
    PS: Brilliant sunny morning here – if only winter would stay like this!!!

    • Colin, you would really enjoy the tour here. We were lucky to get a private walk around and, oh boy, the stories that were told could easily out do the Bold and the Beautiful for a juicy tale.

    • Monica and "T.O.H" !!!

      The "B & B" – the fanciful goings-on of the most disfunctional TV family group to ever hit the screen???? Surely by now incest has happened as they marry one another on and off???
      I wonder did you get complimentary mini-bar service???
      I have seen so many agitated people checking out when presented with the mini-bar account.
      I recall one particular young honeymoon couple at of all places – the Oriental, Bangkok!!
      I met them at poolside one morning and they were so delighted with the service and so they should be – the Oriental ranked #1 in the World on and off and always in the top 5.
      They informed me of their delights with the mini-bar service and being restocked each morning.
      I just shut my mouth and grinned. I was in the lobby when they checked out.
      Holy hell you should have heard the rumpus when they were presented with their account.
      Fortunately "The Oriental" has large security people.
      Score: Oriental – in credit. Honey-mooners – in debt.
      The young couple were from Texas, USA!!!
      It is a wonder the Oriental was not bombed off the face of the earth
      when they got home – ha ha.

      Due to my family being in the pub game, I knew all about these mini-bars, so on
      arriving at my room I would remove in front of the bemused porter everything from the
      mini-bar except the free milk for coffee or tea, then see the room attendant and explain
      to them to leave out of fridge whilst I was in residence.
      Next off to a local bar and stock up on local beers and put in fridge.
      No mini-bar costs for "Little ole me" – ha ha.
      Pity some people can't read.

  2. I love the name and I love the look!

  3. Can't say I like the shade of blue and it sure needs a new coat of paint. The breakfast special looks great – the egg, really awesome…and the pancakes and the noodles too.

  4. Thanks for the peek inside. Love the distinctive blue colour of this beautifully restored mansion. The texture of the walls kept the pre-war era look….truly magnificent!

  5. Love the blue, the spiral staircase is excellent, all fits in so well. The food looks good as do your photographs..

  6. I was in Penang last year and wanted to see this house.
    I came across the Protestant Cemetery instead, and forgot about the house!

  7. Believe it or not… I have never been to the Blue Mansion before 😛

  8. What a beautifully restored mansion. I wouldn't be surprised to see Mr. Cheong Fatt Tze himself walking down the corridor one night – just a figment of my imagination for staying in a place with a long history.

  9. Looks like a great place. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  10. I enjoyed reading this blog post. It was inspiring and informative and makes me want to visit The Blue Mansion! Thank you.

  11. This is one enchanting place, steeped in history…a national heritage!!!

  12. I read about this place. Would love to visit it if I go to Penang. It has been more than 20 years since my last trip there.

  13. Beautiful blue hues that make this oasis so refreshing!


    what a wonderful review!

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