I stayed at Cintra Heritage House for four nights during a visit to Penang in late December. I found out about this hotel from TripAdvisor, and though it is still pretty new, the reviews so far seemed to indicate that it's a good place to stay among many selections in Georgetown area.
We had six travelers. Initially I booked the room for only two travelers. When a third one was coming, we found out that the hotel did not have any more room available (given it's essentially a guest house/ B&B, they don't have that many rooms available in the first place). We were able to get an extra bed for the room, so three of us could stay there. The other three travelers who joined us very late before the trip ended up staying at a large hotel called Cititel nearby.
The location of the hotel is great as it is close to a major road called Lebuh Chulia w/ public buses passing through there. We used public buses and the CAT shuttle bus to travel around Georgetown and to some areas on the island, and KOMTAR bus station is within 10-15 minute walk from Cintra Heritage House. In the morning, there is a street market at nearby Lebuh Campbell that you can visit for authentic look on how the locals shop. At night, you can find many street food vendors within walking distance (at Lebuh Kimberley, Lebuh Chulia). Upper Penang Road where many of the western tourists go for nightlife (should you prefer that) is also within 15 minute walk.
Coming from Indonesia where we had experience with old Chinese 'Peranakan' style homes owned by our relatives, we could say that they had done great job restoring the building and converting it into a B&B. The architecture and decoration felt authentic, thought there were some quirky setups that may cause western visitors used to more modern lodging choices to be uncomfortable. The bathroom is quite small, and there is no clear separation between the shower area and the toilet area. We also stayed in a room that was facing the street, with wooden window and door that when opened literally would take you to the street. That might be a bit weird or uncomfortable for some people, though in our case it wasn't a problem since we only spent time in our room to rest and freshen up and spending most of our time out and about.
The room is equipped with air conditioner and also a ceiling fan. Much appreciated especially after long days out in the heat.
Breakfast was wonderful; you have a choice of either a traditional Chinese/Malaysian breakfast (we had rice porridge one day, and mee goreng on another) or western style breakfast (eggs cooked to order, toast, and fruits). The coffee was also great.
Staff was very courteous. One of my travel partners had some good chat w/ a staff member who was very friendly and helpful even though he didn't speak Malay and his English was so so.
Overall, I think it was great value for the money, and I would stay at Cintra Heritage House again if I were to visit Penang in the future. Just remember to book well in advance given the limited number of rooms available.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- CINTRA HERITAGE HOUSE- The building are shop houses featuring the Southern Chinese Eclectic style and which was built around 1840 -1900’s and once served as a Hair Dressing Saloon for the Japanese Officers and local administrators of Penang during the Post period from 1940’s – 1960's. Building style features Chinese influences on the carved Timber Doors, Air vents, Air wells, Gable end. European and Indian influence on the Louvered shutters, U or V –shaped terracotta tiles. The Cintra Heritage House occupies 4 link-shop houses that have been beautifully restored by master craftsmen mostly done by hand to what it looks like as of today. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Cintra Heritage House Penang/George Town