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“A long lost art of hospitality, reborn.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Macalister Mansion

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Macalister Mansion
228 Macalister Road, Georgetown, Penang Island 10400, Malaysia   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #7 of 49 hotels in Georgetown
Slovenia, Europe
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“A long lost art of hospitality, reborn.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013

Once you visit this hotel, you'll be reminded again, that hotel is not just a bed to sleep in, a dinner to eat, a room to stay in, but an amazing mixture of different segments that fit together to make the whole bigger than the individual pars combined.

Quite simply the attention and the professionalism of all the people involved in this projects (designers, chefs, artists, managers, ...), created a wonderful place to experience. The attention to details is amazing on all levels of service. And after a few years of experience for the staff of this newly built hotel, should make this a prime example of what a hotel should feel like.

Bozidar Jovanovic

Room Tip: Each and every of the rooms is just amazing. I stayed in the Room 6, overlooking the Lawn and the Po...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
eightroomsMM, Manager at Macalister Mansion, responded to this review, May 9, 2013
Thank you for all the compliments! We are all very happy that you have enjoyed your stay here in Room 6. On your point about attention to detail... Do you know that the table in front of the TV forms a perfect oval with the dressing table in the bathroom?

Looking forward to seeing you again on your next visit.
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53 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Singapore, Singapore
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2013

I stayed at Macalister Mansion for 3 nights with my sister.We had an enjoyable stay and loved every moment.We were in Room 5.The room is very clean,tidy and so lovely.The Beds are too good and the Room Deco is simply superb!All the Staff are very friendly and helpful.Their Breakfast is tasty and nice.Guests should try the Selection of TWG Teas in the Living Room.We had 2 types of Red Tea and enjoyed them.We had a relaxing and comfortable stay at Macalister.Thank you MM.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
eightroomsMM, Manager at Macalister Mansion, responded to this review, April 25, 2013
The staff here always get a great sense of personal achievement to find out that guests have enjoyed their stay at MM. Thank you for allowing us to host you. Come back soon!
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kuala Lumpur
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2013

My wife and I booked to stay here for our 25th Wedding anniversary in mid-March. We reserved Room 4.
Upon arrival around 2 pm, we found that there was no dedicated residents parking near the hotel entrance and, as there was a lunchtime event at the hotel we had to park at the outer extremities of the hotel's parking area, albeit not too far. We checked in with ease, and were advised that we were the only guests at the hotel for the 2 nights we were staying there.
The room was superb, well furnished, all mod-cons (inc. a great Bose sound and docking system) with a great bathroom, and efficient a/c. Very kindly, the management had left a bottle of champagne and balloons and a card for our anniversary, touches that were hugely appreciated. They had also bought 2 silver-coloured doves as a gift- which showed some thought had clearly gone into how they would add their congratulations to our special event.

Both days we were in Penang it was extremely hot and that afternoon I decided to use the swimming pool that, unusually, was at the front of the hotel, in an area between the driveway at the front of the hotel, and the rest of the hotel car-park - i.e. very exposed. It didn't help that right next door to the hotel there is a building construction that, when finished, will result in a 20 floor monstrosity bang next door, with anyone at the pool in full view of all and sundry ! As it was, I could see (and be seen by) all the people leaving the lunchtime function. The pool, whilst nicely designed was just too exposed for my liking and I did not stay long.

Later in the afternoon we ventured to the Bar for a drink. It was clear that this bar was also, originally at least, also meant to be a place for live music/bands, and we could then see why previous guests at the hotel had complained about noise levels. We were advised that this bar is soon to be converted into more of a Wine Bar, and (hopefully with a change in decor and colour scheme) will be a marked improvement.
That evening we had dinner in the main restaurant which was quite good, albeit not really memorable, although the dining room -perhaps because there were few other guests- seemed to lack any atmosphere. The Manager came and asked how our stay was, and several staff wished us Happy Anniversary, which was a nice touch. When we returned to the room there was a small, personally decorated, cake waiting for us -again, gratefully received !
I did not sleep that well, either night, mainly because the shutters and blinds in the bedrooms did not fully shut out the huge amount of external spotlighting on the front of the hotel that was displayed all night.

The next day we went for breakfast and had the scrambled egg in brioche which, although well-intended, was really very dry and the eggs were barely luke-warm by the time we were served. Breakfast the following day was also not that exciting, although the room in question was most probably the nicest we had been in (excluding our actual hotel room). All of the second day from before we left the hotel, and into the late afternoon, and into the evening after we returned from having dinner elsewhere, the hotel was pre-occupied with arranging for an event the following day. A constant procession of lorries, workmen, supervisors, etc. etc. Fortunately we did not want to eat at the hotel that evening as they had closed the restaurants from 2pm onwards !
It seemed the hotel "lives" for the hosting of events- how they reconcile this with people who want to stay somewhere special and were otherwise not interested in the events, appears to be an irreconcilable problem. Rather like the conflict between attracting external visitors to the Bar, and Whisky Den, with loud live music, and those guests who just want a good nights sleep.

The hotel rooms are fantastic, the renovation has been carried out with thought and care, and the staff are friendly and thoughtful, but we left feeling that hotel guests actually staying at the hotel were rather secondary to the hosting of events. This is not the first time I have encountered this with so-called specialist boutique hotels, and maybe that is the nature of the beast. Unfortunately I doubt we would stay again.

Room Tip: Rooms 2 and 4 are great.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
eightroomsMM, Manager at Macalister Mansion, responded to this review, April 17, 2013
Thank you for the feedback and review. It was unfortunate and regretable that your stay with us coincided with an event. We do understand your comments and sincerely apologise for the inconveniences caused. The bar is indeed being turned into a wine bar. On your other points, we will definitely be looking into these individually. We are sorry that you are not planning to stay with us again. We would hope for you to drop by sometime to notice the changes we are putting in place as we endeavour to continuously improve standards for the benefit of our guests.
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Singapore
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2013

Stayed for 1 night in Room 2. Also had the chance to look at Rooms 6/7/8.

General: Modern hotel in renovated heritage building in Georgetown. Minimalist chic with great attention to detail. Lots of cute accents which prevents the hotel from looking too bland. Some construction going on (even early Sunday morning!) can make it a bit noisy.

Room: Only 8 rooms, all with their own unique design (although the general feel is the same). Rooms 1-3 are on 1 half of the mansion, while Rooms 4-8 are on the other 1/2. Rooms are spacious most amenities required for a home away from home. Air conditioning is very quiet. Wardrobe is open concept. Study table fully equipped with everything including personalised paper. Mini-bar stocked with water, non alcoholic drinks and snacks (all free!). Nespresso machine and TWG tea also provided. Lounging chairs, coffee table with array of magazines and coffee table books. Bed is good sized with nice sheets. PIllow menu available. TV is slightly small for the room size. In Room 2, it blocks the central window. Bathroom is good sized with a large shower/ bath stall. Not all the rooms have private bathrooms so choose carefully if privacy is an issue. Toiletries are from H2O and plus sized. Huge bottle of bubble bath also provided. Water is at a consistent temperature and good water pressure even from the rain shower.

Internet: Free wifi available throughout the hotel. In Room 2, the wifi signal is very weak. Had to resort to standing outside the room door to use iPhone to send texts.

Restaurant: Only had breakfast in the hotel. Decent selection of food (ala carte). Food was good. Didn’t like the fact that they limited the amount of drinks I could have.

Facilities:
Gym: Small gym (see picture)

Study: One computer available with a selection of books.

Swimming pool: Work of art located in front of the hotel.

Service: This was a bit hit and miss. Check in and check out went smoothly. When I asked about the weak wifi signal in the room, I was told “its always like that”. I would have appreciated alternative suggestions such as a signal strengthener or the option to move to another room (the hotel was empty other than my party of 6 that night). The management provided me a very generous sized and delicious birthday cake. However, I was taking a nap during the delivery of the cake. When I opened the door and said I was sleeping, the staff merely smiled and continued to stand in the doorway instead of offering to come back later with the cake. The cake was also delivered without any utensils to eat or cut it with. When I asked for a late check out, I was told “the check out time is 12”. There was no effort even to check if the room was in use the next day before giving me the reply. When enquiries were made about various things, the staff did not seems that knowledgeable or keen to help. The turn down service was also rather half baked for a hotel of this standard. While there was no issue with the bedtime snack and bed, there was no effort to clean the plates used to eat the cake I was given earlier. The bathroom was also not freshened up and left exactly the way it was.

Overall: Love the hotel. Not so loving the service standards. Hope this will improve over time to make the hotel the go to place while in Penang.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
eightroomsMM, Manager at Macalister Mansion, responded to this review, March 24, 2013
Thank you for spending the time doing this review. We sincerely appreciate the detailed comments which are very constructive and will prove useful in helping us improve further. We are now looking into the points mentioned and implementing the necessary changes to make things better.

We hope to welcome you back soon to feel that improvements!
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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2013 via mobile

We just got back from an amazing stay at Macalister Mansion over the weekend. Highly recommended by friends, my family took the plunge and booked ourselves into Room 5 and Room 7.

Upon arrival at 2.00pm, we were informed that our rooms were not ready as the earlier occupants had checked out late. While slightly annoyed as members of our family were tired, we were ushered to a comfortable room to chill-out with our welcome drinks. We finally got our rooms at 3.30pm, whereby our earlier annoyance was quickly forgotten as the rooms were simply lovely! The tastefully furnished rooms look exactly as their website pictures, and were impeccably clean, cozy and their designer's attention to detail was amazing.

Room 5 featured two single beds and a comfortable sofa area, while Room 7 had a big king-sized bed with a separate area for a table and chair, which we found mighty convenient to work/dine at while our child slept. Both bathrooms were faultless with their powerful showers, separate bathtubs and branded toiletries - what we found particularly amazing was the excellent soundproofing of the bathroom! All drinks and tidbits at the bar were complimentary, and we note that they were not run-of-the-mill sodas and snacks but of higher quality nosh which they replenished everyday. We also looked forward to their daily turndown service as pieces of delicious cake were given!

Our room came with breakfast at The Living Room, and we were again pleasantly surprised at the quality of the breakfast offered. The breakfast set included a choice of main meal (a variety of local to western dishes), freshly brewed coffee or gourmet tea, and a choice of their unique mixed juices. Hearty and tasty, we thoroughly enjoyed each of our varied breakfast picks (Truffle Oil Scrambled Eggs on Brioche, Big Breakfast, amongst others). We did not have a chance to dine at their fine dining restaurant, The Dining Room, but hope to do so in the near future.

Past reviews mentioned the issue of noise from the bar but we did not encounter any problems during our stay. It probably also helped that their staff were very helpful in recommending the right rooms to us when we called to make our booking. Very well-trained; each and every one of their service staff were friendly, courteous and always went out of their way to assist us. We must also mentioned that we had to check out much later than scheduled because of our napping child, but they were most accommodating by allowing us to check out at 4.00pm!

The central location of Macalister Mansion should also be noted; across the street from a general pharmacy, a stone's throw away from famous local eats and short drives to everywhere else in Penang.

After such an amazing and enjoyable stay, we are trying to find reasons to go back to Penang to stay at Macalister Mansion once again. All the thoughtful little things offered at the hotel made our stay all the more memorable, and we struggled to find a gripe worth noting. This small boutique hotel is in a league of its own, and hopefully will set the standards for hotels all around the country to follow by!

Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
eightroomsMM, Manager at Macalister Mansion, responded to this review, March 8, 2013
Thank you for staying with us! We are pleased that you had a great time and hope to see you back with us soon.
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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013 via mobile

The first moment I walked into this hotel , I was overly impressed by the deco and concept and the attention to details they paid on the room facilities and amenities. Definitely one of the best I have ever encountered and am proud this can be found in Malaysia.

However I stayed in room 4, and had high fever duringmy stay..I quickly come back to the hotel hopefully i can enjoy a good sleep with a comprehensive 7 choices pillow but the noise from the bar downstairs is just annoying and made me unable to sleep.. I called more than 4 times to complain but the the bass from the bar still makes the floor vibrate and I can't stop having the heavy beat off my head.. I am writing this at the time when my complaint is unheard and I can't sleep.. I came back at 10pm trying to sleep and now is already 12:10 am.. !!! Tolerating the non stop beat from the bar..

Great property but sadly they can't fulfill the most basic a client wants from a hotel and that is to have a comfortable and peaceful sleep..

Both my wife and 3 year old kid also struggled badly to sleep.. Guessed I just have to stay up till the bar is closed which they claimed the dj will spin till 1:30am on a Monday night...

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
eightroomsMM, Manager at Macalister Mansion, responded to this review, February 19, 2013
Thank you for your open and honest feedback. We regret that your first experience with us was not up to your expectations. Macalister Mansion endeavours to provide guests with a good experience and always looking for ways to make their stay more enjoyable. Hence, we are now looking into your comments. Please do not hesitate to contact us directly if you need further assistance. Sincere apologies again.
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Penang Island, Malaysia
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2013

To be honest...the first time i entered Macalister Mansion - It seemed a bit too much for the state of Penang. Now on the other hand - i'm thankful that there is such a place...
From the usual clubs and entertainment joints that you find all over the island - this place is exquisite. Standing tall from the others. Hey! its become my regular spot.
With excellent dining (amazing food) - followed by my favourite Lemon Slush from the cafe- simply awesome. Also not to forget Bagan- for those who'd like to boogie the night away...that's the place for you. With Retro nights...salsa nights...all kinds of nights....very eventful and you will certainly have a blast.
Me on the other hand - i enjoy a quiet place- music not too loud - a place to have a conversation- business discussion and most of all to unwind - one answer = The Den!!!
The place i visit the most. The ambiance that you feel...the decor...the way it's lit up, is just so relaxing. They serve the finest hand picked Single Cask Whiskies and Cigars as well!! I have fallen in love with the whiskies there. This coming from a man who has been loyal to Jack Daniels almost all his life - I'm now a changed man. Tremendously big Thumbs Up to Ms Natasha who has educated me and everyone whom i've taken there since my first experience on the types of whiskies - where they come from - the history....u name it - she knows it! She has a wealth of knowledge about these whiskies. I have even learned what whisky would suit my mood at that given time. Imagine that. Just tell her what your taste buds are after - and she will name the perfect whisky for you. I have personally tried quite a number of whiskies there....and i enjoy all of them. Though i must say that i have my favourites. So be sure to pop in The Den and tickle your tongue with the finest whiskies around!! And at the same time get educated on whiskies! A good place to chill and partake knowledge of such which is a rare as i have been to many other places where most of them are rather reserved when it comes to educating us (whiskey enthusiasts) on what we are consuming....
Overall - The Den is a must Visit!!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
eightroomsMM, Manager at Macalister Mansion, responded to this review, January 31, 2013
We are glad that we have converted you from Jack Daniels to enjoy Single Cask whiskies. Our whisky list is updated periodically. As you already know, Single Cask whiskies is exactly what it is: the bottles are limited to that Cask alone.

So the beauty of Single Cask whisky is that every Cask yields a 'different' whisky, so it is really an extraordinary journey of discovery of different tastes and flavours!
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Additional Information about Macalister Mansion

Also Known As:
Macalister Mansion Penang/Georgetown
Address: 228 Macalister Road, Georgetown, Penang Island 10400, Malaysia
Phone Number:
Location: Malaysia > Penang > Penang Island > Georgetown
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 49 hotels in Georgetown
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Eight Rooms at Macalister Mansion promises a quirky and sophisticated new destination to relax and unwind… Set amidst a lovingly restored colonial mansion that was built in the early 1900s, we invite you to embark with us on a luxuriously new boutique hotel adventure within each of our individually designed 8 suites. ... more   less 
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