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“Heritage and Privacy” 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 #5 of 48 hotels in Georgetown
Hong Kong
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Heritage and Privacy”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2013

Plenty has been said about this hotel already, but staying there took my breath away. Superb reimagining of a heritage building with oodles of charm and character. Staff were excellent help, and the daily cakes that were left in our room after turn-down service were a nice touch.

We did not see any other guests the three nights we were there, so it felt private, secluded and unique. Dining Room serves world class fare, we took the wine pairing menu and were not disappointed.

We spent a lot of time by poolside and never saw another guest there, we had the pool and surrounding environs all to ourselves. Yes there was some construction taking place next door but we didn't feel it detracted from the experience. The only slight downside was that there weren't any attendants by poolside, we did eventually manage to find someone to come out from the main hotel to the poolside bar to serve us a drink but it wasn't easy!

As for the room itself, Room 7, it was elegant and luxuriously styled. It felt a shame every time we had to leave to venture outside.

A small fitness room caters for anyone who wants to run, but don't expect weights and a full gym set-up.

I expect this hotel will become very difficult to book in the future, it is a slice of design heaven that is a welcome addition to the Penang hotel scene. Clearly it's not for everyone, as it is not a full resort-style experience, but if ever there was a hotel that summed up "boutique", then this is it!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
eightroomsMM, General Manager at Macalister Mansion, responded to this review, July 27, 2013
Thank you for all the compliments. We indeed provide a lot of privacy to our guests given only eight rooms that we have.

We sincerely regret to learn that we had not provided sufficient service at the pool. We will certainly look into this issue. Thank you again for your feedback and staying with us. We hope to see you back soon!
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62 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
    44
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    6
    0
    1
See reviews for
7
31
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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 (22)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
copenhagen
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2013 via mobile

Macalister Mansion is a quite unique place, 8 spacious and bright rooms, contemporary classy design with an intelligent humoristic twist.
Everything you can dream of is here and so much more!!!! Luxury and exclusive, yet informal.
The food is fabulous and world class!! .....as everything else!!

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
eightroomsMM, General Manager at Macalister Mansion, responded to this review, July 21, 2013
Thank you for your compliments. We look forward to welcoming you back again soon!
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PJ
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2013

It is very clear from the moment we stepped into room 6 that Eight Rooms at Macalister Mansion that the owners/architect/designer has decided that nothing would be over the top and money is of no concern to their dream of turning a classical building into the most avant-garde hotel I have ever stayed in. There are only 8 rooms in MM, each with quite distinctive features. Room 6 was ultra modern, from its mother of pearl glazed floor tiles in the bathroom, to its electronically controlled curtains, lime wash wooden boards and nespresso coffee machine.

It is actually quite daring for the owners to make Eight Rooms ultra modern and chic which is a real surprise when one checks into a old refurbished bungalow. There is a clear technology bent and changes has been made to the building to ensure that when one steps into the room, one forgets that they are in an old building. Every mod-con is available, from free WiFi to satellite TV to the bathrobes, slippers, exclusive toiletries and complimentary minibar.

It was an experience to stay at MM over a weekend, service levels were exceptional, every staff was eager to please and ensure you would want for nothing. All room guests enjoyed a 10% discount on F&B and we had dinner at the fine dining restaurant and also champagne at the lounge. The meal was very good with an exceptional soup with salted fish ground powder. There is an excellent cellar as well with reasonable prices.

A few suggestions for improvement: more road signage as there is nothing to indicate the address (except for a relatively obscure double M sign) and better smoke ventilators to clear the smell of cigarette/cigar smoke from the reception area.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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, July 10, 2013
Thank you for the review and taking time out to provide us with such comprehensive feedback. It is indeed a labour of love for the owners who have not only restored and conserved a century old building, but also successfully illustrated that old buildings can be transformed into practical spaces for modern living.

We have noted your comments and will endeavour to take steps to rectify these issues. We look forward to welcoming you back again!
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Singapore, Singapore
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013

This is my second stay at Macalister Mansion. My previous trip was sometime last year.

Noticed that the hotel has put in more landscaping at the pool area. It certainly looks more cozy now and in a way help to shield the tall high rise next door. Read some previous review complaining about the high rise, but to me, we see that everywhere in Singapore so I don't find it a problem at all. It is unreasonable to expect that a 100 year old heritage building situated at the center of the city is to have only green and no high rise surrounding. I personally feel it only adds more specially feeling for MM where the heritage has been so well preserved within a city that is fast developing.

I stayed for 2 nights and it is still as fabulous as before. The attention paid towards the fine details remain the signature of this small boutique hotel, whether the housekeeping, turndown service or the design of the rooms. The personalized stationery always impresses me.

This time around I stayed at Room2 which has a modern poster bed. The layout is very comfortable with 2 very comfortable lounge chairs at the sitting area facing the big LED TV.

The hotel has also recently changed the concept of the bar. As I understand from the front desk, the management decided to change the concept to avoid the noise of the bar to disturb the hotel guests. It does not have anymore live band and instead been turned into a very cozy wine and champagne bar. I particularly like the big sofa set in front of the fireplace place. You must be wondering why there is a fireplace in the hot weather of Penang. Don't be mistaken as it is actually a LCD screen playing a fireplace video and looks exactly like a real one! I was told by the helpful manager that they have a selection of more than 300 labels of wines and champagnes. I was certainly amazed by such huge selection. But once you see the wine list, you wouldn't have a single doubt of the quantity they offer as the wine list is as thick as an encyclopedia! No joke... see it to believe!

I also had a chance to use the gym this time around... nothing more to ask for given a hotel of only 8 rooms! Simply amazing...

I am looking forward to my next trip back to Penang... and of course the wonderful local food the city has to offer!..MM is certainly not to be missed!

Room Tip: Rooms 7 & 8 are supposedly quieter.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 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, May 29, 2013
Thank you for your compliments and we are very happy to welcome you back to Macalister Mansion. The aforementioned wine bar, also known as The Cellar does indeed have a very comprehensive menu and the wine-by-glass selection is updated regularly.

We will look forward to your next stay with us again.
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garden city
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2013

we just got back from a 3 night stay at macalister mansion. the hotel was a historical colonial home in georgetown which, which has since been renovated to a stunning property with very modern finishes. it is conveniently located just 10-15 mins cab ride to most restaurants and famous local food stalls in town. it has quirky and interesting decor, but not too OTT like some of the W's.

we stayed in room 2 and could not fault the quality of the finishing in the room, it was spacious and well apppointed, with 2 very large and comfy chairs for reading and lounging. there were nice little touches like delicious banana poppy seed cake in the evenings, great toiletries, free minibar, snacks and nespresso machine. the bed and pillows were also very comfortable. breakfast in the morning at the living room was alright, service a tad slow though always with a smile. the breads were a bit hard and, the eggs served cold. there should also be a selection of fresh fruits for breakfast, not just fresh juice. the local food was tasty though.

the big downside to the hotel was the NOISE level, there is a tall building next door that was being constructed, and the banging and drilling could be heard as early as 745 in the morning. i was really cheesed off since i escaped to penang in order to sleep in, they should have informed us that the room we booked was closest to the construction. when i brought it up, the receptionist was apologetic and said they would inform the supervisor not to start work so early ( yes even on wkends and it goes on all day long!!) and even offered us 2 free drinks as compensation. however if the idea of your holiday was to get a restful sleep, this will not be the place. the bar downstairs was also very noisy and we could hear the patrons chattering loudly outside the lobby even at 2am!! the pool area was nice, however i felt a bit self conscious swimming right underneath all that construction an arms length away. so might be a good idea to stay in the rooms further away from the construction, ie not rooms 2 or 3. or maybe the hotel needs to sound proof the rooms better?

overall, i am pleased with the rooms but i feel i need another vacation to get some restful sleep.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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 27, 2013
Thank you for staying with us! We sincerely regret the noise coming from the building site next door. We have since brought it up to their building supervisor and he said that he will look into the matter. We do apologise for not being able to upgrade you to another room as we were fully booked. We thank you for your understanding and hope to see you soon!
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Singapore, Singapore
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2013

Stayed 3 nights at Macalister Mansion (MM) in May 2013 and was reminded of how life's simple pleasures remain so important. Overall a great stay and I would recommend anyone who is heading to Penang for a relaxing time to check it out. You would need a mode of transport as it's not exactly walking distance to the Georgetown heritage site but a scooter is safe and fun. We stayed in room 7.

What I love: the little things (turn down service every night with complimentary desserts, stationery with your name on it, complimentary snacks and drinks from the fridge, really delicious and generous breakfast), the luxury and comfort that accompanies a top-notch hotel (a pillow menu, the most delightful bed, a huge bathroom which has very nice H2O toiletries) and the extras (help with renting us a scooter, late check out till 3 pm at no charge).

What I didn't love so much: technology (the TV channels were not great and the wifi was completely down for one whole night) and the pool (too small for a real swim and as there was a high-rise construction next to MM that made it a bit awkward for you to sunbathe).

Room Tip: Room 7 is great!
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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 19, 2013
It has been our pleasure to host you! We do understand your feedback on the construction next door, and are in the process of exploring ways to overcome this problem. We apologise for the WIFI problem which was due to a technical glitch which has been rectified. We hope to welcome you back again soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Slovenia, Europe
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
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...
See more room tips
  • 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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Additional Information about Macalister Mansion

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:
#4 Romantic Hotel 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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Also Known As:
Macalister Mansion Penang/Georgetown

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