I generally chose to stay at well known hotel chains when I travel. This time, as I was travelling alone and wishing to explore more boutique options, I tried the Museum Hotel. The hotel had only been operating a few months, or so the receptionist told me. A row of traditional Straits shop houses (see photo attached) had been given a new lease of life as a hotel after rather extensive renovations.
The Museum Hotel's look is traditional Straits Chinese and in keeping with that tradition there are western influenced furnishings and western antiques mixed in to the general decor. It is a pleasant change from the stock standard hotel look. Those who like old world charm and decor will love the look of this place!
My single occupancy room was 19 square meters, smallish but adequate for one person. It had a double bed and a separate shower and toilet. It is a smallish boutique hotel and even when relatively full, it still maintains a sense of exclusivity.
The hotel has a dining room which only serves breakfast. You are given 3 choices for breakfast which consisted of poached eggs, eggs and ham (see attached photo) and oats with nuts and sultanas. I like the way the hotel tries to incorporate local flavours. Served with your choice of breakfast is a daily selection of local Nyonya confections (see attached photo) and a selection of seasonal fruits. Generally, not having a venue that serves lunches and dinners will not be an issue in Penang as food can be found everywhere. However, the Museum Hotel is rather isolated and one will have to walk some distance in the tropical weather to find variety. The only food outlet nearby that I can see are basic outlets serving spicy Indian Muslim cooking.
The hotel has an air conditioned little gym with some free weights, a cycling machine and an arm exercise machine. There is no pool. There is an in-house museum which is opened to hotel guests between 4 to 5pm by appointment. I was out during those times during my 6 nights stay so never had the chance to check it out.
I found the staff very friendly, helpful and obliging, every single one of them. They are the hotel's best asset. They do go out of their way to provide a good service. They smile and greet you each time they encounter you. They look like they genuinely enjoy their work and want to be at work.
Not been a fan of eggs for breakfast every day and after a few days of having oats, I asked whether I could have no mains but a larger serve of fruits instead. The staff obliged me and I had a very nice selection of fruits. The next day, I again declined the main breakfast and asked whether instead of a piece of the local Nyonya confection, I could have a few more. I was served a very nice selection of Nyonya cakes.
One day, I was dropped off at the hotel when it was raining. A member of staff came outside with an umbrella. These little thoughtful acts and the genuine warmth exhibited by members of staff made my stay memorable. It was also a nice touch to have the women reception staff wear the graceful, traditional "kebaya" during weekends. It fitted right in with the Straits culture theme of the hotel.
The downside is that the Museum Hotel is a little out of the way when it comes to proximity to Georgetown's attractions or to food outlets. In the tropics where it is hot and humid, one cannot walk very far in the middle of the day without bathing in sweat. The Museum Hotel is a good place for peace and quiet provided you are prepared to take taxis to your destinations.
In summary, this is a beautiful little hotel where the staff will make you feel welcomed and will oblige your reasonable requests. I will definitely return and recommend it to fellow travellers wanting to experience some local colour.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.