This bright little hotel is smartly located at the fringe of Chinatown, within easy walking distance to many of the places of interest, shopping and good food in Georgetown. I don't exactly consider the hotel a restored "heritage" project. The original hotel was a plain old shophouse which while old, wasn't exactly an elaborate building (you can see the old pictures which were put up on the walls). A lot of the sharp and extensive decorations and internal layout we see now are installed a couple of years back, and are by no means "heritage" in a true sense of the word.
That said, they did a terrific job turning it into a designer hotel. They even managed to squeeze in a small welcoming pool in the grounds. There are sofa areas with magazines to lounge about in the courtyard. The maintenance has also been top-notch, and the hotel looks as sharp as it is on its first day (and amazingly clean!)
The room rates include a substantial breakfast, now in the hotel's new cafe next door. There is free wifi throughout, and the folks go way out to make you feel comfortable. They are always ready to address any questions guests may have, and will book taxis for guests (at preferred rates) to save you the hassle of bargaining.
We stayed in the mansion double room, which while pretty is small and tight. The staff explained that this is due to the typical room size, after installing an en-suite bathroom. This isn't clear on the website. We had a baby with us and we had to move some furnitures around and remove a couch to include a cot. We also had to rent the cot by the day, which is typically thrown in at other hotels. The staffs however went out of their way to help and make us comfortable.
Our main complaint we have is the noise from the pub in front. Our room is the one closest to the bar table at the entrance, and we could hear the noise at night up till they close (at about 12am I believe). This is despite the glass door that separates the hotel area from the pub. After that it's peaceful again.
Despite some minor problems, we remained impressed with the helpful folks here and their good thinking, excellent location and beautiful design. If you are going for the basic mansion rooms, ask for the rooms away from the front yard if possible.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Yeng Keng Hotel is a 20-room restored heritage boutique hotel located in one of the oldest surviving and intact 19th-century buildings at the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage City of George Town, Penang. Like many of the other buildings in the neighbourhood, it was originally built in the mid 1800's as a private residence. The Anglo Indian bungalow belonged initially to Shaik Eusoffe bin Shaik Latiff an Indian Muslim family and remains unique in Chulia Street for not being relegated to the rear of a row of shop-houses blocking its facade. In 1897 trustees of the Cantonese Club 'Ying Han Pit Shu' bought the building on behalf of the association, later donating it to the trustees of the Straits Chinese Building Association in 1939. The building was later leased to Yeng Keng Hotel. The conversion from a residence into a budget hotel was the prevailing trend along the street at the beginning of the 20th century. Small places of lodgings that were conveniently reached from the harbour were in great demand as the traffic in the port grew. An impressive traditional Chinese entrance gate was constructed announcing entry to the 'Lodging House,' adding grandeur to the commercial establishment and to distinguish it from the rest of the buildings on the street. Conservation and upgrading by the present owner, Hoo Kim Properties Sdn Bhd, was undertaken in March 2009 with the renewed Yeng Keng Hotel completed in April 2010. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Yeng Keng Hotel Penang/George Town