Along Hutton Lane, just along the outskirt of the UNESCO heritage zone of George Town, Penang in the historical Malay Millionaire’s row sits the refurbished Mughal inspired Jawi Peranakan Mansion جاوي منسيون. The boutique hotel is decorated with motifs of Anglo-Indian grandeur laced with intricate Mughal geometry. This restored building now houses one of the Penang’s latest offerings for that exquisite heritage hotel experience.
As you enter the compound of this heritage hotel, you are greeted with a square garden with a fountain, significant of the Islamic concept of divine geometry. Right in front of the entrance sits an Anglo-Indian horse carriage, imported from Sri Lanka to bring together that Mughal ambience. The hotel itself has a few areas to relax and unwind, from its communal dining room which is perfect as a reading space, to its pool side for some sun, peace and quiet. The restored Anglo-Indian mansion keeps to its original architectural elements including its lime plaster walls, wood lattices, plantation shutters, cornices, Doric columns and Adam’s wheel window arches, which is a mix of British architecture, Mughal designs with Indian motifs.
Jawi Peranakan Mansion is owned by Hotelier Christopher Ong of Seven Terraces, Muntri Mews and Muntri Grove fame. The Jawi Peranakan were mostly from Malay, Indian and Arab ancestry that settled in the Straits Settlement and would generally be of the Islamic faith. They have a distinct ethnicity that is a mix of Malay customs with Indian and Arab culture, and this is seen through their art, cuisine and practices which permeates throughout the Jawi Peranakan Mansion. The room are all intricately decorated to deliver that experience of colonial Malaya that is not commonly found today. Each piece is carefully selected to represent its cultural heritage, for example, the upholstery and linen in each room is in the style of the spice route. As Ong puts it: –
“When we found this building it was in such a ruined state, but how serendipitous it was when we found that this potential of a building was named Jawi Mansion. The original site was very dilapidated and it took much work and restoration. We had to bring in the right pieces to return it to its former glory. It took us a while to source for the right pieces such as the Anglo-Indian horse cart you see in front of the entrance which was brought over from Sri Lanka.” — Christopher Ong, Owner of Jawi Peranakan Mansion.
Jawi Peranakan Mansion Rooms
There are three types of rooms available in Jawi Peranakan Mansion, namely the Mansion Room, the Mansion Villa which fits two, and the Mansion Suite which fits four. The rooms are decorated with roll top writing desks, Kelim rugs, hand block indigo printed textiles, lanterns, Kashmiri throws, brass Mughal mirrors and coloured glass screens with stylised tiles.
The Mansion Room consists of a 40-square metre room, furnished with a king-sized bed, a sitting area with daybeds, a separate shower and bathroom.
The Mansion Villa consists of a 45-square metre room, furnished with a king-sized bed, a sitting area with daybeds, and two bathrooms.
The Mansion Suite consists of a 50-square metre room, furnished with a king-sized bed, a second storey loft, a sitting area with daybeds, one bathroom with a bathtub and a separate bathroom.
Review: Mansion Room
The Mansion Room is divided into 3 parts, namely the bedroom, sitting area and the shower and bathroom. The size of the room is actually very big for its standard room, with ample space for some serenity and quiet.
The bedroom area is spacious complete with an LCD TV and intricately decorated wall panel above the bed. The blankets are in Mughal designs with beautiful rugs laid across the floor.
The sitting area is quite spacious, with large pillow and throws, perfect for reading. One of the best contemporary aspect of the room are the retro speakers which you can connect to your phone, specially selected to bring the room together.
The washing basin is situated outside the bathroom and shower, with beautifully decorated mirrors across both walls.
The bathroom and shower are separate, with the shower lined with blue and white ceramic tiles of Mughal design.
Jawi Peranakan Mansion has a beautiful communal dining area, where breakfast is served. The long table, also known as a tok panjang, sits many and fosters a nice environment for you to associate with other travellers staying at the hotel.
Jawi Peranakan Mansion has many pockets of sitting and reading areas, where the old meets new. The lounge at the entrance is perfect for relaxing, away from the sun.
There is also a reading area on the second floor of the building, which is perfect for tea in the afternoon.
Pool Side Lounge
If you are one who prefers the tropical heat, the lounge beside the swimming pool on the ground floor also provides a nice comfortable environment to have a cup of tea.
The swimming pool is tucked in the corner of the building behind shaded walls, perfect for a cool off in the afternoon.
The Jawi Peranakan Mansion Experience
There are many hotels in Penang that are slowly adopting to preserve its rich heritage and culture, and the Jawi Peranakan Mansion is one such establishment. The Mughal inspired experience is one that you should definitely have a gander at, especially if you want to experience what it was like to live in a colonial Malaya Malay millionaire’s mansion.
For a complete food experience, see our Ultimate Guide: Penang Street Food.
For a Peranakan heritage hotel experience, see our review of Seven Terraces Hotel.
For a rustic heritage hotel experience, see our review of Muntri Mews and Residence.
For a romantic heritage hotel experience, see our review of Muntri Grove Hotel.
153, Jalan Hutton,
10050 George Town,
+604 218 9858
| PHOTOGRAPHY BY: NICHOLAS NG & GEORGE TOWN HERITAGE HOTELS | WEBSITE: JAWI PERANAKAN MANSION |