Muntri Street is a historical street that falls under the UNESCO World Heritage buffer zone on the island of Penang, and is home to a unique boutique hotel experience, the unassuming Muntri Mews Hotel and Residence. These old carriage sheds which are converted into hotel rooms offers quite a unique experience, where the old world meets the new. Muntri is the old Malay spelling for menteri, which was named after the Menteri of Larut, Ngah Ibrahim in the late 19th century.
As you enter the premises of Muntri Mews, you are almost made to feel at home with its very simple yet rustic design. You are first greeted by the Mews Café, a good restaurant in its own right, before entering the premises of its humble but practically small concierge. Each allocated room at Muntri Mews were former communal parking areas for horse carriages, hence the fixed size. You are then led through its cast iron gate into the garden, you are greeted with three wooden pavilions back dropped against a rustic wall.
Opposite the road sits Mews Residences, which are larger spaces that can fit 14 to 20 people. These residences come with their own living spaces and is essentially a Peranakan home in the Straits Eclectic style. These residences were home of the affluent and are detailed with imported tiles and cast-iron work from the UK, and gilded doors and screens from China.
Christopher Ong, the Owner of Muntri Mews and a fifth generation Baba has undertaken many projects of preservation of the rich heritage culture of Penang. With Muntri Mews, he saw the potential of this Edwardian buildings and wanted to breathe an air of modernity into them, without taking away from their rich cultural heritage. As he puts it: –
“Each of the rooms are made from two parking bays which were meant for the horse carriages. The horses would be placed at the stables instead. These mews would be used to store the horse carriages downstairs while the upper levels were used as sleeping quarters for the workers and drivers. As you can see up front, the same space was converted into the Mews Cafe as well as the concierge. This is why the size of the rooms are all quite similar.” — Christopher Ong, Owner of Muntri Mews and Residences.
Muntri Mews Rooms 嗎車房房間
The rooms at Muntri Mews are a combination of 2 horse carriage parking bays, where one lot is converted to fit the beds, and the other the living space and bathrooms. There are 3 types of rooms under the Muntri Mews, which are the Mews Standard Room, Family Room and Executive Family Rooms which fits 6.
Mews Standard Room
The Mews Standard Room fits 2, consists of a 30 to 35-square metre room, furnished with 2 connected queen-sized bed, a sitting area with a daybed, a shower and bathroom.
The Family Room fits 4, consists of a 30-square metre room, furnished with 2 connected king-sized bed, a sitting area with a daybed, a shower and bathroom.
Executive Family Room
The Executive Family Room fits 6, consists of a 100-square metre room, furnished with 3 king-sized bed, a dining area, a living area with a daybed, 2 showers and 2 bathrooms.
Mews Residence Rooms
The Mews Residences are whole apartments that may be rented which can fit up to 20 people. These residences are perfect for large groups, be it family or friends. The spacious residences ensure that you have privacy for private functions and comes complete with the furnishings of any home. There are 2 types of Mews Residence Rooms, which is the smaller Mews Residence 1 and larger Mews Residence 2.
Mews Residence 1
The Mews Residence 1 fits 14, consists of a 464-square metre room, furnished 4 rooms, a large reception room, living room, dining room and 2 large courtyards. Room 1 fits 2 king sized beds, room 2 fits 2 queen sized beds, room 3 fits 2 king sized beds and room 4 fits 2 king sized beds and a single bed with a private courtyard. Each room comes with an en-suite shower and bathroom.
Mews Residence 2
The Mews Residence 2 fits 20, consists of a 603-square metre room, furnished 4 rooms, a large reception room, living room, dining room and 2 large courtyards. Room 1 fits 3 king sized beds, room 2 fits 3 king sized beds with balconies, room 3 fits 2 king sized beds and room 4 fits 2 king sized beds and a single bed with a private courtyard. Each room comes with an en-suite shower and bathroom.
Review: Mews Standard Room
The Muntri Mews Room is the standard deluxe room, which essentially is divided into two areas, the bedroom and small dining area, and the lounge area with a daybed.
The double queen-sized bed is meant for 2, but would actually comfortably fit a small family of four. The beds reach wall to wall and is lined with mosquito nets, intricate Peranakan quilts and mirrored walls. The bed area is so large that you are ensured a good night’s rest.
The shower and bathroom connected opens up with wooden paned doors decorated with black and white squared tiles on the floor.
The Mews Café is the in-house restaurant that served Malay food, and also happens to be a pet friendly café. The breakfast menu serves Nasi Lemak, Bubur Lambuk, and Muesli, while the lunch and dinner menu serves heavier portions like the Laksa Lemak, Ikan Sambal and Cucur Udang. The kitchen here also serves home-made chicken pies, beer battered fish and chips and a variation of local and non-local dishes.
The Mews Cafe also serves an assortment of drinks, from alcoholic favourites to some of the better mocktails you will find. The Mews Madness is made from lime, passionfruit syrup and lychee, has a robust sweetness and great for cooling down. The Virgin Mojito gives you all the freshness of lime and mint, which can be enjoyed at the start of your day before venturing out to see the sights.
The Chef’s Special Bubur Lambuk, a traditional Malay dish, is the adaptation of the Chinese style rice porridge, made with rice, chicken, peanuts, ikan bilis (anchovies), salted egg, fried shallots and spring onions. Don’t be mistaken by its humble appearance where this dish packs quite the umami punch.
Nasi lemak is a traditional Malay rice dish, cooked in coconut milk and pandan (screwpine) leaves, traditionally served with a side of boiled egg, sambal, peanuts, anchovies and cucumber. The nasi lemak here is served with a side of chicken curry, an omelette, a small pot of sambal and empingan (belinjo crackers). The rice had a rich and creamy aroma, typical of Nyonya style nasi lemak, and the sambal sweet and concentrated, yet had the pronounced scent from the belacan (fermented shrimp paste). The sambal had a certain kick to it. Just tasty.
For more information see our Mews Café Nasi Lemak Instagram Review.
Helen’s Curry Mee is a Malaysian Chinese curry noodle dish, made with a curry santan (coconut milk) broth, prawns, chicken, tau pok (bean curd puffs), fuchuk (crispy bean curd skin) fish balls and beansprout. The Penang variety of curry mee is normally seafood based, which normally includes squid and prawns. Helen’s curry mee however, is a good combination of a chicken based curry with seafood to follow. The broth was very creamy and had sweet overtones to it. The fish balls were a nice addition, with the fuchuk and tau pok adding a nice springy and crunchy texture. Not bad at all.
For more information see our Mews Café Helen’s Curry Mee Instagram Review.
Opening Hours: 10.00 am to 10.00 pm
The Mews Café also hosts a live band on Saturdays from 8.00 pm onwards.
Pet Friendly Hotel
Muntri Mews is also unique as a hotel as it is one of the only few pet friendly hotels in Penang. This makes it very easy for those who travel with their pets, as not only can you bring your loved animal to the restaurant, but the lower levels of the hotel rooms also make this an available choice for patrons. For that added value for the pet fanatic, there is a Cat Café a few buildings down on the same street.
The Muntri Mews and Residence Experience
With more and more travellers wanting a different experience, the diversification of hotel experiences is essential. Muntri Mews has managed to deliver one such experience, by not only offering a unique stay at the mews, but the all-encompassing experience delivered by the Mews Residences which can even be used to host groups stays or events such as wedding tea ceremonies.
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 Jawi Peranakan heritage hotel experience, see our review of Jawi Peranakan Mansion.
For a romantic heritage hotel experience, see our review of Muntri Grove Hotel.
77, Jalan Muntri,
10200 George Town,
+604 263 5125
| PHOTOGRAPHY BY: NICHOLAS NG & GEORGE TOWN HERITAGE HOTELS | WEBSITE: MUNTRI MEWS AND RESIDENCES |