Macalister Mansion in Penang

Situated in George Town, the capital of Penang in Malaysia, the Macalister Mansion is a sophisticated, lifestyle-oriented residence and pioneer hotel project designed by owners Dato Sean and Datin Karen in collaboration with Colin Seah of Singapore’s leading design firm Ministry of Design. Built in the honour of one of the first British governors of Penang  Sir Norman Macalister, this 100 year old mansion was renovated and redesigned with the intent of preserving the building’s heritage aspects and original elements while adding modern-day amenities and contemporary design touches.

The Macalister Mansion distinguishes itself from other boutique hotels with it’s unique vision and holistic concept. The magnificent hotel welcomes the guests under a turquoise scalloped canopy through ornate wooden doors into the reception area which has exposed brick walls reminding visitors of the building’s history while also showcasing contemporary art from local artists. From the reception area, the visitors can access to the eight individually designed suite rooms, each one with its own bespoke features and artwork, from the privately commissioned love sonnet in the Bridal Suite, to the spiral staircase and turret room in Room 4, to the Grace Tan textile piece in Room 7 that pays tribute to the tartan colors of the Macalister clan. Room 3, for example, boasts a wrought-iron balcony as well as a fabric collage by Malaysian artist Lee Meiling, while Room 8 features exposed truss beams from the building’s original construction – and art by Malaysia-based UK artist Thomas Powell that commemorates the life and times of hotel namesake Sir Norman Macalister.

The public areas feature two restaurants: The formal Dining Room is designed with colourful chairs and whimsical pastel animal decorations and a casual Living Room features the building’s original filigree window grilles, serves classic Penang dishes with a modern twist. There is a Cellar that showcases some of the more striking aspects of the hotel’s original architecture: an ornate archway divides the room, and two columns frame a bay window nook. It has been designed to create a  space to lounge, relax with a glass of fine wine or champagne. There is yet another interesting space named ‘The Den’, which is basically a bar featuring a fascinating mosaic flooring in combinations of  gold, purple and red and lounge furniture upholstered in midnight blue and black leather & fabrics…A perfect place to relax and unwind with a glass of quality whisky or cigar.

After 20 months, of which, 8 months were spent in rigorous brainstorming and design meetings between the owners & designer and the next 12 months were spent in the design installation, the Macalister Mansion opened its doors to visitors promising a quirky and sophisticated new lifestyle destination to relax and unwind.

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The oversized sculptural bust of Macalister encapsulates the spirit of Macalister Mansion. The 2.5 metre bust is the first art piece to greet you as you approach the mansion from along the hedge lined driveway. It draws inspiration from traditional portrait busts of important figures but instead of the typical life-like features, Macalister’s features are modernised by rendering them as sharp edged fractal lines – as if sculptured by computer aided design. The piece is constructed in fibreglass and spray painted a high gloss white finish.

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Reception at Macalister Mansion

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Dining Room of Macalister Mansion

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Dining Room at Macalister Mansion

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Living Room at Macalister Mansion

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Cellar at Macalister Mansion

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The Den at Macalister Mansion

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The Den at Macalister Mansion

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Guest Room 1 comprises 53 sq metre of bedroom and living space with adjoining bathroom suite. Also affectionately known as our Bridal Suite, it has a separate dressing area. This dressing area has a floor to ceiling mirror and generous wardrobe space for that ‘special’ dress. It has a privately commissioned Love Sonnet above the bed by Arron Lee. This sonnet done in old English, influenced by the writings for Shakespeare to depict a rendition of true love found between 2 people.

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Guest Room 2 comprises 52 sq metre of bedroom and living space with adjoining bathroom suite. The only room to contain a four poster USA King sized bed. It has a privately commissioned photograph by Howard Tan, a local Penang photographer. The photograph captures the majestic sculpture of the eagle situated at the entrance to Macalister Mansion.

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Guest Room 3 comprises 60 sq metre of bedroom and living space with adjoining bathroom suite. The largest room amongst all the Eight Rooms, it also boasts of the original wrought-iron balcony where guests can sit out and enjoy the expansive view of the front of Macalister Mansion. It has a privately commissioned artpiece by Lee Meiling, a Malaysian artist based in Singapore. The artpiece is a fabric collage of the front façade of Macalister Mansion, each type of fabric and lace specifically tailored to capture the essence of the architecture.

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Guest Room 4 comprises 49 sq metre of bedroom and living space with adjoining bathroom suite. This turret room has an alcove with the original wrought-iron spiral staircase which leads to the top. Guests can enjoy views at the top of the turret. This room is adjoined to ROOM 5 which provides guests with an option if they are looking for twin rooms. It has a privately commissioned wire sculpture by Low Chee Peng, a local Penang artist. This artpiece consists of side profiles of Sir Norman Macalister and his wife, facing each other.

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Guest Room 5 comprises 46 sq metre of bedroom and living space with an adjoining bathroom suite. Room 5 contains a separate study area complete with custom made sitting area, desk and LED TV. This is the only room with twin beds where it is adjoined to ROOM 4 which provides guests with an option if they are looking for twin rooms. It is furnished with art and design pieces sourced from all around the globe, in particular a privately commissioned artpiece above the beds by Ashley Yeo. This piece combines a selection of heritage buildings with specific floras indigenous to Penang. There are ships surrounding the main composition, a reference to the sea voyages of Sir Norman Macalister.

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Guest Room 6 comprises 40 sq metre of bedroom and living space with an adjoining bathroom suite. It is furnished with a privately commissioned artpiece above the bed by Indonesian artist Albert Yonathan. Aptly named ‘Sailing the Celestial Sea’ this piece comprises hand casted porcelain ships, inspired by the sea voyages of Sir Norman Macalister.

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Guest Room 7 comprises 51 sq metre of bedroom and living space with an adjoining bathroom suite. This room has a separate study area with customised writing desk and chair.
It is furnished with a privately commissioned textile piece in the study are by Grace Tan. Called the Tartan Cube, this piece comprises a contemporary take on the original tartan colours from the Macalister clan in Scotland.

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Guest Room 8 comprises 41 sq metre of bedroom and living space with an adjoining bathroom suite. This room is one of the few rooms which features exposed truss beams originating from when the building was constructed circa 1900s. It furnished with a privately commissioned artpiece above sofa alcove by Malaysian based artist Thomas Powell. This piece is combines key events throughout the life and times of Sir Norman Macalister.

Macalister Mansion

+ Ministry of Design

 

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