It is a rarity for boutique hotels these days to be captured in a century-old mansion setting. There is a certain something, a je ne sais quoi that is ardently portrayed in this former Hokkien tycoon’s Anglo-Chinese mansion that was built in the early 20th century. Combining the colonial past and oriental charm of the historical island of Penang, The Edison George Town offers a quirky take on heritage.
The Edison George Town faces opposite the Blue Mansion, which is also known as the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, along Leith Street. Coined as the Hakka Millionaire’s Row in its glory days, Leith Street is blessed with beautiful colonial mansions once occupied by Penang’s well-heeled elite.
Locating The Edison is easy, as it is adjacent to the famous Penang Road and Chulia Street, where food is aplenty. During the day, various coffee shops offer local delicacies such as the perennial favourite Char Koay Teow (stir-fried flat rice noodle) and Koay Teow Th’ng (flat rice noodle in broth). At night, the side roads of Chulia Street light up with food stalls peddling everything from sweet appams (Indian pancakes) to Penang laksa — leaving visitors spoilt for choice.
Tourist spots and attractions are also within walking distance. Museums, clan houses and cafes are all around the vicinity, providing options for those who look for a more cultural jaunt in Penang. If mural hunting or café hopping is something you’re going for, The Edison is a great starting point.
There are 35 rooms in this boutique hotel, including two family suites named George and William respectively. Every room has been meticulously conserved to resemble its original state in the 1950s and 1960s, after the country’s independence. They are generously spaced and demarcated with simple touches of fabric and floor treatments. Wooden floors cover the entire common space while marble flooring takes precedence in the bathroom.
Jade-inspired details, patterned tiles and warm tones create a beautiful and airy ambience, and add a contemporary twist to the hotel’s rich heritage.
It feels like home when you stay in the mansion. Breakfast is a serving of packed nasi lemak, and teatime — which takes place from 3pm to 5pm — features a delightful array of local cakes and kueh. From 6pm to 7pm, guests can enjoy a free flow of wine (both red and white) before heading out for dinner.
The Edison also provides bicycles for guests to use to explore the beautiful town at their leisure. Do take note that the hotel’s main gate closes after 11pm. This encourages guests to come ‘home’ early and spend time relaxing in the boutique hotel with its cushy rooms and peaceful ambience.
If you’re looking for a staycation to escape the monotony of the city and urban life, The Edison is the perfect spot. You can practically stay in the hotel the entire day, relaxing in your room or reading a book at the outdoor cabanas, which were previously the maids’ quarters.
The Edison offers a great blend of the old and new, and features gorgeous architecture and a heritage that goes all the way back to the beginning of the Straits Settlement. A member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, the hotel is grand, its interiors majestic, and its ambience warm and welcoming. If you’re seeking to experience George Town in a more intimate way, The Edision is where you need to be.
The Edison George Town, 15 Lebuh Leith, George Town, 10200 Penang, Malaysia, +604 262 2990