A nice boutique hotel in old Georgetown, Penang

For my return visit, I wanted to stay again in the historic part of Georgetown, with it’s narrow alleys, many restaurants and sights and public transport around the island. I chose the Chulia Mansion, a new addition with favorable reviews online – and I enjoyed it!

Location: The Chulia Mansion is on  – you guessed it – Chulia road. It’s one of the main roads in the old town, making it easy to walk to any of the sights, restaurants or the shopping malls around Komtar. You also have access to public transport, making it easy to get there and around. The hotel is set a little back from the road in the middle of the block, so I didn’t have any issues with road noise.

ChuliaMansion BedService: The reception was professional, but not overly friendly. I got my keys quickly as well as a map of town and the description of all the services the hotel offers, including breakfast, coffee during the day, ice cream in the afternoon and a free drink at night! The staff at the cafeteria and the rooftop bar were friendly and quick, housekeeping was thorough. Overall, service was average for South East Asia – nothing wrong, but I’m so spoiled in the region with outstanding and over-the-top friendly service that something that passes for good service in Europe or the US just doesn’t stand out.

Room: The room is modern with a simple, boutique-chick decor. The walls are done in a faux concrete / washed paint look, the furniture is simple and modern. It works well and is a nice contrast to the old buildings in the neighborhood. The bed is comfortable and there is a small safe and TV. There is no kettle for coffee/tea, so you have to go to the cafeteria for that. There are a small working desk as well as a rack for your luggage and an open closet. The window is small, overlooking the next building, so don’t expect any views. The bathroom is small, with a similar decor and a shower with curtain.

ChuliaMansion BathRestaurant/amenities: The included breakfast is served in the cafeteria. You have a (limited) choice of fruits, breads, eggs and warm dishes. Even considering the price category of the hotel, the quality and taste of the food were not great – I’ve had a lot better breakfast at a cheaper ibis hotel! I was out sightseeing during the day and unfortunately didn’t get to try the ice cream and cookies in the afternoon, but went for the drinks on the rooftop. You get a nice view over the old town to go with your wine, beer or soft drinks and it makes for a good start (or end) of your evening in Georgetown! They do offer laundry service in house, with 1kg/day free of charge. There is no pool of fitness room, if you need any of those, you’ll have to stick with the larger hotels in town.

Overall, the Chulia Mansion offers very nice rooms right in town, with basic breakfast and service. While I wouldn’t mind staying again, I’m more likely to try one of the many other choices in town the next time around! In comparison to the (less expensive) Chulia Heritage House I stayed on my first visit, The Chulia Mansion has a nicer room, a comparable breakfast and less friendly service – you decide what’s more important to you!

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