Clove Hall: An Edwardian Anglo-Malay bungalow – a private residence in Georgetown, Penang

“Refreshes the senses time and time again”

Located on the fringes of the historic city of Georgetown but well within walking distance to it, is Clove Hall. A charming black and white house of the colonial era.  These houses have long been admired for their charm and stylish elegance as well as for their design, which is a reflection of the influence of the mix of cultures.

These houses were later referred to as ‘bungalows’ and are an important part of Penang’s heritage, likewise in Singapore, but with many characteristics originating from India and then exported around the world.

Built on the site of a former colonial plantation and following a sensitive restoration and conversion to a Guesthouse, Clove Hall opened its doors to guests in 2009. Located along Clove Hall Road a quiet residential street, the property is small and intimate. It is owned and managed by Jo and Jim Lim.

It features the characteristic verandahs, high ceilings and tall windows.It has six individual suites each named after an exotic spice. The suites have wooden floors, four poster beds, mosquito nets, ceiling fans and Planter’s chairs on the balconies. However to keep guests plugged-in to the 21st century, Clove Hall provides high tech conveniences such as flat screen HD TV  with cable channels and complimentary Wi-Fi throughout.

The main hall is furnished with colonial and ‘Peranakan’ inspired décor and has black and white floor tiles, inlaid glass windows and etched glass light shades. The garden is tropical with a grove of Clove trees, Helliconias, Frangipanis and Macarthur palms. It offers several private seating areas and nestled into it a jade green tiled swimming pool for guests to unwind and cool off in, after a day of sightseeing in busy Georgetown.

The English breakfast is cooked to order or if local fare is preferred and requested the night before it is sourced from the nearby Kopitiam or Mamak café. A light complimentary afternoon tea is provided between 4 and 5pm. What Clove Hall does not do and with good reason is lunch or dinner. Penang is all about the food!

Awards and testimonials

Clove Hall received an award as Malaysia’s first “boutique homestay” in May 2010 by the Ministry of Tourism.

Clove Hall is regularly featured in local and international newspapers and journals, including the UK’s Sunday Times, Australia’s Sydney Herald and the New York Times. Air Asia’s in-flight magazine recently had a substantial spread on Clove Hall as part of its special feature on George Town’s boutique stays. Over the years, the Star, the Straits Times, The Sun including Focus and the Business Reserve have written about Clove Hall and it features extensively in periodicals such as Time Out, “Impian”, Travel Malaysia.

The world-wide travel guide “Lonely Planet” made particular mention of Clove Hall as a classic place to stay, in its article on George Town as amongst the top 10 cities in the world to visit.

Clove Hall features highly in Trip Advisor, the on-line review portal, in the Guesthouse and Speciality Inns category.

In the * 1 New York Bestseller “ 1,000 places to see before you die” by Patricia Schultz,(2015 Edition, pp 609) Clove Hall is cited as an impeccably restored Anglo-Malay mansion,  in the section on Penang, Malaysia.

Georgetown received the UNESCO heritage inscription in 2008 and since that time life in Penang, of which Georgetown is the heart, is becoming more sophisticated and cosmopolitan. Manufacturing of the latest electronics and shopping malls compete for space with long established markets and temples. There is a burgeoning art and music scene, galleries are jostling for space alongside the cafes and cake shops.

The best way to ‘experience’ Penang? On foot definitely – just wander through the streets and Penang will reveal itself to you.

Clove Hall offers a unique private experience and a personalised service to ensure guests’ comfort during their stay. The perfect secluded and tranquil retreat from which to discover Penang’s amazing food, heritage and cultural diversity.

(For enquiries, please click on photo to take you to the Clove Hall website.)

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