Straits Collection Hotel in Penang

Penang Straits Collection Hotel
Straits Collection Hotel in Penang is undoubtedly one of the finest boutique hotels found on the island. This completely restored boutique home stay style hotel consist of 5 adjoining Chinese pre-war shop houses and is located in the core zone of the Unesco Heritage Site of Penang.

Another set of four residencies are located at Armenian Street which is a casual five minute walk away from here. What makes this place special is the way it was done up to keep most of the original architecture intact while carefully selected antique bits and pieces are blended into the eclectic design. 

The Straits Collection Residences and Suites which is located along Stewart Lane has a very large verandah and these five units we originally built in 1927 in the Straits Eclectic style hence the name of the place.

Consisting of 6 residential suite units, a very popular cafe called Kopi Cine, a public reading and film space which also doubles as the main office, this overall marriage of creativity was set up, created and managed by the Bon Ton Group who also runs the Bon Ton Restaurant and Resort and Temple Tree in Langkawi Island.

Penang Straits Collection Hotel
Straits Collection Hotel in Penang

Arriving here, I expected as much that the old buildings used were in immaculate condition and was greeted by a lovely lady called Anna who manages this establishment. The check in procedure was conducted in the Reading Room where Anna ran through some of the information of the hotel while handing me some maps and printouts of things to do in Penang.

I must stress that they really take care of your interest as I found the places to eat and explore map very handy. This was an added bonus as most hotels would expect you to contact the concierge if you wanted to see places. Also in the briefing, Anna assured me that if there was anywhere I wanted to visit around Penang, it could be arranged with or without a personal guide.

Kopi Cine in Georgetown, Penang

What I liked most about the entire set up was how everything was interconnected. The Kopi Cine Cafe and the Reading Room were easily accessed from two sections of the shop lots. A bar which occupied almost a third of the cafe was prominently placed while there were about eight to ten tables for patrons to dine or have tea.

Decorations were minimalist with hints of yesteryear while the staff were highly trained to meet today's demanding standards. A must try at Kopi Cine are the amazing cakes here which are absolutely out of this world.

Chinese alter outside the Straits Collection

Reading and Coffee Room

The Reading Room was an eye opener for me as the entire place was very nicely done up. Cabinets from the fifties we lined up on one side of the wall filled with various books for customers reading pleasures while there were three unique tables doubling as check-in counters or dining tables.

A coffee table is also filled with books of interest ranging from Peranakan Designs to General information on Penang. A great place if you like books and note that the books here are only for reading and not sold.

A passageway into the Reading Room from Kopi Cine

Movie room in the air well area

At the back of the Reading Room lies the Movie Room where originally it was a coffee roasting area from the previous owners. Carefully re-designed by the Bon Ton, they left the coffee roasting section intact while working around the area which is semi opened as an air well where natural light comes in.

Movies are also projected against one of the white walls nightly while an assortment of magazines on all topics are placed in an rustic metal-like table.

Traditional coffee roaster

Looking closely at the old coffee roaster, it was pretty unique as I had never seen one up close. Two large pits created from brick and cement with an outlet for firewood with a metal contraption over the pits which looked like a cooking stove.

An outlet with a long metal chimney served as an escape for the excess smoke when roasting the coffee the traditional way.

It is a wonder how the locals used to roast coffee back in the day and for your added information, the company that used to do it here still does it. You can actually buy some of the powdered coffee in packets as they are still being sold here courtesy of the original owners. 

Main entrance to one of the resident suites

Walking along the arched five foot way to the residence, I noticed that everything was left in the original design and pattern. Nothing was changed except for the new paint work and some additional plants along the corridor.

The outside flooring was left with the original tiles while hinges and knobs or doors and windows were replaced with original working ones. A proper key and lock system was inserted into the old doors too.

Peeping through one of the original metal and wood windows, another world existed inside taking you back in time.

As each unit consisted of two residences, the main hall area was a common area which divided the two. Intricately designed with items from the past, this place was something you would see in a historical museum.

Common area in one of the residences

For those who want to experience something totally different from the conventional accommodations, I would easily recommend this place without thinking twice.

Why? All because of how the Bon Ton manages to restore beautiful heritage buildings like these without changing the structure and maintaining most of the original fittings. An experience worth every penny in my honest opinion. 

Who is it suitable for? Everyone - From the single traveler may it be business or pleasure right to the family travelers. The suits here cater up to four people. It is very spacious and sometimes reminds me of a little personal Peranakan-Chinese museum.

Straits Collection from opposite the road

For more information, prices and details of the Straits Collection or the Bon Ton Group, please visit the official Straits Collection Website

You can also read about my Bon Ton Resort article for anyone who is heading up to Langkawi Island. This place is truly one of a kind and very unique. 

Kopi Cine Cafe address and contact details;
55 Stewart Lane
10200 George Town, Penang
Open: 9.00am - 11.00pm - 7 days a week
Tel: +6 04 263 7299

Map to Straits Collection Hotel in Penang

Location of Straits Collection in Penang

Straits Collection Address
47 to 55 Stewart Lane
89 to 95 Armenian Street
10200 Penang

Contact details for Straits Collection Hotel;
Stewart Lane - Telephone + 6 04 263 7299
Armenian Street - Tel/Fax + 6 04 262 7299
(11:00am - 11:00pm GMT+8)

As this is a very unique boutique hotel among the very few on the island, this place would suite those travelers who are looking for something different in terms of boutique.

If you want to experience the old charm of shop-house family style staying, then you should check out the Straits Collection Hotel in Penang. 

Malaysia Asia

Blogging since 2007, but writing online since 1997. I belong to the 1st generation of worldwide bloggers, which is of course old-school. Since 2008, I created Malaysia Asia and this travel, flood, gadget and lifestyle blog has won numerous physical awards from tourism boards around Malaysia. (Not those online awards). After 12 years of blogging, I have semi-retired and now blog about things I like, do product reviews and enjoy life. My work has been featured in Lonely Planet, CNN Travel, Yahoo Travel, Wall Street Journal, and many other international publications. Find out more about me and thank you.


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