Clove Hall is a small boutique hotel in the centre of Georgetown on Penang Island. For years it is considered one of the most beautiful places to stay on the island, and it has been rewarded with the Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice award several times. You will find the hotel mentioned in many magazines, one raving review after another. The splendid building is located along Clove Hall Road (no. 11), a quiet street just outside of the city centre of Georgetown. When the gate is closed it would easily be overlooked as the house cannot be seen that well from the road. Once inside you will not notice at all that the building lies in close vicinity Georgetown’s city centre. Once you enter through the gate, you won’t believe how stunning everything looks.
The beautiful Edwardian Anglo-Malay bungalow was thoroughly renovated before it became a hotel and everything was restored to its original state as much as possible. There is a lovely colonial atmosphere about it. The garden is magnificent and especially the swimming pool will capture your imagination. Inside it is almost like a museum. The design is in Peranakan style and it looks wonderful (Peranakan is a term used for the descendants of Chinese immigrants that settled in Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore). The staff are well trained and without exception they were kind and very helpful all throughout my stay. Owners Jo and Jim try their best to welcome each guest personally. I had a lovely conversation with both of them; they are really passionate about the residence and about Penang.
There are six rooms in total, each with a grand colonial design. Each room is named after a well known spice. You have Clove, Saffron, Star Anise, Cinnamon, Ginger and Cardamom. I truly enjoyed my stay in Cardamom, a beautiful room on the second floor. The rooms are equipped with a comfortable bed with mosquito netting, an air conditioner, a separate shower (this is especially nice as the room will get less damp and less humid), a sitting area and a balcony (at the top floor). If you are staying in one of the rooms at the top floor, you are requested to take off your shoes downstairs. The whole residence has free Wi-Fi, with a good signal in the rooms. The three suites on the ground floor each have their own entrance as well as a small patio to sit on. Mosquitoes are almost non-existent because at night mosquito coils are lit. Besides, each room has an electric mosquito deterrent.
Breakfast is excellent. The day before you can indicate your preferences. They serve a standard menu with five choices. It is very good and each choice is of great quality. If you take it out on the small terrace it seems like you have gone back to colonial times. The fruit was of a high quality too and the coffee (French press) was excellent. Note that the hotel has no restaurant, so for lunch and dinner you can venture out into the city (with ample good F&B outlets in the area as Penang is known as food Walhalla).
Area around Clove Hall
Around the hotel you will find several popular attractions. For example, there are the magnificent Thai and Burmese temples less than a five-minute drive from the hotel. Northam Beach Cafe is a ten minutes walk; a cozy food court at sea (near Gurney Drive). In the immediate surrounding some very well reviewed restaurants can be found (among others That Little Wine Bar and Ivy’s Nyonya Cuisine). Just five minutes away, coffee lovers can get a delicious coffee at SiTigun.; a cafe along the popular Jalan Nagor with multiple diners and shops. Gurney Paragon, the most popular shopping mall on the island is less than a five-minute drive from Clove Hall. The owners and staff can give tips on the spot based on your personal preferences.
Our final verdict
You will most definitely love Clove Hall. A stay in this boutique hotel will leave you with a lasting memory. Penang has a huge variety of accommodations, with Clove Hall at the top of the list regarding luxury and comfort. I really had a great time there. In the morning I awoke to the sound of Andrea Bocelli in the background, and a lovely breakfast was waiting. They think of everything and the nice owners Jo and Jim have a great eye for detail. Clove Hall was always on my wish list, staying there was a fantastic experience.