The Mughal-style fountain at Jawi Peranakan Mansion (2 March, 2016)
Jawi Peranakan Mansion (GPS: 5.42065, 100.32893) is a boutique hotel on Hutton Lane, in George Town, Penang. As its name clearly indicates, the bungalow was once a Jawi Peranakan home, that is to say, the home of local-born Malay-speaking Muslim with a mixed Indian and Muslim ancestry.
The house was purchased through public auction in 2012 by hotelier Christopher Ong, who at present also owns Seven Terraces, Muntri Mews, Muntri Mews Residence and Muntri Grove.
According to Chris, the term "Jawi Peranakan" refers to people of the Muslim faith who came from various parts of the Muslim world to settle in this region, often adopting local culture. They and their offsprings became known as Jawi Peranakan. Much of the Jawi Peranakan of Hutton Lane came from the Bay of Bengal area, with the primary port being Calcutta. Chris said that when he was small, the Hutton Lane area was known in Penang Hokkien as Bang3ga1li1 Hang33 .
Architecturally, the building is described as being in the British Tropical style, meaning a British style adopted for the tropics. The same is said for the period furniture that is now used to furnish the hotel. The two-storey bungalow was purchased in a state of dilapidation.
For a period of close to three years, Chris Ong's team of restorers peeled away latter additions to the building and restored the original architectural elements. Some of the old structures had rotten away so much that they have to be rebuilt, as they could not support the weight of the new roof built for the house. The old wooden shutters also had to be replaced at a tremendous cost. A recurring theme within the mansion is the use of the diamond-shape pattern as a motif, in the lattice work, on the floor tiles and the carpets. Islamic geometric designs are also featured on the tiling at various parts of the building.
The intention of this restoration is reflect the lifestyle of the elite Muslim circle of mid-19th century Penang. Chris Ong wants to offer his guest the feel of staying at, not at a hotel, but rather at the opulent family home of the Jawi Peranakan. To this effort, he went to various places in India, such as to Rajastan and Bengal, to source for antique pieces. The fountain in front of the mansion was sourced in Rajastan, and is likely the only Mughal-style fountain that is operational in Penang. The garden around the fountain is also planted with scented trees and plants, reminiscent of the gardens of Rajastan maharajahs.
Jawi Peranakan Mansion
153, Jalan Hutton,
The driveway of Jawi Peranakan Mansion (2 March, 2016)
The chandelier at the entrance hall of Jawi Peranakan Mansion (2 March, 2016)
Interior furnishing of Jawi Peranakan Mansion (2 March, 2016)
Implements for partaking betel nut serves as centrepiece of the lounge area (2 March, 2016)
The dining room is dominated by a long dining table (2 March, 2016)
Guests joining owner Chris Ong to lunch at Jawi Peranakan Mansion (2 March, 2016)
Enjoying our lunch served in antique bowls (2 March, 2016)
The otak-otak at the Jawi Peranakan Mansion (2 March, 2016)
The upstairs sitting area of Jawi Peranakan Mansion (2 March, 2016)
The upstairs corridor of Jawi Peranakan Mansion (2 March, 2016)
A garden divan out in the lanai (2 March, 2016)
Swimming pool with water features, reminiscent of the water gardens of the maharajahs (2 March, 2016)
Tim at the Jawi Peranakan Mansion (2 March, 2016)
Here I am, with my good old friend Mag, at the Jawi Peranakan Mansion (2 March, 2016)
Guest Rooms at the Jawi Peranakan Mansion
The Jawi Peranakan Mansion offers 6 individual mansion rooms and four mansion suites. The mansion rooms each measure 400 square feet in size. It comes with a king size bed. The mansion suite is 550 square feet in size and includes a second-storey loft. There are two king-size beds in the suite. All rooms and suites are fully air-conditioned with complimentary wifi, Bluetooth speaker, safe-deposit box, ensuite bathroom and LED television with satellite channels. The suites come with toilets separate from the bathroom.
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