Timothy Tye's Travel Encyclopedia
Seven Terraces Penang

Penang Hotels Christmas Promo 2017
Penang Hotels Christmas Promo 2017

Seven Terraces EntranceSeven Terraces Entrance (14 January, 2015)

Seven Terraces (GPS: 5.419212, 100.338323) is one of the most opulent small hotels in Penang. It takes its name from the seven restored townhouses along Stewart Lane in George Town, Penang. They are numbered 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 14. Also similarly restored are 14A and 16 Stewart Lane. The entire ensemble are late 19th century traditional-style townhouses.

Check Room Rates at Seven Terraces

2 March, 2017
As I am well aware, the readers of Penang Travel Tips comes in all shapes and sizes. Similarly, they have wallets of different sizes, and differing degrees of expectation, when it comes to choosing their accommodation.

Today I review Seven Terraces. It is a beautiful boutique hotel tucked away at Stewart Lane, just behind the Kun Yin Teng temple. It got its name from the seven terrace houses that were readapted into this hotel. The inside is opulently furnished to reflect the elegance and affluence of the Straits Chinese at the height of their golden years. I have done room and facilities review at Seven Terraces, and have also done a food review of its restaurant, Kebaya. The owner and staff of Seven Terraces are incredibly hospitable to me.

Checking the prices for Seven Terraces on Agoda for March 2017, I see that prices are at RM730 inclusive breakfast for the Duplex Suite Room and RM1115 for the Apartment.

If you are looking for one of the best places to stay in inner George Town, where you are surrounded by real antiques and not fakes or replicas, and the price tag does not burn a hole in your wallet, I would recommend Seven Terraces.

Integrity of the Experience

To introduce George Town Heritage Hotels, hotelier Chris Ong offers a glimpse into his passion for details which is reflected in boutique hotels such as Seven Terraces.

About Seven Terraces

The townhouses that is today Seven Terraces were purchased by hotelier Christopher Ong, who also owns Muntri Mews further down the road. When he purchased it, the buildings were so run down, they looked like they might just fall apart at any time. Chris restored them, and turned them into a luxurious boutique hotel filled with Baba Nyonya antiques which he had been collecting for much of his life.

Seven Terraces, Stewart Lane, George Town (5 February, 2013)

Seven Terraces, Stewart Lane, George Town (5 February, 2013)

The upper façade of Seven Terraces has a continuous row of wooden jalousies on the upstairs overhanging the five-foot way below. These shutters are topped with fixed timber louvred vents. The spandrels are decorated in a delicate lattice infill.

On the ground floor, each house front has a central door flanked by windows with arched transoms. Over the windows are bat-shaped air vents. The walls are kept plain and devoid of any dado tiles.

Timothy Tye at Seven TerracesTimothy Tye at Seven Terraces (14 January, 2015)

My review tour of Seven Terraces

I had an inspection tour of Seven Terraces on 14 January, 2015. The hotelier Christopher Ong himself was on hand to show me around. Joining us are Seven Terraces General Manager Ewan Taylor and Assistant Systems Manager Magdeline Leong.

First of all, we went to view the central courtyard. According to Chris, the courtyard was created out of the air well of the seven townhouses. The houses were in such an advance stage of decay that he had to greatly introduce new material. So the interior of Seven Terraces looks nothing like the interior of the seven townhouses from which it originated.

Seven Terraces courtyardSeven Terraces courtyard (14 January, 2015)

Seven Terraces courtyardSeven Terraces courtyard (14 January, 2015)

On the ground floor are twelve wooden pillars supporting the upstairs corridor. These pillars were salvaged from the warehouse of famous 19th century tycoon Khaw Soo Cheang's company, Koe Guan, in Bridge Street. They are hardwood and were still in good order. He however had to scrape off the outer surface, so the pillars are now slightly slimmer than their original girth. These are put in place without any nails.

Gilded filigree panels on the screen doors of Seven TerracesGilded filigree panels on the screen doors of Seven Terraces (14 January, 2015)

A lot of attention goes to the details. Nothing escapes Chris' passion for perfection, and his joy of explaining the process involved in putting every furnishing in its place. Some of the filigree screens and front doors on Seven Terraces came from Straits Chinese houses in Penang. These were purchased by a friend who then sold them to Chris. Chris managed to find local artisans who work on the filigree carvings and gildings, so now the screens appear as good as new.

Lounge, Seven TerracesLounge, Seven Terraces (14 January, 2015)

Coffee house, Seven TerracesCoffee house, Seven Terraces (14 January, 2015)

There is a swimming pool on one side of the hotel and a library/lounge on the other. In between is the reception hall. Hotel guests enters via the discreet grand entrance facing Argus Lane, where they are welcomed by the front desk, and shown to their rooms.

Seven Terraces is furnished with rare antique pieces from Chris Ong's personal collection. They include a selection of eating plates. Chris pointed out to me that the design on the plates indicate their value. Some are everyday ware while some are for special occasions only. He has a wall cabinet with the Nyonya covered pots, or khamceng in various sizes. Next to this is another wall cabinet with Nyonya teapots, also of varying sizes.

Interior of Seven TerracesInterior of Seven Terraces (14 January, 2015)

One side of Seven Terraces houses the Kebaya Fine Dining Restaurant. There is a bar at the restaurant with the counter originally belonging to the famous Chinese medical hall, Yin Oi Tong. Chris purchased it and refitted it as a counter for Baba Bar. Lined up before the counter are bar stools which originally came from the Eastern & Oriental Hotel.

Baba Bar, Seven TerracesBaba Bar, Seven Terraces (14 January, 2015)

To go upstairs, guests may take the elevator, or the sweeping grand staircase. Chris showed me that the handrails of the staircase was carved by a husband-and-wife team of local carvers. He had some difficulty in explaining how he wanted the handrails to curve, but eventually got them to understand what he wanted, when he said that he wanted the handle bar to coil like a snail.

Grand staircase, Seven TerracesGrand staircase, Seven Terraces (14 January, 2015)

The view from Seven TerracesThe view from Seven Terraces (14 January, 2015)

Guest rooms line the corridors, facing either Stewart Lane or Argus Lane. Those facing Argus Lane are the most expensive, for they also include balconies with view of the St George's Church. Most of the rooms are double-storey duplexes, with the living area on one level, and the bed on another. The majority of the beds are four poster beds. Every room is furnished differently, based on whatever antique pieces is on hand.

Seven Terraces GuestroomSeven Terraces Guestroom (14 January, 2015)

Seven Terraces GuestroomSeven Terraces Guestroom (14 January, 2015)

A four poster bed at Seven TerracesA four poster bed at Seven Terraces (14 January, 2015)

Seven Terraces SuiteSeven Terraces Suite (14 January, 2015)

After finishing the original Seven Terraces, Chris Ong was able to purchase the 8th adjoining townhouse. This he converted into an antique shop to sell off some of his antiques. The shop is managed by Judy, who happens to be one of his aunts. The upstairs became two large suites, named Stewart Suite and Argus Suite, depending on where they face.

Seven Terraces AntiquesJudy, the manager of Seven Terraces Antiques (14 January, 2015)

Seven Terraces is truly one of the most luxurious oases in George Town, created by someone who has made it his lifelong passion to collect antique pieces that celebrates his Straits Chinese upbringing, and is now able to showcase his collection to discerning admirers. My sincere thanks to Chris for showing me around, and also the Ewan and Magdeline for their hospitality during my visit.

Seven TerracesHere I am (right), with (left to right) Assistant Systems Manager Magdeline Leong, hotelier Christopher Ong, and Seven Terraces General Manager Ewan Taylor (14 January, 2015)


Seven Terraces
Stewart Lane
10200 George Town, Penang
Phone: 04 264 2333
Web: www.seventerraces.com

Check Room Rates at Seven Terraces

Seven Terraces, Stewart Lane, George Town (5 February, 2013)

Seven Terraces on Google Maps Street View

Getting there

You can reach Seven Terraces by taking the Free George Town Shuttle Bus to Bus Stop 16 (Mahkamah). From Pitt Street, walk down Stewart Lane. At the corner, turn right, and you will see Seven Terraces in front of you.

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