The Blue Mansion: Inside Penang’s majestic heritage hotel, where scenes from ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ were filmed

Photo: Cheong Fatt Tze – The Blue Mansion

Within the UNESCO World Heritage site of George Town, Penang, lies a regal mansion built at the end of the 19th century — a glamorous mix of old world charm and contemporary comforts, it’s an iconic Malaysian landmark, and a winner of the UNESCO Conservation & Heritage award.

The Blue Mansion — so named for the indigo shade on its walls — was commissioned by self-made tycoon Cheong Fatt Tze back in the 1890s, but gradually deteriorated after his death until a group of Penang conservationists bought it over in 1989. By 1995, the place was restored in its magnificence, and it opened its doors to visitors as a boutique hotel in 2001.

The mansion's indigo hue. Photo: Cheong Fatt Tze - The Blue Mansion
The mansion’s indigo hue. Photo: Cheong Fatt Tze – The Blue Mansion

If you’re wondering why it’s making headlines again, the mansion was actually one of the filming locations for the rom com Crazy Rich Asians which, for those who somehow haven’t yet heard, has been making waves and getting lots of love at box offices around the world since its debut.

So yeah, if you’re among the viewers who were pea green with envy while watching Michelle Yeoh and Constance Wu playing mahjong and strolling across the grounds of The Blue Mansion in the flick — guess what, you can actually follow in their footsteps.

The view from below. Photo: Cheong Fatt Tze - The Blue Mansion
The view from below. Photo: Cheong Fatt Tze – The Blue Mansion

Of course, the space is no stranger to being the stately backdrop in a film — it was also featured in 2006 Malaysian drama The Red Kebaya, Singaporean director Glen Goei’s The Blue Mansion in 2009, and 1992’s Indochine, which clinched an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film at the 65th Academy Awards.

To get a peek into the lives of absurdly wealthy Asians, round up some of your high flyer friends and spend a night at the mansion. For a full 24 hours, you and 35 of your guests can luxuriate in splendor and roam around the entire 18-room structure at your fancy.

One of the Ming rooms. Photo: Cheong Fatt Tze - The Blue Mansion
One of the Ming rooms. Photo: Cheong Fatt Tze – The Blue Mansion

Each room is resplendent in its furnishings, complete with authentic pieces from the 19th century and antique heirlooms from Cheong’s family across the four categories: The Liang Collection, The Ming Collection (which has direct pool access), The Tang Suites, and The Han Suites.

Upon arrival, your lavish experience begins with welcome gifts in each room, followed by a Nyonya tea and mahjong session, plus sundowners and a private guzheng performance in one of the five sprawling courtyards.

The oriental garden. Photo: Cheong Fatt Tze - The Blue Mansion
The oriental garden. Photo: Cheong Fatt Tze – The Blue Mansion

After the sun sets, shimmy into your sleekest designer threads for an East-meets-West feast at the in-house Indigo restaurant, and spend the rest of the night exploring every nook and cranny of your opulent one-night abode. Then when morning comes, you can either have breakfast in bed or savor every bite (and sip of French bubbly) in the tranquil courtyard.

But if you don’t exactly have thousands upon thousands of dollars lying around as spare change, perhaps you can live vicariously through these dreamy photos, just like the rest of us.

The entrance. Photo: Cheong Fatt Tze - The Blue Mansion
The entrance. Photo: Cheong Fatt Tze – The Blue Mansion
Central courtyard. Photo: Cheong Fatt Tze - The Blue Mansion
Central courtyard. Photo: Cheong Fatt Tze – The Blue Mansion
'50s design details. Photo: Cheong Fatt Tze - The Blue Mansion
’50s design details. Photo: Cheong Fatt Tze – The Blue Mansion
Oriental pool garden at dusk. Photo: Cheong Fatt Tze - The Blue Mansion
Oriental pool garden at dusk. Photo: Cheong Fatt Tze – The Blue Mansion
The Scholar Wing. Photo: Cheong Fatt Tze - The Blue Mansion
The Scholar Wing. Photo: Cheong Fatt Tze – The Blue Mansion
Indigo restaurant. Photo: Cheong Fatt Tze - The Blue Mansion
Indigo restaurant. Photo: Cheong Fatt Tze – The Blue Mansion
One of the Liang rooms. Photo: Cheong Fatt Tze - The Blue Mansion
One of the Liang rooms. Photo: Cheong Fatt Tze – The Blue Mansion
One of the Han suites. Photo: Cheong Fatt Tze - The Blue Mansion
One of the Han suites. Photo: Cheong Fatt Tze – The Blue Mansion
One of the Han bathrooms. Photo: Cheong Fatt Tze - The Blue Mansion
One of the Han bathrooms. Photo: Cheong Fatt Tze – The Blue Mansion
Some of the '50s rooms have jacuzzis to unwind in. Photo: Cheong Fatt Tze - The Blue Mansion
Some of the ’50s rooms have jacuzzis to unwind in. Photo: Cheong Fatt Tze – The Blue Mansion
The upstairs balustrade. Photo: Cheong Fatt Tze - The Blue Mansion
The upstairs balustrade. Photo: Cheong Fatt Tze – The Blue Mansion

 

Cheong Fatt Tze – The Blue Mansion is at 14 Leith St, George Town, Penang, Malaysia. +604 262 0006. Rates start from RM 50,000 (US$12,213) for one night’s accommodation for 36 adults.


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