Noordin Mews

Georgetown, Penang, Penang & Pangkor, Malaysia
Book from Book from £76 per night

Well-priced boutique heritage hotel with a cooling lap pool in a quiet neighbourhood in wonderful Georgetown

The island of Penang is unique in history and contrasts. It has beaches, jungle and Malaysia's second biggest conurbation with rocketing skyscrapers. The historic centre of capital city, Georgetown, is now UNESCO-protected for its fine British colonial-era mansions sitting cheek by jowl with Chinese shophouses and almost every conceivable religious tabernacle – and is considered the country's food mecca.

Noordin Mews embodies these elements beautifully. Formerly a 1920s trishaw and handcart Peranakan shophouse which fell into disrepair, the buildings were rescued by heritage-preserving hotelier Christopher Ong. The double-storey stables became 14 comfortable Mews Rooms while two Suites were fashioned above the elegant reception, open-sided cafe space and library lounge below. The 12-metre lap pool in a small garden brings a splash of cool. Original details include floor tiles, carved arches and the ornately moulded frontage, which the 1950s-era Shanghai theme complements nicely. A vintage Vespa graces a stairwell, 100-year-old Chinese photographs and medicine cabinets of curiosity hang on the walls. Breakfasts are simply delightful. A true hidden gem.


  • Service is very friendly, and front desk staff are a mine of useful information
  • The ,swimming pool is brilliant for cooling off
  • Walking distance to all sights (you may prefer to get taxis due to the heat)
  • Great value, and the tasty breakfast is included in the rates
  • This is a popular place for families who like the relaxed and well-managed vibe


  • 10 minutes' walk from the bustling UNESCO heritage zone. Taxis are cheap and easily arranged
  • Besides breakfast, only snacks are served 12-8pm. (It's not much of a hardship to dine out in Malaysia's food capital)
  • Communal areas are quite compact
  • No sockets bedside in the Mews Rooms, nor mini-fridges, and not much shelf space in their bathrooms

Best time to go

Georgetown is absolutely fascinating at whatever time of year you can go. Weather-wise, average high temperatures vary little (30-32ºC) year-round, and the humidity is always high, note that most rain falls in September and October. The George Town Festival celebrates arts and culture over two weeks each July, and there's a popular Hot Air Balloon Fiesta every February.

Our top tips

We really enjoyed exploring The Habitat, formed to preserve the prehistoric 130 million-year-old rainforest on top of Penang Hill, built around the original colonial-era Nature Trail. There are information trails through the jungle, birds and butterflies, high suspended canopy walks, and the circular Tree Top Walk which has panoramic views across the island.

Great for...

City Style
  • Boutique hotel
  • 16 rooms
  • Breakfast + dinner on request
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
  • Laundry service


The L-shaped double storey former stables have been converted into 14 Mews Rooms which run the length of the property. All 14 are identical in size and layout with a (very comfortable we can vouchsafe) kingsize platform bed with useful shelves alongside, plus a purpose-built sofa which can convert to a single bed. Original terrazzo floors, medicine cabinets housing vintage curiosities and framed cheongsam dresses complement the original 1950s furniture - expect a couple of armchairs, a wardrobe and a dressing table.

The two first-floor Suites are accessed by a handsome wooden staircase. Noordin Suite faces the street and has two four-poster beds, whereas larger Sultan Suite is to the rear above the cafe and its veranda overlooks the pool. Note that one of its interconnected bedrooms (both also with four-posters) can only be reached by walking through the other. Each suite has wooden floors and 1950s retro teak furniture.

Wet room-style ensuite bathrooms are simple and effective, with Grohe rain showers. There are no baths.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • DVD player
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Safe box
  • Satellite TV
  • Slippers
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi


Breakfast, included in the rate, is taken in the cafe area poolside. You get a tropical fruit platter and mixed fresh fruit juice, plus a main course from the small but perfectly formed menu of classic cooked breakfast, egg florentine, pancakes, French toast or fruit and nut granola, and your choice of tea or coffee. There's also a daily Asian special (yum!) on the chalk board. Vegetarians and any dietary requirements are catered for.

From noon until eight you can order snacks such as chicken dumplings, croque monsieur, or calamari rings, and there's an all-day drinks service. And guests like the complimentary slice of cake and tea/coffee offered 3-5pm daily. But you're unlikely to eat here outside breakfast given that Penang is Malaysia's food capital. The front desk can advise where to go for various varieties of street food and different cuisines, and will provide a handy food map of the city, which we found extremely useful. We ate the full gamut from cheap Chinatown to the upscale fusion cookery at Copper Bar & Restaurant and loved it all.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service


  • We found UNESCO-listed Georgetown utterly fascinating. Check out the landmark colonial buildings, the varied religions which live side-by-side, the 1920s Chinese shophouses, the public art on every corner, the modern high rises
  • This is the food capital of Malaysia. Whether in high-end restaurants, street food or ethnic cafes you'll dine fabulously
  • Ascend Penang Hill via funicular for slightly cooler temperatures, long views across Penang, and a fascinating colonial history
  • The Clan Jetties, still lived and worked by the original families, are five minutes around the corner
  • The hotel can arrange a trishaw tour, a day trip to idyllic village Batik Pulau on the other side of the island, and a heritage tour guide


Families visiting Georgetown will find this friendly boutique hotel a godsend with its relaxed vibe and swimming pool. We stayed with two kids and liked that the cafe space is right beside the pool so we could sit with a coffee or snack while the kids splashed about. The Suites are best for families, all rooms can take at least one child, all rooms can take a baby cot. Note that all kids aged five and over are charged as adults.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

The first floor Suites are best for families: Noordin Suite can host a family of four in two kingsize beds; Sultan Suite sleeps up to five in two interconnecting bedrooms, two bathrooms and has space for an extra bed. Alternatively you can take two adjacent Mews Rooms but these do not interconnect, each Mews Room can take a family of three.

Kids Activities on site:

  • 12 metre swimming pool with steps at one end
  • Board games
  • Books

Families Should Know:

The pool is unfenced and there are some steps. You have to walk through one of the Sultan Suite bedrooms to reach the other


  • Airport: 30 minutes
  • Shops and restaurants: 5 minutes
  • Hospital: 10 minutes
Kid Friendly:


Noordin Mews is in Georgetown on the island of Penang off the west coast of Malaysia. It is a short stroll away from the UNESCO-listed heritage heart of Georgetown.

By Air
Fly to Penang International Airport, about a 30-minute drive from Georgetown. The hotel can arrange a transfer or you can take a taxi.

By Ferry
Cross-channel ferry services connect Georgetown and Butterworth. High-speed ferries to the resort island of Langkawi, Kedah and Medan are also available.

By Bus
We found the cross-country buses (the terminal is in Butterworth) to be very easy to use, good value, punctual, clean and air-conditioned. There are local buses, but they may be too complicated to work out. As a rule of thumb, if you’re stuck outside Georgetown and a bus going vaguely northwest says ‘Jetty’, hop on.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.

More on getting to Malaysia and getting around


  • Penang 16.0 km PEN


  • Beach 18.0 km
  • Shops 1.0 km
  • Restaurant 0.5 km

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