Contrary to first impressions… no, a mews has nothing to do with cats. Rather, it is a British term describing stables that have been transformed into houses. Nestled among the historical pre-war shophouses of George Town, Muntri Mews takes its name from the building’s former function as a communal stable for horse carriages, with the workers’ quarters on the upper level.
Under the care of hotelier Chris Ong, Muntri Mews has kept as much of its original interiors as possible, with some modern touches here and there. From the street, the property extends inward, inviting you in past the wrought iron gates to explore a lush inner courtyard and sun-dappled verandah. Guests with a sharp eye will likely notice that some of the decor hints at the building’s origins, such as horse saddles, harnesses and carriage wheels.
Preserving the Straits Eclectic aesthetic
Heading up the stairs to our room, the floorboards creaked underneath our feet, showing their age, yet they felt solid. You can’t help but move around with a sort of awed reverence, as you can feel the history permeating the air of the hotel, despite its contemporary additions.
Muntri Mews offers five different types of accommodations, from the Mews Standard Room for two guests to Mews Residence 2, which can sleep up to 20 guests. Regardless of what type of room you’re staying in, you can expect a spacious interior that’s made to feel like home.
When you step into your room, you feel as though you’re stepping back through time. From the antiquated furnishings and patterned rugs to the cheerfully vibrant cushions and quilts, each room is dressed up in Peranakan-inspired designs.
The roomy-yet-cozy lounge, where you can comfortably chill out on the couch, is separate from the sleeping area. Rooms are equipped with an LED TV, international and USB ports, a charging cable, small refrigerator, Bluetooth speakers and complimentary Wi-Fi. Several rooms also come with classy four-poster beds draped in breezy white curtains to give that colonial feel.
A quiet sanctuary
As the rooms are set further down the narrow alley, away from the road, guests can enjoy some peace and privacy from the hustle and bustle of George Town. If you’re staying in one of the rooms on the upper level, you can sun yourself on the verandah, where there’s plenty of seating space and reading materials.
The cobbled courtyard below is brimming with tropical greenery, transforming it into a small urban jungle. Instagrammers – you know what to do!
Did you know that Muntri Mews is also a pet-friendly hotel? The rooms on the ground floor welcome pets, so guests can bring their furry best friends along for a staycation – provided that they’re well-behaved!
Creative twists to traditional dishes
At the entrance of the compound is Mews Cafe, the hotel’s restaurant that’s quite popular with locals as well. The menu features yummy, unique versions of beloved dishes that’s full of flavor and coffee that you want to savor.
We highly recommend the nasi lemak, which comes with prawn sambal and saba fish, as well as the tender, melt-in-your-mouth beef rendang. You know you’re in for a good meal when it’s served on a dulang (tray) carrying all the condiments and side dishes.
The cafe’s strong coffee is just the thing to wake you up if you’re having an early start to the day. The flat white should satisfy caffeine connoisseurs, while those with a sweet tooth can try the caramel macchiato. One cute detail that we liked was that the coffee is served in charming, mismatched sets.
For a luxurious, yet affordable stay in the heart of George Town, book a room at Muntri Mews.
Top Things to Do in George Town
Situated on Muntri Street, Muntri Mews is conveniently located a short walk away from Love Lane, a mecca for visiting backpackers, as well as other popular attractions, like Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, and favorite stops for foodies, such as the Chulia Street Night Hawker Stalls. Here are our top things to do during your stay:
Marvel over the iconic Blue Mansion
Most recently featured in smash Hollywood hit “Crazy Rich Asians”, Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion – better known as the Blue Mansion – is less than a 5-minute walk from the hotel. Painted a brilliant azure, this heritage building is hard to miss.
To explore the mansion and its grounds, you’ll need to join the guided tour, where you’ll get in-depth insights into the mansion’s history and Peranakan culture. There are three sessions every day at 11.00am, 2.00pm and 3.30pm; each tour lasts approximately 45 minutes. Tip: To ensure your spot in the tour, book your tickets online.
Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion
14, Leith Street, George Town, 10200 George Town, Pulau Pinang.
Opening Hours: 11.00am – 12.00pm; 2.00pm – 3.00pm; 3.30pm – 4.30pm | Open daily
Guided Tour Fees*
Adult – RM16
Child (below 12 years old) – RM8
*A RM1 surcharge will be charged for online bookings. Priority will be given as tour sizes will be limited.
Play with your food at Wonderfood Museum
Everyone comes to Penang to stuff their faces with the mouthwatering local fare, but at Penang Wonderfood Museum, you’ll get to play around and pose with your food. Featuring huge plastic replicas of traditional Malaysian foods, from roti canai to assam laksa, the museum is similar to the 3D trick museums that are all the rage these days.
Best visited with a group of friends and family, spend a delightful afternoon snapping silly, fantastical photos in this unique museum.
Penang Wonderfood Museum
49, Lebuh Pantai, George Town, 10200 George Town, Pulau Pinang.
Opening Hours: 9.00am – 6.00pm | Open daily
Adult – RM15
Child – RM10
Adult – RM25
Child – RM15
Paint the town red at Love Lane
There are a few stories behind how Love Lane got its name – either it was named so because sailors used to meet their local lovers there, or it was inspired by the Chinese tycoons who kept their mistresses nearby on Muntri Street.
Whatever the origins of its name is, it has since been turned into George Town’s go-to hangout spot for night owls. So if you’re looking for a fun night out, be sure to check out the selection of bars and cafes along the road. If you’re in the mood for some decent Mexican food, try Holy Guacamole – their guac is indeed to die for. For great cocktails, go to Mish Mash, and head to Micke’s Place for the live music.
With such a wide range of accommodation options across the country, it can be a challenge to pick the one that’s best for you. To be in the know when it comes to Malaysia’s stand-out stays, keep your eyes peeled for Traveloka’s ‘Super Stays’ posts, a bi-weekly hotel special featuring our top picks!