Cheong Fatt Tze’s mansion is one of Penang’s most historical attractions in Malaysia. Part museum and part affordable boutique hotel this unique building and its indigo blue colored walls is located in George Town district, a very popular tourist section on the island.
The mansion belonged to one of the most extraordinary man in Asian history, Cheong Fatt Tze. Born in the Guandong province of China in a poor farming community Tze escaped a life of hardship by moving to Southeast Asia where a boom in industrialization was occurring when he was 16 years old.
His life was not quite exactly ‘rags to riches’ tale but more of a ‘short cut to riches’ tale when he married the daughter of a wealthy businessmen. Not bad considering Tze’s career started off by carrying buckets of water to people’s houses from the river.
But Cheong Fatt Tze was no slacker and his father-in-law was no fool. He saw many important business skills and hard-working ethics in his son-in-law or else he would have never allowed him into his household. After years of working in the family business Tze set out on his own to create his own name starting off with rubber, tea and coffee which were commodities in high demand during those times.
As a successful and wealthy businessmen branching out into banking Tze chose to build one of his many homes in George Town, Penang. This home was special though because it was the one that he was going to raise his family in. After Tze’s death in 1916 and eventually the passing of his last son in 1989, his mansion was sold to a group of Penang conservationists. By that time though his home had fallen through serious disrepair.
Since then Cheong Fatt Tze’s mansion has been carefully restored with original materials. And to cover the operational costs of up-keeping the mansion part of the property now has 16 themed guest rooms with affordable rates that tourists to Penang can enjoy and stay in. The rooms are air conditioned for comfort and since the location of the mansion is in a very good area you are never too far away from nearby attractions, restaurants and shopping.
Guests at the mansion have free range of the property so they can sit in the same courtyards, walk the same stairs and peer through the same windows into Penang just like the most extraordinary man has in Southeast Asia’s history.