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Sinkeh Hotel on Penang Island, Malaysia wins prestigious award

The Sinkeh Hotel in George Town in Malaysia has won an award in the Cityscape Awards for Emerging Markets. The hotel on Penang Island won the Leisure & Hospitality (Built) category, and beat hotels including Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights and Zaya Nurai Island Resort in Abu Dhabi. The boutique property has nine guest rooms and a studio space that is used for community arts rehearsals and performances.

Sinkeh Hotel on Penang Island, Malaysia wins prestigious award

A boutique hotel on Penang Island in Malaysia has been awarded in the annual Cityscape Awards for Emerging Markets. Sinkeh Hotel in George Town won the Leisure & Hospitality (Built) category in the awards which is part of the Dubai Cityscape Global real estate exhibition and conference.

The hotel sits on Lebuh Melayu Road, and dates back to before 1920s and blends old architecture with modern art spaces. The name “sinkeh” translates to “newcomer” in Hokkien, and relates to Penang’s Chinese immigrants of the 19th and 20th centuries.

The boutique hotel has nine guest rooms with private balconies, and the property has an original traditional open courtyard, and a new studio that is used for the island’s arts community who hire it for arts rehearsals and performances. The hotel was designed by Lillian Tay, from the Malaysia-based international architecture and design company, the Veritas Design Group.

Tay, explained:

“For the upper facade, we took a conservation approach out of respect for the street. To me, conservation is about maintaining the character of the whole neighbourhood.”

“But the back is a new world and totally transformed. We wanted the architecture to represent the concept of bridging the old and new.”

The guest rooms feature modern amenities, and floor-to-ceiling glass windows that allow natural light to stream through. There are also glass box bathrooms that are filled with natural light that enable guests to feel like they are having an outdoor but with a solar-heated shower. In-room comforts include air conditioning, fridges, water coolers, and tea and coffee making facilities.

Upstairs, there’s a rooftop terrace where guests can relax and enjoy drinks. Downstairs, there’s a large pivoting door that separates the front and back, and can open up into a studio which is used for rehearsals and performances.

Tay added:

“We were delighted that the (Cityscape Awards) jury recognised the concept and the process of working with an old building and taking it into the modern day. That’s probably the main reason we received the award.”

Penang Island is a bustling island city in Malaysia in the Southeast Asia, and the second largest city in the country with a large bridge connecting it to the mainland. The capital of Penang state, George Town, boasts British colonial buildings, mosques, ancient Chinese houses, and modern skyscrapers. The city is home to attractions including Fort Cornwallis, the Chinese temple Khoo Kongsi, the Indian Kapitan Keling Mosque, the Chinese Goddess of Mercy Temple, as well as natural hotspots including Penang Hill, Penang Botanical Gardens, and the Gurney Drive, the popular seafront promenade. 

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