Man at His Best

Travel Last Resort: Seven Terraces In Penang

Award-winning hoteliers bring you a complete Peranakan experience on the island.

BY Ian Loh | Mar 22, 2016 | Travel

Seven Terraces

In the UNESCO World Heritage Site of George Town, there’s no lack of shabby-chic boutique hotels housed in refurbished heritage buildings. But the luxurious Seven Terraces is certainly in a league of its own. What was once a dilapidated row of 1900s shophouses has been painstakingly restored and turned into something unmistakably Peranakan. The 18-suite hotel run by Karl Steinberg and Christopher Ong is a nod to the Peranakan terrace-house aesthetic, with public and private spaces encircling a rectangular courtyard open to the sky. Ong’s stunning collection of kamcheng (Peranakan porcelain ware) is scattered throughout the hotel. Upstairs, all the rooms come with carved wooden four-poster beds and are decorated with red-lacquered cabinets and other exquisite 19th century Peranakan furniture and collectibles. The Argus Lane Grand Apartment, which offers the best views in the hotel, has a mezzanine bedroom and its own private deck and en suite powder room above an enormous living room. Downstairs, The Kebaya restaurant serves up one of the best Peranakan menus in town and Baba Bar shakes up some delicious cocktails. Seven Terraces is a wonderful place that evokes a nostalgic, old-world charm without neglecting the needs of the modern traveller. 

First published in Esquire Malaysia, November 2015, At the Movies Issue. Visit for more information.