88 Armenian, a boutique luxury hotel in Penang, opens its doors in George Town. Located on prominent Armenian Street, which is ideally situated within the core UNESCO world heritage site, the 3-storey hotel features six deluxe suites. It offers an oasis of luxury to the most discerning travellers that look to discover and be surrounded by Penang’s rich heritage.
The hotel is restored from an early Straits Eclectic style building and aims to showcase its primordial features as a nod to its past and serve as a reminder of its origins.
The shophouse architecture’s ancient aesthetics are elevated through old-style rehabilitated wooden doors emblazoned with Chinese calligraphy, exposed original-brick walls, and exquisite wooden flooring. On the other hand, copper elements are used in various iterations throughout the entire hotel as a tribute to Armenian Street’s history as a “Coppersmith Street”.
These are not only appreciated through the finely burnished copper trimmings found embellishing the interior of every suite and the copper-coloured Gessi bath fixtures but can also be found in the single-piece copper bar counter and the Tom Dixon copper-coloured feature lights adorning the private dining area of the restaurant and bar.
The interiors of 88 Armenian are fitted with quality furnishings and offers a unique luxe journey experience for discerning guests. Built with only six deluxe suites, each room is unique and is lavishly adorned with luxurious and elegant interior fixtures that aim to cocoon guests in a space of tranquillity. The thoughtful hospitality offered is reflected in every detail, from the premium amenities, which include plush Simmons super king-sized beds, to a well-appointed and luxurious marble bathroom fitted with a Gessi Private Wellness shower and a complimentary fully stocked mini-bar with locally curated treats. No expense has been spared, and every detail has been looked into to ensure that guests are thoroughly pampered.
As a further tribute to the history of Armenian Street as a “Coppersmith Street”, the rooms are named after six of the world’s most distinguished coppersmiths – Auguste Rodin, Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, Jean Dunand, John Drew Mackenzie, John Pearson and Paul Revere, each celebrated for their achievements as craftsmen and whose legacies still stand to this day.
The street where 88 Armenian stands was once a Malay settlement and previously known as Malay Street. But by the early 1800s, it became occupied by an influx of Armenian traders, hence its eponymous name.
A testament to the rich heritage and multicultural influences that shaped the Street’s colourful history, Armenian street was also known by its Chinese Hokkien name as Pak Thang-Ah Kay, which is translated to “Coppersmith’s Street”.
This is primarily because of the street’s flourishing copper and brass products industry in the mid-19th century. As such, copper elements are a unifying language throughout the hotel premises as a tribute to this history of Armenian Street.
Over time, the Armenian traders left, and the street was gradually taken over by Chinese immigrants who also built prominent clan houses such as the Khoo Kongsi in the area.
Today, the narrow Armenian Street is a cultural mecca, a hot pot of rich cultural offerings, famous street arts and local delicacies. Located within the historic UNESCO world heritage zone’s very heart, the hotel is an ideal starting point to discover George Town’s historical sights and landmarks on foot.
“Overall, it was a process of blending aspects of local heritage with luxury and adapting an existing heritage building to the stringent requirements of a top-of-the-range hotel. We strived to ensure that it is not a hotel that is exchangeable with any other location, that it has a local soul.” quipped Dr Yong.
“When you step into 88 Armenian, you are still very much in George Town. Meticulously restored in line with heritage standards and utilising only appropriate heritage council approved materials and methods, this project has truly been a labour of love on our part, with the entire process from background research, council approvals and finally painstaking restoration taking more than 5 years”.
88 Armenian delivers not just thoughtful experiential hospitality with all its historical detailing and personalised, bespoke service, but a journey experience as it is complemented by the bold interpretative Malaysian cuisine and exciting craft cocktails of Copper Bar and Restaurant, which are reflective of the rich heritage of this former Straits settlement.
All so that when you stay at 88 Armenian, you’re immersed in luxury that is true to the cultural and historical context of the building and location, but also where we offer the finest drinks, food and aesthetics that reflect the same ethos.
Being at the most exciting street in Penang, sophisticated travellers find themselves surrounded by living history, as Armenian Street truly embodies the multiculturalism that is George Town, a city where people from varying cultures and ethnic groups have lived side by side for centuries, and this is still reflected in the people, the food and the culture today.
The boutique luxury hotel, 88 Armenian will be officially open for business on the 18th of May 2019 with room rates (per night) as follows:
- The Rodin Room – RM950
- The Pearson Room – RM750
- The Mackenzie Suite – RM1200
- The Bartholdi Loft – RM1300
- The Dunand Room – RM850
- The Revere Suite – RM1300
For any reservations or enquiries, they can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org