LOS ANGELES, Calif.
â The Cheong Fatt Tze mansion in Penang, Malaysia, was voted as one of the top ten âgreatest mansions and grand housesâ in the world by Lonely Planet. âThe mansion blends Eastern and Western designs, with louvred windows, art nouveau stained glass and beautiful floor tiles, and is a rare surviving example of the eclectic architectural style preferred by wealthy Straits Chinese of the time,â stated Lonely Planet.
Built in the 1880s, this famous indigo-blue Chinese courtyard house in Georgetown, Penang, was the residence of Cheong Fatt Tze, a prominent Chinese figure in the newly established Penang Straits Settlement. The mansion was built by master craftsmen brought in from China and includes 38 rooms, 5 granite-paved courtyards, 7 staircases, and 220 windows.
Rescued from the perils of development in the 1990s by a small group of Heritage preservationists, the Cheong Fatt Tze mansion possesses splendid Chinese timber carvings, gothic louvre windows, russet brick walls and porcelain cut & paste decorative shard works, and art nouveau stained glass panels. The building layout is based on feng-shui principles, and is filled with a rare collection of sculptures, carvings, tapestries, and other antiques.
In 2000, the Cheong Fatt Tze mansion received the inaugural Unesco Asia-Pacific Heritage Conservation Award, selected as the 'Most Excellent Project' in the Asia Pacific Rim following its USD 2.39 million (RM 7.6 million) restoration work. The mansion has been partially converted into a hotel, offering a unique heritage experience to visitors. Each room was individually designed by a famous local artist according to specific themes, complete with period furnishings. Guided tours are also available on a daily basis.