Soak up Malaysia’s rich history at these iconic heritage hotels

heritage hotels malaysia
heritage hotels malaysia

Thinking of heading across the causeway for a little year-end getaway? Get ready to discover the country’s rich architecture and old-world charm at these awe-inspiring heritage hotels in Malaysia.

Taking a scenic road trip around Malaysia is one of the best ways to explore the country, and opens a window to discovering Malaysia’s pristine beaches, beautiful highlands, lush green jungles and colonial towns, even if it’s by chance. However, with every adventure, choosing the ideal hotel that offers the right experience can be challenging. 

Booking a stay at an establishment that provides a rich history and marvellous architecture is a definite breath of fresh air. With our guide, we have picked the best heritage hotels that present comfort, historical tales and that irresistible urge to return.

In fact, these heritage hotels in Malaysia are unique to the area, and we’re here to tell you why.

Check in to these heritage hotels in Malaysia:

Temple Tree Resort

Temple Tree Resort Langkawi
Image credit: Temple Tree Resort

Located in Langkawi, Temple Tree Resort is a peaceful escape from hectic living. The hotel offers 21 unique suites and eight historical houses that took two years to source, dismantle and assemble. Situated 10 minutes away from the airport, these heritage homes are favoured by tourists and locals for their colonial influences and mesmerising architecture. Once owned by families from the 18th and 19th centuries, the heritage residences are around 80 to 100 years old today. Guests who have stayed at Temple Tree Resort have expressed their urge to return and desire to experience each house with every visit. If you’re travelling in big groups, you can even book the whole house for a cosy stay – the Straits House, Penang House, Negeri Sembilan House or Colonial House. Get your cameras ready and be prepared to take photos at every home while you’re there. 

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Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion

heritage hotels Malaysia Cheong Fatt Tze
Image credit: Cheong Fatt Tze

This boutique hotel is no stranger to the locals in George Town, Penang. Splashed in a deep blue hue, the iconic Blue Mansion was owned by industrialist and philanthropist Cheong Fatt Tze. His love for traditional Chinese houses was a way to preserve his heritage by sharing his adoration for the culture and tradition through architecture. After the passing of Cheong Fatt Tze, the mansion was willed to stay in the family. However, since the death of his last son, the Mansion was then sold to a group of conservationists who later restored the establishment to its iconic look today. 

The Blue Mansion marries the Hakka and Teochew styles with touches of Western artisanship. Here, you will see architectural styles from the Scottish cast-iron balusters to the Cantonese timer lattices. There are 18 rooms separated into five themes: The Ming Collection, The Liang Collection, The Tang Suites, The Han Suites and The Town Houses. When you book your stay, take note and choose your desired view wisely. You can pick a view facing the breathtaking oriental garden, pool or open courtyards. 

Fun fact: The Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion was where the iconic mahjong scene was filmed in Crazy Rich Asians.

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Terrapuri Heritage Village

heritage hotels malaysia
Image credit: Terrapuri

Take a drive to Terengganu and immerse yourself in “The Land of Palaces”. Terrapuri (The Land of Palaces) consists of 29 heritage homes that range between 100 and 250 years old. These classic Malay Terranganu homes are beautifully surrounded by a scenic fishing village filled with 17th-century Malay architecture. 

To identify a Terrengganu home is to recognise the signature triangular-shaped steep gabled roof that closely echoes a Cambodian and Thai home. A fun fact to know about these homes are that it’s built out of Cengal wood, where separate wood panels are used to fit together using wooden joints – no nails are used. 

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Macalister Mansion

Image credit: Macalister Mansion
Image credit: Macalister Mansion

The Macalister Mansion was inspired by the British Governor of Penang, Sir Norman Macalister, who reigned from 1808 to 1810. Originating in 1880, the Macalister Mansion was first owned by an Indian moneylender before property tycoon Choong Lye Hock purchased the breathtaking home. In the 1900s, the abode was leased out to the Consumers Association of Penang before the restoration project began in 2010. 

Today, the mansion remains a top tourist destination based on its unique character and allure. The eight luxurious and spacious guestrooms evoke a sense of comfort and cosiness. Decked in cooling white walls and mosaics with touches of wood, the rooms are sophisticated and modern — perfect for a short getaway.

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The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur

The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur heritage hotels malaysia
Image credit: The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur

Built in the 1930s, The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur is glorified as a national heritage landmark populated by many for social events, government receptions and stays for prominent visitors. The colonial structure was designed by the Dutch architectural firm Keyes and Dowdeswell and was infused with neo-classical art deco styles. This influential heritage building is famed for its iconic curved driveway and covered Porte Cochere, which still stands tall in all its glory. 

Located along Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin, the hotel has two wings to explore: Majestic Wing and the Tower Wing. The luxurious suites channel the golden spirit of British Malaya with old-world charm and modern elegance. The Majestic Wing has 47 suites in total, while the Tower Wing houses 253 guestrooms and suites. Apart from its beautiful history, another highlight is the breathtaking orchid conservatory room dedicated to intimate events, afternoon tea and social gatherings.


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Hero & featured image credit: Temple Tree Resort Langkawi

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