The Prestige — Penang, Malaysia
Penang, a sun-kissed island floating on the north-west corner of the Malaysian peninsula, has long been celebrated for its mix of extant colonial architecture and lively food scene. The newly opened 162-room The Prestige in the city’s old quarter only adds to the allure.
Careful not to detract from the area’s fin de siècle urban footprint, architect KL Wong’s imposing white pile of high arches and grillwork opens into a playful interior by Singapore-based Ministry of Design.
Here, the mood riffs off Christian Bale’s Victorian magician flick The Prestige with long corridors camouflaged with dizzying Escher-ish black and white cubed floor patterns, Art Deco chrome lattices, bathrooms behind hidden doors, and desks that seem to float over chrome spheres.
The rooftop saltwater pool looks over the port and the Strait of Malacca, though the attention is pleasurably diverted by head chef Shafiq Rizhar Rozali’s Peranakan-inflected nasi ulam, and fried chicken marinated in a honey gochujang paste. §