My house is very special (a bit quirky) and its location is unique. With five temples, a mosque, art galleries, batik beading, countless restaurants & cafes within two minutes walk this is truly the beat in the heart of George Town culture.
A lovingly renovated Chinese shop house dating to about 1860 and comprising approximately 3000 square foot over two floors. The ground floor front area is currently used by friends of mine, as a designer jewellery shop, so it is really authentic! Perfect location for the George Town Festival and the Literary Festival held in November.
Situated in the centre of the UNESCO heritage zone 'Little India' and 'Chinatown' are both within easy walking distance. Plenty of restaurants and bars close by. Property is possibly the biggest one bedroom place in town - Very secure front door with video entry phone and coded access. Ground floor dining room, fully fitted and equipped kitchen, guest loo and outside shower. First floor huge sitting room, large double bedroom with king size bed, dressing room and shower room. Great fusion of original and modern styles. Fans throughout and air con in sitting room and bedroom.
Kitchen: Electric oven, microwave, double fridge/freezer, wine chiller, washing machine, dryer, dishwasher, two ceramic hobs, extractor fan, all appliances, two ceiling fans. Plenty of cookery books for those who tire of the amazing restaurants within easy walking distance. Glass door to guest loo and outside shower and outside drying area. Glass brick wall separates kitchen from outside space.
Serving hatch to dining room.
Dining room - amazing table which can seat 12 comfortably, ceiling fans. Front area currently used as designer jewellery shop.
First floor: Huge sitting room with cream leather L shaped sofas, ceiling fans and air con. Flat screen 54" monitor DVD player (no cable TV but you can watch uk tv via the iMac to the flat screen TV) or choose from about 600 DVDs. Glass topped desk and Mac computer, printer etc. wifi broadband. Masses of books - please replace! Few games, cards and dominoes.
Great sized double bedroom with king size bed and monitor/DVD player, bedside lights, air con and ceiling fan.. Glass door to huge dressing room with plenty of hanging rail space, and leading to bathroom with rain shower, loo and washbasin. There is a small terrace off the bathroom more for fresh air than anything else. Glass brick wall separates the terrace from the dressing room.
Will give you the telephone number of trusted taxi driver. Bus stop nearby - good but slow service. Easy walking distance to ferry for Butterworth and railway station.
The staircase from ground to first floor is typical of this type of architecture - straight and steep with no security gate, so this really is an adult property and not suitable for young children. I can consider an extra person sleeping on the sofa on request, but remember the second toilet is on the ground floor so in the night it may be better to creep through the bedroom to the main bathroom.
Guests have access to everything in the house apart from the locked second bedroom which houses all my stuff when I am not there.
Interaction with Guests
I am normally away from Penang when I accept bookings as this is where I live when I am there myself. However I am only a phone call or email away at any time and unless I am on a plane or out of coverage I will reply within as short a time as possible.
The neighbourhood is a wonderful melting pot of characters. Every time you leave the house you are sure of a greeting from a neighbour or passer by. China House, just around the corner in Beach Street is simply wonderful. If you just want a cup of coffee, a snack, one of their wonderful cakes or a full meal, this is the place to go and meet like minded souls. Live music at the back in the 'Canteen' most nights, and frequent art exhibitions are even more reason to visit. Kapitan Indian restaurant is open 24/7 and less than five minutes walk.
The trishaws pass by the door of the house all the time, and if you are so inclined you can hire one of them to pedal you round the area, or try a bicycle, or even a tandem! The bus service of Penang is excellent, albeit a bit slow and the taxis are numerous and reasonable. Best to call for a taxi in advance as it can be hot waiting on the corner. Jaya is my preferred driver. Either book him ((phone number hidden) and mention my name) to collect you from the airport or buy a voucher and take a recommended taxi when you arrive.
Other Things to Note
There are little shops and cafes opening on an almost daily basis. Two cafes opened in the last month or so, just along from my house; round the corner in Soo Hong Lane (the most narrow street with no vehicular exit), there is the charmingly named Soo Hongry cafe selling home made muffins; just up the road is the Javi cafe restaurant serving wonderful vegetarian and meat dishes, and if you walk the other way towards the jetties, there is a lovely bakery with fresh custard tarts. Not worth stocking the fridge here, easier and probably cheaper to eat on the hoof! Remember to go to Sam's Batik for terrific clothes - and ask for a discount!!
Treat my home as you would hope your guests would treat your own home! I do have a few antiques which are obvious. Please don't smoke inside, but there is an ashtray and two small outside areas if you have to have a puff. House book will be there with loads of suggestions on what to see and do, and hints about the property.
Sandie was such a gracious host. Her house is amazing and we couldn't have felt more welcomed and at home. As she was away on business she had her lovely friends John and Wilma, who run the jewellery store on the first floor, show us around and let us in.
This is a Shophouse. So there is a Jewellery store in the front and an enormous house everywhere else. I honestly wish that I had known how much space there was, I would have invited friends along and spent time fixing dinners and entertaining. From the massive dining room table (which weighs a ton, literally) designed by Sandie to the Kitchen with everything you could wish for, to the living room with all the entertainment you could dream of, to the comfortable bedroom, to the luxurious shower we had simply a lovely time.
The house is on one of the most iconic and recognised streets in Georgetown so you will be right in the place you want to be to visit the murals, shops, cafe's, and architectural sights. Easy walking to good food, buses, and even the ocean promenade.
If you have the opportunity to grab a coffee with Sandie, make it part of the trip. She has lived a life that I envy. Amazing stories, amazing connections, and now I feel that I have a friend in Penang. We exchanged emails and I hope that when she visits Singapore we can see her again. When I go back to Penang I no doubt will want to stay at her place again.
First of all, I have to say that my wife and I had somewhat different opinions about Sandie's apartment...
I absolutely loved this place! Sandie's renovation of a classic old shophouse has preserved the original structure and materials, while layering on modern conveniences like air conditioning, a modern kitchen, and state-of-the-art audio and video systems. The furnishings and decor are superb -- it's almost like staying in a museum or art gallery, but it's very comfortable and homey at the same time.
My wife would agree with all of the above, but she would take points off for the lack of air conditioning in the dressing room and bathroom at the rear of the apartment, which admittedly got pretty hot during the day. In addition, she disliked the long, steep, narrow staircase up to the apartment, which made it difficult to carry our luggage and which would be a serious problem for anyone who has difficulty climbing stairs. (Which ironically applies more to me than her.)
My wife and I both agree that the location of Sandie's apartment is ideal for exploring the George Town UNESCO site -- it's right in the middle of everything!
Sandie is also an excellent host. Although she was thousands of miles away when we stayed at her apartment she was very accessible and responsive by email and telephone. In particular she was quick to provide local contacts and referrals to health care when we needed them.
We had an amazing time in Penang, and we loved Sandie's renovated Shophouse. Our 10 day stay was very comfortable and we delighted in being able to 'set up home' and enjoy the spaciousness her Shophouse offers. Sandie was an excellent virtual host (we didn't have the opportunity to meet face to face) and not only did she respond with swiftness to our queries and questions, she provided a very comprehensive guide to operations in her home and surrounds.
We loved meeting Nancy and Irene, both work in the jewellery store, who were very welcoming and helpful.
Thank you Sandie for opening your home to travellers, it was a privilege to stay there, and for me, it certainly was the icing on the Penang cake. Speaking of cake, you are absolutely correct about the 'to die for' cakes at China House...very wicked!!!
We highly recommend Sandie's renovated heritage shophouse for your stay in Penang. It was a very smooth and stress free experience for our first AirBnB booking.
The location is fantastic for stepping out and being immediately immersed into the vibrancy and history of the best street in Georgetown! The historical shophouse is renovated with a tasteful and unique flair and has all the mod cons to make your stay very comfortable.
After a long day of sightseeing we felt like we were coming home to relax, or get ready to go out to one of the many great places to eat in the area.
Sandie made us feel very welcome and the shophouse had everything we could want. It was extremely spacious and comfortable, filled with fascinating objets d'arts yet very homely! It is in a fantastic location in the heart of buzzing Georgetown, an easy walk to all the key sights and many local restaurants and bars. Expect plenty of noise and bustle during the day, but quiet in the evening.
Nancy and Irene in the shop were friendly and helpful, but just be aware that during shop hours, the downstairs space is shared.
Sandie is a very organized host. Though she was away when we arrived, we had all the information we needed to use every things in the house. The accommodation is super spacious and we did not feel at all closed-in like a hotel room.
Nancy, the lady who works in the shop, was wonderfully helpful and gave us great tips as to where to eat, sight see and the bus routes.
The house is in a most central location in George Town with buses to every location on the island. We walked everywhere which mean we could eat more of the wide variety of food available in Penang and not add to many kilos.
Hung-Ying is trying to get her Penang architecture colleague to organize the next National University of Singapore Architecture Faculty reunion in Penang! This will give us another opportunity to stay at Sandie’s unique house.
Staying in a traditional Penang shop house made our stay so much richer.
Hung-Ying & William
The apartment was in a wonderful location and perfectly located to be able to explore Georgetown.
As a single female I felt very secure and safe in the apartment and really can't fault it. Penang was my favourite part of my trip so far and Sandie's house felt very much like a home from home.
Hi Francesca, Probably my pals downstairs being over zealous and protective as I am always on to them to switch off electricity. Sorry to hear that you were ill, and of course I understand having the air con on for that period. I don't want any extra cash, just wanted to clarify. Thanks for doing so. Thank you also for the wine - just hope it is still there when I return as I will be in Spain for several weeks. I will mention to my cleaning lady and ask her to put it somewhere safe for me! Glad that you enjoyed the house and the location. Best wishes, Sandie.
This host has 4 reviews for other properties.View Other Reviews
Love travelling, good company and conversation, good food & wine. Like Jazz, easy listening, opera, ballet, theatre; dislike rap and house music and slapstick comedy.