When I first stayed at Loke Thye Kee Residences in October last year, the charming little boutique hotel had just opened for business. It is not until recently that I found that the hotel was designed by Singapore’s Ministry of Design.
Located off the busy Penang Road, it was an unassuming find. On the outside, it exudes a quiet Straits charm of decorative swing doors, clean old school signages in gold letterings decked with Peranakan tiles along the five-foot way.
Once inside, it is a feast for the eye. The interior and exterior design are surrounded with a mix of old, modern and raw. Exposed earthy wall bricks cleverly lit with strips of LED lights from the ceiling and carpentry lend a raw and warm atmosphere to the interior. The beautiful Peranakan tiles from the five-foot way found its way into the interior, framing the reception area nicely. The lattice screen and door design leading to the suites remind me of the typical Asian vent blocks, sans heavy duty. The gentle colour (presumably a light shade of Emerald Green) and lattice design soften the harshness of bricks and tiles. Clever.
The theme of exposed brick walls are featured throughout the hotel on the exterior walkway leading to the rooms, and inside the rooms. Heritage preservation and restoration always present a dilemma and challenge; how much should we preserve without altering much of its original characteristics while making it fit for contemporary living.
The interior of the room is a designer’s geekfest (for me, at least). The interior of the suite has a gentle blend of colours and finishes in neutral tone of white and earthy brown, counterpoising the striking bricks.
I love a soft spot for mosaic tiles, which are used throughout the wet area. Every inch of the room is filled with pleasant furnishing and the essentials are there; bed, bathroom, kitchenette, lounge area & TV. There is no room for complaints.
Breakfast with a choice of local or continental was delightfully served to the room in the famous tingkat (tiffin carrier) and thermos flask. It’s a quaint affair that string the nostalgic heart.
With only 5 suites and each suite has a designated entrance up two flight of stairs, it is a haven of privacy. We do have to put up with the occasional traffic noise coming off the bustling Penang Road but that is just a momentarily distraction.
Loke Thye Kee Residences
2 Jalan Burma
10050 George Town