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It List: The Best New Hotels 2013

It List - The Best New Hotels: Macalister Mansion

Courtesy of Macalister Mansion

Design: Macalister Mansion, Penang, Malaysia

Take a hundred-year-old manor house and add mid-20th-century furnishings, life-size animal sculptures, and large bathtubs lined with silver mosaic tiles, and you’ve got Malaysia’s most stylish new hotel. Located on the island of Penang—home of the UNESCO-designated 18th-century George Town neighborhood—the eight-room Macalister Mansion references the destination’s colonial past, but with a bold nod to the future. To wit: the entrance’s eight-foot-high resin bust of the first British governor of Penang. Come evening, take a 20-minute taxi ride to the center of George Town to explore one of Southeast Asia’s most exciting street food scenes, or linger at the hotel for a dinner of assam laksa (tamarind-infused fish soup). macalistermansion.com. $$

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