Tropical Eden
Design Hotels
Press Release
The Prestige
Smoke and mirrors

Berlin, 20 August, 2019 – Defined by tropical vegetation and sun-bleached streets lined with elegant 19th-century buildings, it is little wonder that the historic heart of Penang’s capital attracted UNESCO World Heritage status. What is surprising, however, is the illusion-rich experience that awaits guests beyond the classically inspired façade of The Prestige. Opening this October and conceived by Ministry of Design, a singular concept informed by colonial-era Victoriana, botanical motifs, and the innovative spirit of 19th-century illusionists has resulted in an enchanting urban retreat that defies convention. The Prestige’s interiors are bookended by heritage patterned flooring and exquisite lattice work—amplifying the hotel’s verdant garden-hothouse feel—while whimsical details such as levitating beds and hidden doors pay homage to the golden age of magic. Atop the hotel, an infinity pool with views of the quayside provides the ultimate spot for relaxing before cocktail hour, and guests looking to get a little closer to the action will find The Prestige is the perfect launching point for exploring Church Street and central George Town.    


A bold amalgam of concrete, brick, aluminum, glass, and steel, the opening of The Prestige marks a striking departure from the staid, traditional hotels that dominate the George Town hospitality scene. Dreamt up by the award-winning team at Ministry of Design, the hotel is the epitome of modern heritage—layering a contemporary interpretation of Victorian design with optical illusions and verdant local flora. The performance starts right from the ground-floor arcade, where brass mullions alternatively conceal and reveal retail and dining spaces, and indoor garden areas work to transport guests to a vintage orangery, complete with rattan furniture and luxuriant landscaping. A monochromatic color scheme and patterned black-and-white flooring unites the ground floor space, and an innovative rotating light system projects an intricate lattice pattern along corridors—serving to animate the journey through the hotel. Sophisticated elements of visual trickery such as a reception desk that seems to magically balance on chrome spheres, add a touch of whimsy to the hotel’s prevailing elegance.

Playful references to the acts of famed illusionists also abound in the hotel’s 162 rooms and suites, including levitating beds, secret doors that reveal concealed rooms, and a custom shower and wardrobe enclosure that emulates Houdini’s elaborate escape box. Framed by a fresh take on traditional wainscoting that utilizes angular, trapezium-shaped lines, the guestrooms span up to 45 square meters and offer either a king-size bed or twin beds. The Premier Deluxe Suite features a spacious living area, while the Deluxe Trio room is ideally suited for families with a king-size bed and a single bed in separate rooms. Set over two floors, the Loft Suite features a stunning open-plan bedroom on the mezzanine floor and a lounge on the ground floor. Luxurious bathrooms nod to the hotel’s luxuriant surroundings with bespoke botanical wallpaper and rain showers.

The aesthetic influence of botany extends to The Prestige's rooftop infinity pool, where a floral mosaic captures the wild natural beauty of Penang. The hotel’s restaurant concept is also deeply rooted in the lush, tropical landscape. Located on the ground floor, The Glasshouse is reminiscent of a Victorian conservatory with its wrought metal lattice work, abundant greenery, forest-green banquettes and white rattan furnishings, while mirrored walls augment the sense of space and light. A modern Malaysian menu spearheaded by head chef Shafiq Rizhar Rozali features fresh reinventions of classic local dishes, including Nyonya Ulam Rice and Crispy Chicken Gochujang. Private dining and events are catered for on the top floor, where a dedicated events space includes a range of flexible indoor function rooms and outdoor gazebos.

Set amid the famous Clan Jetty Heritage homes and nestled between the banking district of Beach Street and the Weld Quay area, The Prestige is only minutes away from major historic sites and the popular art, culture, and dining options found along the Heritage Trail of Penang. Penang International Airport is 18 km away | approximately 25 minutes by car.

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