Investment banker turned international hotelier Chris Ong, first ventured into the hospitality business together with his then partner, Karl Steinberg, when they moved to Sri Lanka in 2003. He bought a 17th-century Dutch mansion in Galle and restored it into a 12-suite heritage boutique hotel and named it “Galle Fort Hotel”. In 2007, Galle Fort Hotel was one of the recipients of the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Award of Distinction in recognition of the conservation work done on it. In 2011, it was sold to a Sri Lankans public company and remains to this day as one of Sri Lanka’s top hotels.
Upon returning home to Penang in 2007 due to family reason, in 2007, he purchased a decrepit Anglo-Indian bungalow in Clove Hall Road on what was once the Sarkies Brothers estate. Chris lovingly restored it and turned it into a 5-suite cozy heritage boutique hotel. Clove Hall was his first project in Penang, which was later sold when the purchaser made him an offer he could not refuse.
George Town, Penang, was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008 which spurred Chris on to save more heritage buildings in the core heritage zone. In 2009, two more properties were added to his portfolio, namely Muntri Mews. and Noordin Mews. Noordin Mews was sold during its first month of operation when once again, Chris was made an offer he could not turn down. Chris then used the gains from the sale to save more crumbling buildings.
Where others saw decay and neglect, Chris could visualize grace and beauty. Very shortly after that, more properties were acquired namely,Seven Terraces. and Muntri Grove. and the latest addition to the list is Jawi Peranakan Mansion. which started operations in January 2017. Each hotel showcases a range of 19th-century architecture, integral to Penang’s history and heritage, with interiors which are hip and yet comfortable for today’s living.
George Town Heritage & Hotels (GTHH) is now a portal for Chris Ong’s portfolio of hotels to better serve guests with seamless bookings, reservations, and inquiries for each of the hotels in the group. In the near future, GTHH will also serve as an information hub for Penang’s cultural events.
George Town Heritage & Hotels is at your service and invites you to experience the uniqueness it has to offer.