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About Us 2018-07-31T08:42:36+00:00

Christopher Ong

Founder

MEET THE FOUNDER

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.

REIMAGINING PRESERVATION

“People will think of staying in the terrace house or shop houses in Georgetown when they think of coming to Penang. As like when they think about going to Kyoto, they would want to stay in the Ryokan…This is what I hope to achieve to put on the map.”

Chris’s story about coming back to George Town after 30 years away, his early influences and how it shaped his interest in the heritage buildings into hotels that should be on the global citizens’ bucket list!

INTEGRITY OF THE EXPERIENCE

“ People will have the confidence that when they stay any of our hotels, they will get a glimpse and experience of old Asia.”

A day with Chris Ong reveals his obsession with detail when looking for gilded carved screens for the courtyard in 7 Terraces. From initial concept design two years after the hotels are open, he strives to always add layers to the design over time to enhance the beauty of the hotels. This video chronicles the research and close relationships he had with the various artisanal craftsmen to achieve the desired result. The hands-on approach keeps his pulse updated on George Town’s who, what And where.

OUR HOTELS

CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

“ Penang Heritage Trust Awards ”

Our Managing Director of the George Town Heritage Hotels,Christopher Ong in the photo with Penang Living Treasures after awarding the annual pensions to them. He also announced a matching grant to the living treasures to help in the medical and hospital bills at the General Hospital. This will run concurrently with the sponsorship of living treasure awards up to 2020. The annual sponsorship for the living treasures will total MYR 40,000 a year.

WEB IN TRAVEL CONFERENCE 2016, SINGAPORE

Find out more about what motivates a banker, a pianist and a lawyer to choose a path in the hospitality industry and why they choose to give up their previous career to pursue in this industry at the Web In Travel Conference in Singapore (October 2016).

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