The charming Clove Hall

Clove Hall © Adrian Cheah

Clove Hall is a privately-owned Edwardian Anglo-Malay bungalow set in an oasis of tropical gardens. It is just ten minutes by trishaw from the vibrant living culture of the world heritage enclave of George Town. To venture further, rent a motorcycle or hire a taxi and explore Penang's exotic sights, sounds and taste.

Clove Hall © Adrian Cheah

Award-winning hotelier Christopher Ong has managed to restore this dilapidated Edwardian Anglo Malay Bungalow to its former glory. Inspired by Peranakan heritage, Clove Hall has captured the spirit of this heritage city and its rich melting pot of Chinese, Malay, Indian and English heritage.

Clove Hall is adorned with local antiques, artwork and furnishings, combining the best of the past with modern conveniences. Clove Hall's fertile grounds carved out of the original Sarkie Brothers coconut plantation have been transformed into a tropical oasis, lush with spice trees and exotic flowering plants.

Clove Hall © Adrian Cheah

This place echoes a quality that arouses appreciation for the daily way of life of a bygone era – at an unhurried pace, with a relish for style, a taste for culture, a penchant for joie de vivre. Here, you can easily lose track of time.

It was opened to guests in 2009. Jo and Jim Lim are the proud owners of Clove Hall. They are hands-on running the place after acquiring it in early 2011.

Clove Hall © Adrian Cheah

With six elegant and luxurious suites, Clove Hall offers privacy and personalised service with modern comforts. Three suites are located upstairs within the main house while the other three in outbuildings flanking it. Each suite is named after a spice. There is something delightful in every room. Star Anise is set around its own little Eden with an outside shower; Clove has a relaxing sunken bath; Cinnamon has a sitting room that overlooks the emerald-coloured pool; and Saffron and Cardamom have balconies in the shade of the trees.

Clove Hall © Adrian Cheah

Awards and accolades that bestow this place include being listed on Trip Advisor as the 'Travellers' Choice 2012 Winner' and Conde Nast Travellers Hot new places to stay and the Luxe List in 2010. Countless reviews from satisfied customers speaks volumes for this charming place.

Clove Hall © Adrian Cheah

The website

I was privileged to have the opportunity to develop Clove Hall’s website in 2009. Christopher Ong had an eye for detail and a vision of how the website should be. His boundless energy, professionalism and intelligence ensured that the website portrayed his work in the best possible light. 

Clove Hall © Adrian Cheah

Photographing Clove Hall

In 2012, I was given the assignment by Jim and Jo to photograph Clove Hall and the photos can be viewed on this page as well as its website The buildings rich character, interesting structure and elaborate texture made it easy to capture its identity. Bathed in appropriate light, every angle was a picture-perfect postcard.

Clove Hall © Adrian Cheah

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Clove Hall, 11 Clove Hall Road, George Town, 10050 Penang, Malaysia 

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Written and photographed by Adrian Cheah
© All rights reserved.
21 October 2012

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The charming Clove Hall no more

Clove Hall closed its doors for business at the end of January 2018. Clove Hall's ex-owners, Jim and Jo Lim had been running Clove Hall since 2011 and had decided to call it a day. The new owners did not continue with the hotel business.

Updated: 31 January 2018