The name of Loke Thye Kee Residence in Hainanese means ‘House of Happiness’ and the architects from Ministry of Design have correspondingly turned this beautiful 100 year-old villa into one serene and romantic hotel refuge for the visitors of Malaysia.
Combining contemporary luxury with rich history and local charm the Residence offers not only the extending tradition of the historic Loke Thye Kee Restaurant held by two brothers in the early 1900’s and left in the local history with its fusion menu (combining traditional Chinese kitchen and “exotic” western cuisine) but also with the history of its venue for many matchmaking arrangements, where young potential brides-to-be would catch a first glimpse of their suitors. This romantic and somewhat magical spirit of the place is cleverly encapsulated in the design and decor solutions. The place is proclaimed one of 5 Malaysian UNESCO world sites rich in heritage.
Preserving the original colonial style of the building with its romantic arches, wooden details, doors and cladding the architects successfully recall the romantic spirit and charm but with the added value of a contemporary twist and comfort. In this enchanted and exotically located hotel the traditional meets the modern on several different levels, from the materials used to the spatial arrangement. Traditional materials like timber hardwood floors are juxtaposed with customized contemporary fixtures and functional furniture elements, floor rugs and cushion fabrics are reflecting the romantic 1900’s spirit but also evoke comfort and spacious lightness.
The rough texture of the original brick walls are visually enriched by hidden LED lighting and the typically enclosed vanity, and wardrobe spaces are celebrated as transparent glass boxes. Of course one of the main visual emphasis of the design – the beautiful ceramic tilling that decorates so artistically the premises- is the perfect fusion of old-time oriental spirit and modern artistry. The artwork spread throughout the residence was specially commissioned for the project and reflects the spirit of historic Penang framed in a modern way. The fresh elegance of the white premises is integrally entwined with the rich history and romantic spirit of the place and this combination makes the Loke Thye Kee Residence a wonderful and unique place to have your leisure time spend in. Photographs: CI&A Photography