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Wedding at Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, Penang

In a Nutshell
A UNESCO-certified treasure. Feng Shui perfect, exclusive and beautiful. Hire the whole mansion (and its 16 guestrooms) for your wedding.

Review
You are going to love holding a wedding at Cheong Fatt Tze mansion if you are big on history, geomancy, novelty, intimacy and privacy. Can a venue be this perfect? Let me share why I think it is.

The first time I saw a photo of the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, I fell in love with its famous indigo-blue colour; but this architectural masterpiece is as rich in history and path to restoration glory as it is in the striking shade which gave it the nickname of “The Blue Mansion”.

Located on Leith Street in Georgetown, Penang, this Chinese Mansion was the status symbol and favourite residence of Cheong Fatt Tze – a Hakka man born poor in South China who became one of the most prominent tycoons and politicians in the region during the late 19th – early 20th century. With a business and finance conglomerate spanning across Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and China, he was dubbed, amongst others, as the “Rockefeller of the East” and the “Last Mandarin & First Capitalist of China”.

The Blue Mansion was built over seven years between 1896 and 1904 by expert craftsmen from China and boasted 38 rooms, five granite-paved courtyards, seven staircases and 220 windows. The following excerpts from the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Award for Cultural Heritage Conservation Project Profile describe it in more detail:

“While it (the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion) represents the best of eighteenth and nineteenth century Chinese architecture and is laid out according to Chinese geomantic principles and decorated with intricate carvings, chien nien and Chinese lattice-work, the courtyard-house also has an intriguing array of other influences. These include art nouveau stained glass, Gothic louvered windows, Stoke-on-Trent geometric floor tiles and Scottish cast-iron elements.”

“The restoration process was an ongoing process of discovery, during which the secrets of the mansion were slowly revealed. These included the Feng Shui principles, numerology and spiritual emanations weaved within its architecture. For example, in keeping with geomantic beliefs that nature’s wealth should be drawn into the building, gutters with rainwater take circuitous routes and air flow is cleverly directed through the building, cooling both floors and ceiling spaces. Also, gold had been buried in auspicious corners of the site to ensure continuous wealth. Propitious sayings were found inscribed over doorways whilst examinations revealed that the detailed decorative works were scenes of gods and myths.”

Cheong Fatt Tze died in 1916 and the mansion deteriorated into a dilapidated state due to his family’s financial constraints. After the last son passed away, the house went on the market and was purchased by a group of conservationists who took nine years, RM7.6 million and a lot of love to restore it. The Blue Mansion was awarded the 2000 UNESCO ‘Most Excellent’ Heritage Conservation Award and the ASEANTA 2004 Excellence Award; Best ASEAN Cultural Preservation Effort.

Aside from these accolades, Cheong Fatt Tze’s decision to build a traditional Chinese courtyard mansion against the trend of Anglo-Indian residences proved to be priceless. Today, the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion is one of the only three grand Chinese-style dwellings outside China, and the only one in Southeast Asia. The central courtyard, which is the feng shui ‘heart’ of the house and my favourite part of the Blue Mansion, is where the greatest ‘Chi’ energy is found. What better place is there to exchange your vows or make the focus point of your celebrations? Drape the surrounding railings with fairy lights, call the live band and have a slow, romantic dance with your life partner in this unique gem that has been deemed Feng Shui perfect by visiting masters.

A refuge within the city of Penang, the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion is best used as an exclusive venue for your wedding. If you are looking for heritage, it doesn’t get any better than this.

Other photos of the Blue Mansion:

The outdoor corridors

Antique rickshaws on display

A Pre-Wedding Shoot

Another shot of the Blue Mansion Interior

Guest rooms

Another view of the central courtyard

The Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion Kitty

Other Details:

Venue Type and Capacity
(i) Downstairs area – reception area and photo gallery area – 16 tables
(ii) Upstairs Hall – to be confirmed

Venue Hire
Rates starts from RM3,500 and you can hire the entire mansion (including its 16 guestrooms, function rooms and breakfast) for as low as RM14,000 per night. Food, chairs, entertainment, audio system and projectors will have to be outsourced separately. Catering can be arranged by the mansion’s team.

Cocktail Reception
Can be set up in the garden area in front of the house.

Venue Hours
Your call if you hired the entire place. Otherwise it is recommended that loud music ends at 22:30 hours.

After Party Venues
Bars at Upper Penang Road, but I’d say nothing beats the awesome courtyard!

Contact Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion

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Contact Details
Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion
14, Leith Street, 10200 Penang, Malaysia
T: +604 262 0006
F: +604 262 5289
E: cftm@tm.net.my
W: www.cheongfatttzemansion.com

A map to the mansion can be found in our wedding directory by clicking here:
Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion Contact

Alternatives
For other heritage venues in Penang, have a look at our other reports: Wedding at Eastern & Oriental Hotel, Penang ; Wedding at 32 at the Mansion, Penang.

Appreciation
Poh Seow, Assistant Manager, Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion
Milan Teh, Penang Wedding Photographer
Wen Zhao, Seasonsed Traveller, Intrepid Explorer, Diving Addict and Swimmer of Open Waters

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