88 Armenian: Once a lodging house for Armenian traders the building is Penang’s top luxury boutique hotel

The 88 Armenian hotel on UNESCO World heritage site of Armenian Street in Penang is a top luxury boutique hotel and of the best places to stay in the city, according to Unreserved Travel.

The early Straits-Eclectic style building was originally a lodging house that hosted the enterprising Armenian traders, before being taken over by the Chinese migrant community who occupied the streets with successful copper and brass businesses.

However, the building was burnt down many years ago and abandoned, prior to being turned into an art gallery. The restored and refurbished establishment now offers a welcomed respite from the hustle and bustle of Penang’s busy streets for anyone looking to indulge in some down time, author Sandeep Dhanoa writes.

According to the article, 88 Armenian stylishly combines its history with sleek design, evident in its copper-clad complements and accents, weaved into an elegant interior, perfect for anyone looking to capture the moment with the help of Instagram.

Originally, Armenian Street was called Malay Lane, after a Malay settlement that used to exist around the area. By 1808, the street was renamed as Armenian Street due to the influx of Armenian traders who resided along the road.

The Armenians went on to establish St. Gregory’s Church within George Town in 1822, while the Sarkies Brothers founded the Eastern & Oriental Hotel in the 1880s. The Armenian presence was short-lived, however, as most of the Armenians had already left by the time the church was demolished in 1937.

The Chinese gradually took over most of Armenian Street around the mid 19th century.

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