Built for Leong Yin Kean, the son of tin magnate Leong Fee, who had fallen in love with Italy whilst a student at Cambridge, this elegant Italianate villa on George Town’s north beach looks out over gardens onto the sea.
It was designed by Charles Miller (of Stark & McNeill) and is located on “Millionaire’s Row” (Northam Road but now renamed Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah). The Mansion was built in 1926 and modeled after the opulent villas in London’s Regent’s Park. Sadly, like many of Penang’s mansions, it fell into a state of disrepair and had been used as a motor-bike centre called Biker’s Paradise and had as many as 30 tenants living in partitioned blocks along its once elegant rooms.
Restored to its former glory in 2000 by Escoy Holdings it is a model of heritage conservation by adaptive re-use and it now houses Thirty-Two at the Mansion and Beach Blanket Babylon.