Abandoned luxury hotel in Teluk Bahang that time forgot


Remember this place? It was the hotel that set the standard for luxury in Penang. But today it lies abandoned and forgotten, its 18-acre site of concrete disrupting the lush greenery of Teluk Bahang.

In its heyday, it was the choice destination for the elite. Some even dubbed it a six-star hotel. Today, people are calling it a “ghost hotel”.

Today it stands as a monument – to what? You tell me.

Meanwhile, we have another resort abandoned in Pulau Jerejak though that hasn’t stopped others from coming up with new plans for luxury hotels, along with 1,200 homes, on the island – instead of leaving it as an eco-paradise for future generations to enjoy.

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Sustaining the Abandoned?

Ghost hotel reminds me of many unoccupied ready condos (no ready buyers due to affordability issue on Penang island). If you believe in paranormal tales, yang energy consumed by ying energy to strike new ghostly dominant presence due to relatively lower human occupancy. If such scenario is sustained by non-human forces, the buildings shall be deemed haunted and requires massive cleansing for future peaceful human occupancy. So the developers must provide rituals to convince buyers to be able to live in harmony with IT (to quote the term used by author Stephen King)


Years ago, I read an e-book by an American medium, clairvoyant or something like that (can’t remember the title or her name), who explained ghosts as beings who have lost their physical bio-chemical component (the body) which naturally generates energy, but who due to an attachment to the place or still living people, such as their loved ones, friends or colleagues, stick around and by doing so, wittingly or unwittingly draw energy from the living bodies of others, which is unhealthy for them. This medium described how, instead of just smoking out these discarnate beings, she would communicate with them… Read more »

Astro Boy

PolitiScheiss you can rival tunglang on ghostly stuffs.
Both of you should comment more on sixth sense materials to enlighten the readers. cheers for co-existence in peace with the spirits.


I’m not really into sixth sense or the paranormal, though I don’t entirely discount them ether. Whilst there are scientific explanations about things such as walking ladders (under the right conditions such as down a gradual slope), however science has only discovered so much up till now and there remains much more which may exist (such as cure for aids, for example), which science has yet to discover. Some of what are regarded as superstitions, may well be just that but on the other hand, some such as spiritual experiences are experiential and often cannot or has not been proven… Read more »


– / I have a theory about this, based upon the Theravada/Hinayana belief that the worldly real consists of 31 plains of existence, ranging from the lowest hell, up through the animal plane, the human plane, the deva planes and the brahma plains up to highest brahma heaven, and beings are reborn into these different planes based upon the predominance of their good or bad karma and live there for a finite period, some very short and some enormously long but eventually pass away from that plane and are reborn elsewhere based upon their karma in their immediate past life… Read more »


I guess they want to turn Penang into a Silly Con Valley. Check out this video about astronomically high housing prices in the Silly Con Valley and more peope are leaving California than are arriving. No more “California Dreaming” but “California Screaming”.

Why not tell the Penang State government to buy the building over and renovate it into affordable accommodation for Penang people?


Why not dummo buy over and do it? IT forgets gilakan pays deposit and forfeit the money to buy over piece of land?

Andrew L

Anil, Your article really took me down memory lane. The first time I heard of Penang Mutiara was from a letter that someone sent to the Star complaining that a half boiled egg set him back something like RM8 and that was in 1989!!! But I had fond memories there having spent many weekend getaways in the 1990s. Next to the underground car park was the disco called The Study; the venue of choice to dance the night away. The beautiful swimming pool featured an overhead bridge which was where we always ended up after the evening water scooter rides… Read more »

Kah Seng

Mutiara? What a business mystery. No price cutting to stay alive? No selling to revive? No tearing down to redevelop?

Whatever stupid business mistakes cannot explain the above.

There must be a big juicy story book behind it.

Debbie McIntyre

We stayed at the Penang Mutiara in 1993 not long after the hotel had opened. It was absolutely beautiful and it was the benchmark that we used to mark all other hotels that we subsequently stayed in around the world. The service and the style of the Mutiara was second to none in its heyday. We then met a lovely Japanese gentleman in the Shangri-La Orchard road,Singapore many years later, he told us that the Mutiara had gone down hill, we could hardly believe it. However we did return in February 2005….the minute the taxi drove up the driveway, I… Read more »


It is so wasteful to abandoned such a big and beautiful beach hotel in Penang. Was it because the rooms and facilities were over-priced and running at a loss, mismanagement or they were chased away by angry ghosts? They already had experience in managing hotels because the Mutiara group took over Hilton KL, renamed it as Mutiara Hotel and ran it until it was demolished some time ago. Now they are only managing a hotel in JB, Johor and the Tamah Negara Resort, Pahang.


This property belongs to Syed Mochtar under Tradewinds Corp one of his many companies, remember the sugar & rice monopoly taken from Robert Kuok & given to him. Looks like another loss making concern & karma at that.

Louise G-c

I stayed at the hotel on my first ever trip to Penang in 1994. It was lovely. Such a shame it has been abandoned

Albert Farm

All these playing politics closed story nothing new anything that comes by only a show for the moment n then all goes down the drain where’s the expertise


And it seems that the design resembles the traditional Chinese grave or tombstone.
Who or which company is the current owner?

Ros Liew

Perhaps the Mutiara should be (demolished), and anyone interested could collect for free as much as they like, lorry /van /car full of debris. Advertise in ‘The Star’with a title such as “GRAB FOR FREE” should work well! Went passed tonight with these thoughts in mind, then read your article and thought it not such a bad idea! Could be used for landfill sites down at Tanjung Tokong. I’m sure the new hotel next door would appreciate getting rid of the ‘Ghost Hotel’ ! Enjoyed our meal at ‘The Fishing Village’, by the way, up the road at Tuluk Bahang.… Read more »

Jasmin Kaur

Best memories of our working place…sad that it’s just being abandoned like that!


Who owns or owned the Mutiara Beach Hotel?


Yes b long to crony motkhar


Within one day, there is 18 comments here as compare to 5 and 6 for p. Jejeka and sustainability in pg. Even after 18 comments, there is no clear answer. All comments are guesswork and conjecture. No wonder the cream, one could not find the cream as they have all left penang. If we do not do something, pg will be left like pm no 2 to said the robot cop is naive. Can talk so much about ketuan byt does not want them back.


The website says:- Mutiara Beach Resort Location: Teluk Bahang Mutiara Beach Resort Penang heralds a new standard for Asian resort hotels. Located on a prime beachfront at Teluk Bahang, otherwise known as the ‘glowing bay’, it nestles in 7.3 hectares (18 acres) of landscaped tropical greenery. All 438 of its spacious rooms enjoy sea and garden views. Here in this paradise of comfort and luxury, it has been claimed that nothing is unusual. The name Mutiara means ‘pearl’ and is also a term of endearment in the Malay language. A perfect description for an extraordinary resort with a lively Malaysian… Read more »


Wow! It looks so grand in its website. Why not book a room?


Go ahead and do it. No point blowing water and moo.


A monument to “development”, moribundity, an information and services economy and Vision 2020 or Transformation 2050 – I suppose. I watched Michaelangelo Antonioni’s film Zabriskie Point in Penang in 1970 when I was in Form 5. Did not quite understand the meaning of the final scene, nor did I hear about the Pink Floyd until 1974, after which I became a devoted fan for life. Of course, it was all in her imagination – her rejection of the belief in the acquisition of more and more material goods and assets is all there is to “happiness”, “meaning” and “purpose” in… Read more »

PFarm Farm

Got long bathtub …

Victor Liew

That hotel originally was built to cater for all govt function. Imagine wasting time n resources to go there for meetings n whats not.


Dummo thinks party is the gomen


Most of the malls in the Empire – the leading light of capitalism – are abandoned and crumbling. The soothing propaganda to explain this is that online shopping has replaced it. Does that make sense? Ditto for hotels. Even here, as the supply of houses grows relentlessly through warped financing, “land deals” and unenforced laws, some households that have “made it” by hook or crook “upgrade themselves”. They shift to fancier houses and then, they try to rent or sell their old ones. The latter lie empty for years – until the next, cyclical crunch.


“The soothing propaganda to explain this is that online shopping has replaced it (i.e. -in-store shopping)”. You are right and the statistic prove it. e-commerce share of worldwide retail sales was 10.1% in 2017 https://www.statista.com/statistics/534123/e-commerce-share-of-retail-sales-worldwide/ Only 9.1% of retail sales in the U.S. in Q4 2017. https://www.statista.com/statistics/187439/share-of-e-commerce-sales-in-total-us-retail-sales-in-2010/ The closure of so many malls in the “Empire” (I assume you mean the U.S.), are most probably due to declining consumer confidence and purchasing power. I guess it’s the same with hotels, especially luxury hotels. I’ve seen plenty of budget hotels popping up in Petaling Jaya and Ipoh. I guess people are… Read more »


Result what has petaling street has to offer? Rumah tumpangans just like khao san in kung threp. What has kl and malaysia to offer? Budget hotels only. Street food? Bangkok, taiwan, china has more and better places to visit.


Like bn, budget hotels or rumah tumpangan are rent seekers. Orso people are moving down because pay are orso moving down but cost are moving up with gst

Catherine Yeang Phaik Garn

What happened?


If the reason for its closure is not made known, how to be sure or suggest that the same fate could suffer by the Jerejak development?

Arnold Hooi

Mutiara Beach Resort?

Jennifer Mourin

What was the name of the Hotel? Why does the post not name it?

Errol Ruxton

Mutiara Beach Resort, couz. If I’m not mistaken.

Wilson Quah

It stands as a monument to failures by you-know-which-persons and organizations who were running it then.

Alena Lau

Who ah?

Eddy Tan

Why was it being closed down

Wilson Quah

Badly managed!

Adrian Rajamoney

My first job was here in April 1988 5 months before the official opening of the hotel ….beautiful memories

Ashwin Ponnemparambath

Is it really haunted?


Why not camp the night there to find out?


Ghost ladder?

The scientific term for this “phenomenon” is “passive dynamic walking”

All you need do to get a ladder to walk is to place it on a slight slope, such as a car driveway, then tip it a bit to one side, let it go and rock side to side and gravity will sustain its rocking and walk down the slope.

Adrian Rajamoney

So some say

Astro Boy

Time to Anil’s Ghostbusters team to investigate for field trip report for Anil, what say you tunglang and PolitiScheiss, with Shriek tag along to make up the daring trio like in the movie.


I made my comments and somehow was purposely delayed as I comment there are so many comments made. More than articles about pulau jerejak and sustainability in penang. Talented pg lang has left pg and those remaining as more keen on a deserted hotel. It proves that pg forum is whitewash about caring hills and environment. Pg lang as shown here is more interested in abandoned hotel.


I am all game for it! How about you, Anil? 2017 was a year with many paranormal experiences for me: 1) Witness a big size 20? one-foot (left or right?) shoe print (white) captured by CCTV dancing in a dark walkway. 2) Saw a smart phone capture of a ‘pocong’ (Malay wrapped ghost) by my friend. 3) Japanese soldier? holding a samurai sword (in an act of beheading?) reflected on a glass panel also captured by smart phone. 4) Pungent smell of an old lady (Pontianak?) in a girl’s toilet after discovery of menstrual blood-stained toilet paper hidden behind a… Read more »


In short, ah pek is out of this world.

Penang Haunting Trails

To ordinary innocent folks, your tales are shrieking horrific but to sustain their interest into believing, better showing the video posting on anilnetto.com. Who knows with Anil’s circle of influence and connection, the exploration can become a project for Visit Penang Haunting Trails with state government funding.


Those shrieking horrific x-periences were impromptu incidents, so they were unlike the Ghost Adventure TV series where Zak Bagans prepares ahead with infra red video cameras, EVP recorder, voice recorder, EMF meter, thermal cam, etc. just to capture any evidence of paranormal existence. When you are least prepared, that’s when these disembodied entities will spring you a spine-chilling surprise! So, my sharing of those paranormals were not captured with Zak Bagans type equipments except for the CCTV of orbs. Also, the smart phone pics were thrashed away b’cos my lady friend’s phone started to behave weird so much so she… Read more »


clearly ah pek is guilty and did not apologise. That the thing keep looking for him.


If shriek tags along, the trip may be spoilt by intermittent shriekings at the slightest noise or fleeting shadows!
May need a priest to tag along just to ‘keep calm’ shriek!


I shriek there is okay. Ah pek confirns ET is scared of shrieking. ah pek is 4 sekawan with them, diam diam. But here ah shriek here and spoil the atmosphere here.