Change the Way You Work: 2 day 1-Night Corporate Retreat Itinerary in George Town
In the fast-paced world, finding time for team bonding and rejuvenation is essential for maintaining a motivated and productive workforce. One way to achieve this is by organising a corporate retreat, and George Town offers the perfect backdrop for an escape from the office. Located on the island of Penang, this UNESCO Historic Site combines natural beauty, cultural heritage, and modern amenities to create an ideal setting for your corporate retreat. In this blog post, we'll take you on a journey through a 2-day, 1-night corporate retreat itinerary in George Town, designed to help your team recharge, bond, and return to work with a fresh perspective.
Jawi House Cafe Gallery (Halal)
This restaurant serves one-of-a-kind dishes and is a rare find in Penang. The women of the Karim family have combined the culinary delights of Persian, Arab, Indian and Punjabi to come out with recipes unique to the Punjabi-Jawi Peranakan community.
This year (2023) they’ve been included in the MICHELIN Guide, a further testament to their cuisines as one of the must-tries in George Town.
If you have no guts to visit the museum alone, now is the time! With the company of the team, the Ghost Museum might be a fun experience instead of a scary one. Plus, you can see other sides of your co-workers that they have never shown in the office before. As you follow the museum guide and navigate through all the ghosts and scary creatures from different parts of the world, you can don costumes and take photos with the props. This is a fun way to strengthen your team's bonds.
Visit George Town's Heritage Sites
Embark on a walking tour through the heart of George Town's UNESCO Heritage Sites. As you explore the city's historic sites, vibrant street art, and rich cultural heritage, your team will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in local history and traditions. There are many mural arts scattered throughout the town. One of the most popular ones is the "Little Children on a Bicycle" by Ernest Zacharevic Mural at Armenian Street. The artists gained inspiration upon seeing a pair of siblings riding a bike happily. Other lesser-known paintings that are no less fascinating include “Little Girl in Blue”, “Local Traders”, and “Art Street Photo” outside of the Swiss Hotel. and many more. This exploration fosters a deeper connection among team members and with the local art and culture.
While you’re at it, don’t forget to check out the famous fritters stall at Weld Quay (古早味炸香蕉年糕), opposite the Tan Jetty parking. This 2-decades-old-family-operated stall sells a variety of fried snacks such as Pisang Goreng, Fried Coconut Sesame Ball, Nian Gao (Tee Kuih) and many more. Opposite the road is Penang Road Famous Ice Kacang Cendol (not to be mistaken with the popular Penang Road Famous Chendol at Jalan Penang), a stall selling refreshing shaved ice, a stark contrast to the fritters stall. Some of the must-try at this hidden gem include Ice Kacang, Cendol and Ice Jelly.
Check-In at Your Chosen Hotel
After lunch, continue your retreat by checking in at one of George Town's fantastic hotels or homestay. Options range from luxurious beachfront properties to charming boutique accommodations to even hostels! For a large group of more than 10 people, we highly suggest renting a homestay so that you can have the whole place with your team and spend time together up until late at night.
George Town is a UNESCO Heritage Site, so you might not be able to find a high-rise hotel with a view of the city. Nonetheless, that is the charm as you get to stay in one of the colonial-style old buildings that are more than a century old with unique architecture that reflects the artistic flair of the era.
Lebuh Presgrave Hawker Stalls (Non-Halal)
Nothing can go wrong with a lunch break at the hawker stall because they have almost everything. Enjoy a delicious team lunch at a local restaurant and enjoy Penang's renowned street food in a non-pretentious dining experience. Char Kuey Teow, Sate, Hokkien Mee (Prawn Noodles), Oyster Omelette, etc, you name it, they have it. Most of Penang's local must-eats can be found here.
Kassim Nasi Kandar (Halal)
You can’t truly say that you’ve visited Penang without trying out Nasi Kandar. Kassim Nasi Kandar is another hidden gem in George Town waiting to be discovered. Their old shop was near Gama but has now relocated to Jalan Magazine. The price is affordable, and the establishment is pretty spacious compared to other Nasi Kandar restaurants, making it a good selection for corporate retreat dining without burning a hole in everyone’s wallet. Vegetarian options are also available.
Be On Top of The World
The TOP Penang, also known as The Top at Komtar, is a popular entertainment and dining complex located in Komtar Tower in the heart of George Town, Penang. It's a multi-faceted attraction that offers a variety of entertainment, dining, and recreational experiences. We highly recommend the Rainbow Skywalk where you get to enjoy the stunning night view of George Town, as you stand on level 68, the tallest viewing point in the city.
The air-conditioned Observatory Deck on level 65 also shall not be missed, as visitors can walk on the see-through glass floor and be mesmerised by the view down below. This creates more opportunities for team bonding in a laid-back setting.
Moh Teng Pheow Nyonya Koay (Muslim-Friendly)
What is a better way to start the day than with some sweet and fragrant coconut milk-infused Nyonya Kuih? This is another place with Bib Gourmand under the MICHELIN Guides. Currently helmed by the 3rd generation, Cavin Mook, with the help of his mother, other family members and 2nd generation Hokkien-speaking Indian staff Vijaya, they managed to dish out over 20 types of Nyonya Kuih daily. It is a pretty popular spot, so come early to secure spots for the team.
Pinang Peranakan Mansion
Another Nyonya culture highlight is the Pinang Peranakan Mansion. It stands as a magnificent testament to the rich cultural heritage of the Peranakan, or Straits Chinese, community in Penang, Malaysia. Originally owned by the prominent tin-mining tycoon Chung Keng Quee, this beautifully restored mansion now serves as a museum that transports visitors back in time. Its stunning architectural blend of Chinese, Malay, and European styles, adorned with ornate tiles, intricate carvings, and period-appropriate furnishings, sets the stage for an exploration of the Peranakan culture. Inside, the mansion showcases an extensive personal collection of antiques, heirlooms, and historical artefacts, providing a comprehensive understanding of the Peranakan way of life.
To make things more exciting, rent some Kebaya costumes and pose for a memorable picture as a team! The traditional Nyonya attire can be rented at Nyonya Palazzo, which is a cafe serving Nyonya dishes located next to the museum. They also offer Kebaya rental service along with all the exquisite traditional accessories to match the look.
George Town Mansion
Did you know that if you purchased a ticket at the Pinang Peranakan Mansion, you’re also entitled to a free visit to the George Town Mansion? All you have to do is keep the sticker and receipt and show them to the staff at the museum's entrance. This museum is one of George Town’s latest attractions, and it’s within 5 mins driving distance from the Pinang Peranakan Mansion.
In contrast to the Pinang Peranakan Mansion, this hidden gem is less crowded, and you can easily end up being the only visitor at the time! This gives a very private vibe as you tour and observe the mansion's rich history and stunning artefacts that will transport you to a bygone era. While the Pinang Peranakan Mansion focuses on the Peranakan collections, the George Town Mansion has a different theme, as the collections mainly consist of Malay and local Chinese antiques.
Auntie Gaik Lean's Old School Eatery (Muslim-Friendly)
Auntie Gaik Lean's Old School Eatery in George Town, Penang, stands as a culinary gem renowned for its commitment to preserving the rich Peranakan heritage of the region. Housed in a meticulously restored heritage building, this 1-star MICHELIN Guide restaurant offers an authentic and nostalgic dining experience. The menu features traditional Peranakan dishes made with Auntie Gaik Lean's secret recipe.
Guests can savour classic Nyonya flavours such as Assam Prawns, Kari Kapitan, Inche Kabin and many more while immersing themselves in the authentic taste of Peranakan cuisines. This charming eatery is a very popular spot, so make sure to make a reservation for your team in advance.
Check-Out and Bye-Bye
Bid farewell to George Town, cherishing the memories and lessons learned during this short yet impactful corporate retreat. The experiences shared and bonds formed during this retreat will undoubtedly carry over into the workplace, making it a transformative and worthwhile experience for your team. George Town with its unique blend of culture and nature, offers the perfect setting for your team to escape the office and reconnect with one another. Whether you're exploring its cultural heritage, enjoying serene natural settings, or taking time for reflection, this 2-day, 1-night corporate retreat itinerary promises to leave your team inspired, motivated, and ready to tackle new challenges at the office with a renewed sense of purpose.