GEORGE TOWN: The Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion here has been named one of the world's top 10 Greatest Mansions and Houses by popular travel guide Lonely Planet.
The grand dwelling, often dubbed the Blue Mansion due to the vivid colour of its outside walls, is one of only two buildings in Asia to make the list. The other is the Marble Palace mansion in Kolkata, India.
Others that made the list include the Villa d'Este in Italy, England's Castle Howard that provided the backdrop for the television and cinema adaptation of Brideshead Revisted, famed 16th-century Chateau de Chambord in France and the Catherine Palace in Russia which housed Peter the Great's second wife during the summer seasons.
The United States was the only country with two venues making the list - Fallingwater in the woods of Pennsylvania and Beauport House in Massachusetts - while Australia and Ireland rounded up the grandest homes list with Werribee Mansion in Melbourne and the 13th-century Powerscourt Estate in the Wicklow Mountains respectively.
The Lonely Planet list, which was released on the Tips & Articles section of their website, was reprinted last Sunday by the Fox News website which chose the Blue Mansion as its story's main picture.
This latest accreditation follows several other prestigious awards already given to the mansion, including a Unesco Most Excellent Heritage Conservation Award in 2000, an Asean Tourism Association Excellence Award for Best Asean Cultural Preservation Effort in 2004 and the Malaysian National Architectural Award For Conservation in 1995.
The mansion was built in the late 19th-century by Cheong Fatt Tze, a wealthy, self-made Chinese merchant.