If you had read our previous blog, 6 Places you MUST visit in Penang, You will know that we travelled to Penang just 2 weeks ago. We stayed there for 7 days and 6 nights, and as with every trip, I’m sure most of you would agree that the nights are one of the most important!
Having a good sleep is vital to enjoying the days. Backaches and neckaches are certainly unwanted when travelling. Hence, finding good accommodation with comfortable beds are of utmost importance! Another important factor about accommodation is location. A good location can save you a good hour’s sleep and allow you to save on transportation costs. Our following reviews will be mainly focused on these two main factors, location and comfort.
Luckily, Penang is a small city and it is rather simple to travel around as long as you stay in the vicinity of George Town. For those of you who do not know, George Town is where all the hustle and bustle is in Penang. It is the main city area where the majority of attractions and tourist spots are. Hence, most hotels are located within George Town. I would say it is a must to stay in George Town if you are on vacation in Penang!
Another hotspot in Penang would be Batu Ferringhi, located in the northern part of Penang, a 30-40min drive from George Town. There are also many hotels located around that area with most of them being resort style hotels as it is located near the beach. Visiting Batu Ferringhi can be a one day event, hence I would still recommend staying in George Town and heading there for one day.
For our Penang trip, we decided to stay in 3 different hotels to experience the differences and picked 3 different locations. We stayed at Tropics Eight Suites for our first two nights before moving to Mei Hotel for our next three nights and Century Bay Private Residences for our final night.
Tropics Eight Suites
When we first arrived, we called for a Grab Car to send us to our hotel at Tropics Eight Suites that cost us RM21 (USD5). Thankfully we were able to find a Grab Car or we would have had to haggle with the Taxis that charge exorbitant prices. I would definitely recommend downloading Grab or Uber (Available on both the Apple and Google Play Store). The trip took about 20mins and we had a good chat with the driver that recommended a few places to visit and food places to try!
Upon arrival, we checked-in which took a mere 5mins and were quickly escorted to our room without delay. The hotel room was huge and comfortable and extremely clean. The beds were comfortable and of a good size. The toilet was clean and huge as well. Unfortunately, one problem we had was with the drainage system, the shower drainage was not working well which caused the toilet to flood constantly, especially since we had 5 ppl sharing a single shower. The pantry was decent as well, with cutleries, plates and bowls available as well as coffee powder and bottles of mineral water. Overall, we were very satisfied with our stay and actually dreaded leaving the place!
The hotel even had a Grab promotion with each account allowed RM5 off 2 rides as long as the pick-up point or destination was Tropics Eight Suites. This saved us a good RM40 as we had 4 handphones with a Grab Account! The hotel was a 7mins drive away from Gurney Drive, and costs just RM5 through Grab, which of course meant we had free trips to Gurney Plaza or Gurney Paragon! There is also a local hawker centre located about just 2mins away from the hotel by foot! We will definitely be returning to this hotel for our subsequent Penang trips!
On our third day, we shifted to Mei Hotel, leaving Tropics Eight Suites with a heavy heart.. We booked a 3 night stay at Mei Hotel which was located nearer to the heart of George Town. Mei Hotel had a much smaller hotel room because we had booked 2 separate rooms instead of 1 as the larger suites were not available. Being a budget hotel with extremely affordable prices, I guess we can’t be too picky! The rooms were rather clean and the staff were extremely helpful, from the staff at the concierge to the housekeeping staff. The manager was extremely polite and attended to all our queries.
Just opposite the hotel there is a famous Dim Sum (Cantonese cuisine served in small bite-sized portions) Restaurant that is crowded with customers from as early as 7.30 in the morning! Serving delicacies such as Carrot Cake, Siew Mai (Pork and Shrimp Dumpling) and Har Gow (Prawn Dumpling). Of course not forgetting Chinese Tea. The prices are affordable and the food was amazing.
Mei Hotel was also near Komtar Mall which was where we went to The Top. It was about a 10min walk away or 3-4mins by car. The weather was rather hot in the afternoons, hence we took a Grab Car on occasion which costs RM4. The hotel is also within 1 mile of popular destinations such as Sun Yat Sen Museum, Camera Museum and Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi.
Overall, I would definitely recommend Mei Hotel if you would like a nice budget hotel that is close to the heart of George Town.
Century Bay Private Residences
On our sixth day, just a day before our departure, we moved our luggages to Century Bay Private Residences. A place located in the not so popular district of Taman Century, in the Far East of Penang. It was a 40minute drive away from Mei Hotel and we had some much needed rest in the Grab Car ride that cost us RM18. Century Bay is located just 10mins away from Penang International Airport by car.
Century Bay Private Residences was very different from the previous hotels we had stayed in. It had a resort concept with a swimming pool, outdoor gym, playground, pool tables and many other amenities. It was a family oriented hotel which made for a very relaxed stay. The staff were extremely helpful and check-in was smooth, much like our previous two hotels. The hotel was just a 5mins drive away from Queensbay mall, a huge mall boasting a Golden Screen Cinemas Complex, Borders, Timberland and British India amongst its 500 tenants.
The room itself was not what we had expected, the place was a little rundown, and there were specks of dust around the apartment. The room did have a cosy feel to it though. The room was very big and the beds were comfortable. The kitchen was big as well but the cutleries and cooking materials were very dirty and we did not dare to use them. Across the hotel, there is a small convenience store that is useful if you crave for some snacks or drinks. The carpark area was huge as well and easily accessible if you intend to drive.
All in all, we had a good stay in all 3 hotels across Penang. However, our favourite was definitely Tropics Eight Suites. It had everything, from a good location to a beautiful spacious room to wonderful hotel staff. The only negative I would say was the drainage system in the shower. If we travel to Penang again, we will definitely be staying in this hotel, in fact for many more days than the mere two we had this time around.
Mei Hotel had the best location, Tropics Eight Suites had the best hotel room, while Century Bay had the best facilities. It is up to you decide which aspect you value the most in a hotel room.
With that, I would like to wrap up this blog. I hope that my reviews of the hotels we stayed in have helped you decide which kind of hotel you would like for your Penang trip!
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