105 Lebuh Melayu, George Town (+604 261 3966/ www.sinkeh.com).
This charming guesthouse is clean, reasonably priced and flooded with natural sunlight.
269 Lebuh Pantai, George Town (+604 261 6616/ www.langhoose.com).
The open-air rooftop terrace is a big draw at this homey establishment.
By the beach
Lone Pine Hotel
97 Jalan Batu Ferringhi, Batu Ferringhi (+604 886 8686/ www.lonepinehotel.com). This inviting hotel has beautiful grounds and rooms with lovely views.
Loke Thye Kee Residences 326 Jalan Penang, George Town (+604 263 1929/ www.lokethyekee.com).
A mix of Straits Chinese architecture and contemporary interior designs fills this hotel. Le Dream Boutique
139 Jalan Pintal Tali, George Town (+604 251 9370/ ledreamhotel.com).
Come to this modern space for its swanky rooftop bar and good service.
Jalan Balik Pulau, Balik Pulau (+6012 428 5191/+604 261 0190/ www.malihom.com).
Malihom means ‘village of the fragrant rice’ and is the kind of place you go to escape the chaos of city life. Eight Thai rice barns have been thoughtfully refurbished and placed on a hilltop in Balik Pulau and feature private decks, spectacular views and an infinity pool that overlooks the hills. Opting for full-board is advised due to the location of the estate. Bring a good book and be prepared to relax and rejuvenate.
Hard Rock Hotel Penang
Batu Ferringhi Beach, Batu Ferringhi (+604 881 1711/ penang.hardrockhotels.net).
Part of the successful Hard Rock chain, this resort is extremely popular with families and those looking for a funfilled beach stay. All 250 well-designed rooms offer Rock ’n’ Roll service and amenities, and families with little ones can check in at the Lil Rock Suite kitted out with a PlayStation 3, music videos, a special kids’ in-room menu and a mini bar stuffed with snacks. The freeform swimming pool is a big draw and there is a lively kids’ club as well. For entertainment head to Hard Rock Café for live bands every night.
Holiday Inn Resort
72 Jalan Batu Ferringhi, Batu Ferringhi (+604 886 6666/ www.holidayinnresorts.com/penang). Chill out beneath coconut trees on the white, sandy beaches at the Holiday Inn Resort Penang with the vibrant night market right at your doorstep. One of the original hotels on Batu Ferringhi, this hotel has loyal guests who keep coming back for the special long-stay rates, good service and great location just steps away from the beach.
Lone Pine Hotel
97 Batu Ferringhi, Batu Ferringhi (+604 886 8686/ www.lonepinehotel.com).
Just steps away from the shore, the Lone Pine Hotel is a charming property that was refurbished in 2010 to a more contemporary version of the original hotel, which began operations in 1948. The tall casuarina trees provide shade and a lovely view, while the hammocks are a popular afternoon escape. Rooms are airy and either face the sea or garden, and there are family-sized options available. Dining options include alfresco dining by the pool, modern Japanese dishes at Matsu, and a selection of tapas and wine at Batubar.
PARKROYAL Penang Resort
Batu Ferringhi Beach, Batu Ferringhi (+604 881 1133/ www.parkroyalhotels.com). Another popular family option, the PARKROYAL is right by the beach and has a large free-form pool which has water slides at one end for the kids. Beach activities like jet skiing, parasailing and boat trips are available, and tropical cocktails at the
Sunset Bar are a holiday highlight.
Shangri-La Golden Sands Resort Batu Ferringhi Beach, Batu Ferringhi (+604 886 1911/www.shangri-la.com). Another popular family-friendly hotel on the beach with its very own mini theme park called the Adventure Zone with multiple sections of modular play equipment and play areas for toddlers. The hotel offers a ‘Kids Eat, Stay and Play For Free’ package available for up to three children less than 12 years of age. Rooms are well-designed and comfortable, and there’s a kids club and activities like guided jungle walks available.
Shangri-La Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa
Batu Ferringhi Beach, Batu Ferringhi (+604 888 8888/www.shangri-la.com). Rasa Sayang is one of the oldest and better five-star hotels in Penang. Rooms here are accentuated with a view of the Straits of Malacca and the surrounding greenery. The location strikes a good balance between the lively night market and the calm private beach. The hotel’s spa, Chi, is famed for its treatments; and if you really want to treat yourself, book into one their lavish suites.
Hotel Equatorial Penang
1Jalan Bukit Jambul, Bayan Lepas (+604 632 7000/ penang.equatorial.com). This hotel is ideal for business travellers and is located on a hill near the airport with views over the Penang Bridge. With 662 guestrooms furnished with modern amenities as well as a host of other customer-oriented facilities, this hotel retains its title as the best accommodation in the area.
Fig Tree Hill Resort
Off Jalan Kenari, Taman Desaria, Sungai Ara, Bayan Lepas (+6019 362 0270/ www.figtreehill-resort.com).
For an off-the-grid getaway in Penang, head to Fig Tree Hill Resort. A half-hour’s drive from George Town through a narrow jungle road leads you to this little known retreat. A Balinese-style resort far from the bustle of the city, accommodation of this sort is rare in Penang. Choose from a range of unique villas with names such as Lily (with a view of the swimming pool), Jasmine and Cempaka. Basic breakfast is served but one should come prepared as it’s quite a distance to drive out for other meals. Barbecue facilities are provided.
1881 Chong Tian Cultural (Heritage) Hotel
38, 40, 42 Jalan Pintal Tali, George Town (+604 263 1881/ www.1881chongtian.com).
This hotel has enjoyed, and is still enjoying, success since the 1800s when it catered to prominent merchants
who came to Penang to trade and has since achieved cultural heritage status. With its spacious and comfortable rooms, you’re sure to enjoy your time in this 130-odd-year-old building. In lieu with its heritage preservation efforts, there’s also an onsite museum that showcases antiques from various Chinese dynasties.
23 Love Lane
23 Lorong Love, George Town (+604 262 1323/www.23lovelane.com).
Formerly a private family residence, this boutique hotel can best be described as a labour of love, from the detailed renovation works undertaken to restore the original buildings’ architecture to the inclusion of the owner’s personal collection of Southeast Asian art and antiques. We like the brightly decorated library on the upper floor of the Anglo Indian Bungalow, which is filled with books and is the ideal place to relax after a day of exploring.
The Blue Mansion
14 Lebuh Leith, George Town (+604 262 0036/www.cheongfatttzemansion.com).
This 19th century heritage building has been stunningly refurbished to its former glory. Originally the home of Cheong Fatt Tze, a successful Chinese tycoon who was also known as the ‘Rockefeller of the East’, the mansion’s 18 rooms are grouped into three categories – Han, Liang and Tang – each with a unique blend of modern amenities and antique furniture. House tours are available daily to give visitors an insight into one of the most interesting grand houses in Penang.
The Boutique Residence Hotel
133 Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, George Town (+604 263 9133/ theboutiqueresidencehotel.com.my).
Located just a stone’s throw from the famous Nasi Kandar Beratur, this boutique hotel is a comfortable and convenient place to stay, and is made up of a collection of restored 19th century shophouses furnished with Asian and European pieces. Established on one of the first streets laid out by Francis Light in 1786, this hotel houses an indoor swimming pool, an antique gift shop and a café.
106 Lebuh Campbell, George Town (+604 261 8290/ campbellhousepenang.com).
We have owners Nardya and Roberto to thank for the painstaking renovation of Campbell House, which historically served as a hotel for pilgrims before their trip to Mecca in the 1900s. With the hotel’s emphasis on unwavering comfort and ease of functionality, service is of their highest priority. We like how each suite is distinctively decorated with stylish features and furniture, with a romantic sari silk headboard in one room and a French Renaissance wardrobe in another.
11 Jalan Clove Hall, George Town (+604 229 0818/clovehall.com).
Minutes away from George Town, owners Jo and Jim Lim run Clove Hall’s six spacious rooms and suites, and there is something to love in every room. Star Anise is one of the rooms set around its own private courtyard; Clove has a partial outdoor shower room with a rain shower and sunken bath; Cinnamon has a sitting room that overlooks the pool. The friendly owners like to be prepared for your needs upon your arrival, so prior bookings are encouraged.
47-55 Lorong Stewart, George Town (+604 261 2261/ www.coffeeatelier.com).
Just like a cup of coffee, you won’t be able to resist the appeal of this quirky property. Charming and impeccably clean, the old and new collide beautifully in the restoration of the suites with traditional Chinese antiques and modern amenities such as air conditioning, flat screen TVs and WiFi. Visit the onsite Kopi Museum, which used to be a local coffee roaster called the Kim Guan Coffee Factory, and where the original Kim Guan brand is still sold. There are limited rooms so advanced booking is advised.
Eastern & Oriental Hotel
10 Lebuh Farquhar, George Town (+604 222 2000/www.eohotels.com).
Imagine being greeted upon arrival by two doormen dressed in knee-high socks, khaki shorts and brimmed hats? That’s the norm at the E&O, where guests are treated like it’s the 19th century, back when the hotel first opened. The rooms hark back to an opulent British past but the intentionally old-fashioned rooms come with TVs and every conceivable mod con. A private water-limousine ride to the nearby Straits Quay is available for hotel guests for a minimal fee.
NEW The Edison
15 Lebuh Leith, George Town (+604 262 2990/www.theedisonhotels.com).
Oozing old world elegance, this hotel was designed to resemble an Anglo-Colonial mansion. Wind down from a long day of sightseeing by losing yourself in a book at the library. Otherwise there’s the pool and cabana for swimming and lounging. The hotel is also ideally situated to walk to some of the best attractions in the heritage zone.
Corner of Jalan Hutton & Lebuh Clarke, George Town (+604 291 3201/www.hotelpenaga.com).
Belonging to renowned architect Hijjas Kasturi and his environmentalist wife Angela, the restoration of this 1920s collection of shophouses used recycled materials wherever possible and didn’t stray too far from the original styles. The result is a gorgeous sustainable blend of old and new with tasteful décor, a beautiful garden, antique furniture from China, as well as spacious rooms for whole families. The owners have also dedicated a studio space specifically for artist residencies.
Loke Thye Kee Residences
326 Jalan Penang, George Town (+604 263 1929/ www.lokethyekee.com).
A nostalgic landmark, Loke Thye Kee has been completely refurbished to the highest standards. The building’s restaurant and bar have already seen a stream of guests who are keen to rekindle the former glory of this city icon. However, the Loke Thye Kee Residences are staunchly modern. The row of restored heritage shophouses comprises five suites luxuriously furnished in a minimal, contemporary fashion. An oasis of privacy, each suite has its own entrance, a kitchenette and an outdoor terrace.
228 Jalan Macalister, George Town (+604 228 3888/ www.macalistermansion.com).
The refined English charm and luxury of the mansion was designed with Colonel Norman Macalister in mind. A member of the Design Hotels group, the hotel features classic and contemporary works of art with the rooms retaining their originality, but with the addition of indulgent modcons like a pillow menu and Bang & Olufsen BeoSound Systems.
Mango Tree Place
Townhouse 1934, 21 Jalan Phuah Hin Leong, George Town; Hideaway, 494 & 496 Lebuh Pantai, George Town (+6014 246 2132/ www.mangotreeplace.com.my).
Mango Tree Place is a friendly boutique hotel with impeccable service. The team is especially welcoming to kids, offering free baby cots, and is therefore a great choice for families. The hotel has two sites, Townhouse 1934 and Hideaway, and a similar contemporary design ethos runs through both. Their breakfasts lean toward local varieties – take it as a safe introduction to Penang cuisine. Our advice is to book the courtyard suite at the Townhouse – there’s a swing in the room.
127, 129 & 131A-F Lebuh Muntri, George Town (+604 261 5107/ www.facebook.com/MuntriGrove).
Bright, airy rooms with wooden floorboards and furnishings set against white walls, sheets and billowing mosquito nets – it’s a romantic, colonial fantasy come to life. But while there are heritage elements here like the shuttered windows, the Art Deco dressing tables and four-poster beds, Muntri Grove has a refreshingly modern tropical vibe. Don’t miss the hotel’s superb breakfasts: eggs any way you like, toast, cereal, fresh fruit cut upon order and aromatic coffee, ground just before it hits the cafetière.
77 Lebuh Muntri, George Town (+604 263 5125/ www.facebook.com/muntrimews).
Muntri Mews is located close to many of the city’s key landmarks on a heritage street brimming with 19th century Straits Chinese architecture. What was formerly communal parking for horse carriages is now a contemporary hotel suitable for leisure travellers. The hotel combines Malay, Chinese, Indian and European influences with each suite having a spacious sitting area that opens and leads to a veranda or private gardens, depending on which floor your suite is on. Muntri Mews has an onsite convenience shop, a business centre and an in-house café, Mews Café.
53 Lebuh Noordin, George Town (+604 263 7125/ www.noordinmews.com).
Situated on the same street as the old entertainment centre Wembley Cinema, Noordin Mews is a boutique hotel that draws upon Asian cinema and ’50s period fashion in a nod to the interesting past of its location. The restored 1920s Peranakan shophouse is set in a walled tropical garden with its own private swimming pool. Each of the 16 air-conditioned rooms has its own en-suite bathroom, flat screen TV and complimentary WiFi.
Palm Mansion Boutique Suites
76-88 Lebuh China, George Town (+604 261 3609/+6012 422 1858/ www.palmmansion.com.my).
Palm Mansion Boutique Suites offers you the opportunity to stay in heritage shophouses that date back 150 years with modern benefits. With furniture made from recycled timber, the guest rooms have a sturdy, homely and subtly retro vibe. Rooms can host up to three or four occupants and include a mezzanine floor for an extra element of privacy, an attached bathroom, kingsized bed, flat screen TV, free WiFi and complimentary breakfast.
The Royale Bintang Penang
1 & 2 Pengkalan Weld, George Town (+604 259 8888/ www.royalebintang-penang.com).
As part of The Royale Bintang family, guests can expect a certain level of
comfort and convenience when staying at The Royale Bintang Penang. This four-star hotel offers its guests the finest in services and amenities, such as high quality mattresses and efficient housekeeping services. The hotel is partly located in a restored heritage building originally built in 1892. This gives the hotel a sense of old-world charm and glamour that is complemented by an existing British Colonial design.
164A-B Lebuh Victoria, George Town (+6017 207 5977/www.sekeping.com).
The brilliant Malaysian architect Ng Sek San fully realises his trademark aesthetic in this century-old Penang warehouse refurbished with worn concrete pillars and walls. There are two suites, a few trees growing nonchalantly in the space, as well as five vintage bicycles available for guests’ use. With everything kept to a bare minimum, Sekeping Victoria is not made for snuggling. One for design buffs at home with minimalism.
8 Lorong Stewart, George Town (+604 264 2333/ www.facebook.com/ SevenTerraces).
Award-winning hoteliers Karl Steinberg and Christopher Ong are the powerhouses behind these restored 19th century Anglo-Chinese terraces. All suites are decorated with antique Peranakan furniture and artworks, a signature theme of Ong’s also found in his earlier projects like Noordin Mews and Muntri Mews. The open courtyards and air wells throughout the hotel keeps the place cool and offers respite from the crowded city centre.
5 Lorong Lumut, George Town (+604 261 9986/www.spiceshotel.com).
Adjacent to the most visited attractions in Penang like Khoo Kongsi, Aceh Street Mosque and the famous street murals by Ernest Zacharevic, Spices Hotel is inspired by its historical setting, and features Islamic, Indian and Malay influences. Here, you’ll be invited to take full advantage of the spirit of true Malaysian hospitality by relaxing in this homey accommodation. Spot the brawny Bodhi tree in the wall of the central courtyard, the hotel’s unique feature that is still growing today.
91 Lebuh Armenian, George Town (+604 263 7299/ www.straitscollection.com.my).
Managed by the folks who run the award-winning property Bon Ton Resort in Langkawi, the Straits Collection is made up of four residences on Armenian Street. Armenian Street 91 is a restored shophouse with a full duplex and indoor courtyard. The residences have been restored to its original style and appeal, but that doesn’t mean the owners have scrimped on modern amenities. Each residence is equipped with WiFi, air conditioning and rain showers in their bathrooms.
Yeng Keng Hotel
362 & 366, Lebuh Chulia, George Town (+604 262 2177/ www.yengkenghotel.com.my).
Originally built as a private residence, this 19th century mansion underwent restoration which resulted in the beautiful hotel you see today. The traditional façade, rustic chandeliers and mother-of-pearl Chinese furniture is sure to charm guests with their antiquity while the free WiFi, an inhouse café bar and 24-hour security surveillance will bring a balanced modernity to this boutique hotel. There is also a delightful garden where you can spend an idle day relaxing.
You Le Yuen
7 Lorong Love, George Town (+6013 492 2125/ www.youleyuen.com). Housed in what was a dilapidated shophouse,
You Le Yuen is now a beautiful four-suite boutique bed and breakfast decorated with restored antique wooden furniture. A chance to experience gracious style within an old building made complete with modern amenities, the hotel is also available for a whole-house booking. Besides that, their pop-up private kitchen caters to intimate meals for groups of four to 15 diners and serves contemporary Indian cuisine.
G Hotel Gurney
168A Persiaran Gurney, George Town (+604 238 0000/www.ghotel.com.my).
G Hotel Gurney is a chic and stylish urban icon along bustling Gurney Drive, with sea views and is only a short stroll away from Gurney Paragon and Gurney Plaza. With a stunning interior and contemporary design, G Hotel Gurney offers accommodation with style and essence. Furniture pieces designed by Kartell and Cappellini will impress, and when you want to unwind head to the hotel’s stylish pool or get a massage at the Danai Spa.
G Hotel Kelawai
2 Persiaran Maktab, Jalan Kelawai (+604 219 0000/www.ghotel.com.my).
Cutting-edge lifestyle and sleek corporate touches meet in the newly opened G Hotel Kelawai. We love the striking design in the lobby and the rooftop infinity pool where you can grab a cocktail at Gravity, their poolside bar, and take in the beautiful panoramic view. Also, hotel rooms are furnished with comfortable touches like Serta beds, Herman Miller chairs and eco-friendly Appelles toiletries. If that’s not enough, the wonderful cuisine at Spoon and 2PM will win you over.
Mid-range Air Itam
Bukit Bendera, Air Itam (+604 829 9500/www.bellevuehotel.my).
Perched atop Penang Hill, Bellevue Hotel used to be the residence of the first Sheriff of what was then called Prince of Wales Island. There are only 12 rooms here, which are simply furnished but guests don’t come here for luxury. It’s all about the view, fresh air and to get away from the hustle of the city below. The surrounding gardens are home to a collection of birds and exotic tropical plants.
Bayview Beach Resort
Batu Ferringhi Beach, Batu Ferringhi (+604 886 1111/ www.bayviewhotels.com/beach).
This beach resort boasts 360 rooms and suites that overlook Batu Ferringhi beach. They’re nicely decorated and fitted with private balconies promising a spectacular view of either the hills or the sea. With the resort’s entertainment and recreational amenities comprising a pool bar, a tennis court, a kids’ club and a spa, this hotel is ideal for a wellpriced beach getaway.
Lost Paradise Resort
262 Jalan Batu Ferringhi, Batu Ferringhi (+604 890 4800/ www.lostparadiseresort.net).
A beachfront property, Lost Paradise Resort is a sanctuary surrounded by lush tropical trees and the Andaman Sea. Their rooms and suites have Balinese and Minangkabau architectural influences and are made up of Superior, Deluxe and Family options and even a Royal Suite. The resort is equipped with fun activities that include kayaking, fishing, island tours, hiking and more.
Jerejak Rainforest Resort
No 1, Mk 13, Daerah Timur Laut, Pulau Jerejak, Bayan Lepas (+604 658 7111).
Surround yourself with Pulau Jerejak’s lush greenery and wildlife at the Jerejak Rainforest Resort, which is situated at the south eastern tip of Penang and offers spacious and well-furnished chalets nestled atop a green slope with breathtaking views. The best way to enjoy your stay is to spend time outdoors and try abseiling, wall climbing, nature walks or water polo. If you’ve been longing for a relaxing retreat, try the spa for aromatherapy massages and luxury baths.
213 Jalan Bukit Gambir, Bukit Jambul, Bayan Lepas (+604 646 8000/ www.vistanahotels.com).
Located in Bayan Lepas, Vistana Hotel now sports a sleek, refreshed look courtesy of Malaysian architect, Zaidan Tahir. Each of its executive deluxe and executive rooms has super comfortable beds, plush carpeting and large windows for you to enjoy the surrounding view. The hotel is also enhanced with a couple of new features, including free WiFi throughout the hotel, a grab-andgo coffee bar and a 24-hour gym equipped with FreeMotion Fitness equipment.
Century Bay Service Suites
5 Lintang Pantai Jerjak, Sungai Nibong, Gelugor (+604 659 1515).
These Balinese-inspired service apartments are perfect for family vacations as the bedroom suites are designed to fit the whole family comfortably. While you’re there, go for an afternoon swim in the outdoor pool (there’s also a children’s pool and a playground for the kids) or relax and unwind in the Jacuzzi and sauna.
Armenian Street Heritage Hotel 139 Lebuh Carnarvon, George Town (+604 262 3888/ www.armenianstheritagehotel.com).
Located within the heritage zone of George Town, this hotel is strategically close to several popular attractions as well as the famous street art murals. Thoughtfully designed for solo travellers, couples and families, rooms here are furnished with comfortable beds, a writing desk and have their own en-suite bathrooms at a reasonable price.
Bayview Hotel Georgetown
25-A Lebuh Farquhar, George Town (+604 263 3161/ www.bayviewhotels.com).
Bayview Hotel is just a hop away from historical landmarks like the Penang Museum and Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion. Its central location means guests have easy access to the best street food and popular sites in town. For dinner, check out the hotel’s famous revolving restaurant and sky bar which boasts a 360-degree view of Penang.
Cintra Heritage House
1,3, 5 & 7 Lebuh Cintra, George Town (+604 262 8232/ www.cintrahouse.com).
The charm of this Chinese Eclectic heritage house is the craftsmanship that has gone into its building and recent refurbishment. Details like the fact that the wooden shutters have been restored without nails all add to the charm of this boutique hotel. There are only 13 rooms here and prices are reasonable.
66 Jalan Penang, George Town (+604 291 1188/ www.cititelpenang.com).
This is one of two Cititel Hotels in Malaysia; the other is located in Mid Valley, KL. Its location on Jalan Penang is superb, providing guests with immediate access to food, entertainment and shopping. If you love rooms with views, the hotel’s 451 guestrooms and suites face either the sea or the heritage city, as well as the first Penang Bridge. For a local breakfast, head to the famous coffee shop, Kheng Pin, which is just down the road.
5 Jalan Penang, George Town (+604 263 6388/ www.hotelcontinental.com.my).
Hotel Continental is cleverly located on Jalan Penang, which is one of the main roads in George Town. A short distance away from commercial and banking districts, shopping centres and several historical landmarks, the hotel’s location is perfect for tourists. The room rates are pretty hard to beat too, more than enough to make up for the slightly dated rooms.
Deluxcious Heritage Hotel
15-17A, Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, George Town (+604 226 9993/www. deluxcious.com.my).
This gorgeous hotel is a reimagining of a 19th century colonial house in the hub of George Town. There are 18 private suites available, each one individually designed to accommodate the different layouts of each room. Check out their spa offering a range of treatments and massages; some room packages even include a free Balinese massage. The Deluxcious Restaurant also invites guests to participate in a culinary journey of fusion delights with award-winning local Chef Keith Khoo.
17 Bangkok Lane, George Town (+604 226 0385/ www.palanquinn.com).
Like its sister property, PalanquInn, Dwell is divided into Terrace, Loft and Mezzanine suites and was designed with flashpackers in mind. This retro-inspired hotel has modern amenities like complimentary WiFi, air conditioning and flat screen TVs as well as heritage features like funky tiles, delicate coloured glass windows and high ceilings. Take the Mezzanine suite for a view of the neighbouring Buddhist temple’s stupa from your bathtub.
East Indies Mansion
25 Lebuh China, George Town (+604 261 8025/www.eastindieshotel.com).
Decked out with a medley of vintage furniture in various shades and prints, East Indies Mansion is situated in the heart of the heritage zone. Originally the home of Penang’s first Kapitan Cina (a leader of overseas Chinese), this boutique hotel has been restored to its former glory, keeping as close to its initial design, albeit with a host of mod cons. Our favourite part of the mansion is its large courtyard furnished with old-school rattan chairs, which are perfect for chilling out and meeting new people.
Georgetown City Hotel
1-Stop Midlands Park, Jalan Burma, George Town (+604 227 7111/ www.georgetowncityhotel.com).
The 320-guestroom hotel features your standard hotel chain vibe and facilities, but it gets classier as you go up the ranks. There’s a decent pool and gymnasium, but the hotel doesn’t come recommended if you’re looking for a tropical retreat. It’s all about urban pursuits here, as its part of the 1-Stop Midlands Park, a local business and entertainment mall. Head over if you’re on a business trip or looking for a lively city break.
101 Jalan Macalister, George Town (+604 226 0084/www.glowhotels.com).
The funky artworks by local artist Zaini Zainul and vibrant splashes of colour that contrast strikingly against grey walls give the hotel a distinctly trendy ambience. Located strategically within the vicinity of some excellent hawker stalls and Chinese kopitiams, this hotel offers plush pillow top mattresses and perks like complimentary WiFi and breakfast. After you’ve visited the Sun Yat Sen memorial nearby, go for a swim in the pool or enjoy music and drinks at their poolside bar.
Hotel Jen Penang
Jalan Magazine, George Town (+604 262 2622/www.hoteljen.com).
Formerly known as the Traders Hotel Penang, Hotel Jen is located right next to Komtar, the most prominent building in George Town and is walking distance from shopping centres and the entertainment and eateries of Upper Penang Road. If you prefer to hang out at the hotel, there’s an outdoor swimming pool and 24hour fitness centre. The rooms and suites here are for the most part bright and modern.
3 Jalan Larut, George Town (+604 226 7888/www.hotelroyalpenang.com).
Located in Penang’s major commercial and financial areas, this hotel offers a range of rooms from Superior to Presidential with views of the coastline. Facilities in this hotel include ballrooms, meeting rooms, a swimming pool and gym. There is also an attached restaurant that serves both international and local cuisine.
NEW Jawi Peranakan Mansion
153 Jalan Hutton, George Town (+604 218 9858/www.facebook.com/JawiPeranakanMansion).
Located in what was once known as the ‘Malay Millionaires Row’ of George Town, the building’s architectural features include lime plaster walls, wood lattices, Doric columns and Adam’s wheel window arches, and is a combination of Muslim, British and Indian design. The building houses eight mansion rooms, each furnished with silk and wool Kashmir throws and Mughal tiles. There are also four family suites with a loft and a Victorian-style bathtub. Basic on-site features such as WiFi, housekeeping services and 24-hour security are available.
269 Lebuh Pantai, George Town (+604 261 6616/www.langhoose.com).
Its name might be Scottish Gaelic but Lang Hoose boasts 100 years of Chinese shophouse heritage. The property has nine rooms and can cater to a variety of travellers, but we think this place is best for bigger groups of family or friends. All rooms come with free WiFi access, air conditioning and fans. Make use of Lang Hoose’s convivial open rooftop terrace, where you can enjoy a cuppa (tea- and coffee-making facilities are on the house) or buy a beer and kick back to enjoy a spot of TV after a hard day’s sightseeing.
NEW Le Dream Boutique
139 Jalan Pintal Tali, George Town (+604 251 9370/ledreamhotel.com).
This four-star boutique hotel opened its doors in October 2015 and has earned nothing but rave reviews. Little reminders of the past lend this modern hotel stately charm; for instance, oak chairs with upholstered leather seats and a faux fireplace complement exposed concrete walls; and no visit here is complete without a visit to the rooftop Jacuzzi.
72 Jalan AS Mansor, off Jalan Transfer, George Town (+604 226 6668/www.museumhotel.com.my).
Situated minutes away from buzzing Penang Road, this sprawling hotel features rooms that are individually themed and decked out with beautiful antique furniture. Its lavish furnishings, reminiscent of a time gone by, and mod cons like flat screen TVs and rain showers allow guests to experience a balanced contrast between past and present. We like its private museum which houses more antiques for guests to marvel at.
The Northam All Suites
55 Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, George Town (+604 370 1111/web. northamhotel-penang.com).
As the name indicates, the Northam’s suites are spacious, well decorated and replete with modern and homely amenities, though some may require sprucing up. For recreation, enjoy a cool splash in the infinity pool that overlooks the sea or head to the Samsara Spa for a relaxing Balinese massage. The hotel will also arrange for a game of tennis, squash or golf at your request.
PalanquInn Heritage Suites
39 Lorong Bangkok, George Town (+604 226 0385/ www.palanquinn.com).
With two noteworthy Buddhist temples in the vicinity, PalanquInn is a charming boutique bed and breakfast with several private heritage suites, part of a collection of colonial townhouses that date back to the 1920s. The suites are spacious, confined and fitted with a balcony for a view of the lively street life below or the Buddhist temple’s stupa. Guests who book the Loft Suite will have the entire floor to themselves.
Ren i Tang
82-A Lebuh Penang, George Town (+604 250 8383/www.renitang.com).
Originally a traditional medicinal hall in 1885, the sensitively restored Ren i Tang is the result of a two-year restoration project. With a name that means ‘Hall of Benevolence’, Ren i Tang consists of 17 spacious rooms with modern amenities like air conditioning, satellite television channels and eco-friendly bathroom kits. One of our favourite rooms is the Tub Room, which comes with a herbal soaking tub and a selection of bath salts for relaxation.
105 Lebuh Melayu, George Town (+604 261 3966/www.sinkeh.com).
This unique guesthouse supports George Town’s arts and culture by funnelling 20 cents for every ringgit spent by travellers into new programming and production. The nine rooms were designed by Lillian Tay, an award-winning Malaysian architect, and they are sleek and modern, making use of light to bring openness to the small spaces. It has an airy courtyard at its heart and there is also a studio, where regular rehearsals, productions, performances and lectures take place.
Sunway Hotel George Town
33 Lorong Baru, off Jalan Macalister, George Town (+604 229 9988/ georgetown.sunwayhotels.com).
Holiday makers will be pleased to know that the renovated Sunway Hotel now comes with wider beds to rest in after a long day. The refreshed look has a balance of modern and minimalist design and all rooms come with internet access. For a better view of the city, upgrade to the Deluxe Club Room which also grants guests access to the Club Lounge. The hotel’s facilities also include a spacious swimming pool and a fitness centre.
Super 8 Hotel
81 Lebuh Tye Sin, George Town (+604 263 5888/www.super8hotel.com.my).
Super 8 is located in the middle of the commercial and banking area, which makes it only a half-hour drive away from Bayan Lepas International Airport. Its crisp white bed sheets and clean floors make it a decent place to hang up your hat for a short stay. We recommend investing in ear plugs if you’re a light sleeper as the karaoke lounge downstairs operates till midnight.
The Wembley –
St Giles Premier Hotel
183 Jalan Magazine, George Town (+604 259 8000/www.facebook.com/ TheWembleyPenang).
The Wembley officially opened in April 2015 and has brought a touch of style to Penang’s fleet of business hotels. Bright golden interiors and traditional, elegant styling set the scene while a host of facilities such as a shopping arcade, a wellequipped gymnasium and a saltwater swimming pool ensures an enjoyable stay. Dine at the Wembley Café, which is garnering some decent reviews.
Evergreen Laurel Hotel Penang
53 Persiaran Gurney, George Town (+604 226 9988/ www.evergreenlaurelhotelpenang.com).
With hotels across Taiwan, Thailand and France, this is Evergreen’s only hotel in Malaysia and caters mostly to business travellers. Facing the sea, The Evergreen Laurel Hotel is a compact, comfortable place with spotless, well-maintained rooms and a decent breakfast spread. The lounge isn’t particularly appealing, so look for fun outside the hotel.
The Gurney Resort Hotel & Residences
18 Persiaran Gurney, George Town (+604 370 7000/ www.gurney-hotel.com.my).
A partner hotel of the The Northam All Suites, this hotel lacks its younger counterpart’s freshness and charm, but it has location and price on its side thanks to the hotel’s placement on the busy stretch of Gurney Drive. Guests are close to food, shopping, nightlife and the seafront. Room-wise, the hotel consists of studio and two-bedroom suites with a Jacuzzi, lounge area and high-speed internet connectivity.
3096 Jalan Baru, Bandar Perai Jaya, Perai (+604 382 8888/ www.ixorahotel.com).
Conveniently located a 20-minute drive from the Penang International Airport (depending on the traffic on the Penang Bridge) and a stone’s throw from Megamall Penang, this hotel attracts business travellers and tourists. The spacious rooms are basic and functional. Come here if you’re travelling in groups or with family as there are suites with up to four bedrooms each that will easily accommodate your group.
Pearl View Hotel
Jalan Baru, Seberang Perai (+604 398 9888/www.pearlviewhotel.com.my).
Pearl View is situated in Perai’s commercial centre, providing guests with easy access to shopping malls and entertainment centres. The hotel is a better fit for those with business affairs rather than casual travellers, but its charming Lotus Spa will suit both. Try the Tamarind Skin Exfoliation or the Crowning Glory head massage. A hairdressing salon is also tucked within the spa with treatments ranging from facials to aromatherapy.
Summit Hotel Bukit Mertajam
566 Jalan Arumugam Pillai, Seberang Perai Tengah, Bukit Mertajam (+604 538 6666/www.summithotelbm.com).
Overlooking Bukit Mertajam, Summit Hotel is one of only a handful of international-standard hotels in the area. This three-star establishment is located in the middle of Bukit Mertajam and Seberang Perai’s business districts and has over 160 rooms and suites. Do note though that George Town and Penang International Airport are quite a distance away.
Sunway Hotel Seberang Jaya
11 Lebuh Tenggiri Dua, Pusat Bandar Seberang Jaya (+604 370 7788/ seberangjaya.sunwayhotels.com).
Mostly frequented by business travellers who want to stay close to the industrial hubs and commercial zones of Penang, this hotel boasts rooms with contemporary designs. There’s also unlimited broadband access in the basic deluxe rooms, which is quite a boon as the nightlife here isn’t anything to shout about.
Tanjung Bungah Copthorne Orchid Hotel Penang
Jalan Tanjung Bungah, Tanjung Bungah (+604 892 3333/ www.millenniumhotels.com/ copthornepenang).
Copthorne Orchid’s well-appointed rooms boast views of the sea and come with private balconies, offering its guests the feeling of a genuine seaside holiday. Its pool will compete for your attention and so will the various nearby attractions like Gurney Drive and Batu Ferringhi. The kids can also enjoy their time at the children’s pool and special Kids Corner. You’ll find all your standard hotel facilities here, ranging from a gym to a Jacuzzi, and good service.
Flamingo Hotel by the Beach, Penang
Jalan Tanjung Bungah, Tanjung Bungah (+604 892 7111/ penang.flamingo.com.my).
This hotel has 280 guestrooms, ranging from deluxe to suites kitted out with contemporary accents like crisp all-white linen and beach-facing deck chairs. You’ll have the option of great hawker grub close by, and we love the romantic sunset views from the poolside. Other facilities include an outdoor swimming pool, an outdoor Jacuzzi, a spa, a fitness room and the hotel’s Kids’ Club.
Four Points by Sheraton Penang
505 Jalan Tanjung Bungah, Tanjung Bungah (+604 371 8888/ www.fourpointspenang.com).
Four Points by Sheraton operates on the principle that ‘comfort doesn’t have to be complicated’. Rooms are modern with bright, stylish touches plus all the amenities you need to make your stay an easy one. Choose a sea view room to enjoy the sight of the lovely semiprivate beach. When hunger strikes, head to The Eatery, the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant, where the salmon laksa comes highly recommended. Follow it up with a drink at The Best Brew, a laidback bar with a darts board, pool table and a good selection of beers.
Rainbow Paradise Beach Resort
527 Jalan Tanjung Bungah, Tanjung Bungah (+604 899 0000/ www.paradisehotel.com).
Rainbow Paradise is a soaring sight along the white sandy beach of Tanjung Bungah. It has its own private stretch of beach and 315 tastefully-decorated rooms featuring sea and hill views. Guests can enjoy facilities like a tennis court, fitness centre, swimming pool, a water sports centre and a seafront restaurant. Families and big groups will benefit most, as this resort has two-bedroom suites that measure almost 1,000 square feet with a spacious balcony.
Budget Air Itam
Desa Permata, 1228L-3, Jalan Paya Terubong, Air Itam (+6019 477 7661/www.fastbookhostel.webs.com).
This hostel is ideal for backpackers on a budget. Rooms are basic and comfortable and there is a communal living hall for entertainment, and a shared kitchen. Venture outside and you have a convenience store, nasi kandar restaurant and food court all within easy walking distance. Come weekends, guests can enjoy a typical Penang night market as one will set up on the street right outside the hostel.
Baba Guest House
52 Jalan Batu Ferringhi, Batu Ferringhi (+604 881 1686).
Baba Guest House is located very near the shore and ideal for the eager beachgoer. It’s also a short stroll to the main street with hawker centres, mini markets and shops. The cleanliness of the property is commendable. Some rooms come with air conditioning while others have only fans. A word of caution about the noise from the surrounds – there is a mosque next door and it can get a bit noisy from inside too.
Ferringhi Inn & Café
3A Jalan Sungai Emas, Eden Square, Batu Ferringhi (+604 881 9999).
Ferringhi Inn & Café is one of Penang’s better budget motels and is walking distance to the beach, bank, hawker centre, money changer and other facilities. You’ll be able to navigate the area with ease and all the rooms here have bathrooms, a hot shower, satellite TV and air conditioning at a very reasonable price.
76C-4 Jalan Batu Ferringhi; 1-9B Eden Parade, Jalan Sungai Emas, Batu Ferringhi (+604 881 1378/ www.roomiespenang.com).
Designed with flashpackers in mind, Roomies Penang fills the niche for boutique budget stays in Batu Ferringhi, an area dominated by luxury hotels. Located by the police station, Roomies Penang offers dorm options and private rooms with 300-thread-count sheets. There’s an industrial aesthetic at work here with cement flooring and synthetic grass. The hotel also provides visa services and the beach is only three minutes walk away.
The 80’s Guesthouse
46 Lorong Love, George Town (+604 263 8806/www.the80sguesthouse.com).
This guesthouse is located in a row of 100-year-old shophouses and the history of the building and its previous incarnations are preserved through original and vintage décor as well as contemporary furnishings. The rooms and dorms are comfortable with premium mattresses, lockers, individual reading lights and electrical plugs. There are also hot showers, free WiFi, and an inner courtyard where guests can hang out and socialise.
35 Lebuh Armenian, George Town (+604 262 8309/Facebook: Armenian-House).
Situated on the popular heritage street of Lebuh Armenian, Armenian House is a renovated old shophouse offering wallet-friendly accommodation. While the room rates guarantee basic amenities and comfortable bedding, guests can also enjoy a hot breakfast and free bicycle rental, which is subject to early booking and availability. There’s a café attached to the hotel that offers homemade cakes, simple comfort food, coffee and beer.
NEW Chulia Court the Tavern
357 Lebuh Chulia, George Town (+604 261 3809/ chuliacourt.com.my).
You wouldn’t think by looking at this stylish bar and restaurant that the upstairs has been renovated to accommodate travellers in a 21-bed dorm and several private rooms. The dorm is new with a carpeted floor and overhead fans while the rooms are sparsely furnished, but incredibly comfortable. Breakfast is complimentary. The bartender will mix a welcome drink
for anyone staying the night. As dusk falls, stroll along Chulia Street to sample street food from famous hawker stalls; the wantan and curry noodles are popular among the locals.
Chulia Heritage Hotel
380 Lorong Chulia, George Town (+604 263 3380/www. facebook.com/chuliaheritagehotel).
Chulia Heritage Hotel is located within a two-storey heritage house in the centre of George Town. It’s a good choice for those looking for a central location within walking distance of a great range of eateries, heritage spots and bars. It’s equipped with air-conditioning, LCD television and WiFi, and guests can use the hotel’s bicycles to explore the town. Overall, it’s a decent spot to stay – just bear in mind that all those lovely wooden floors do carry a lot of noise.
101 Lebuh King, George Town (+604 261 0451/ www.cocoamews.com).
Cocoa Mews is a humble hostel in a heritage house originally built about 100 years ago. This guesthouse is ideal for backpackers and those who don’t mind sharing a bathroom. Facilities include a shared pantry and WiFi. Rooms are simple and basic, and guests are encouraged to explore the nearby attractions including Penang’s murals and the Pinang Peranakan Mansion. The hostel also sells bus tickets to other states and neighbouring countries.
NEW Container Hotel
4 Gat Lebuh Chulia, George Town (+604 251 9515/ containerhotel.my/penang). Penang’s first capsule hotel is clean and minimalist. Stacked on top of one another, the single-sleeper pods aren’t too different from bunk beds; if in tow with kids, they’re likely to squabble over the top pod the way they do over the top bunk. There are also twin pods available. Cynics might complain about claustrophobia, but we found our pod to be spacious enough. It’s best to pack light if you plan on staying here, as the storage space beneath your pod will fit a large rucksack at most, but certainly not a wide suitcase. Brownie points for the free WiFi with an uncommonly strong signal.
Couzi-Couji Party Hostel
84 Lebuh Gereja, George Town (+604 251 9585).
Widely recommended by backpackers, this hostel is fairly priced, comfortable and party-friendly. Yes, you read that right. The hip owners of this hostel are known to throw kayaking tours, pool parties and barbecue nights for their guests, which suggest a lot of mingling and beer drinking. Regardless of the room you choose, whether it’s a dormitory or a private room, all are comfortably air-conditioned and come with standard hostel amenities.
Cozy Home Inn
205 Jalan Argyll, George Town (+604 228 4648/www.cozyhomeinn.com.my). Cozy Home is ideally located in the historic city of George Town. Money changers, street food and entertainment nearby makes this location a convenient one. The guesthouse has 13 rooms in its three-storey building, and while no meal services are provided, there is a reasonable food court (New World Park) within walking distance. There’s also a nearby supermarket where you can stock up on drinks and snacks.
House of Journey
45 & 47 Lorong Seckchuan, George Town (+604 262 1399/www.facebook.com/houseofjourney).
Step in to the House of Journey and you’ll be greeted with exposed brick walls, a heavily wood-accented décor and a warm and friendly vibe. Owners Cheryl and Rayson have equipped this hostel with free WiFi, same-day laundry services and multiple plug points. Its central location, walking distance from Little India and various attractions makes it very convenient. They are also recognised by both South East Asia Backpacker Magazine and WorldBestHostels.com as one of Malaysia’s best hostels.
17 Jalan Hutton, George Town (+604 263 6003/www.huttonlodge.com). Hutton Lodge fills the gap between Chulia Street’s out-and-out backpacker hostels and George Town’s bigger hotels. Set back from the road, and just off Jalan Penang, the Indo-Malay bungalow offers a range of room sizes and styles from affordable dormitories to the executive suite. There’s a pleasant garden terrace, internet access in the lobby, a television and library space, and you’ll be greeted by a very helpful manager. Bear in mind that parking spaces are limited.
59 Lebuh Kimberley, George Town (+604 261 1486/www.facebook.com/kimberleyhouse59).
Kimberley House is miles ahead of its competitors in almost every way. For a reasonable price, you get wellappointed rooms with comfortable beds, stylish sheets and shared bathrooms that are shiny and clean. The owner has gone so far as to jazz up the dormitory with a chic layout of black and white. Kimberley House also provides bicycle rental, laundry service and free WiFi.
484 Lebuh Pantai, George Town (+604 263 1125/ www.noobhostel.com).
Formerly known as Tofu Café Bed & Bikes, Noob Hostel is eco-friendly, cyclist-friendly and far from the runof-the-mill hostels. Here, individual pod beds with privacy curtains are provided for guests. Within the pods, there are reading lights, a personal fan, a towel rail and complimentary personal lockers. The only effort you’ll be exerting is when you pedal your bike (which you can rent from the hostel) to the various attractions nearby.
Old Penang Guesthouse
53 Lorong Love, George Town (+604 263 8805/ www.oldpenang.com).
A beautifully restored pre-war
building, Old Penang Guesthouse is believed to have been constructed over 80 years ago. The highlight of Old Penang is the affordable rates, a bargain for travellers who want to experience a stay in a restored heritage building on a tight budget. Some of its old-time charm is still evident, from its mosaic-tiled flooring to wooden-shuttered windows. There’s also a dormitory and a quaint inner courtyard for chinwags or a quiet read.
93 Lorong Macalister, George Town (+604 226 1626/ www.pedalinn.com.my).
Tailored for cyclists on the go, Pedal Inn is budget accommodation that offers complimentary breakfast, WiFi and luggage storage for its guests. Living up to its namesake, there’s also considerable space set aside for bicycle storage and a DIY station for bike maintenance. Pedal’s on-site café serves freshly made sandwiches, curry puffs and lovely peach cheesecake to go with your hot cuppa.
PP Island Hotel
33A Lorong Abu Siti, George Town (+604 229 9071/ www.ppislandhotel.com).
Offering clean rooms with reasonable rates, this hotel is less than five minutes from the city centre. Rooms here blend comfort and contemporary sensibilities and you can choose from a standard to a deluxe to rest after a long day of exploring the popular tourist sites nearby or after a jaunt of shopping and dining. The hotel also provides free WiFi, complimentary parking and 24-hour security.
Queen City Hotel
63 Lebuh Queen, George Town (+604 261 7079/ www.queencityhotel.com.my).
A strategic location in the Unesco heritage site means guests of Queen City Hotel can easily walk to nearby attractions like the Kapitan Keling Mosque, Teochew Temple and the famous Nasi Kandar Beratur. With classic interiors and warm wood accents, the rooms here are clean,
simple and equipped with basic amenities.
20 & 22 Lebuh Queen, George Town (+6013 489 6218/www.facebook.com/queenshostel.my).
Queen’s Hostel is Penang’s first femaleonly hostel. The overall ambience certainly isn’t lacking in design and amenities and its humble space is ingeniously fitted with rain showers and beauty essentials (a necessity that most women travellers can appreciate) such as hair dryers, hair straighteners and OPI nail polish. The highlight is the dorm itself, filled with thick comfy mattresses divided by makeshift curtains for privacy.
55 Lorong Love, George Town (+604 261 3931/ www.redinnpenang.com).
This quaint inn was first opened in 2010 and is located in the heart of George Town where dining, shopping and nightlife activities are all within walking distance. There are only ten rooms available, so remember to book ahead. Rooms and dorms are air conditioned and basic with brightly coloured walls. High quality beds and WiFi are assured and there is a shaded terrace as well as an indoor communal area where guests can spend idle mornings or afternoons.
Roommates Guesthouse Penang
17-B Lorong Chulia, George Town (+604 261 1567/Facebook: Roommates-Penang).
Since this place is conveniently located on Lorong Chulia, George Town’s attractions are located well within walking distance, making sightseeing that much easier, complementing the guesthouse’s lack of a curfew. This homely 16-bed guesthouse is a backpackers’ favourite, and its facilities include free WiFi, hotel-grade mattresses, complimentary breakfast, free linen and towels as well as private lockers. The staff are friendly and always ready to give you travel recommendations.
Ryokan Muntri Boutique Hostel
62 Lebuh Muntri, George Town (+604 250 0287/ www.ryokanmuntri.com).
Ryokan is akin to a Japanese-inspired, flashpacking experience where one night’s stay will do your wallet no harm. Purportedly Malaysia’s first flashpacker hostel, each bunk bed is fitted with a personal storage space to charge your electronics and a reading light to help you catch up on that paperback you’ve been meaning to read. The hotel has rooms with four and six bunk beds, and if you prefer a bit more privacy, opts for its all-female room or the private suites.
Street Art House
11 Lorong Lumut, George Town (+6016 443 2087/ streetarthousehomestay.blogspot.my).
This local homestay offers wellequipped, air conditioned rooms with all the basic essentials you need. The amenities offered here include LCD TVs, complimentary WiFi and a shared fridge. If you’re in town for Penang’s famous street art, round off your trip here. It’s just walking distance to Little India, Armenian Street and Chulia Street; and there’s the added advantage of free bike rentals.
Syok at Chulia
458 Lebuh Chulia, George Town (+6016 416 6966/ www.staysyok.com).
Despite the influx of hostels and flashpackers within its vicinity, Syok rises above its competitors with charm and cleanliness. You’ll sleep in bunk beds outfitted with a personal locker, sockets and a reading light.
And for a bit of fun, head to the Syok Lounge on the second floor where you can play darts and foosball, or have a drink at the bar.
NEW Time Capsule Hotel
418 Lebuh Chulia, George Town (+604 263 0888/ www.facebook.com/timecapsulehotel).
Drawing inspiration from quirky Japan, Malaysia’s own T-Hotel Group launched the Time Capsule Hotel on busy Chulia Street. Rather like the Container Hotel on Gat Lebuh Chulia, Time Capsule Hotel puts you up in a small yet comfortable pod. The individual capsules here evoke fantasies of living in a future dimension or sleeping in a spacecraft.
NEW The Tipsy Tiger Party Hostel
20 Lorong Stewart (+604 261 2063/ www.facebook.com/tipsytigerhostel).
The Tipsy Tiger is either an acquired taste or a godsend – depending on your disposition. Chiefly run by friendly volunteers who put in six hours a day in exchange for free lodging, this backpackers’ hostel boasts of dirt cheap rates and considerably clean facilities. But the main lure is cheap liquor and nightly parties; the hostel doubles as a bar come sundown. Staying guests receive two free drinks and further discounts on the (already impossibly cheap) bar menu.
(Bar) Daily, 8am-11.45pm.
100 Jalan Burma, George Town (+604 227 5807/ www.tunehotels.com).
The low-cost airline of hotels, Tune makes few claims about luxury stays – they’re all about value-for-money, clean, comfortable, secure rooms and a good location in the city centre. Here, guests can customise their stay with add-ons such as breakfast, air conditioning and WiFi. Thanks to its close proximity to hawker food and public transportation, Tune is all about good, no-frills accommodation. Begin your holiday with a trip to nearby attractions like Little India and Fort Cornwallis.
48F Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, Persiaran Gurney (+604 227 3649/www. paramounthotel.com.my).
This family-owned hotel has been operating for three generations since 1948. A recent makeover has seen the addition of new air conditioning units and complimentary internet access throughout the hotel's dormitories and 15 rooms; that being said, Paramount's rooms are still very basic. Most guests spend their days outdoors anyway, given the proximity of the beach. Sup at Ocean Green, the in-house seafood restaurant, which dishes out fresh seafood daily.
Baan Talay Homestay
4 Lorong Abbas 2, Tanjung Bungah (+604 890 8205/ www.mybaantalay.com).
The name means ‘home’ in Thai. And that is what you will experience with the warm homey feeling at this home stay. Facilities include private bathrooms, air conditioning, WiFi and more. Guests are expected to treat the space as if it were their own home; so be neat and clean up after yourself. Choose from family rooms and deluxe doubles to suit your needs. Traipse through the elegant courtyard and beautiful garden to get to the beach,. There are also hawker stalls and a bus stop within walking distance.
Hotel Seri Malaysia
7 Jalan Mayang Pasir 2, Bayan Baru (+604 642 9452); 2 Jalan Usahawan 5, Pusat Perniagaan Dato’ Kailan, Kepala Batas (+604 575 6700/ www.serimalaysia.com.my).
With its presence in 21 locations nationwide, Seri Malaysia aims to be the leader in the home-grown hotel chain business, and this is well demonstrated here. Don’t expect luxury or style though. This one screams budget and it tends to attract families with lots of kids in tow. Facilities and rooms are average but fitted with air conditioning, satellite channels, a business centre and a swimming pool.
Loke Thye Kee Residences
G Hotel Kelawai
Sunway Hotel Seberang Jaya
Chulia Court the Tavern
The Tipsy Tiger Party Hostel
Old Penang Guesthouse