I went to Penang with my girlfriend in April for four days. On the first night we went the Crystal Guesthouse and stayed in a double room with washroom. The room was quite small, dark and needed a bit renovation and a better bed. The room cost us 60RM per night and we thought we should treat ourselves better for the next two nights.
On the second day we found Hang Chow all the way down Lebuh Chulia. It was very close to the junction at Jalan Penang. We loved the way this local Chinese style 'hotel' (it's a hostel or guesthouse in my understanding) presented to us: a restaurant on the ground floor providing nice breakfast, and the rooms are upstairs.
The most important advantage of Hang Chow is ROOMY. We were charged 45RM per night for a room with two double beds, with shared bathroom. Bathrooms were clean enough and they provided free Wi-fi, which is very important to travellers. The hotel is run by a local Malaysian Chinese couple and assisted by a Indonesian Chinese helper. The owner helped us to buy ferry tickets to Langkawi with no extra charge, which was very nice.
For me, Hang Chow is a smaller and cheaper alternative to Cathay Hotel (70RM for a double ensuite), and if you don't like the style of Love Lane Inn, Old Penang, 75 Travellers Lodge, Banana, I'll advise you give Hang Chow a try. And I'll definatedly come back and actually I'm coming back in late June!
By the way, just remember to go to Red Garden, a night food centre nearby. It's GREAT!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.