We stayed in Red Rock Hotel for a total of 2 nights. The first night of our trip as well as the last night. In between, we travelled up to Hatyai, Thailand.
Arrived at Penang International Airport with my family without any hotel booking so we sat at the arrival hall to browse through the tourism brochures available to find a good hotel. My aunt's favourite Sunway Hotel was fully booked and we were looking forward to eating at the street hawkers near Sunway Hotel so we narrowed our search criteria to hotels within Georgetown. Some hotels were fully booked as well so we settled for Red Rock Hotel.
My aunt, who is a Malaysian, rang up Red Rock Hotel to make a reservation before we set off. The lady who answered could not speak Malay or Mandarin so I had to take over in English. We later found that our call was answered by a Filipino intern and she could only converse in English and Tagalog. Even when I conversed with her in English, she had difficulties understanding simple queries from me. We were so close to hanging up and moving on to the next hotel on the list.
Upon arrival, the bellboy was very prompt to help with the luggage. There were no other guests in sight at the lobby. We took the family room as there were 4 of us and we were quickly whisked up to our room on the 8th floor. There is Wi-Fi connection at the lobby as well as on selected floors. We were lucky to be given a room on the 8th floor and the access point antenna was sticking out of the corridor ceiling just outside our room.
The room was large, had two queen size beds and a bathroom with a bathtub. This hotel seems generous with chairs (4 of them) in the room unlike most other hotels I have stayed before. Wi-Fi connection was unstable for VoIP (dropped calls) but bearable for general web surfing. One of the hotel's supervisors admitted that there was a problem with their Internet Service Provider. I feel that the hotel should have addressed this promptly with the ISP instead of seeking sympathy by sharing this "sad story" with their guests.
Breakfast for 4 was included in our room package and I had two friends from Tune Hotel nearby to join us. Surprisingly, the price for each person was only about MYR$11++. The variety of food was alright and there was an egg station which is a plus point for such a competitively priced breakfast.
Check out was prompt as there were no other guests. The bell staff helped us with our luggage to a waiting mini bus which was to ferry us to Hatyai.
Day 2 was actually day 6 of our trip. We returned from Hatyai with plenty of luggage in tow and only called to make a reservation when we crossed the Thai border back to Malaysia. I struggled with yet another staff through the reservation process though I'm sure there was nothing wrong with my spoken English. We chose Red Rock again as we appreciated the Wi-Fi, spacious room as well as the included breakfast.
Bell service was again very prompt and this time round, a local staff was on duty. His name is Selvarajoo and is extremely friendly and chatty. His attitude was so different from many of the other staff we interacted with and we could definitely feel his sincerity. I would think that my review of this hotel would have been far worse if not for him.
We were assigned a family room on the 7th floor this time round and there was no Wi-Fi connection. We had no choice but to reject the room as Wi-Fi was necessary for us to make some flight changes, keep in touch with friends and to check some important emails. The front desk staff had no idea how to deal with our rejection of the room and they kept insisting that the hotel did not provide Wi-Fi to rooms. I had to point out that we had stayed in this very same hotel several days ago and we had Wi-Fi in our room number (818). The flabbergasted staff discussed among themselves with no solution so I had to ask for a manager. No manager was available so a supervisor came out to meet me. The supervisor went on like a tape recorder saying that there's nothing he could do to help me. I said matter-of-factly that there were so many hotels nearby and we came back mainly for the Wi-Fi. We felt disappointed to be treated this way despite being a returning guest. I asked for the same room we had previously and we were told that it was occupied. Since he had no solution, I had to provide one for him. I told him that we were willing to split rooms and stay in two separate rooms with Wi-Fi access. He immediately quoted us the price of 2 x standard rooms. (MYR$145 x 2) versus our family room (MYR$195). I was rather disappointed with his response as a supervisor. I told him that we were not here to stay for free or make things difficult. We were already inconvenienced by the fact that Wi-Fi access was not available and were willing to compromise to split rooms. I felt that the least he could do is to split our rooms without incurring additional costs to us. Besides, I was checking out at 7am for my morning flight. After much discussion, he finally (grudgingly) agreed to my suggestion. He did not offer bell service to move our luggage so we had to move them ourselves. I then made my reservation for a taxi to the airport for the following morning and went to the front desk to ask for a morning call at 6am. The staff acknowledged and wrote my request on a piece of paper. I then found that the cafe opens at 7am so I asked if they could accommodate an earlier breakfast at 6:45am. I was given the green light by the staff on duty and he managed my expectation that the only food available by then could be bread and coffee. I agreed as this seems fair to both parties.
Later after midnight, I came down to the front desk to make payment for the rooms as I was to check out early in the morning.
Next morning, I woke up at 6am but there was no morning call! This is a major failure on the part of the hotel. There was no apology for the lapse at all as none of the staff remembered or knew about the arrangement. The staff who took my request was not on duty in the morning either. I made my preparations and headed down to the cafe at 6:50am. It was still not open and I had to repeat my story to one of the staff who eventually allowed me to dine in the dark. Following that, I rushed to the airport for my flight.
In conclusion, this hotel is a decent place to stay with reasonable pricing. Breakfast was included and there is Wi-Fi access on selected floors - make sure you make this request during check in. Rooms are pretty spacious and air-conditioning pretty good (Penang is a very hot place). Don't trust the morning call service as your request may be lost between shifts. Would I stay in this hotel again? Yes. The location is good and I can close an eye to the less than ideal service given the price that I pay.
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- Also Known As:
- Red Rock Hotel Penang/Georgetown