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“Back in time” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Yeng Keng Hotel

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Yeng Keng Hotel
3.5 of 5 Boutique Hotel   |   362 & 366, Chulia Street, Georgetown, Penang Island 10200 , Malaysia   |  
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Ranked #2 of 49 hotels in Georgetown
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Back in time”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2012 via mobile

Beautiful setting in the heart of Penang. Brings you back to a time of long ago past. Recommend the visit if it is just for the nostalgia. The bonus is the ambience and great Hainanese food. Take a walk through the hotel and admire the tastefully decorated foyer and you will also be amazed how the challenge space is overcome to impress any visitor.

Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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537 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (152)
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Melbourne, Australia
Top Contributor
357 reviews 357 reviews
73 hotel reviews
Reviews in 139 cities Reviews in 139 cities
196 helpful votes 196 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

We chose this hotel because of it's Number One ranking on Trip Advisor. Now, having just spent 12 days there, it's my turn to tell others just how good the Yeng Keng is. And it really is good, no matter how you measure it. The Yeng Keng is a hotel with atmosphere and personality. It's a place you immediately feel comfortable in. I imagine this is what hotels of the 20's felt like.

The location is perfect, provided of course that like us, you want to be slap-bang in the middle of hot, noisy, vibrant Georgetown. I appreciate that some people might prefer a more scenic outlook but we loved having the action right outside the front gates. More importantly, we loved leaving it behind when we came home to the tranquility and orderliness of the Yeng Keng.

Incidentally, we recommend buying a Rapid Transport Tourist Visa (AUD$10) which gives you 7 days access to the bus network all over the island. And... a number of buses (including the 101 to Komtar, Gurney Drive and Batu Ferringhi) pass by the front door.

The rooms are beautifully presented, furnished and maintained, as is the entire hotel. Mind you, we had what I think is the best room in the hotel - room 201 - one of two Chulia Suites. But from what we saw, all the rooms are lovely, it's just that some are not as well located and perhaps a bit on the small side. We found the floor plan on the Yeng Keng website helpful when choosing our room.

In terms of value...? The Yeng Keng is a long way from the cheapest in town but for what you get and what it delivers I think it's a very fair and reasonable rate. The Eastern and Oriental is twice as much for example, but it's not twice as good.

The facilities are first rate. All the guest areas are kept spotlessly clean and are very inviting. How nice to sit out in the entrance courtyard and enjoy a couple of (very reasonably priced) drinks after a day out sight-seeing. There's free tea, coffee, water and fruit available to guests and the swimming pool is a very welcome inclusion... we swam every evening. The (adjacent) Yeng Keng cafe serves a wonderful and varied breakfast and is a great spot for a Hainanese-flavoured lunch or dinner. By the way, the spring rolls and fried rice are just sensational - and my wife raved about the Kerabo Mango salad.

There's an abundance of eating options within a few hundred metres of the hotel. The hawkers are right out front but do also try the Red Garden food court in Lebuh Leith and the Restoran Kapitan (20 minutes walk down Lebuh Chulia) for the best and cheapest Indian cuisine we've ever had.

I've saved the best till last! It's the people at the Yeng Keng that make the diference - and not just the reception or cafe staff... everybody! I've never stayed at a hotel with such genuinely polite and charming staff. After 12 days we got to know Yeoh, Priah, Azie and Michael pretty well but all the staff (including housekeeping and security) are so warm, helpful and courteous. The reception staff drop whatever they are doing, stand-up and smile at you when you approach them - when did you last see that at the Hyatt or Hilton? And nothing ever seems too difficult or unreasonable for them. It is they that make the place feel so welcoming.

We were genuinely sorry to leave the Yeng Keng. I don't know if we'll ever get back, but I certainly hope so.

Room Tip: If you can afford a suite (Chulia or Yeng keng) get one.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Douglas, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

A beautifully decorated small heritage hotel in the heart of old Georgetown. It is an oasis of peace and quiet and the perfect place to relax. The staff are uniformly friendly, efficient and attentive to the needs of guests. An excellent breakfast is provided with something for all tastes - the restaurant is very good in general and reasonably priced. This hotel really is a little gem.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2012

It's hard to add to what has already been said, helpful staff, lovely rooms thought of course a little small as it's a boutique.
The breakfast was always as hearty as you wished although the restaurant staff were a little confused by requests sometimes.The noisy machines behind the pool meant it wasn't the most relaxing place to lie and read but having a pool at all is a nice surprise here.

Room Tip: Go to the Red Garden for food and entertainment
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adelaide, South Australia
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

There really aren't enough superlatives in the world to describe this hotel. Amazing, fantastic, brilliant..........I could go on but I'm sure you get the idea. Our daughters jaw almost dislocated when we arrived!!! A staff member came zooming straight out to assist with the luggage while another checked us in and a third appeared from nowhere with ice cold glasses of fresh juice. As a family of three adults, we had booked the Chulia suite on the first floor to give us a bit of room. Lovely room, fantastic bathroom. Our daughter had a trundle in the front room which was okay except the traffic noise didn't seem to lessen through the night and we ended up pulling her mattress onto the floor in our room so she could sleep. There was also the small (but loud) issue of the call to prayer each morning at 5.45am from the nearby mosque. Wow, that guy has a powerful voice. Oh well, we just used him as a makeshift alarm clock and put it down to being part of the joy of a Penang holiday :0)
Breakfast in the morning is described as "light" however there are plenty of choices, both hot and cold. They will even cook the eggs to your liking if you don't fancy the scrambled on the buffet. The selection of traditional Malay and Indian pastries on the cold buffet is wonderful. They even had donuts and tiny egg custard tarts on most mornings, a hit with all concerned.
There are many things that Yeng Keng does which make it just that little bit more special than most other hotels. There are two large water containers available for guests on the verandah returning from a trip out in the heat, together with freshly brewed tea and coffee and a basket of fresh fruit. They also provide umbrellas for you to take as you leave for the day, even supplying an outside hanging area in case it has been raining and they need to be left to dry. Small things, I realise but it is these touches which make Yeng Keng so special.
If you wish to arrange a private day tour, that is also possible through the Yeng Keng staff and the price is very reasonable at approx RM30 per hour.
Finally, on to the staff. WOW!!!! It is the staff who truly make Yeng Keng extraordinary, especially Yeoh on reception and Ryan at breakfast. There were many other fabulous staff whose names I didn't see but everyone treated us like Royalty. If there is one down side it is the firmness of the beds which are only a shade below hard but I found that we even got used to this as our holiday progressed.
To sum up, staying at Yeng Keng is an absolutely wonderful experience and we will certainly visit again one day.

Room Tip: Chulia suite offers lots of room but be aware that you will be awoken by the call to prayer and any...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2012

Yeng Keng is already a highly rated choice in the georgetown heritage area so I won't praise it much more. As the title goes, Yeng Keng is classy as the furnishing is classic, and while the rooms are not the biggest in Penang, they are very comfortable. And above all that it clean.

The addition of a small pool in the hotel is a great respite from the afternoon heat after a morning spent hunting for Earnest's street art.

We also like the fact that newspapers were placed in strategic parts of the hotel thus cutting down the one copy a room practice of other hotels. However it could be more environmentally friendly if they didn't changed the towels every day. Or at least give guests the option.

My only mini complaint is the mini buffet breakfast. Some variety would be nice instead if the exact same thing every day. The other is the coffee bar near lobby. As it is a small hotel (16 rooms) the pot of coffee on the warmer the whole day made the coffee a tad rancid by the evening. Maybe they can change it more often or only serve the guests on demand as there are so few guests any way.

The hotel is nevertheless strategically located, has sufficient parking for local guests, quiet if u get the back rooms, friendly in service and classy.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mojacar, Spain
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2012

An oasis of peace in the hubub of Georgetown. A wonderful 2 days in this pretty hotel. The staff could not have been more welcoming to us. The food was wonderful and varied and the cafe was very popular with locals as well as residents. Our departure was a very early one and they provided us with a lovely picnic to take with us on the train journey back to Singapore. We shall return to this lovely spot .

Room Tip: We had a mansion room and is was perfectly adequatw for our 2 days but a longer stay might be nice i...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Yeng Keng Hotel

Address: 362 & 366, Chulia Street, Georgetown, Penang Island 10200 , Malaysia
Phone Number:
Location: Malaysia > Penang > Penang Island > Georgetown
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Georgetown
#3 Business Hotel in Georgetown
#3 Family Hotel in Georgetown
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Yeng Keng Hotel 3.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Yeng Keng Hotel is a 20-room restored heritage boutique hotel located in one of the oldest surviving and intact 19th century buildings at the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage City of George Town, Penang.Like many of the other buildings in the neighbourhood, it was originally built in the mid 1800's as a private residence. The Anglo Indian bungalow belonged initially to Shaik Eusoffe bin Shaik Latiff an Indian Muslim family and remains unique in Chulia Street for not being relegated to the rear of a row of shop-houses blocking its facade. In 1897 trustees of the Cantonese Club 'Ying Han Pit Shu' bought the building on behalf of the association, later donating it to the trustees of the Straits Chinese Building Association in 1939. The building was later leased to Yeng Keng Hotel.The conversion from a residence into a budget hotel was the prevailing trend along the street, at the beginning of the 20th century. Small places of lodgings that were conveniently reached from the harbour were in great demand as the traffic in the port grew. An impressive traditional Chinese entrance gate was constructed announcing entry to the 'Lodging House', adding grandeur to the commercial establishment and to distinguish it from the rest of the buildings on the street.Conservation and upgrading by the present owner, Hoo Kim Properties Sdn Bhd was undertaken in March 2009 with the renewed Yeng Keng Hotel completed in April 2010. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Yeng Keng Hotel Penang/Georgetown

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