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“Nice place, poor management” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Coffee Atelier

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Coffee Atelier
47 - 55 Lorong Stewart,, Georgetown, Penang Island 10300, Malaysia   |  
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Ranked #6 of 49 hotels in Georgetown
Langkawi, Malaysia
Top Contributor
96 reviews 96 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
85 helpful votes 85 helpful votes
“Nice place, poor management”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

It is an amazing nice old building and re-done in a proper way. With only 4 rooms it gives you the feeling of stepping back in history but with modern facilities like aircon, hot shower and wifi connection. My room was a suite on the ground floor and after entering a common hall, used by guests of another room there were 4 more areas to go. The biggest of them is the bathroom which also has the function of sitting area with some chairs and a table. The old building is extremely noisy so every step of your (upper floor) neighbour will be heard and the noise from outside can be quite annoying as well at certain times of the day. Every time I go to Penang and stay overnight I will try one of those heritage places and this has been the most disappointing one so far for many reasons. The wifi connection is extremely slow, the cabinet is not suitable for hanging your clothes as it has strange measurements and I even found a bra of a former guest inside. The breakfast is served with minimum portions, tasteless jam, chewy bread (including chewy croissant) and they were not able to serve any cheese. I took a glass of wine at the end of the day on their terrace and the first glass was overdue and the second glass (new bottle) was also not nice and next to my table other guests were drinking beer and they brought a lot of outside food to their table and the staff even brought them plates and bowls to eat this all; I really felt like sitting in a cheap hamburger restaurant instead of a proper establishment and it was not inviting me in any way to try more of their menu. Upon checking out a Chinese looking lady took my complaints and I left my business card so she could get back to me, which still did not happen after more than 2 weeks. This place can be a nice little gem but is in desperate need of proper management that is able to train the staff in all fields. Until that time I strongly recommend you to try one of the many other nice heritage places in the same area.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stefan G, Manager at Coffee Atelier, responded to this review, February 19, 2013
Thank you for your feedback.

I am glad you liked our place and I am sorry that we couldn’t meet your expectations.

Regarding your various points:
- staff: We are continuously training our staff and in general we are receiving very good feedbacks (please also see comments on agoda.com). However, we are in a “people-business” and sometimes things go wrong – for which we only can apologies and try to improve.
- Noise: You are right, our place is a bit noisier than a brand new hotel. A “soft renovation” has been made, without pulling out walls and floors and ceilings and destroying a beautiful old building. Only this way you can have a feel how it was living in an old shop house. So far we received very few complaints regarding noise and therefore we will not change/make a full renovation.
- WiFi: Usually our WiFi works very well. However, every now and than we have problems which are out of our control. We than have to contact Telekom Malaysia in order to have it solved. This was the case when you stayed with us.
- Breakfast: Thank you for this feed-back. In the meantime we changed our offer and basically you can order what you like. The jam we make ourselves and usually our guests like it a lot – but than this is a question of taste which varies from person to person.
- Housewine: Apologies if we should have served you an old wine. In general we receive a lot of compliments for your house wine and it is our most sold wine – but again, this is a question of taste which varies from person to person. In any case, we didn’t charge you the wines – neither the “overdue” one and nor the “new” one.
- Outside food: The people were our hotel guests and we felt it was OK that they can bring some of their food and eat outside.
- I got back to you personally on Jan. 22. I sent the mail to anne@langkawi-nature.com and didn’t receive any rejection message.

Stefan Gehrig
Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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52 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Quedlinburg, Germany
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2012

This special place in the middle of the heart of Georgetown is not easy to find and somehow not easy to reach but if you have once been there you won't easily leave it.

It does not matter how you call it even though it is classified as boutique hotel. The rooms a built in four shop houses which are besides each other. Lovely rennovated with every room in a different style and a high attention to detail. A small gallery and a nice cozy restaurant belong to the hotel as well. The hotel is managed by a lovely swiss/hongkong chinese couple with great passion and always the view for a customer. This is even more to highlight as both do not have any background on hospitality...and this makes the different. Its not business ...it passion by heart.

The restaurant is another oasis you hardly find in Malaysia and maybe not even often in Asia. You can have a good breakfast with all you need, a simple straight but super tasty lunch...but the best of all is the "Tapas Style" menu. You have a choice of over 50 dishes...and actually you dont know what to choose first. Whatever I have tried it was just simply "yummy"... great braised beef cheek, sizzling prawns, tasty grilled eggplant, flavorfull grilled pork ribs, teriyaki salmon or or or... I make it simple go there and eat and you know what I mean. You can combine the great food with a nice bottle of wine. They do have a fair selection of international wines (try the spanish) and super fair priced.

I can only recommend the place go to Lorong Stewart, sit outside in one of the Rattan Chairs and enjoy Penang life... you will surely miss something if you dont try it out.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
singapore
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2012

at coffee atelier, i love that i get to live like the locals do in georgetown. it's like staying in an old house with attention to modern detail such as the dvd player, gryphon tea satchets and the toilet + shower area. i stayed in the ground suite with a courtyard. the suite has retained a lot of the old penang charm, which provides a much different holiday experience as compared to staying in a proper hotel. location is great and close to many attractions. staff were very friendly and helpful as well!

Room Tip: ground floor suites come with courtyard
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2012

Great boutique hotel with excellent location and friendly staff/owners Our family stayed for 3 nights and we had a whole house for ourselves (ground floor for parents, 1st floor for our 3 kids).The owners (a Hong Kong and Swiss couple) renovatedthe whole building in a “soft” way. You can still experience the “old feel” and charmof a bygone area, without missing modern amenities like AC,TV, Shower, WiFi etc.The suites were nicely furnished and we felt like living in an old Chinese Shophouse. If you would liketo stay in a heritage boutique hotel -this is your choice. We foundthe location right inthe middleofthe GeorgeTown’s historic Heritage Zone just perfect. All majortourist attractions are within easy walking distance. Intheir adjoining restaurant they are serving delicious coffees and excellent food (tapas). Our kids just lovedtheir desserts! The owner andthe staff were very personal and helpful and always hadtime for a chat.They helped usto organize a fewtrips andtheir recommendations were just perfect. We would definitely staythere again and can highly recommendthe placeto anytraveler.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2012

Read about the place when it first started some time ago, and decided to give it a try to experience the different type of restored cultural buildings in Georgetown.

Coffee Atelier consists of a row of 4 shophouses, double storied. The corner lot is an in-house cafe restaurant, while the other 3 are accomodation.

Booked 2 units of rooms for my family, with the intention of being in the same shophouse unit. Upon arrival, the owner asked if we mind splitting into 2 upper floor units, as the the lower flrs have been occupied. Well not a problem for us !

The room is just as expected - original condition, not dilapidated, but restored to its original glory. The furnitures are not from the olden days, but constructed to mirror the architecture from the days. It's a spacious bedroom, and the complimentary 2nd room is a smallish unit but sufficient to fit 2 more people.

The owners - a German and a HK lady, they are absolutely lovely too. I'm from Malaysia, and they know more of the localities compared to me ! They take the time to chat and catch up with you, and it's heartening to see there are interested parties whom are not from the country, whom are just as enthused to preserve the local heritage and culture.

There are a plenty food choices in the vicinity being smacked in the midst of Georgetown, Coffee Atelier located just behind the Chinese temple, and just across from Love Lane and Muntri Lane. Spoilt for choices literally. You should try the local in-house restaurant too, love the meal set and the energizing fruit juices !

Not a posh swank place if that's what you're looking for, but i just love the place for what it is.. the simple but absolutely full of character as per the olden days!

Thank you for the memorable stay !

Room Tip: The upper floor has 2 rooms, good for family. Or book the entire unit of lower and upper floor, it w...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2012

I stay here went I went for a business trip to Penang. It was recommended by a local friend. It was no regret staying there. It's really show tourist who and what Penang is all about. The coffee and cake at the cafe was fantastic. I bought some to my friend house at Bukit Mertajam. Everyone love the cakes. Keep it up and wish to return soon.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled on business
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2012

When you are reading my review, please bear in mind that I'm looking at the hotel via the eyes of a designer born in Malaysia but grew up in Singapore and Australia. My taste may not reflect those of Asian travelers who expect everything to be brand-spanking-new.

I know that's a strange way to describe a hotel, but you can hardly call Coffee Atelier a hotel.

First of all, it only has 4 rooms (or 4 keys as hospitality people like myself calls it). The name Coffee Atelier derives from the fact that one of the units used to be a coffee roasting factory. And thank goodness they preserve the coffee roasting machine, adding a unique charm to the property.

The first thing that strike me about my room is the sheer size -- it's more a suite than a room. I stayed in one of the units on the ground floor, and the bathroom itself is the size of a room in a normal 5 star hotel. My room is divided into four room -- a very small entrance, a living quarter (or a sort-of walk-in-wardrobe), the sleeping room and bathroom at the back, which has natural light filtered through from the ceiling.

The owner/designer did justice to this property -- they preserve features that are unique to Malaysian shophouses of that era such as wooden beams that run though the ceiling that reminds me of my grandma's house in the village, natural light that filters through from the ceiling in the bathroom, walls that are preserved instead of being knock down to make way for a more efficient lay-out, an old style kitchen counter with a hole for charcoal, square water tank etc. They even preserve the Kitchen God altar which made me laugh because I can't imagine any other hoteliers who would put up with something supposedly kitschy. Stefan (One half of the owner)'s reply to it was, "We saw this here, and didn't know what it was but thought it should stay." Good on ya Stefan!

I would recommend this hotel to someone who would like to experience how is it like living in a Malaysian shophouse -- and hence, sort of live like a local. But please remember what you'll have to put up with -- the layout of the room can be strange at first, with lounge chairs in the bathroom instead of living room (the old walls are positioned such that the room layout doesn't make sense to have lounge chairs in the living area). The owners probably started this as a hobby so it may not be professionally managed but they do try their best, and you'll hear people talking at the back alley into the wee hours of the night, which can be a bit disconcerting, but that really is how the locals used to live. And yes, some travelers might think it's expensive, but given the constrain of the property (Awkward walls and hence inefficient layout from an architectural point of view) you are getting a suite instead of the room. If you think along that line, the rates are in line with what you'd expect to pay.

I would recommend this hotel to people who are curious and would like to experience how the locals live 50 to 80 years ago.

Room Tip: There are only 4 rooms. I think they are all pretty good though I've never seen the other three...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.

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Additional Information about Coffee Atelier

Also Known As:
Coffee Atelier Penang/Georgetown
Address: 47 - 55 Lorong Stewart,, Georgetown, Penang Island 10300, Malaysia
Phone Number:
Location: Malaysia > Penang > Penang Island > Georgetown
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
#4 Family Hotel in Georgetown
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
COFFEE ATELIER is located right in the core zone of George Town, Penang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.It comprises a collection of five beautifully restored early 20th century shophouses. Today it houses an eclectic mix of a restaurant, an art gallery, a coffee museum and suites which are fully appointed with all modern amenities for short or long term stay. ... more   less 
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