My wife and I booked to stay here for our 25th Wedding anniversary in mid-March. We reserved Room 4.
Upon arrival around 2 pm, we found that there was no dedicated residents parking near the hotel entrance and, as there was a lunchtime event at the hotel we had to park at the outer extremities of the hotel's parking area, albeit not too far. We checked in with ease, and were advised that we were the only guests at the hotel for the 2 nights we were staying there.
The room was superb, well furnished, all mod-cons (inc. a great Bose sound and docking system) with a great bathroom, and efficient a/c. Very kindly, the management had left a bottle of champagne and balloons and a card for our anniversary, touches that were hugely appreciated. They had also bought 2 silver-coloured doves as a gift- which showed some thought had clearly gone into how they would add their congratulations to our special event.
Both days we were in Penang it was extremely hot and that afternoon I decided to use the swimming pool that, unusually, was at the front of the hotel, in an area between the driveway at the front of the hotel, and the rest of the hotel car-park - i.e. very exposed. It didn't help that right next door to the hotel there is a building construction that, when finished, will result in a 20 floor monstrosity bang next door, with anyone at the pool in full view of all and sundry ! As it was, I could see (and be seen by) all the people leaving the lunchtime function. The pool, whilst nicely designed was just too exposed for my liking and I did not stay long.
Later in the afternoon we ventured to the Bar for a drink. It was clear that this bar was also, originally at least, also meant to be a place for live music/bands, and we could then see why previous guests at the hotel had complained about noise levels. We were advised that this bar is soon to be converted into more of a Wine Bar, and (hopefully with a change in decor and colour scheme) will be a marked improvement.
That evening we had dinner in the main restaurant which was quite good, albeit not really memorable, although the dining room -perhaps because there were few other guests- seemed to lack any atmosphere. The Manager came and asked how our stay was, and several staff wished us Happy Anniversary, which was a nice touch. When we returned to the room there was a small, personally decorated, cake waiting for us -again, gratefully received !
I did not sleep that well, either night, mainly because the shutters and blinds in the bedrooms did not fully shut out the huge amount of external spotlighting on the front of the hotel that was displayed all night.
The next day we went for breakfast and had the scrambled egg in brioche which, although well-intended, was really very dry and the eggs were barely luke-warm by the time we were served. Breakfast the following day was also not that exciting, although the room in question was most probably the nicest we had been in (excluding our actual hotel room). All of the second day from before we left the hotel, and into the late afternoon, and into the evening after we returned from having dinner elsewhere, the hotel was pre-occupied with arranging for an event the following day. A constant procession of lorries, workmen, supervisors, etc. etc. Fortunately we did not want to eat at the hotel that evening as they had closed the restaurants from 2pm onwards !
It seemed the hotel "lives" for the hosting of events- how they reconcile this with people who want to stay somewhere special and were otherwise not interested in the events, appears to be an irreconcilable problem. Rather like the conflict between attracting external visitors to the Bar, and Whisky Den, with loud live music, and those guests who just want a good nights sleep.
The hotel rooms are fantastic, the renovation has been carried out with thought and care, and the staff are friendly and thoughtful, but we left feeling that hotel guests actually staying at the hotel were rather secondary to the hosting of events. This is not the first time I have encountered this with so-called specialist boutique hotels, and maybe that is the nature of the beast. Unfortunately I doubt we would stay again.
Rooms 2 and 4 are great.
See more room tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.