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“Amazing views with fantastic food” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Malihom Private Estate

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Malihom Private Estate
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Kiri N/T168, Balik Pulau, Penang Island 11000, Malaysia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Balik Pulau
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Amazing views with fantastic food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

We had a brief but lovely stay at Malihom.
Getting there, there was a slight delay, it's an unusual location to get to so i'd recommend booking the hotel transport, however traffic in Penang is bad a rush hours so there was s slight delay in picking us up. However the staff at Malihom more than made up for this with their heartfelt apology warm greeting with refreshments and a refund on our transport.

The location is really something high up on a hill/mountain the views of the island are pretty much 360º the road getting you there is narrow and hairpin (not for the feint hearted) but it adds to the sense of adventure. Surrounded by nature the accomodation is surprisingly cool, well air conned and bug free!

Food was spectacular with great table service a surprisingly good selection of wines and a four course meal with a view over the twinkling lights of Georgetown. Beautiful.

Sadly we didn't get a chance to use the pool as we had to leave the next morning to get to the airport in time. But breakfast was another winning meal. A local Malay breakfast of rice noodles in a fish sauce, surprisingly elegant and light for breakfast (but filling after two helpings). We thoroughly enjoyed our stay.

Overall the unique accommodation makes for a memorable stay and the food alone is worth returning for. Thank you Malihom

Room Tip: We stayed in the Sanook barn it's closest to the pool
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
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98 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    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 (30)
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles, California
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

I've been to Penang dozens of times in the past few years, for both business and holiday, and have been in every major hotel on the island, and I have to say that I plan to come back to Malihom again and again.

It's hands-down the best holiday experience I've had in Penang. It's rustic - so don't expect the Four Seasons - but extremely tranquil, relaxing, and worth every penny. The chef does a fantastic job and since the resort is so intimate (only 8 guest cottages) you get very personalized service. Just so you know what to expect - it is remote, so you won't be commuting to the beach or sightseeing. You'll be relaxing, reading, unwinding, idling the day away, enjoying the views and the food, lingering over meals, talking to people. There are also bugs, but they're not bad. They spray the rooms and provide mosquito nets to sleep under. I brought bug spray but didn't end up using it.

All in all, though, it's tough to beat. If Malihom was in Bali or Chiang Mai instead of Penang, it would be sold out every week of the year. Take advantage of the fact that it's still relatively unknown. You won't be disappointed.

Room Tip: None of the rooms are bad. I liked Dharma because the hammocks had wonderful views of Balik Pulau...
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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 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

Stayed at Malihom for a night and the key highlights of the place were:
- tranquil resort with breath taking views of the city and Penang bridge.
- friendly and accommodating staff, Min was particularly helpful
- unpolluted environment, air smells different and no sound of passing traffic
- very low density resort as they have only 9 rooms in the place
- very affectionate house cat!!

Insect repellent is compulsory (there weren't any insects in the room but there rather many mosquitoes in the resort and given how beautiful the resort is, you would be spending quite a bit of time exploring the area).

The insects do get quite noisy at night so this place is not recommended for light sleepers.

Beyond the breath taking sights and massage, there really isn't much to do. Their DVD collection is out-dated and in some instances, quality is poor.

No room service but three regular meals are included in the package.

Some rooms come with a deck and hammocks - you should go for those.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2012

We stayed at Malihom for four nights as part of our honeymoon and we are really glad we did.

We arrived in Penang early (around 8 in the morning) and when we got to the hotel the first thing the staff did was to offer us breakfast and ask what we wanted for lunch, despite the fact that we were not meant to check in until 2pm.

The resort was relatively quiet when we arrived, only 2 or 3 of the 8 rooms were occupied so it was very peaceful and relaxing. The rooms were small but very cute & cosy with a small inside toilet (which was important with the open air bathroom). The views were stunning looking down the Mountainside over Penang and the whole place was really nicely laid out.

The food at Malihom was excellent with 3 meals each day included - three courses for breakfast and lunch and four for dinner! We had read on TA that the chef was Burmese so we asked for some Burmese food one night and had an excellent spread of dishes that we had never tried before. Also the resort has its own spring which provides for fresh spring water in all of the rooms and pool.

The service from the staff was also first class, for example when we arrived our toiletries had leaked on some of our clothes so they washed a load of them for free. Also when we took a trip with the hotel into Georgetown, they arranged for somebody else to take us (who spoke excellent English and was very informative) because it was cheaper and so would save us money.

Because the resort was quite small and peaceful we felt that it would benefit from being an adults only retreat however otherwise Malihom was excellent.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Tring, United Kingdom
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2012

Malihom is set in a stunning hilltop location with glorious views both to the east and west coats of Penang. It's accessible only via a steep private road that winds up through a private estate of rainforest and Durian trees and was designed by the architect/artist wife of philanthropist Stephen Yeap initially as a family retreat. You might describe the end result as a labour of love.

There are only eight "rooms" in Malihom, each a converted Rice Barn - half with sunrise views and half with sunset views. We were in Aloun, perched high on the east side. A lower deck had two wicker (and very comfortable) hammocks, tables and reclining chairs; a mezzanine level with open-air shower and sunken bath with views down the valley and across to the distant mainland; and a top level with aircon, bed, TV (we never once had the inclination to switch it on as that would have seemed wrong somehow!) and balcony.

These barns are rustic more than luxurious and strike the right balance between being "connected" with the amazing sights and sounds of the rainforest and perfectly comfortable accommodation.

The grounds around the hotel are worth exploring - myriad ornamental flowers and plants interspersed seamlessly with bananas, pineapples, nutmeg trees, durians etc.
Passion fruit grows all around the barns and central areas and even though past the season we found enough ripe ones to pick and eat straight off the vine.

The staff are great and always eager to help and please. Most are from Burma originally and, as a result, the food is an even more glorious fusion of styles and influences than is already the norm in Penang. (Our Burmese feast on our final night was stunning!). Breakfast and beautiful three course lunches and dinners are included the rates.

Lastly there are the views - whether from your "barn", the top of the watchtower, the dining/breakfast rooms, lounge or the excellent infinity pool - it is almost worth visiting for these alone. The constantly changing light and skies from sunrise to sunset (and beyond) are transfixing, beautiful and relaxing (even in the odd tropical downpour).

if you like pristine, pampered luxury this may not be for you - but for for a truly unique, natural, relaxing break with attentive service in a stunning location, Manihom is definitely for you.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2012

What an experience. The taxi has to drop you at the bottom of the mountain and the hotel staff come and take you up to the top in their 4 wheeled drive.Once you arrive you are there for the duration. Complete relaxation, nothing at all to do other than relax, watch DVD's, swim, read and admire the views. The views are sensational. The 3 meals a day are very good. The staff are lovely and very polite and respectful. The rooms however are basic and could do with being more luxurious given the price you pay. For those of you who like camping, then this is equivalent of the UK log cabin but with windows made solely from shutters and mosquito mesh, therefore you can hear every rustle of leaves, mating frogs, cicadas and other wildlife. Mosquito repellent we found is essential. Fruit trees are an abundance we were treated to fresh passion fruit and nutmeg directly from the huge variety of trees I can definitely recommend, but would suggest that 2 nights is enough if you like the contact of other people and sites to see, but if you want absolutely nothing to do ( or to start writing a novel or paint ), a view to die for (including from the infinity pool) then you may be happy to stay longer. P.S if you like a bevvy when you are away then I would suggest bringing your own booze, there is no bar but they do have a wine list and bottled beers-Wine is around 20.00 a bottle for the basic house wine.

NB: Anyone with a disability or baby and prams would find this hotel very difficult as it is all very uneven paths, steps and terrain

Room Tip: You have a choice of views solely of the mountains down to the sea or on the other side the mountain...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2012

Amazing 4 night stay with my fiancé - especially the views, staff and food.

Rustic feel room but with luxury of great bed, linen, AC etc. great bathroom with sunken bath with a view.

Big thanks to the team who went out of their way make it special inc sourcing flowers and a cake for my fiance's birthday - as well as arranging a special candle-lit drink on the balcony with champaign

If you're wanting to get away from it all and like the (loud!) sounds of the rainforest - the. This place is magic!

In between relaxing, sleeping, eating - we did managed one wander round the rainforest which was very cool too.

They are quite geared up to offering western food to the local Malaysian / Asian guests - however we wanted local food so they made a different Burmese banquet every night :)

I can't recommend this place more - but don't want it to get too busy... (although with only 8 rooms this is unlikely).

Room Tip: All are good - but only 2 have the sunken bath. We were in "aloun"
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  • Stayed August 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.
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Additional Information about Malihom Private Estate

Address: Kiri N/T168, Balik Pulau, Penang Island 11000, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Penang > Penang Island > Balik Pulau
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Balik Pulau
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Malihom Private Estate 4*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Malihom, a private estate, perched on the crest of the southern end of Penang, offers a tranquil getaway. Our unique location offers stunning and uninterrupted panoramas from every room, providing all our guests with ever-changing but always immense and breathtaking views. The fresh air, myriad sounds of the birds and stunning views are a feast for your senses whilst delighting in our array of home cooked cuisine and carefully selected collection of wines. We are an intimate boutique Retreat offering a more personal style of service and an intimate atmosphere that is only found in boutique establishments. The estate comprises a cluster of traditional Thai rice barns which have been carefully converted with modern comforts while respecting traditional charms. There are generous indoor and outdoor seating areas to allow guests to soak in the views and the cool breeze from the horizon as well as yoga and holistic therapies offering an array of relaxing treatments. At the hub of the estate lies the main wing which centers the reception, dining and living areas. The barns are linked to the main wing by way of footpaths. Each barn, with its own unique character has a private garden or a deck. This arrangement provides guests with privacy and seclusion. Our unique picturesque settings will provide that unforgettable difference to any occasion whether a romantic stay for two, group vacation, a Conference venue with an edge or a unique Wedding reception to reminisce. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Malihom Private Estate Hotel Penang Island
Malihom Private Estate Penang, Malaysia

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