The Golden Sands has many good points and some bad ones too. Clearly the hotel runs on the Shangri La name and one would assume possibly that the luxury of Shangri La is carried forward to this lower grade hotel. That's not the case so don't be fooled. What's not clear here and not written in stone is that if you book a sea view deluxe room, you will be located on the 1st or 2nd floor and not on floor 3 to 7. These floors are reserved to be named executive sea view rooms which carry a surcharge of 220 ringitts per night over a standard room, or 110 ringitts over the price of a deluxe sea view one.
However if you are lucky enough to pay for the upgrade and floors 1 & 2 are full you will be upgrade to any of the higher floors without further payments above the 110 ringitts plus of course the standard 10 % and 5 % service and tax charge.Otherwise you will be stung the full 220 ++ per night for a view and, rooms a little quieter from the pool noise from below.
The gardens and pool area are well maintained and a life guard is provided at one of the pools. There are two very large pools and one smaller children's pool. This property is ideal for families with children due to the very large grounds and newly refurbished pools. The new sun beds made in Germany are provided without mattress's and are not that comfortable. The grass lawned area where all of the sun loungers are located is clean and manicured but, lacks security from the beach hawkers who constantly stand and pray on you, to use their beach activities or para-sailing, horse riding, jet skies or muti-purpose 4 wheels noisy trikes. All of which constantly run up and down the beach making it risky and dangerous to walk along for fear of being run into by anyone riding any of the aforementioned, seemingly driven by some as young as 10 years old.
The beach itself in 3 - 4 kilometers long but, is not used by anyone for sunbathing nor swimming in the sea, for fear of the very large jelly fish. The sea water is murky and dirty, suspect from effluent. The beach is dirty from tourist trash, along with horse poo that is evident from the many passing horses. Not a nice experience at all.
The Garden Cafe which serves as the main restaurant of the hotel has not be refurbished, if it has, then it needs redoing. There are a few of the newer chairs but mainly the old ones have been badly repainted white, with some in need of maintenance. The hotel pictures of the Garden Cafe show no resemblance to that what you actually get. No air conditioning in this area, like the open reception , very 3 star and not 4 star at all. The lounge area adjacent to the reception is very 1960's with it straight backed booths. Not ideal to spend a few hours chatting to friends over a drink. No bar is located within this area. The only bar is located by the pool and the new Ziggi's restaurant. This restaurant has again in the main, straight backed booth type seating, not ideal to enjoy an A la Carte meal. Although air conditioned, the staff leave the doors open both day and night and upon our visit, at night, bugs where very much in evidence and attendance. Bugs fly towards the lights land on your food and in your wine. Again not a good experience.
Whilst the rooms have been renovated to a high standard the actual rooms are not large, they are adequate but no bigger than a very standard beach front hotel. Nothing special. The beds are hard and not conducive to a luxury sleep. Doona's ( quilts ) are provided, in a very hot and humid climate where air conditioning is essential for sleep. Quilts, hot high humidity and air conditioning don't go together. But its far easier for hotels and even cruise liners to use this form of bedding now, whilst not totally suitable is is fast, and economical for them to use. Mould had already started to reappear in our bathroom, clearly they had not used the anti mould grout which prevents this type of growth which can have an effect upon your health if the spoors are inhaled. I can see these bathrooms soon becoming very run down again soon. Our room apart from one day was cleaned and serviced early, so no complaints with that department. The hall carpets have probably not been refurbished and are in need of a good shampoo. Looking very tired, dirty and shabby in places.
The front desk and office manager were friendly and efficient, whilst tending to a very busy and full holiday hotel.
For this area of Penang ,without paying an absolute ridiculous amount for a room, this is the best you are going to get, would you want to return, probably not that often as other hotels in other countries offer a far better holiday experience than can be achieved here. I won't mention the alcohol prices charged by the restaurants and hotels in Malaysia. Nor the lack of outside decent quality restaurants around the hotel or within a reasonable distant. If you are on a budget and a back packer there are plenty of street food hawker trolleys to feed on, but for a quality sit down luxury meal, Penang is not on my list to revist anytime soon.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Golden Sands Resort by Shangri-La in Malaysia, Penang is the epitome of premier resort getaway for families, groups and individual travellers. Situated in the midst of a laid-back seaside village and the popular Batu Feringgi beach, its locale provides ample opportunity for exploration and leisure. Embraced by sun, surf and fun, the resort's diversity and accessibility is the perfect antidote for jet lag and boredom. Among its 387 rooms include the biggest family suites, with some equipped with Murphy beds (a retractable bed that fits neatly into walls). Dining options include Sigi's Bar & Grill on the beach, a Garden Cafe with 360 degree view of the gardens and pools, a Lobby Lounge overlooking the landscaped garden, state-of-art meeting rooms, banquet hall and Cool Lounge, an innovative transit lounge for early check-in and late check-out stand ready to serve guests. George Town, a UNESCO world heritage site is a short drive away. So are the island's nature trails and myriad cultural centres. Recreational facilities include a water sports center, three tennis courts, Health Club , a Par 3 Executive Golf Courts, two swimming pools with an outdoor Jacuzzi and Adventure Zone, an in house Family Entertainment Centre. An evolving recreational calendar includes activities organized for in-house guests of all ages ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Agoda, Booking.com, Asiatravel.com Holdings, Hotels.com, Orbitz, Tingo, BookingOdigeoWL, Despegar.com, Expedia, Priceline, Otel and Venere so you can book your Golden Sands Resort by Shangri-La reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Golden Sands Resort By Shangri-La Hotel Batu Ferringhi
- Golden Sands Batu Ferringhi
- Golden Sands Resort By Shangri-La Penang/Batu Ferringhi