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“Good but could be better” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Golden Sands Resort by Shangri-La

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Golden Sands Resort by Shangri-La
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Batu Feringgi Beach, Batu Ferringhi, Penang Island 11100, Malaysia   |  
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Ranked #4 of 12 hotels in Batu Ferringhi
Gold Coast
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
91 helpful votes 91 helpful votes
“Good but could be better”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2010

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.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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Essex England
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2010

The hotel staff were excellent, nothing was too much bother. The grounds and pools were stunning, plenty of space and the rooms were nicely furnished and a good size with large comfortable beds. A shame that there are no balconies at the front of the hotel. Linen and towels changed regularly and fabulous toiletries, nothing was missed out. The choice of breakfast was astounding, everyone was catered for.
Do not miss the night market from about 7.30 and dont forget to haggle, its part of the culture.
Oh and the weather was lovely - humid, but the occassional rain helped and did not detract from the sunbathing.

  • Stayed September 2010, 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.
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2010 via mobile

Although we had booked earlier, when we arrived at 2 pm our room was not ready. So had to waited one hour before going in. The next day the room service also lasted till 4 pm. Otherwise everything was great. We had a 'sea-facing' room which we learned is different from a 'sea-view' one. Those are located from the second floor upwards and cost you more. So when booking remember that. The swimming pools are realy clean and varied in depth. The front beach has a sign warning of possible jellyfish attacks if swimming there. There are some paragliding and jet skying options on the beach but make sure to haggle as much as you can. And never ever miss the resort breakfast.

  • Stayed September 2010
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Melbourne, Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2010

First trip to Penang and were suitably impressed with the Golden Sands Hotel location, facilities and friendly staff. Although I had previously read the reviews about the Hill View Rooms and morning call for prayers (mosque located in the front car park of the hotel grounds), we stuck to the Hill View Room and found that most mornings we seemed to sleep right through it. I would strongly recommend a pool view room for Westerners. Although more expensive, it will definietly be our next choice and would be great to have a drink on the balcony in the afternoon. The breakfasts were great, with plenty of variety. Try the beach sittings instead of the main dinning area, quieter and less crowded. Also the free in room internet was a great added attraction. We brought our lap top and were able to communicate freely with family back home in the privacy of our own room.
The Golden Sands is located at the top end of the night markets, and although the variety was not as great as Patong, the haggling was just as much fun, even in the pouring rain (as it did most days) we did manage to secure that bargain.
The public transport system is air-conditioned, relaiable and cheap, and enabled us to venture into George Town regularily for our own exploring. Forget the rickshaw rides in George Town, not worth the money or the views, try a short ride along the main street in Batu Ferringhi instead.
For dinner just go to the "Long Beach Cafe" about a 5 minute walk down the road. Heaps of good hawker food and very reasonably priced. There is no need to eat at any of those high price restaurants (you can do that back home). The people were friendly and the pancakes a great dessert and energy boost before tackling the night markets.
Although the hotel has a self serve laundry within the grounds, try the laundry across the road, 8 rm for 2 kg, washed and folded. Also mini mart (plenty around there) for an ice cream and a drink at the end of the night, before heading back to your room.
We have been regular travallers to Patong (4 trips), with this our first trip to Penang. Think of Penang as what Patong was 10-15 years ago, just relax and enjoy yourself. There are still bargains to be had!! Penang (and Golden Sands) is definitely on our list of places to revisit, and with Air Asia breaking in new grounds, let's hope for continued cheap air fares.

  • Stayed September 2010, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Redlands, California
19 reviews 19 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2010

The overall facility was not too bad. Righ adjacent to the beach, and the room is not too bad.

But, there were many annoying things. First, their staff doesn't seem to be attentive to customers' needs. I requested morning newspaper delivery (which wasn't offered at the time of check-in anyway), and didn't get the newspaper. There was a hair next to my bed. The remote control had a loose battery closure, which ended up falling apart. The gym is really small and didn't have many machines.

At the breakfast buffet, not all food came out until 7:45AM even though it was open at 6:30 or so. And, there was not enough silverwares. So, when I tried to pick one up from an empty table nearby, a staff member (he wasn't a waiter) came and admonished that I should ask for silverware rather than picking it up from next empty table. Never mind that he wasn't around or the silveware wasn't on the table to begin with. This happened again with a friend of mine staying at the same hotel the next day. And, the same guy got into an argument with another customer. What's the deal?

There was a sign for jungle walk at 7:30Am, but when I asked about the front desk, alas, it's only available on Monday and Thursday not everyday like the sign indicated. Even that, I was asked to go to travel desk, and then concierge. I don't know. I just didn't have good service from any of the staff, and there was one guy checking in. And, then the car that the hotel arranged was also wrong size.

And, the internet (although free), kept getting disconnected, and the connection speed was very slow.

So, the hotel is OK overall. But, they could really improve on many of little things that would make the stay more pleasant.

Stayed September 2010, traveled on business
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London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2010

General Manager:Bruno - Very impressed with his hands on appraoch seen many times interacting with staff and customers,any concerns are taken seriously by him and his staff.
All the staff from the cleaners to the management are great ! the new renovation is amazing
the rooms are great,seafacing room highly recommended.definately go with the breakfast as there is so much to choose from,really enjoyed the activties i.e volleyball! the sand is much better this side of the hotel as appose to parkroyal where the sand nots so great.
stayed at parkroyal last year which was nice but this hotel is far superior much more friendly especially if you have children great pool for the kids with a slide. stayed 16 days here and reallly enjoyed it. Can not compliment bruno and evonne enough really nice people and you will not be dissapointed staying at this hotel !!

  • Stayed September 2010, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2010

We stayed at Golden Sands for 5 nights we would have loved to stay longer, this is a great resort, close to the night markets, right at the beach. SC Foo & Family massage are amazing, just on the beach outside Golden Sands, the best massages we have ever had. 30 rm for 1/2 hr 60 rm for 1 hour which works out to be about $20 AUD for 1 hours massage, amazing and great people, Foo is the father, Tommy is the son and Nelson is the son-in-law, all 3 were great. Long Island Food Court - we were a bit worried about eating here but we loved it the food is so cheap. We ended up going there for 3 out of the 5 nights we were in Penang. Also tried Tree Monkeys which is at the Spice Gardens great Thai food and a great view over the beach. Ferringhi Garden was another great place to eat. Very clean and good food, the only place we were disappointed was "The Ship" average food and a bit more expensive than the other places we ate....Would definately come back and stay at this resort in the future.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Golden Sands Resort by Shangri-La

Address: Batu Feringgi Beach, Batu Ferringhi, Penang Island 11100, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Penang > Penang Island > Batu Ferringhi
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Batu Ferringhi
#3 Romantic Hotel in Batu Ferringhi
#4 Luxury Hotel in Batu Ferringhi
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Batu Ferringhi
#4 Family Hotel in Batu Ferringhi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Golden Sands Resort by Shangri-La 4*
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 
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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

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