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“Sad drop in service standards” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Holiday Inn Resort Penang

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Holiday Inn Resort Penang
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   72 Batu Ferringhi, Batu Ferringhi, Penang Island 11100 , Malaysia   |  
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Ranked #5 of 13 Hotels in Batu Ferringhi
Certificate of Excellence
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
190 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Sad drop in service standards”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

I have been vacationing here for about ten years with my family. It had been a great, undervalued place, decently-priced for both accommodation and food, and with good service. While the beach in Penang is somewhat mediocre by southeast Asian standards, the resorts in Penang more than made up for it by offering other things. The Holiday Inn, in particular, offered great family rooms with two double beds, which are ideal if you have very young kids. It also has a great location, smack in the center of Batu Ferringhi, with the night market right at its doorstep.

My most recent visit was quite a disappointment. The hotel has been somewhat refurbished (very basic flourishes, to go with the new Holiday Inn Resort branding). The management has seen this fit to raise tariffs by about 30-50%. This is still not too expensive. However, what was a real disappointment was the quality of food and service standards that have noticeably dipped. It wasn't something specific, but the little things that tell you how poorly the staff has been trained. (e.g., when waiving at a waitress in the restaurant, she would not come over but yell from her position across several tables what we wanted, and so on...)

All this is particularly alarming as the Batu Ferringhi strip in Penang now has keen competitors in the Lone Pine Hotel and the Hard Rock Hotel.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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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1,461 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • 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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (458)
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English first
Quezon City, Philippines
Level Contributor
37 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

It was a very nice and relaxing resort. Upon arrival at around 9:30pm, the front desk people greeted us with a big smile and made a clear explanations as to what the resort has to offer. The sea view room we got made up for the dated decor. I was told that the the other tower now is renovated but it doesn't have a sea view. However, no CNN on t.V. made me feel like I was in a ultra remote jungle...an uneasy feeling but yet again relaxing.

The resort itself had plenty of activities for kids. Nice swimming pool, beach although the beach is not part of the Holiday Inn property, Jet ski, kids playroom. Breakfast was excellent with several selections of local and international flavor.

The lobby had a tour desk which was very helpful if you are to tour the area. The staff there was also very helpful. Historical Georgetown is a must see and the hotel has a Free shuttle that goes to Georgetown 10a.m.

The area had a night market that sells everything counterfeit..LOL. The market starts operating at around 7pm. There is a food hawker center that also opens at around the same time. The hawker center was well worth it. Ultra Cheap local food and excellent and only 5 mins by foot.

We also ate at a Pizza/Shawarma cafe which is 2 mins by foot. Their pizza, using Pita bread dough was incredibly delicious. The kids really enjoyed it.

Our stay was incredible and we will certainly think of this resort again when Visiting Penang.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Sutton Coldfield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2012

Best location in Batu. Generally a nice hotel. Beach wing rooms has now been refurbed also. Unfortunately we were roadside rather than poolside in the beach wing. Road is rather busy and mopeds are noisy throughout the night. I'd recommend avoiding these rooms or having a high room in the tower wing. But overall a pleasant stay.

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2012

We stayed at the holiday inn resort penang for 2 weeks for a family holiday, we booked for a room in the tower, but upon check-in was informed of an upgrade the beach wing! What a fantastic location this hotel is situated in during the day you can chill by the pool, walk along the beach and by night you have a great choice of places to eat and also theres a fantastic night market at Batu Ferringhi. All the staff are so helpful and went the extra mile to make myne and my familys stay a very memorable. We have stayed in a few hotels in Batu Ferringhi, but by far this hotel is the best. Cant wait to come back!!!!

  • 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2012

we had stayed for 2 nights in the hotel & it was amazing. the rooms were good . the breakfast was excellent & even the staff was friendly. the night market is just 1 step from th hotel & lot of restaurants araound the hotel. its a well family oriented hotel

Room Tip: its has 2 wings.the ferringi & the main wing. choose the rooms in the main wing with sea view .
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Kulim, Malaysia
Level Contributor
57 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2012

There are 2 wings connected by an overhead bridge. Tower wing is cheaper but further from beach.
Parking : a bit of a nightmare looking for a space on the beach wing. Parked at tower wing (plenty of space) and was pleasantly surprised to get an upgrade to the beach wing. They do treat the PCR members quite well, I must say.
Check in : seemed to be a miscommunication and not sure if the two wings spoke to each other. Checked in at tower room but was told of the upgrade to beach wing, so we walked over to the beach wing. While checking in was told we could check in there but our room was in the tower wing! Not a big issue for me as it was settled with a phone call.
Room : 2 queen sized beds. Enough to sleep 4 comfortably. Shower in bath-tub. Shower only would have been appreciated especially with the sand from the beach. Air-conditioning was not up to mark, still warm at night. Read some comments about beach wing noise but it was acceptable for me. Still heard faint music but was bearable.
Beach : Coarse sand, even spotted a jelly fish in the water. Of course, being a parent, I freaked and got my kids away from the water. Strange, I thought there were preventive nets since the beach was maintained by HI. Activities galore on the beach such as horse-riding, jet-ski, banana boat and para-sailing, which was dangerous IMHO because those guys came in pretty fast and the ropes could easily hit anyone caught unawares.
Other activities : night market outside was great. Trishaws - there's a reason it's called that - you should 'try' it. Dinner at Long Beach with great local food but be prepared to wait for empty
Kids activities : There was a kids' room but not much activities inside - skip. Table tennis and water-volleyball. Clinics nearby close at 9pm but you can get paracetamol for kids from the mini-marts. None from the hotel, it seems.
Breakfast : Standard HI fare, enough to fill you up for a day of activities.
Overall : Great value if you book early enough. Definitely will visit again.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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.
Coventry, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2012

Just got back from a holiday in Penang and Kuala Lumpur, including 9 nights at the Holiday Inn Batu Ferringhi. We asked to be located in the Tower after reading previous reviews on Trip Advisor, and it was good advice. Our room (1529) was fabulous - looked as thought it was newly re-furbished, and was away from any noise at night-time. We had 2 beds in the room, one a huge double (7' wide) and a normal sized double, the room had good air-con system, and the bathroom was clean & modern with a great shower and proper sized bath. We thought that it was all that we could have wished for.
The staff are all very helpful and very friendly, with a special mention for Azhar one of the Duty Managers, who always remembers your name, and can't do enough to help.
The hotel is located right on the beach - the beach was fine despite reports that the sand is gritty (which it isn't), although the sea water isn't particularly clear and we were warned that jellyfish are in the water.
The breakfasts were OK with a reasonable selection of things to eat, and the menu in the main dining room alongside the pool offered a good choice at luchtime. We didn;t eat in the hotel at night but purely because we'd decided to get out and try the local Hawker stalls etc., and also went regularly into Georgetown to explore.
Only one thing was a disappointment with this hotel - on the Friday afternoon there were 2 corporate events that the hotel had decided to host, resulting in one of the companies planning some sort of game for the delegates within the pool and garden area. For a period of almost 2 hours there were approx 60-70 grown men running around the grounds shouting to each other and acting like kids - not the sort of setting that you need when you want to relax and take some sun. When we complained to the Reception Desk they seemed powerless (or didn't want) to do anything about it. Whilst I understand the need for hotels to get revenue from whatever customers that they can, they need to decide who they re catering for, and the location of the hotel suggests that they have holiday makers as their main source of income.
Overall I would recommend the hotel for anyone considering staying in Batu Ferringhi, but beware of any corporate events that they might be holding during your stay. Without this interuption I would have given this hotel a 5/5 score.

Room Tip: Ask to be located in the Tower - rooms seem to have been recently re-furbished, and even though the...
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Holiday Inn Resort Penang

Address: 72 Batu Ferringhi, Batu Ferringhi, Penang Island 11100, Malaysia
Phone Number:
Location: Malaysia > Penang > Penang Island > Batu Ferringhi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Batu Ferringhi
#4 Business Hotel in Batu Ferringhi
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Batu Ferringhi
#5 Luxury Hotel in Batu Ferringhi
#5 Family Hotel in Batu Ferringhi
#5 Romantic Hotel in Batu Ferringhi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Holiday Inn Resort Penang 4*
Number of rooms: 358
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Holiday Inn Resort Penang, together with its excellent location in the heart of famous Batu Ferringhi makes it easily accessible to the Night Market, shops and restaurants. The resort is situated right on the beach, split into two buildings- the Beach Wing, located at the beachside, or Ferringhi Tower, located directly across the road to the beach. The Ferringhi Tower commands spectacular views of both the hills and sea front and is linked by an overhead covered walkway. 358 spacious rooms with a great combination of Family Studios and Kidsuites, the resort is perfect for families and couples looking for a retreat. To also make your every moment of your stay an absolute delight, we make every dining experience special in its own way. As the only hotel offering speciality Northern Indian cuisine, it will be feast that will leave you with 'spicy'memories. At the Holiday Inn Resort Penang, you will discover an exotic way to truly enjoy your vacation and cherish every minute of it. Right from the warmth of the people, the quaint sights & sounds of the island's rich cultural heritage and the rejuvenating hospitality of Holiday Inn Resort Penang. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Holiday Inn Resort Penang Hotel Batu Ferringhi
Holiday Inn Penang
Holiday Inn Georgetown
Georgetown Holiday Inn
Holiday Inn Resort Penang Batu Ferringhi

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