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“Was for a night I stayed more”
Review of Roommates Penang

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Roommates Penang
Reviewed October 1, 2012 via mobile

The smallest guest house in Penang is a very comfy and good decorated placed based in the center of the Chinese part of George Town in Penang, it's like the same price as the dirties hotels in town with a better value on the cleanness, and the staff is really kind and enjoyfull

  • Stayed: October 2012
    • Value
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Thank lafoutravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 24, 2012

WHERE ARE THEY?
Roommates Penang is located in the central of Georgetown, in one of the smaller alleys (lorong in malay) from backpacker central (Chulia Street). The hostel is within walking distance to all the tourist attractions, morning market and Penang's renowned hawker food.

GETTING THERE:
There are regular air conditioned Rapid Penang busses servicing Penang island. If you are coming from the airport, use bus 401 and head to Komtar. From Komtar you will need to take the bus to Chulia Street or Kapitan Keling Road. From there, it is just a 5 minute walk to Roommates Penang.
If you are taking the express bus from other parts of Malaysia, your bus will either stop you at Komtar or Sungai Nibong bus stop (which is quite far away from everything) But Sungai Nibong is serviced by a Rapid Penang bus U401.
You can take the bus back to Komtar (town). Bus ride will cost you below RM 3. Make sure you have enough change because the bus captain doesnt provide any.

ROOMMATES PENANG:
This hostel has only 2 rooms. Both rooms are airconditioned. The difference between the two rooms is that one has a bigger bed and softer pillows, and usually the premier rooms is quieter than the standard for some reason.
Every bunk bed has their own private curtains, and 2 wall mounted power points and lamps for reading.
The air condition is only switched on at night, but if you are up at the rooms and would like to take a nap, like me. I asked the reception and one of the staff willingly obliged to switch it on for me.
There is also the ceiling fans which really come in handy in the afternoons.
The lockers are located outside the rooms. They are small but adequate for you to put your valuables inside. I managed to store my laptop and my DSLR in it.
The lockers are free of charge and if you dont have your own padlocks, you can just get the keys from the front desk.
BEDS:
Each bed comes with “anti-allergen & anti-dust mite” protection. Once you check in, you are issued a towel and a blanket (upon request).


BATHROOM:
The bathrooms are located downstairs. The toilets are designed in a simplistic way and the water pressure is just perfect.
The toilet upstairs is for you to do your business and to wash up.
There is even free shower gel in the toilets. A definate plus.

FREE BREAKFAST:
Breakfast was simple which was made up of toasts with butter and jam and hard boiled eggs and coffee and tea.

RESERVATION AND INFORMATION:
Roommates Penang prides themselves with giving the right information.
GO and like their facebook page. They post up the latest events and what to see on Penang island regularly.
Emails will work as well but will not be as prompt as facebook.
FACILITIES:
Roommates Penang offers free wifi and 2 computer stations if you are not bothered about using shuffling about and switching on your laptop.
Roommates Penang in a Paragraph
Roommates Penang is differentiated from the rest of the guesthouses in Penang, in terms of standard of cleanliness and the interior design of the building. Aside from that, the hospitality is very welcoming and brings memories when you stay with them.
Keep up the good work!

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Hellokittychanchan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2012

I intended to stay for just two nights but end up extending my trip for three extra nights. I found there was a lot of really fun things to do around the town area and spent full days at the beach up in Batu Ferringhi jet skiing, taking a jungle walk to a secluded beach up in Teluk Bahang and a boat ride back and on my last (extra) day I went canoeing in Tanjung Bungah and walked around an island! (20mins around the entire thing).

Roommates was definitely one of the cleanest hostels I stayed at throughout S.E.A. The beds were super comfy and clean. The privacy curtain definitely helps especially since I was traveling alone. The bathrooms were really new and were of John Suisse brand! I was definitely impressed (considering I'm really particular about bathrooms).

I met some pretty cool travelers while I was there and ended up joining them for dinner with the host -Yen, who is so cool! He gave us real good tips on what to order and where to go.

I would say over all, it's an awesome place to chill for a few days, get your bearings, get a feel ofthe local culture and met great people. I'm definitely staying here on my way back!!

Room Tip: The lower bunks are great if you get up a lot in the night for toilet runs. But the top bunks are ju...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled solo
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2  Thank cemily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 17, 2012

I booked over online booking system weeks before arrival. It turned out they overbooked for the day I checked in and placed me at another nearby guesthouse. The dorm room in this other guesthouse wasn't any better, it's windowless and the space's very tight.

I wasn't please about this, and I insisted Roommates Penang was what I booked (according to online info. & images, its spacing appeared legitimate and there's window!). The staff from Roommates Penang then took me back, and placed me in its dorm room.

It's not like I'd walked in and inquired for availability on the spot. I'd booked in advance, and if they were putting guests in other nearby stay, then the quality and value should be at least equivalent, not something of less.

Roommates Penang may be tidy in general, and with spacious and comfortable bed, but doing something like this to customer can be very damaging.

I stayed in standard dormitory. Though I found the price quoted on their website for per bed's cheaper than if you book through online booking system, I still chose to book and pay deposit online to ensure myself the bed. Well, as mentioned above, this wasn't the case at all,

Other reviews indicated the 'warm welcome', I received none when I checked in. It wasn't until late in evening when I informed another staff that I was to check out early in morning did I sense some kindness. The staff offered to call a taxi pick-up for me, and was up early to open the door for my check-out. I would say this was a plus.

Since Roommates Penang's relatively new, there's still room for improvement. For those who want to be close to the old town, the location's good. It's relatively safe here, but has zero privacy.

Stayed: August 2012, traveled solo
1  Thank twjan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
backpackies, Owner at Roommates Penang, responded to this reviewResponded September 25, 2012

Dear Guest.
Thank you for taking the time to comment and give us feed back. Its most valuable to us.
Yes, we have had some problems with our booking system, and had a few over bookings. Each time we have one, we have a heart attack and smack our heads silly for making mistakes like that. We are truly sorry for messing up on our side. We have since upgraded our checking system to ensure that this problem does not occur again.

As for referring you to another hostel, we usually ask our guests if they like the place before we leave them with the other hostel. Otherwise we will take the guests around to find a suitable comfortable guesthouse at the same rate.

Thank you for your feed back and we will strive to serve you all better.
Management and team

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 13, 2012

LOCATION: Roommates Penang is located at 17B Lorong Chulia, within Georgetown's Heritage Core Zone. You can either hop onto a taxi or board Penang Rapid Bus 401 from the Airport; depending on traffic conditions, the journey could take between 30-60 minutes.

ROOM: This budget hostel has only 2 air-conditioned 8-bed dorms on the upper floor. Apparently, the only difference between the Premier & Standard Dorms is that the Premier beds are slightly wider & have softer pillows. Each bunk-bed comes with privacy curtains, a wall-mounted reading lamp & power points for charging your gadgets.

Do note that the air-con is only turned on at night so the dorm can get quite hot & stuffy in the day, especially if you close up the privacy curtains. You can turn on the ceiling fans which help to dispel some of that stifling heat in the blistering tropics.

Our dorm did not have any lockers but we were told we can use the small steel cabinet outside to store our valuables and stow our baggage either under or beside our beds. Padlocks are available from Reception or bring your own. Each small compartment in that cabinet is not even big enough to hold a compact hiking rucksack, let alone a bigger travelling backpack...

Each 8-bed dorm had 4 metal bunk-beds squeezed into a fairly narrow space so it could feel rather claustrophobic when the dorm is fully occupied... As expected of a stay at any hostel, much of the experience is dependent on your fellow dorm-mates.

We did not sleep well as we were woken up in the early hours (around 2-3am?) by several people stumbling back to the dorm & chatting to each other in the semi-darkness... Though others were obviously asleep by this time, the group of latecomers did not bother to lower their voices nor to tread quietly around the dorm, hence they created quite a disturbance which kept us awake for a long while...

BED: The bunk-beds had clean sheets & a small pillow each; you can request for a blanket from Reception when you Check-In. The mattresses used here were reportedly “anti-allergen & anti-dust mite” which provided added peace of mind.

If you are assigned an upper bunk, do exercise caution climbing up & down the ladder as its rungs are spaced far apart; if not nimble enough, you may find it quite a challenge using that ladder, i nearly fell off once or twice when i missed my footing on the rungs...

BATHROOM: There was a small communal toilet on the upper floor & 2 communal bathrooms on the ground floor. None of which were immaculately clean but still acceptable by hostel standards. The communal toilet upstairs had no soap or liquid hand-wash which did not make for good hygiene practice.

The 2 communal bathrooms downstairs were small & spartan. Each had bare concrete floor & was equipped with a toilet; shower-head; a liquid-soap dispenser; compact square basin with small mirror above; and a narrow glass shelf that was barely big enough to hold a normal-sized toiletries bag.

There was just 1 hook on the wall which was hardly sufficient to hang our towels, used clothing & a fresh change of clothes. Our clothes & towels ended up getting wet by the shower sprays as there simply wasn't enough shelf-space or hooks for everything in that tiny bathroom...

F&B: Room rate was inclusive of a simple breakfast which comprised 2 slices of toast served with butter & jam, a hard-boiled egg & a cup of coffee or tea.

SERVICE: Reservation can be made via email or directly through their website, response was usually quite prompt although sometimes they may take a few days to reply to email queries.

Check-In was conducted in a slow, haphazard manner as the Reception staff took quite a long while to find our reservation & assign us our bunks; we waited for close to 20 minutes for him to settle everything including the issue of towels & blankets. Do note that Check-In Time is after 2pm & full payment is required upon arrival.

Check-Out was hassle-free, just clear out your stuff from the locker and return their towel & blanket upon departure.

FACILITIES: Despite being a budget hostel, Roommates Penang offers free Wi-Fi & several computer terminals on the ground floor. However, the terminals are positioned directly in front of the communal bathrooms so privacy is compromised...

There is a wall-mounted flatscreen TV and a funky glass dance-floor (albeit a mini one) in the foyer. Also available are plenty of maps, guide books & other helpful tourist information, either placed on the small side table or next to the Reception area.

In SUMMARY: Within Georgetown, there are numerous accommodation options to suit every budget. If you seek an affordable backpackers' hostel, there are many choices along Love Lane & Lebuh Muntri that offer much more spacious premises & perhaps better facilities at similar rates, so look around at what's available before you decide. If all you need is a clean, safe place to spend the night, Roommates Penang is perfectly adequate for the purpose.

Room Tip: Standard & Premier Dorms are both upstairs & similar in layout (8-bed each). Premier Beds a...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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1  Thank LeChat_EnVacances
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2012

We got in with the night bus around 5am and were doing the usual touring around to find a hostel that was open at that time. Except Reggae Mansion that was full, this was the only place that opened their doors to us.

The place reminds me of a New Yorker apartment with cool wooden stairs going up and light coming down from upstairs. They've thrown in some big bean bags, a guitar, some good coffee and just outside there's a few tables to have a cold beer at (which goes by 6rm, so quite cheap).

They were helpful with everything from getting a bus to KL, renting motorbikes, to telling us where the good dim sum was.

I'd go back anytime.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank chillar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2012

I have to commend the staff and the owner of this place for making me feel so welcomed. Being a girl and traveling South East Asia solo, can sometimes be intimidating. I had the opportunity to follow their food tours and ended up making friends with the other people in the GUesthouse, which i think is a great PLUS! The beds are clean and comfortable and i love the interior decoration of the whole place. The Guesthouse is small, but it has HEART and it makes you feel welcomed and comfortable. I would definitely recommend this place to people coming to Penang!

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled solo
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Thank redneckjim88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Roommates Penang

Address: 17 B Lorong Chulia, George Town, Penang Island 11200, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Penang > Penang Island > George Town
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #14 of 120 Specialty Lodging in George Town
Price Range: $15 - $101 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 2
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
WHO ARE WE and WHAT DO YOU GET WHEN STAYING WITH US??*18 century straits eclectic pre war shoplot - YES!*Experience staying in a classic heritage shop in Penang - YES!*Clean and comfortable- YES! *The place is so new you can even smell the paint- YES!*Guaranteed the Funnest guesthouse on the island- SOOO YES!*Value for money- YES!*So near to the heritage attractions, you can see it- YES!*So near to Penang Hawker food, you can smell it- YES!*SUPER Easy to get here by bus- YES! YES YES YES YES YES YES YES!!! :D We hope to having and seeing you real soon!Roommates Penang Guesthouse is housed in an 18th century refurbished ‘Straits Eclectic’ prewar shop lot centrally located within the core Heritage Zone of Georgetown, Penang. We are within walking distance to famous hawker food stalls like Chulia Street, Kimberly Street, shopping malls like Komtar, Prangin Mall and 1st Avenue as well as morning markets like Chowrasta Market. All the ‘MUST SEE’ Heritage attractions within Penang are located around the guesthouse and can be easily explored by foot or by bicycle. We also offer bicycles for rent for the convenience of our guests. Roommates Penang is definitely the ‘smallest’, ‘newest’ and ‘funnest’ (we made this word up!) guesthouse on the island. Although the exterior and certain sections of the guesthouse still retains its prewar features, we did cracked our brains to come up with a simplistic yet modern interior so that you can fully enjoy an open concept guesthouse that only has a land space of 530 ft2. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Roommates Penang George Town

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