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“Hate to give it such a poor rating but...”
Review of Roommates Penang

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Roommates Penang
London, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Hate to give it such a poor rating but...”
Reviewed February 28, 2014 via mobile

Roommates Penang seemed to offer so much. It was in a pretty good location with clean bunks and a well kept communal area. The fact that the bunks had curtains surrounding them was also a nice touch. It seemed that our 4 night stay here was going to be flawless. However, one aspect of Roommates was to let the entire experience down. The staff. Now, the staff weren't overly rude or unhelpful (although they did seem pretty nonchalant most of the time) but they were neglectful. We were upstairs in the dorm room when we heard a buzzing sound that got louder and louder. Upon inspection we saw that the lower half of the establishment was filled with smoke. Thinking it was a fire we ran straight outside, terrified, to the laughter of some of the local people. Upon asking, we were told that a mosquito killer mixed with diesel was being pumped into the hostel, a mixture that some told us was highly toxic. We were visibly shaken and had no idea how much we had inhaled. The hostel worker on duty sauntered over to us and gave us a pitiful, and somewhat bored, sorry with an excuse that went something like: 'oh, I had made sure everyone downstairs was out, I didn't check upstairs.' Needless to say, we thought that the shoddy lack of attention from the staff made this hostel a solid 2/5.

Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank olovertheworld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (29)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Swedish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
Makati, Philippines
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
Reviewed February 24, 2014

Checking in, it really have that dorm atmosphere. I was warmly greeted by other guests and Yentl. Yntel is half Thai-half Malaysian, she works in the hostel and she asked for us two to speak in Filipino so she can practice, she learned the language through Pinoy friends and from watching Jericho Rosale's old soaps. I asked about the hostel's cancellation policy, I thought the place would be cheap.

The hostel is clean and decent, at first I thought I'd look for a better hotel after my first night there but I actually extended my stay and will definitely stay there again if ever I'll be in Penang.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank berjimo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed February 1, 2014

Clean new hostel great location, helpful staff

Stayed two nights. there are two dorms. Cool location to explore the old town or get a bus further afield, very modern and clean, upper bunks are a little high, bring a torch if getting back late and don't forget how high you are if you wake up and need to bathroom!

Staff when we arrived very friendly and helpful in advising things to do, local area etc.
We left to stay in another hostel for the third night as my girlfriend was ill so wanted a private room and found one (Kimberly) for roughly the same price. A little odd but when I mentioned to one of the chaps we were moving onto another hostel his tone seemed to change with us both, being a lot more short with us when asking for information and trying to get us to check out for 11.30 as the "new guest were here" (there was no one down stairs) and it clearly states check out it 12 noon. Left feeling a slight sour taste unnecessarily.

Room Tip: Pay a little more you get the room that isn't awoken by morning prayer call!
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Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Stephen L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level 5 Contributor
42 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed January 10, 2014

Stayed at Roommates for 2 nights. We were at the annex building just across the road. It wasnt as small as some reviews said and our 4 bed bunk had enough space for our bags and even for us to sit on the floor to play cards:) I liked that place although it was furnished simply but really cosy.

Beds: Super comfy beds and pillow! The bed was big enough to roll around and not fall off. Every bed has a wall socket that can accept two pin pugs (from singapore) without the need for a 2pin adapter. There is also a reading light and a basket compartment to place your stuff in every bunk. The curtains were great for privacy and blocking out the air con if needed.

Towels and blankets were provided upon arrival. The room might get a little cold at night due to the aircon, but you can adjust the temperature from the remote if not choose the bunks that are further in the room from the aircon to block out the air with your curtains. You do not get keys to the dorm room however you can store your valuable in the lockers downstairs. (Not really a problem for us as we had the whole room to ourselves).

The owner is so friendly and helpful! Didnt catch his name but a really nice guy who gave us lots of suggestions on where to go and what/where to eat. Nice and cute uncle! :) It feels as though he knows all the guests that are staying at his hostel and will talk to you when you return after your day. They even gave us towels to shower after we had checked out, but returned to the hostel in the afternoon before our flight. The annex building was only started about 6 months ago so it is very clean and in good condition. There is a little couch space at the front reception where you can hang out, otherwise there are more seats outdoor to the back of the hostel. The place is rather quiet as well and not a party hostel, but people staying there are still friendly:)

There are 3 toilets for the whole building which I think only has about 5 rooms. Never had to queue for toilets and shower gel is provided. The shower and toilet are all in the same cubicle, with the shower area separated from the toilet with a shower curtain. However that means that the shower floor is usually wet even if you are just going in to use it for the toilet. Didnt feel too gross though! As all guests have to leave their shoes on the rack when entering the hostel.

Location: The building is located in Lorong Chulia, which is just off the main (more busy) road of Lebuh Chulia. Which means peace and quiet when you sleep at night! (with the occasional motorcycle driving past your window which was fine). It is a rather quiet street however we never felt unsafe. The location is great, walking distance to most of georgetown's attractions and food places (The famous chendol, new lane coffee shop for char kuey tiao, and the hokkein mee behind first ave shopping mall) and if you need the hostel can call a taxi for you. There is pit stop cafe which does nice brunches and coffee art just across the hostel if you want somewhere to chill and get sick of street food.

Overall, really value for money for RM30. There is also breakfast of 2 eggs and toast provided but we just skipped that and headed for the street food. The hostel also sells some beer cans (RM5), and water if you need a quick drink but dont want to walk out to 7-11.

Room Tip: Get room 5 (4 bed dorm), at the very end of the second floor. Although the room faced the main road...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jayymine197
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sibu, Sarawak
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed December 20, 2013

The hostel is located at the strategy place to find for all the street walls at Georgetown. The owner and the staffs there are super friendly and helpful. They provide us with a lots of information about how to get to some of the interesting places around Penang. The room is very clean and away from noises. The breakfast provided is sufficient and simple. Worth every penny!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Angiehmk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed December 17, 2013

The owner is unbelievably cute, friendly and helpful. My friend and I had visa issues for Thailand (our next stop) and he helped solve the problem and made sure everything was worked out. he really seemed to care about every single guest in the hostel. Unfortunately was going through small renovations, so made for noise and lots of dust at the time. Good location (down a small side road off the main strip.) Dorm beds were nice and the curtain and individual night lights made it more private. Toilets are quite open.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank albertaLDR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed December 17, 2013

Stayed here for 2 days with 6 other friends.

At the time of my stay (Jan 2013), the 2nd floor restroom door needed some maintenance otherwise it's flawless for a dorm at such affordable rate.

Great beds (single) and facilities. The A/C was colder than I expected at night but a blanket (need to request as there was only pillow provided) solves the problem.

There are computers standby for the guests to online, in case you need to check on flights (for example) and other information. Staff were friendly and helpful, and I had the best DIY coffee and toasts here.

What more can I say, I had a wonderful time staying here. Definitely earned my highest recommendation. 5/5.

Room Tip: Avoid top bunks if you are afraid of heights and/or have the tendency to fall off the bed, it's...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank neo1027
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Roommates Penang

Property: 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 #12 of 116 Specialty Lodging in George Town
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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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