The hotel restoration has been done with great detail, care and professionalism, but the same can not be said the staff who were tardy, unhelpful and well below the standard expected at the price range the hotel is charging.
Guests going to 23 Love Lane will to pay above the average rate for Georgetown to receive a unique special experience. This hotel does have gorgeous facilities and the building is rich with history, but that is where the special experience stops. All aspects related to service delivery are disappointing. Staff are well under trained to be working in a boutique hotel environment- they are not proficient, mindful, or effective at their jobs. The restaurant menu is below standard. The front office staff know little to nothing about the local area. The cleaning staff needed to be requested verbally provide a turn down service because it was 3pm and our room had not been attended to. The uniforms worn are unprofessional - especially compared to other similar hotels in the area. (See Mango Tree, Seven Terraces, Clove Hall)
The hotel does have potential, but in order to reach a reasonable standard of service the hotel needs to invest in good staff. Until then, the level of service is on par with a $55USD a night interstate motel that has a bistro attached.
Issues in chronological order:
1. small. Upon arrival instead of checking into rooms to freshen up (Penang is a hot and humid) guests are made to wait unnecessarily for 15-20 minutes for a complimentary drink to be made - could have easily been brought to the room, and the drink does not taste great. Once we have finally been given allowed to go to our room and rest we receive a phone that ring for over 20 rings without hanging up - show some professional discretion; if we wanted to answer the call we would have with up the phone on the 3-5 ring.
2. small. Breakfast. Reasonable food. Waiter does not write down order and messes up the eggs. Coffee is terrible.
2. large. Turn down service was ignored on our first day. When guests are paying a premium price, compared to other locations in Georgetown, for a room a basic expectation is our room will be made up.
3. medium. Afternoon tea. Ordinary tea bag are provided at afternoon tea. When being charged a boutique rate it should be expected to real tea leaves especially when a city like Penang has such a rich history of Chinese/Indian/Colonial tea drinkers. A small problem, but very disappointing. Additionally, when coming back to the hotel for afternoon for some tranquility away from the excitement and intensity of the city the last thing we wish to hear is the blender going for 10 minutes while new guests checking in wait for their special welcome drink.
4. large. A mid-high boutique "heritage" should be able to provide expert knowledge on Penang or at very least be able to recommend professional tour guides. They should NOT just hand guests pamphlets for George tour bicycle rental. Extremely disappointing.
5. Large - set complimentary dinner. the food provided for the complimentary dinner was a disgrace. Old Australian meat with garlic butter and potato chips. firstly menu choice, completely uninspired! Disappointing! and regret worthy! A boutique "Heritage" hotel should be telling a story about the history of the city, street and food venders through the meals they serve. Providing a "Special" meal which is of a low quality pub meal/catering standard is a huge mistake and a big tell that the hotel has not invested in staff. Wine, the line provided was extremely disappointing.
To continue with dinner. We were provided with a complimentary bottle of wine which we were told was meant for our NYE dinner. The only problem was, we were given this bottle of wine the next day as we were checking out. Pathetic service!!
6. Serious. After providing our feedback no hotel management or staff wanted to discuss our concerns, expect to say " we are sorry our service was not good". Game breaker !
Conclusion: This hotel is in its infancy: it is undergoing growing pains. We stayed at the hotel over the christmas new year period, probably the hotels busiest time. But we paid extra for a hotel that gets all the little things right. This hotel does not. Well, not yet at-least.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- 23Lovelane Penang, A Heritage Boutique Hotel in George Town UNESCO World Heritage Site. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- 23 Love Lane Penang/George Town