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“Great place, but wasn't for me.”

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SIOK Hostel, Penang
Certificate of Excellence
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
258 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 557 helpful votes
“Great place, but wasn't for me.”
Reviewed April 6, 2013 via mobile

Overall this new "upscale" hostel is very nice. Highlights include great service, clean rooms, good location, and more.

Location wise, It is in a very convenient location right on the edge of Chinatown and close to Komtar. It is also right on the free shuttle bus line. There are lots of good restaurants and mini marts within a few blocks.

Service wise this place was amazing. When I first walked in I was very hungry and Chris actually walked with me for two blocks to escort me to his favorite nasi kandar eatery (which was good and cheap). Katy (the manager) was also very friendly and accommodating. All the staff speak excellent english and are extremely attentive. They also try to remember everyone's names, so every time I walked in I got a bright smile and, "Hello Shawn!"

The rooms and bathrooms are very clean and new. Strong and hot showers, comfortable beds, spacious rooms, cold A/C, etc. They also have very nice and stylish common areas both inside and outside.

It is also a great social scene. All the other guests I met were fellow travelers who were very friendly. The staff also make a point of trying to connect people and will go out of their way to introduce people.

I loved this place in almost every way. Unfortunately I ended up leaving for three reasons:

1) I don't really like dorms. This is the first time I have stayed in a dorm on my trip and it just isn't my thing. I wish they had some small and affordable single rooms because I may of never left if they did. Obviously this is my own issue, and nothing to do with Syok.

2) The prices are a bit high for dorm accommodation. Sure this place is really nice, but most people stay in dorms to save money. The cost of dorms here are roughly the same as getting a single room elsewhere (but not as nice of course). They are catering to a niche market of travelers who want to be in a dorm and don't mind paying more for nicer digs.

3) The location is mostly great, except that they are on a crossroads of two fairly busy streets. This resulted in loud traffic noise for much of the night (as well as beds on the first floor shaking slightly when a bus goes by). Even with earplugs it still kept me from getting solid sleep. I am a light sleeper, so perhaps it wouldn't be an issue for other folk. This was the primary reason I moved on because a good night's sleep is really important to me.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Shawn_Storm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Syok_at_Chulia, Manager at SIOK Hostel, Penang, responded to this review, May 15, 2013
Dear Shawn_Storm,

Thank you for taking the time and writing the nice comment. We hope you realize that once you come at Syok you enter our Syok Family so it's normal to know each other's names.
I'm glad to see you enjoyed our service but sad to hear that wasn't for you.
Indeed our place is located in the heart of the Heritage Area and it tends to be animated in the evenings. We are sorry that the noise created any discomfort to you. It's true that the dorms are not for everyone but we are happy to say that we have two double rooms available now so our guests can enjoy more privacy.

Even if this place wasn't for you don't be shy to stop by and say hi the next time you come in Georgetown.

Until then best of luck,

The Syok Crew
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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291 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (43)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
Bakkeveen, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviewed April 4, 2013

This brandnew hostel within the old city bounderies (UNESCO Heritage) is like a 5 star hotel. Katie, The Rumanian manager and her staff give you a warm welcome, their friendliness and service is unsurpassed. Besides mixed dorms there are two seperate ladies dorms with a well equipped bathroom area - no man allowed. The beds and modern a/c systems makes sleeping very comfy. The lounge, bar and breakfast area on the second floor with a terrace is a wonderfull place to relax or talk to other travelers (Katie introduces guests to each other).
Most people stay longer than planned because of the feelgood vibe of this hostel. Located close to shops and restaurants.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MariekeL874
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Syok_at_Chulia, Manager at SIOK Hostel, Penang, responded to this review, May 15, 2013
Dear MariekeL874,

It is with great pleasure that I read this review and see that our guests didn't miss anything during their stay at Syok. We all thank you very much for taking the time and write such a kind and positive comment.
Again so pleased we succeed in making your stay and hostel experiences enjoyable and we all at SYOK look forward to welcome you back soon.
Thank you very much for your kind recommendation, really very much appreciated!

Until then we wish you a great time ahead,

The Syok Crew
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond, Virginia
Level Contributor
31 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed April 1, 2013

Such a nice place - hard to believe it's a hostel. Manager and every staff member was genuinely peasant and helpful - made me feel so welcome I wished I could have stayed longer. Dorm rooms with bunk beds much nicer than that sounds. Place was super clean. Upstairs was a comfy lounge. Fast wifi everywhere. Can't say enough good things about this hostel. I was just there on a visa run for Thailand so I'm no expert on Georgetown - but seemed like a good location on Chulia street close to travel agencies for visa processing, nightlife, not far from the ferry station. Seems to me that it has all the comforts and amenities of a nice hotel, but with the social benefits of a hostel.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank GringoPieGrande
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Syok_at_Chulia, Manager at SIOK Hostel, Penang, responded to this review, May 15, 2013
Dear GringoPieGrande,

We are so pleased to read your message and it is really nice to see that the Team from Syok managed to create memorable hotel experiences for you.
The staff is happy to see that one night is enough to create the maximum comfort for our guests.
We do hope to have you as our guest for your next visa run. Do not hesitate to contact us.

Until then we wish you the best,

The Syok Crew
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed March 29, 2013

There is nothing bad to say about this fabulous place. I had booked 3 nights and ended up staying 5 and it's almost with tears in my eyes that I had to leave. The first thing that "stikes" you when you walk in is how friendly the staff is. You feel so welcomed. In no time, they all get to know you by your first name.

This newly opened hostel has so much to offer. The staff (Chris, Sheila, Elia, Mary and Lynn, just to name a few) is adorable and very attentive to your needs. They really recruit the cream of the cream !

The place is a little gem. Rooms are spacious and beds very comfortable. A/C works well, so as the wifi. The lounge is a good place to relax and breakfast is good (hostel type). This spotless hostel is located in a building that has just been renovated. Since it is in the historic district of Georgetown, they had to respect strict rules. The result is fantastic. Congrats !!!

I can't wait to go back to Georgetown because, before I die, I want to stay again at Syok@Chulia !!!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Claude G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Syok_at_Chulia, Manager at SIOK Hostel, Penang, responded to this review, May 15, 2013
Dear Claude,

Thank you so much for your kind and generous comments and feedbacks, sincerely greatly appreciated! The Crew grew a big smile while reading it.
It is absolutely great to read about your satisfaction about our staff and your great experiences while staying with us. Here at Syok we put the comfort of our guests above everything to make your stay in Penang a memorable one.
Hoping you arrived safely to your next destination and that we will have you with us soon,

The Syok Crew
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guangzhou, China
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 19, 2013

Great location, great atmosphere, excellent staff support. I had a very comfortable stay here and met some very nice fellow travelers, all of which who also seemed to be enjoying their stay. I'd recommend this hostel to anyone planning on staying in Georgetown.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
1 Thank GZCNbob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Syok_at_Chulia, Manager at SIOK Hostel, Penang, responded to this review, May 15, 2013
Dear GZCNbob,

Thank you very much for taking the time to compliment our services during your stay with us, greatly appreciated. We all look forward to welcome you back in Penang and wish you in meantime a fantastic week ahead.

The Syok Crew
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Prince Albert, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 18, 2013

This is a great hostel and very nice! This hostel was only a week old when I stayed here. This hostel was in a great location with lots of restaurants near by and only a ten minute walk to the local buses. The staff were very helpful and friendly. The rooms and washrooms were clean with AC. Breakfast was included in the common area with free wifi which worked good!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
1 Thank Lindsey7755
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Syok_at_Chulia, Manager at SIOK Hostel, Penang, responded to this review, March 19, 2013
Dear Lindsey7755,

Thank you for taking the time and write us the kind review.
We are very happy to see that you enjoyed your stay here and that everything was at your disposal.

Don't hesitate to come back at any time !

Until then, wishing you a great day ahead and a safe trip to your next destination,

The Syok Crew
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2013

I love this place. The staff is super friendly and helpfull. All rooms have a/c, good wifi, rooms are clean, beds soft and comfortable.
Bathrooms clean, very nice decorated and comes with hot shower.
Breakfast is incl. And there is free water, tee and coffee all Day. There is a nice lounge area with tv, dvd and games.
Syok has a very nice atmosphere and I can only advice You to stay here.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Noodlehair
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Syok_at_Chulia, Manager at SIOK Hostel, Penang, responded to this review, March 19, 2013
Dear Noodlehair,

Thank you for writing us the kind review.
We are veyr glad you could enjoy all the facilities and amenities provided by our Hostel. Our goal is to make our guests' stay as comfortable as possible. Thank you for letting us know we are on the right path. Please feel free to drop by anytime.

Until next time, wishing you a great day ahead and a safe trip to your next destination,

The Syok Crew
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about SIOK Hostel, Penang

Property: SIOK Hostel, Penang
Address: 458 Chulia Street, George Town, Penang Island 10200, Malaysia (Formerly Syok at Chulia)
Location: Malaysia > Penang > Penang Island > George Town
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 112 Specialty Lodging in George Town
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — SIOK Hostel, Penang 2*
Number of rooms: 66
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
SIOK HOSTEL has a capacity of 64 persons including separate dorm for females. Rates are inclusive of tax and breakfast, free wifi. They are air-conditioned, come with personal secured lockers,personal sockets and personal reading lights, super single size bunk beds with spring mattresses and bathrooms with rain head hot showers and all bathroom amenities. SIOK HOSTEL provides a Lounge area where guests can enjoy complimentary coffee/tea all day, watch TV, enjoy the collection of DVD's, magazines, dart board, foosball table, board games, free WiFi. Located at the heart of the city Georgetown, UNESCO heritage area, 458 Chulia Street, 10200 Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia. SIOK HOSTEL is located at the junction of Leith street and Chulia Street. There are a number of restaurants nearby. Right on Penang street, which is just across SIOK HOSTEL, there are many shops selling cloths, souvenirs. trishaws, taxis and busses are easy available. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
SIOK Hostel, Penang George Town

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