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“The MOST caring crew. A day became over a month...that great a place!”

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SIOK Hostel, Penang
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 21, 2013 via mobile

aren 2

This is a short story of how a plan to stay in Penang for a day turned into over a month - thanks to the amazing crew at Syok.

Came across Syok whilst finding my way to a place that had been recommended. Syok caught my attention because it is a pristine building with beautifully restored shutters. It just looked so lovingly restored that I had to go in.

I was persuaded by Kati, it's amazing manager to take a tour of the place despite my reservations about the idea of a shared dorm (was looking for a single room and didn't realise it is a hostel. It has 2 single rooms but they were booked). After seeing the:

Spotless spotless toilets
Shiny rain head showers
The breezy roof terrace
The totally chilled lounge and
The heritage style (wooden floors, exposed brick, terracotta tiles etc)

I was persuaded!!

However what I have never experienced nor did I expect was the incredible incredible kindness of Karen, Kati, Patie and their amazing Syok troops....

::Want soya milk with your breakfast cereal? Done!
::Need train tickets? 'We'll get them for you"
::Breakfast at 4am because you leave early? Noooo problem!

Nothing is a problem, nothing is too much. All with genuine smiles from the heart. I had to pinch myself 'cos this was meant to be a hostel, not a 6 star hotel. The genuine care and attention to detail and your needs far exceeded anything i have ever experienced in all the business trips I have made staying in fancy hotels.

One night there was movie night at Syok and Kati 8 months pregnant was so concerned to make sure we all saw Life of Pi that she went hunting a PC-plasma screen cable solution that took her to 3 shops with her ending up getting a specialist network card. I happened to be passing the first shop when I saw her and was simply amazed at her intent and interest in solving this need for the benefit of the guests...whilst 8 months pregnant! Who would bother learning about network cards whilst 8 months pregnant? That night we were all treated to homemade popcorn madd by her. I mean is it possible to care more?

Another really cool thing about Syok is that is seems to attract really interesting people. I met travel writers, a google exec, someone travelling through all the countries between Asia and Europe, a cyclist that cycled across America and Australia etc. It is one big happy family at Syok. The management and staff are so friendly it seems to rub off on the guests! It attracts totally groovy and chilled people.

The management and staff at Syok are firm friends for life. I'm off again as my visa is nearly up but I have left a bag with them because they really are part of my life and Syok will now be my hub for transits and further stays in future.

Oh btw...Kati surprised me yesterday night with a goodbye cake - she took the time away from her newborn to say goodbye. I mean, what else can I say....yet again my heart is so moved by my experience at Syok. So so so many times I would shake my head in amazement at the kindness of Syok. All at Syok really have time for you in ways that will amaze you.

Oh, one other thing Penang is great. Nature, heritage, culture, food.

Thank you Karen, thank you Kati, rhank you Patie, thank you Sheila, thank you Elia, thank you Chris. I thank you from the bottom of my heart with little tears of happiness in my eyes.

A little thank you poem:

A day in Penang was the plan
That was until I met the crew of Karen Tan

She and her Syok crew are simply the best++
So much so one day became one++ month of happiness and rest++

Thank you all SO much.

  • Stayed: April 2013
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1  Thank budzoz
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 reviewResponded June 30, 2013

Dear budzoz,
Better yet
Dear Hakon,

Since we received your review, I've been asking myself what to write back: "thank you for the kind review", "we were happy to host you", "come back soon"...
But I would like to be honest and let you know what a great pleasure it was for me/ all of us to have you with here and how much I enjoyed our chats. Some people would say one month is a short while to build trust and friendship but we managed to do it in one day.
So here is my reply to you: ANYTIME !

Until the next time,

Kati

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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244 - 250 of 303 reviews

Reviewed May 20, 2013

Very very clean,specious,excellent facilities,well-designed,friendly and helpful stuff.They know what customers need,so they have everything I need,as if I lived in a boutique hotel,everything was too excellent and high quality.No doubt if I go to Penang next time of course I can't wait to go back Syok at Chulia again.

  • Stayed: May 2013
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Thank Laurena L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Syok_at_Chulia, Owner at SIOK Hostel, Penang, responded to this reviewResponded May 24, 2013

Dear Laurena L

Thank you for the lovely review. This will certainly keep the staf motivated and encourage ALL of us with providing the best experience to all our guests.

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Reviewed May 18, 2013

We stayed at Syok at Chulia for two nights. Definitely one of the nicest backpackers I've been to. The mattresses are great, big and comfortable. The bunks in the dorms are set up so you have you own space and the lockers are huge. The toilets are fantastic and they supply towels and soap. The common area is always open with tea and coffee on offer. Staff are very helpful. Syok is located at the very end of Chulia Street - our taxi driver had trouble finding it, but when we rang them it was no problem getting directions. Our only problem was having a room at the front facing Chulia street, which was more noisy than the dorms on the side. Such a great place though, definitely more a flashpackers than a backpackers!

Room Tip: Try for a room on the side street!
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank ezmay-relda
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 reviewResponded June 8, 2013

Dear Ezmay-Relda,

Thank you very much for your kind review. We are happy to see that you enjoyed our amenities.
Syok@Chulia is situated in the heart of Heritage Zone and in the evening the place tends to be more animated. We apologise for the inconvenience caused by the noise.
Thank you once again for taking the time to share with us and sincerely look forward to welcome you back in a not too distant future.
Have a lovely time ahead.
Very sincerely,

The Syok Crew

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Reviewed May 14, 2013

Honestly, it was the best hostel I staid in my whole trip in South East Asia for three months; It felt half way between staying in a friends house and a 5 start hotel.
There is so much detail and thinking put in to that place to create an experience of comfort; The place is brand new, with great design and very fresh feel to it; The rooms are super spacious and full of light and the top floor is a great place to hang out with other traveller.
The staff made an amazing effort to make my stay very enjoyable… they even took me to the best places for street food in their work breaks.
I can only say I will make an effort to go back to Penang to stay with them again…

Room Tip: I found the beds near the window are nicer and more light full
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled solo
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Thank fran a
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 reviewResponded June 8, 2013

Dear Fran A,

Thank you for the wonderful review. We are happy to see that our guests enjoyed their stay with us as much as possible. Your comments will surely come as a great boost of moral to the Team to improve ourselves further.
Thank you once again for your great feedback and support, sincerely very much appreciate.
And please contact us personally the next time you are in town,

Yours sincerely,

The Syok Crew

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Reviewed May 11, 2013 via mobile

I am amazed that a place like this exists. The place is new, so it's in great shape. It's very clean and they have a really good selection of simple breakfast. They serve tea, coffee and biscuits all day in the lounge. There's also two water dispensers for fresh, cool water so you can refill your bottles, one in the reception and one on the first floor. But the absolute best part is the staff. They are friendly and warm and genuinely concerned when you have a problem. They also speak great english and are very helpful when it comes to tips. In particular, Sheila is wonderful, just exceedingly kind. I keep reading this review and the problem I have is that it just doesn't even begin to describe how nice and cozy and homey and great this place is. I couldn't possibly recommend it more.

It's not that cheap, at 45 RM a night per bed in a dorm, 110 for private double rooms, but it is soooo worth it!

  • Stayed: May 2013
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Thank Camila C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Syok_at_Chulia, Owner at SIOK Hostel, Penang, responded to this reviewResponded May 24, 2013

Dear Camila C

Thank you for taking time to review us at SYok. We try to give our best and a smile to all our guests. WE hope to continue upgrading our services and improve on giving ALL our guests the best experience. Wishing a safe journey ahead.

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Reviewed May 7, 2013

My earliest experience of a modern dormitory was in Singapore, ever since then I have been on the lookout for a similiar setup in Malaysia. I'm glad and proud to say that we now have one in Penang, and it is way better than the one in our neighbouring country.

Syok@Chulia was nothing short of a great satisfaction. After visiting their other boutique hotel, Spices, I was not surprised that they offer the same customer service. Friendly, helpful and courteous.

The rooms were clean and organized, as with the bathrooms as well. I was staying in the Females-Only dormitory and I felt really safe as there is a separating door from the mixed dorms.

My favourite part of the dorm, I would have to say, is the lounge on the rooftop. All I wanted to do was stay there, catch a movie with new friends.

I would recommend without a doubt to anyone who is looking for an affordable place to sleep, with the opportunity to make new friends, and absolutely wonderful facilities.

Kudos, Syok!

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Michelle Y
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 reviewResponded June 8, 2013

Dear Michelle Y,

What a pleasure for us to have you here! Thank you so much for the kind review. We are delighted to see our ladies guests enjoyed our amenities.
Indeed our Lounge is the place where to make new friends. We hope you had time to bond with other fellow travellers.
We do hope to have you back with us soon.
Until then have a great time ahead,

The Syok Crew

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Reviewed May 6, 2013

My partner and I stayed in a private room at this hostel in April 2013. We were located on the second floor but found it to be very noisy at night as the hostel is located on the corner of a busy intersection.

The staff at this hostel are super friendly and very happy to provide advice on places to see/eat etc. The common room is well equipped for interaction with other travellers, nice shared bathroom facilities and free breakfast.

Overall we enjoyed our stay here but I didn't get the best of sleeps.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank AntheaB972
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Spices M, General Manager at SIOK Hostel, Penang, responded to this reviewResponded May 9, 2013

Dear AntheaB972,

Thank you for the kind review. We understand that it can be noisy especially if you are a light sleeper. We do offer ear plugs though! We consistently look out for ways to improve and will keep finding a solution for this.

Thank you and regards

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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

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 #6 of 125 Specialty Lodging in George Town
Price Range: $220 - $460 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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